Sunday, May 8, 2016

Tutorial - Simplest Zippered Pouch

Meg sent me an email, asking me how I made my zippered pouches.  Here is to you, Meg.
My simple instructions for the simplest zippered pouch.

Lots of pictures with captions explaining the step-by-step process.

Simple Zippered Pouch
Starting Panel - 11" by 6.5"

Matching Strips - 2.5" wide, placed on the sides

Stitched using a 1/4" seam
Trim the completed top - panel + side strips to 12.5" by 11".
Switch to a walking foot.

Layer the top panel, with batting and backing.  Use basting spray to keep them from shifting.


Now, you can quilt it to heart's desire.  I quilted zig zag lines over the two seams and then some gentle curves.  See picture below.


Zipper Time.
Find a matching (or contrasting) zipper. Change to a Zipper Foot.

Wow, perfect match!

Quilted Sandwich - Folded in half
 Just wanted to see, how the finished pouch will look.  I like it.  Ok, moving along.

Place the zipper, face down and the zipper pull to the left.  Zipper pull to the left. 
Make sure that the Zipper pull is to the left.

Zipper, face down and Zipper Pull to the left.
 Pin in place.  This step is optional.  If you are comfortable with attaching zippers, then you may skip it.  I want to make sure that I am showing all the steps.
Pin in place
 Do you have your zipper foot?

Look at the picture below.  The zipper foot is attached on the left side, so that the bulk of the foot is to the right.  When we are attaching the zipper first time, this is the position we want.

First Stitch - Attach to the left.

Zipper Foot - Attached on the left
 Go slow, making sure that the stitch line is as straight as possible.
Attaching Zipper
 This is how it should look. See picture below.
Zipper - First Stitch Done
 Now, fold the zipper portion and iron it down.  It should look like the picture below.

Zipper attached - Folded and Ironed
Now, we will top stitch the zipper.  Change the zipper foot from the left to the right side.  See picture below.  Can you see that the zipper foot is now attached on the right side and the bulk of the zipper foot is to the left?  That is what we want for top stitching.

Top Stitch - Attach to the right.
Increase the stitch length to 2.4 or 2.6 for top stitching.

Zipper Foot - Attached to the Right for top stitching
Since the zipper is to the right side of the needle, we want the bulk of the zipper foot to the left of the needle.  That is why we change the zipper foot from the left side to the right side.

Top Stitching in Process
 Top Stitched. Yay!!!
Top Stitching Complete  :-)

Are you ready to attach the zipper to the other side of the quilted sandwich?
Yes? Ok, then switch the zipper foot again to the left side.

Fold the quilt sandwich in half, right sides together, so that the zipper pull is now towards you. See picture below.

Attaching zipper on the second side
You can pin, if you wish.  This time, I will skip the pinning.

Quilted Sandwich - Folded, RST
Change stitch length to original 2.2 (or whatever you are comfortable with).  Make sure that the zipper is attached on the left side so that the bulk of the zipper is to the right.  See picture below.

Attaching Zipper to second side
 Once again, proceed slowly, trying to keep the stitch line as straight as possible.

Zipper attached to the second side!
Open the zipper fully now.
Zipper Opened fully. Before ironing
 Once again, fold and iron the just attached portion.
Folded and Ironed
Ready to top stitch one last time.  Increase stitch length to 2.4 or 2.6. Make sure it is the same stitch length as used for top stitching earlier.

Top Stitching the second side
There is a lot of bulk under the foot. So proceed slowly, trying to keep the stitch line as straight as possible.

Top Stitched

This is the time to do a short happy dance, because you have completed the most difficult part of this process. YAY!!!

Zipper Attached and Top Stitched

Close the zipper and position it on the top of the pouch.  See picture below.

Zipper on Top

Now, move the closed zipper down from the top to about one inch towards you.  See picture below.

Why, you ask.  Well, if you make the pouch with the zipper on the top, it creates a lot of bulk on the corners where zipper ends going the seams.   If you move the zipper a bit to the inside, like in the picture below, that bulk is then avoided.

Zipper offset to the inside
Pinch the fold on the top of the pouch and place a pin on the inside, along the pinched crease.  See picture below.

Place a pin at that crease
Half close the zipper and turn the pouch inside out.  Place another pin on the other side of the zipper.

Zipper half Open, Pinned in two places

Now, we are ready to finish the pouch.  Put on the walking foot once again. Leave the stitch length at 2.4 or 2.6.  Once again, there will be a significant amount of bulk under the walking foot.

Walking Foot - Once again

Stitch, using the walking foot, and 1/2" seam on other sides of the pouch. See picture below.

1/2" seam
 Whip it around and stitch again.

Stitched twice

One side done
 Repeat on the other side.

Stitched both sides!!!
 Trim the excess zipper ends from both sides.

