Easy Fabric Zipper Pouch

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in DIY Ideas | 0 comments

Easy Fabric Zipper Pouch

In the Spring of 2012 I began my final semester of college.  It was the night before the first day of classes, and I suddenly realized I didn’t have anything to keep my pencils/highlighters/misc. writing utensils in.  Instead of driving to the grocery store and buying a pencil pouch, I decided to make my own.  After a little digging on the internet, I found an easy to follow tutorial.  However, the original tutorial I found is no longer available.  Yesterday I spent about 10 minutes before I found almost the exact same tutorial on a different blog.  Thanks to Design Mom for providing such an easy to follow fabric zipper pouch tutorial.

The following tutorial is my version of Design Mom’s, with additional steps for decorative purposes.  Feel free to jump down to Step #7 to skip these extra steps.  I want to emphasize that nothing I’m about to share is my original design.

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Materials you’ll need:

Fabric – You’ll need it for the inside and outside of the pouch (I used two different types of fabric).  You may also use a different fabric for the design on the outside of the pouch.

9″ Zipper

Thread

Sewing Machine

Iron

Scissors

Tweezers

**Zipper Foot – if available

 

STEP 1: CUT YOUR FABRIC

You want to make sure your inner & outer fabrics are cut the same dimensions.  I cut my fabric 9 inches long and 8 inches deep.  You want to make sure length of the fabric is at least as long as the zipper you are using.

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This cut of fabric strip is for the decorative part that will end up on the outside fabric.  You want to make sure it’s AT LEAST 4 inches wide so that you can fold it in half.  The length depends on what you want to do with it:  I cut it 54 inches long so I could create two to three strips along the outside.  Usually the strip needs to be at least 2x longer than the length of your pouch.

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STEP 2: SEW THE LONG STRIP OF FABRIC

Fold the strip in half so that it’s 2 inches wide and the right sides of the fabric are touching.  The right sides are the sides you want showing when you are finished.  You can choose to press and pin it, but I usually just throw it under the needle and sew.  I choose to do this because I’m comfortable doing it: I recommend pressing (ironing) and pinning it if you’re not used to sewing with a machine.  Then, sew along the edge that doesn’t have the fold.

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When you have finished sewing, the fabric should resemble a long tube:

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STEP 3: TURN THE TUBE INSIDE-OUT

This is where things get lengthy and tricky.  Start by pulling the fabric over your thumb.  Then, take a pair of tweezers and pinch a piece of the fabric from the inside.  Pull the fabric through: use the fabric that’s already pulled over to help bring the inside to the outside by pulling it down as you pull the tweezers up (I know, it sounds really confusing).  Depending on how long you cut the fabric, this step will take a while.

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STEP 4: PRESS/IRON THE TUBE

This step is important if you want a nice, clean look.  When you iron the tube, make sure the seam is directly in the middle.  This will make it so that the seam is hidden when you begin to place it on the outer fabric.

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STEP 5: ARRANGE THE TUBE ON THE OUTSIDE FABRIC

You will need to place the outer fabric on a flat surface, right side up.  Then, begin arranging the tube so that it creates a ripple.  To do this, you will need to overlap the fabric, little by little.  Make sure the seam on the tube is facing down so that it’s hidden.  It’s hard to explain, but when you’re done, you will have created a ripple across the outer fabric.  Pin the overlaps as you go along to keep the pattern in place.

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When you’re finished, it will look like this:

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STEP 6: SEW THE RIPPLE PATTERN DOWN

This step is easier when the overlaps are facing down (towards you) when you push it through the sewing machine.  Sew the edges down on both sides.  You want to make sure not to sew too close towards the middle part of the ripple.  In the picture you can see that I didn’t sew exactly along the edge, but left some space between the edge and stitch.  NOTE: In the picture the overlaps are facing up. 

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When you are finished sewing, it will look like this.  Make sure to cut off any excess fabric:

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STEP 7: STACK THE INNER AND OUTER FABRICS (THIS IS WHERE YOU BEGIN TO CREATE THE POUCH)

The first piece of the layer is the outer fabric.  Make sure it’s facing right side up.  Place the zipper at the top edge of the outer fabric.  The zipper should be facing down.  Last, place the inner fabric on top of both.  It should be facing right side down.

[] BOTTOM LAYER = Outer Fabric (facing up)

[] MIDDLE LAYER = Zipper (facing down)

[] TOP LAYER = Inner Fabric (facing down)

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STEP 8: SEW THE LAYERS TOGETHER

Make sure that all the layers are evenly stacked.  There will be a point when the zipper head (if you don’t have a zipper foot attachment) will get in the way of the needle: stop a bit before the zipper head reaches the needle and zip it away from the needle.  This will make it easier for you to continue sewing.  When you finish and pull the two pieces of fabric apart, it will look like this:

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STEP 9: STACK & SEW THE REMAINING INNER AND OUTER FABRICS

You are going to repeat steps 7-8.  The only difference is that the zipper has the other stack attached.

[] BOTTOM LAYER = Outer Fabric (facing up)

[] MIDDLE LAYER = Zipper (facing down)

[] TOP LAYER = Inner Fabric (facing down)

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STEP 10 (OPTIONAL AND RECOMMENDED)

Iron the fabric along the zipper so that it lays flat.  Next, top-stitch along the edge of the zipper as close to the fold as you can get.  This keeps the fabric pulled away from the zipper and gives the pouch a nice finished look.

 

STEP 11: PULL THE FABRICS TOGETHER, PIN & SEW

First, unzip the zipper halfway.  Second, pull the outer fabrics together on one side of the zipper, and the inner fabrics together on the other side.  Don’t worry about how you do it: no matter what, the right sides of the inner fabrics will be facing each other, as well as the right sides of the outer fabrics.  Third, pin along the edges to keep the fabrics together as you sew.  Last, sew along the edges leaving a 3 inch opening. NOTE: As you sew, make sure both sides of the zipper are aligned or else you’ll end up with a crooked zipper.

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STEP 12: TRIM THE CORNERS & PULL THE FABRIC THROUGH THE OPENING

Trim the edges of each corner (4 total).  Make sure not to cut the stitching.  Next, pull the fabric through the opening to turn the pouch inside-out.  You want to make sure that you’re being patient and careful.  If you pull too hard, it will stretch the stitching and tear it apart.  Once you’ve successfully pulled the pouch inside-out, make sure to push the corners out.  The opening will allow you to fish around the inside and gain access to each corner.

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STEP 13 (OPTIONAL AND REC COMMENDED): STITCH THE OPENING CLOSED

You can get fancy with this, but unless you pull the inside part of the pouch completely out, you’ll never see it.  Therefore, you can choose to use whatever type of stitching pattern you want with this step.  I used a basic back and forth loop to close the opening.  You really don’t have to be a pro to do this.

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AND YOU’RE FINISHED!

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I hope this easy fabric zipper pouch tutorial was helpful and easy to follow!  I’ve made these for several family members and friends.  If you want to contact me about possibly creating one for you (or someone special) because you are completely clueless when it comes to sewing machines, feel free!  Here are a few pictures of pouches I’ve made in the past.

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