I saw this on a sewing show one Saturday. I knew I had some zippers that were recycled (free!) that I could use. They came off of the packages that contained some curtains my mom bought and she was going to throw them away! Thankfully I saved them and used them for this! I was also able to buy some coordinating fabric on clearance. Since it doesn’t require much fabric, this was a cheap project!
I’ll try my best to describe and show you how I made this pouch.
Don’t worry if you’re not good at zippers. I’m not either. Because this is a flat project, doing the zippers isn’t really that bad.
Size of fabric used depends on the size you need. I just took some paper, folded and cut it to the approximate size and added about an inch to each side. My finished product was large enough to hold a 4x6 card in the folded pocket area, to give you an idea of size (see top picture).
PICTURE DISCLAIMER: I made two pouches (one lined, one unlined), which may cause a bit of confusion when comparing the pictures. They were made with the same fabrics, just turned differently.
You will need…
Two zippers (mine were about 9 inches long)
Two pieces of fabric that coordinate but are different (mine were 10 ½ inches x 8 inches)
Two pieces of heavy weight interfacing (mine wasn’t fusible—but it would be helpful if it was) This isn’t totally necessary if your fabric is thick or if you line it (I used it with the unlined project; didn’t with the lined project). I admit the lined project could have used a lightweight interfacing but it’s okay without.
1 inch wide strip of coordinating fabric, about 15 inches long, depending on your pouch height
Safety pins, straight pins, thread, sewing machine, ripper-outer (if you are recycling zippers), etc.
This is how my zippers started out.
This is how they turned out after removing them from the plastic packaging.
The two fabric panels, two pieces of interfacing, and fabric strip.
If using fusible interfacing, fuse the pieces to the wrong sides of the fabric panels. Place one zipper face down on the right side of the fabric panel, pin in place. Using the zipper foot, sew on the zipper.
If lining, place the lining and the outside pieces wrong sides together, place one zipper face down on the right side of the outside fabric panel and proceed.
Trim the fabric and interfacing (or lining) under the zipper. This will ensure that there are no raw edges after you have sewn the zipper down. Forgive my terrible cutting ability here, please. Repeat with other fabric panel so you end up with two fabric panels end-to-end with a zipper down the middle. Then repeat the process by attaching the second zipper to a panel, then to the other side.
You may find it necessary to unzip the zipper to allow you to work on the project easier. If you do this and there is not a “stopper” on the end of the zipper (mine didn’t have one), place a safety pin at the end of the zipper (pinned across the zipper part) so it doesn’t unzip all the way. I did this because I didn’t know how I would fix the zipper if it unzipped completely.
Sew the zipper down (sew on top of the fabric while holding the zipper down), being sure to catch the edge of the zipper fabric.
This is how it looks underneath. Not perfect, but no raw edges either!
Both zippers installed:
Turn the project right-side out, holding a zipper in each hand. Fold one zipper over and decide where you want the fold to be, offsetting it so you have different heights (see final picture to help with this). Then, using a ruler and a water soluble pen, mark a line, then sew across it (this will ensure that when you put something in one zipper compartment, it won’t “travel” to the other one).
Fold the pouch along the line you just sewed. If you need to even up the sides, use a straight edge, mark each side, then cut. Sew the strip of fabric onto the front of the pouch.
Trim the edge.
From the back of the pouch, fold the fabric strip over the raw edges, folding the raw edge of strip inward. You can sew this down by hand. If you want to machine sew it, sew the strips on from the back first, fold over and sew on the machine from the front. Be sure to completely cover raw edges on the bottom and that you’re sewing right up to the end of the zipper.
These are the finished projects. I gave one away and I’m using mine in my purse. It seems that pens, grocery list, note pad, tea bags, and gum end up in the bottom of my purse. Here they are contained in one pouch for easy access.
I had a some extra long strips leftover so I decided to make these cute pouches for the girls (with just one pocket, no zippers). Perfect for a travel art set (3x5 cards and a few colored pencils).