Trimming excess zipper

Almost done.  Just one more step.  To avoid bulky corners, clip away tiny triangles from the seams. See picture below.

Trimmed Corners to reduce bulk

Now, turn your finished pouch right sides out, press  and admire.
Needs to be Ironed

Zipper Closed
Do you see how beautifully the print above the zipper matches with the print below the zipper?
I am doing a happy dance right now :-D

Dainty & Useful 

The finished pouch measures 5.25" by 10.5" and it can neatly fit this set of combs.  You have a simple zippered pouch!!!

If one is good, two must be better. Right?
Here is a bonus zippered pouch for you.

QAYG Zippered Pouch

I started with batting 10" by 12" and backing 10.5" by 12.5"
Batting - 10" by 12" 
 Layer the batting and backing.  Spray baste to keep the layers from shifting.
Batting and Backing
Now, comes the fun part.  Dive into your strips scraps bag and pull out a few skinny strips - 1.5" wide.  We need one strip 2.5" wide by 10" long.

Place the wide strip in the center of the batting+backing.

Add the skinny strips on both sides. Stitch using a 1/4" seam.  Flip and iron.
Repeat till the entire batting/backing are covered.

Gorgeous colors!!!
Trim the quilted sandwich and follow the same process of attaching zipper as in the Simple Zippered Pouch.

In this case, I left the zipper on the top.  See the bulky corners?
Keeping this one
So, the process (and size) of the quilted sandwich is different.  But the steps of attaching the zipper are identical. If you wish, you can use just one piece of top fabric to make your quilted sandwich.

Mine Mine Mine!!!
 The bright purple zipper makes it pop :-)
Pop of Purple

Do you like it?  Are the steps/instructions/pictures clear?  Meg? Are you there, Meg?
Tell me all your thoughts.  Your comments make me happy :-)

How happy?  Like this design wall below.

Work in Progress - Color Splash on my Design Wall
Peach, Pink, Orange, Coral, Fuchsia, Blush & Tangerine!!!

These are the colors in my new quilt - a work in progress. Furiously in Progress.
Must finish by May 30th.  Details when complete.

I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties.
June 23, 2016 UPDATE
Diana of Little Penguin Quilts used this tutorial to make a perfect little zippered pouch for her sewing supplies.  Do check it out!!!


  1. Beautiful pouch and great tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Once, again, you knocked it out of the park! Your instructions and pictures are perfect, and even I'll be able to make some of these. Thanks so much.

  3. What an *excellent* tutorial. You are to be congratulated for writing *so* clearly ... some people simply can not.

    The *only* suggestion I would make (as I do this myself), would be to zigzag/overcast the seams 1) after you sew the zipper tape to the top of the pouch (both edges) and 2) after you sew each side seam. It's just a personal preference on my part, but I think the zigzagged seams look tidier inside, while also preventing any potential raveling of the fabric.

    It's certainly not *necessary*, just a final finish. :-)

  4. great tutorial Preeti! Hope things are going well for you. LeeAnna

  5. Great pouches and tutorial. Love the colours on the design wall.

  6. Preeti, my daughter and I love to sew zippy pouches together. They make such fun projects, don't they? Yours is the best tutorial I've seen on making one. Thank you for the detailed photographs! Very well done!
    I love Rachel of Stitched in Color too. Your design wall looks positively scrumptious!

  7. Great tutorial. I really like the zig zag quilting and how your prints lined up. Do you do anything about the raw edges?

  8. Such a clear, well-explained tutorial; I will definitely make one. Love the zipper 1" down from the top-BRILLIANT! You betcha I noticed and loved the prints all lining up. Love all the beautiful pinks and oranges on your design wall, too, very interesting shapes you have going on there... Oh, and nvm the pop of purple for the zipper, I noticed the auspicious ORANGE lining ;-)
    Very nice, (calm for you!) melony mosaic.

  9. This is a great tutorial! Now, if I could only find my box of zippers!

  10. Thanks for the great pouch tutorial! I've made quite a few pouches from different patterns, but never one just like the first one you showed, and now I will!

  11. Your tutorial is wonderful, it explained things so well.

  12. Thanks for the tutorial. A zipper pouch is handy as a quick gift! I love the WIP on your design wall!!

  13. Thanks for sharing this wonderful tutorial Preeti. I love the pouch with the side zipper . The other is lovely as well. Your latest quilt is very lovely looking.

  14. Well, of course we're all thrilled! Your tutorial is very well written and easy to understand. Your writing gives you away as very patient, Preeti. I do have just one question: does the Zipper pull go to the left?

  15. Great little tutorial, the pouches are cute!

  16. This is an awesome tutorial! The directions were right on! So detailed. Thank you for putting this together and sharing!

  17. Thank you.. I am going to try this right now xo