There’s more than one way to make a zipper pouch

It’s been a time of utility sewing for my Christmas market stall. Thanks to tips and links on some of the blogs I follow I could use tried and tested tutorials to make zipper pouches from fabric. The generous sharing of patterns saved me hours of either searching the internet or trying to design my own patterns through trial and error. So, thank you for the early Christmas gifts, Chela (https://colchasymas.blog/) and Mary (https://zippyquilts.blog/).

On the Zippy Quilts blog I read about making a pouch with all the seams hidden. This seemed (ha!) to me an impossibility so I went to the link Mary provided and gave it a go. It worked! (The link is https://noodle-head.com/2012/06/open-wide-zippered-pouch-diy-tutorial.html ). The tale does not end here. The zip broke as I was admiring my handiwork and pulling the zipper closed on the newly finished pouch. As it turned out, this was a happy accident because it led to the discovery of a new trick. This is to attach the zip on the outside of the pouch. I could not face unpicking the bag, so cut off the broken zip at the seam line and then experimented with attaching the new zip as if it was a decorative tape.

Here are a set of photographs, taken on a makeshift “studio” alongside my sewing machine as I made a new bag using this method, in case someone else wants to try it. (Make separate bags of the interfaced main fabric and the lining, leaving the top open. Nestle them together, right sides facing, and sew around the top edge, leaving a space for turning. Top stitch the top edge. Pin the zip to the outside of the top edge and sew, first along one side and then the other. Cut off the end of the zipper if it is too long, and cover the end with a fabric tab. Sew together the ends of the other side of the zip.)

The finished zipper pouch, with a tab to close off the end of the zip

Then I read about making a boxed purse on Chela’s Colchas y Mas blog and watched the video tutorial, Marcela’s Purse ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmWodbepSJoCqECXdyJEOEQ ) This pouch is very neat because all the seam edges are hidden and the boxed shape means that the zip lies flat and does not bunch where it meets the seam line. First I made some as gifts, using Christmas fabric.

Fabric “Christmas Boxes

I made a batch from pretty decor fabric and found that the preparation — the cutting of the fabric and lining, and the application of the interfacing — took almost as much time as to sew them together.

12 thoughts on “There’s more than one way to make a zipper pouch

  1. I love these pouches! I need to try the tote pattern link provided by Mary. Thanks for the tip on placing the zipper outside the bag.
    I cut and prepare my pouch fabric on one day and sew them up the next day. I was able to make five in a short time span since everything was prepared.
    Have fun at your market.

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  2. Great idea (born out of necessity!) about the deco-zipper on the outside. Many fun zippers I have collected in 10cents bins that would work so well in this application. One in particular is a lime green with black zebra striping (or is that stripping?) for the ‘tape’. Anyway you get the idea.
    Your choice of large scale interior type fabrics for this also suggests uses for large sample book fabrics from interior decorator studios. Wow. I mention this last observation because I was given a pile of such fabric books from an interior decorator neighbor back in the day and came up with oodles of ways to cut and re-stitch them into crafty type things. Wish I’d known about this!
    🙂
    Best of luck with the business end of things, Mariss.

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    1. Can I challenge you to make a zebra-zipper-on-the-outside pouch, Laura. You could even add a tassle to the pull-tab to masquerade as a tail! Must confess I envy you your collection of fun zippers. I have never seen such items in my neck of the world.
      The fabrics I used were indeed from interior decor sample books, which were given by the friend whose mother had passed away. (BTW she was thrilled with the Bohemian opera singer tapestry.)

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      1. Yes, you may…however there’s a caveat. We’re in the process of moving! Long story short, I’ve set aside the zip for this future ‘challenge’. BTW: You do know that you gave it a ‘project purpose’…so that’s really cool. Will keep you updated, but don’t hold your breath!!!!

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