Oh the mighty sewing machine. Intimidating? Yes, but once you unlock those basic skills, the possibilities are endless! For our next addition to the #seamstresslyfe, we decided that making a pro-quality zipper pouch — for makeup, art supplies or other random items at the bottom of a purse — was at the top of our list. Feeling inspired to get a new pair of shades after laying your eyes on our adorable sunnies fabric? We’ve got you covered in our shop.
The best part of this beginner DIY is that almost every seam is completely hidden from view, which means all those crooked lines and minor slip-ups are just between you and the sewing machine — no one else will ever know ;)
– patterned cotton fabric
– white cotton fabric (optional)
– sturdy fabric for lining
– leather or suede
– 7- to 9-inch zipper
– white thread
– fabric glue
– tape measure
– straight pins
– sewing machine
– fabric scissors
– seam ripper
1. Cut two 10×7-inch pieces of each kind of fabric with fabric scissors. You will end up with six pieces.
2. Iron out all the wrinkles in your fabric.
3. Match your zipper (with the zipper pull facing downward) up to the top edge of your patterned fabric and white lining (facing up). Then match up one piece of your lining fabric (face down) onto that same edge. Secure with three straight pins at the top edge, just above the zipper.
4. Sew the zipper in place, making sure to stop and unzip halfway before you reach the end so that the zipper pull is out of the way while you sew.
5. Fold back your fabric pieces to expose the zipper and pin the other patterned fabric and lining pieces to the opposite side of the zipper.
6. Sew the second seam, also stopping to unzip halfway before reaching the end.
7. Fold back both sides of fabric so that the patterned fabric is facing up on either side of your zipper, and the lining fabric is facing down.
8. Cut out and glue four leather or suede corners onto the corners of your patterned fabric, and let dry.
9. Fold over your fabric so that the two patterned sides are facing each other and the two lining pieces are facing each other.
10. Sew around all three edges on each side.
11. Rip out enough stitches in your sewn lining to fit your hand inside and then turn the whole thing inside out so that the lining is covering everything.
12. Unzip the zipper, and turn the whole thing inside out again so that the pattern side is facing outward.
13. Pull out the lining and sew the seam where you previously ripped out the stitches.
14. Place the sewn-up lining back inside the zipper pouch, and fill with miscellaneous tools and supplies!
Grab your tools and materials and let’s get sewing!
First off, cut two 10×7-inch pieces from your patterned fabric using a pair of fabric scissors.
Then cut two pieces from the white cotton (only if your patterned fabric is thin enough to see through) and lining fabric to the same size.
Iron your fabric pieces on the cotton setting to smooth out any folds or wrinkles before sewing.
If your patterned fabric is on the thinner side and could use a boost from a white lining, match up one patterned piece with a white piece at the top edge.
Match your zipper (with the zipper pull facing downward), up to the top edge of your patterned fabric and white lining. Then match up one piece of your lining fabric (face down) onto that same edge. Secure with three straight pins at the top edge, just above the zipper.
Fire up that sewing machine, and start sewing at about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch from the edge, removing your pins as you sew up to them.
Stop sewing just before you get to the zipper pull, and remove the whole thing from your sewing machine.
Unzip about half way so that the zipper pull is out of your way while you sew the last few inches. Fold the color fabric back over, and get back on the sewing machine.
Sew the last few inches of that edge, free of zipper obstructions, and seal the deal with a few stitches in reverse.
When you’re done sewing this edge, your pieces should look like this! Fold back your patterned and lining fabric so that they expose the zipper to one side.
Time to repeat the same process on the other side of your zipper! This time, sandwich the exposed zipper between your second piece of lining fabric underneath and your patterned fabric on top, and secure with pins.
Follow the same steps as before, sewing 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch from the edge and unzipping the zipper halfway in order to complete the seam.
Open up your sewn pieces like a book so that your patterned “pages” are facing up on one side and the lining is facing up on the other, with all the seams hidden underneath.
Time to add some classy leather corners to this DIY. Cut two 4×4-inch squares out of leather or suede using your fabric scissors.
Then cut both of those squares in half diagonally to create four equal triangles.
Apply a nice spiral of fabric glue onto the backside of your triangles (in this case we wanted to show off the suede side so we glued on the leather side).
Carefully place your first leather triangle down onto one corner of your patterned fabric and press down firmly.
Glue down the other three triangles, and let dry for 15 – 30 minutes.
Once dry, fold over your fabric “pages” so that your patterned pieces are facing each other on one side of the zipper, while your color lining pieces are facing each other on the other side.
Sew your matching pieces together at about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch from the edge, sewing around all three open edges so that they are completely sealed.
Now this part may seem strange, but it totally works! Using a seam ripper, carefully rip enough stitches in the bottom seam of your color lining so that you can fit your hand inside, and turn the whole thing inside out. Then open up that zipper all the way from the inside.
Turn the whole thing inside out again so that your patterned fabric is on the outside. You might want to use a capped pen or eraser end of a pencil to push the leather corners out to a point.
Okay, last step — I promise! Pull the lining back out, and fold the messy exposed edges inward as if they were still sewn together.
Then sew that baby right up! It’s okay that these stitches are exposed because they’ll be in the bottom of your bag, AND they allowed you to have amazingly clean, hidden seams everywhere else on your zipper pouch.
Shove the lining back in, and there you have it! A fun patterned zip pouch with classy suede corners and an expertly sewn-in zipper.
This blue suede guy was lonely so we made another smaller one with raspberry corners so they could hang out.
Fill these babies up with makeup, sunnies or anything else you may need on the go.
Or stash all your brushes, pencils, pens and other supplies for some spontaneous crafting wherever you go! :)
What other sewing tricks are on your list to learn? Tell us in the comments below.