Easiest Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Have you heard about the Sewing Portfolios website? I had seen several bloggers I follow mention it, so I decided to check it out. Basically, it’s a site where you can create a profile to showcase your best sewing work. Your profile is added to a database that pattern designers, fabric manufacturers, and other businesses in the sewing community can access when looking for pattern testers, brand representatives, and other collaborators. There is potential for some pretty sweet opportunities. I was lucky enough to be chosen as an Ambassador for Sewing Portfolios and today, that involves a collaboration with Michael Miller Fabrics. I was sent a half yard of three different fabrics from Michael Miller’s new Catching Dreams collection to try out and showcase a project that can be done with only a half yard of fabric. When I opened my package of fabric, I nearly squealed! I had no idea what I was being sent, so it was a surprise, and a great one at that. I love anything purple, so naturally these fabrics spoke to me. The colors are so vibrant and my camera doesn’t do them justice. It really is a beautiful collection and I’m so happy I got to use these fabrics.

So, what did I decide to do for my “half yard project?” I went back and forth on several ideas before I finally settled on creating these fun, EASY zipper pouches. These are sewn with a serger and there are only 4 seams! Guys, seriously, it doesn’t get easier than this! These are a super quick sew and they can have so many uses. My kids want to throw their treasures in them. I use one as a makeup bag. They’d also be perfect for a back to school pencil pouch. But I think my favorite use is filling with travel size toiletries and donating to a women’s shelter or similar organization. I first learned about these little pouches from my grandmother. She worked with a group of ladies to make a ton of these to fill and donate them. I thought it was a great idea. Want to make one yourself? Perfect, because I’m about to give you the rundown on how to do it.

First you need to gather your supplies.

  • 2 pieces of cotton fabric cut 10×16 inches, one for the lining and one for the outside. You can use the same fabric for both or choose a coordinating fabric instead.
  • Batting or flannel also cut 10×16 inches. This will be used to provide some substance to your bag.
  • A long nylon zipper. At least 11 inches long. Can be longer.
  • Serger

After you have your fabric and batting cut, sandwich them together. First lay your lining fabric wrong-side up, then the batting, then the outside fabric right side up. 

Take your zipper and lay it right side down on top of the short side of your outside fabric. Leave 1/4 inch of fabric for the serger to cut off while you sew.

Serge the zipper on, trimming the outside fabric as you go. You can also trim a tiny bit of the zipper if you want, just be sure not to get too close to the teeth. You won’t need to use a special foot.  The all purpose foot will work great. That’s part of the beauty of this no-fuss bag!

Next, fold the bag together, right sides facing. Line up the zipper with the other short side of the bag. 

Serge that side of the zipper in the same manner as you did the first side. 

You should end up with something that looks like the picture below. 

Next, adjust the bag so the top edge is rolled down approximately 1 inch. Very Important: Before sewing the side seams, you must unzip the zipper about half way. If you forget this step, you will cut off the slider. Bad news! 

Now we will sew the two side seams together. Start with the side you have unzipped. You will have to hold the open zipper together as you serge and cut off the excess.

Next, serge the other side seam, cutting off the extra zipper as you go. 

You have now attached the zipper and sewn the side seams. That’s it! Turn the bag right side out and admire your work!

7 Comments

  1. Brianne Robinson

    August 16, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Love them! I’m a sucker for cute pouches though. It doesn’t hurt the serger to just go right over the zipper?

    1. Laurel

      August 16, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      Nope, as long as it’s a nylon zipper. Don’t get a metal one. Try it out and let me know what you think!

  2. Tonya

    August 16, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I’m going to have to check this site out! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Candice Ayala

    August 17, 2017 at 10:39 am

    These are absolutely wonderful Laurel!! Thank you so much for being a Sewing Portfolios Ambassador!!

    1. Laurel

      August 17, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      No, thank you! Sewing Portfolios is an awesome platform and I’m happy to be a part of it!

  4. Beth T.

    August 17, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    I don’t have a serger. Could I make this with a zig-zag stitch instead? (I hope so–this looks like a great bag!)

    1. Laurel

      August 17, 2017 at 10:11 pm

      You can definitely make this without a serger, it will just take a couple extra steps. First, make sure you finish all the raw edges with an overlook stitch, zig zag, or pinking shears so you don’t have all the fraying in the inside. Then you’ll want to attach the zipper using your zipper foot. (You may want to topstitch the zipper too.) Then sew your side seams using a regular stitch and regular foot. Then you’ll have to trim the excess zipper off with scissors. I’d love to see it if you decide to try one!

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