Small Zipper Pouch – Tutorial

small zipper pouch tutorial

I love these little pouches and with the added snap hook they are perfect for storing smaller items you don’t want to lose in the bottom of your bag. Simply snap the little lobster claw onto an existing ring on your bag and voila! Instant, easy access storage. You can make them almost any size and shape. These particular bags measure approx. 4″ H x 6″ L and here’s how to make one…

You’ll need to create a pattern piece. Decide on the finished size you’d like your pouch. I like to cut my pattern pieces from cardboard, but almost any paper product will work. If you plan on doing several of the same bag, you’ll want to go with a thicker stock to make things easier on yourself. Once you know your finished size, you want to add a quarter inch on all sides. My finished bag is 4×6, so my pattern measures 4.5″ x 6.5″. You’ll be sewing a quarter-inch seam all the way around.

Once you have a pattern piece, you’ll need to cut 2 pieces of fabric for the body & 2 pieces of lining …

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I used waxed canvas for the body and waterproof cordura for the lining.  If using cotton fabrics I would recommend interfacing because it adds strength and stability to your fabric. I use fusible interfacing, so if you go that route be sure your fabric can be ironed. You’ll also need a zipper, some twill tape (about 3″ inches) or something similar to attach your snap hook to the pouch & a snap hook (this one is a little lobster claw).

After the interfacing is applied to both the front and back pieces of the body, you are ready to start sewing. First, attach the snap hook to front body piece as shown below. I usually sew it a little closer to the edge, then where the actual seam will be located. This stitching is purely to hold the snap hook in place during assembly.

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Now to make a zipper sandwich. Lay the zipper face down on the body & then lay the lining on top of that (as shown-mine is just a little offset so you can see the bottom layer). You can pin this if you’d like, but with zippers I find that pins cause more trouble than help. Take your zipper sandwich and stitch those three layers together. If your machine requires a zipper foot, this is where you’ll need it.

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After it’s sewn, it should look like this…

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Now to top stitch the body to the zipper you’ll want to either finger press it smooth or iron over it briefly before sewing. You want to be sure when you sew that you have a nice smooth, even fold. See how the lining is pulled to the side. You don’t want to include it in your top stitching.

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Now repeat those last few steps for the other side. You should have something that look like this now…

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Slide zipper open about halfway and then fold your pieces so that the two body pieces (good side) are touching and the two lining pieces (good side) are touching. Now match up your zipper on the sides and pin in place.

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I like to stitch my zipper in place on either side before sewing all around the edges. This is optional & as long as you’ve pinned properly nothing should shift while stitching. It just gives me peace of mind to know that everything will line up properly when I’m done. Stitch slowly and carefully when going over the zipper.

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Now stitch it all the way around. Start at the middle bottom of the lining and work your way around the entire piece. Do not start at a corner. You want to create the opening to turn the pouch once sewn. I usually reinforce the stitching at either end of the zipper and the corners. Be sure to keep the snap hook clear of any seams while stitching.

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Now trim any excess zipper (if any) and the all 4 corners. You want to trim all these areas or when the pouch is turned all the material will bunch up and it will be impossible to create smooth corners.

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Now pull the outside of the pouch through the opening left in the lining. Push out any corners & make sure everything looks good before sewing closed that opening. You can either machine stitch or hand stitch it closed. And, now your done…

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Happy Sewing!!

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