How To Add A Zipper To A Pouch… Donna Style

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Zippered pouches are the rage right now and tutorials are popping up all over the net. After trying a few with so-so results, I decided to figure out my own way of adding a zipper. I love how the above pouch turned out, so I thought I would share my process with you.

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My tutorial doesn’t instruct how to make a pouch. It BEGINS at the “add a zipper” stage. You will have already created and sewn the pouch front and back, plus the lining front and back. You can make your pouch any size. The process is the same.

Preparation: You will need a zipper and two fabric squares.

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Cut two 3″ fabric squares.

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Take one of the squares and fold up one end at 3/4″.

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Fold up again. And again. Finger press. When unfolded, you should have three creases. Leave unfolded.

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Now fold one flap to the center. Do same with other flap. Fold two sides together. Press flat.

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For a finished look, stitch along the long side where the folded edges meet. Stitch the other side.

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Repeat the above steps for the 2nd fabric square.

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Measuring and Alignment

Select a zipper that is from two to 3″ longer than the length (left to right) of the pouch. Lay the zipper flat near the top edge of the pouch. Center it across the pouch top edge.  Pin (or mark with chalk) where the pouch edges align with the centered zipper.

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Move zipper tab to open the zipper. Sew across zipper teeth on both left and right where you marked it. (If zipper has metal teeth, hand walk foot over the zipper to prevent needle breakage.) Reinforce stitching.

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Sewing Fabric Tabs To Zipper

Place fabric tabs about 1/2″ to 3/4″ from the left and right pouch edges.  Important: They will NOT be sewn into the side seams.

Begin stitching down the fabric tabs to the zipper. Both top and bottom. Both sides. Don’t stretch and pull on the tabs. Leave a tiny bit of wiggle room. I like to be able to insert my fingernail under the tab.

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At this stage, zipper has not yet been sewn to pouch. It is positioned near the top of the pouch for illustration purposes. So you can see how the stitched ends align with the pouch edges. Zipper is sewn to pouch in the next steps.

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Pinning Zipper to Pouch Front and Lining Front

Arrange pouch pieces and lining pieces how they will be sewn.

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Now, sandwich zipper between pouch front and lining front. Right sides together. Zipper facing down (and opened). See photo.

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Repeat for Pouch Back and Lining Back.

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Topstitching gives pouch a finished look. Do it now while the pouch is flat.

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Sewing Side Seams and Bottom (Insert strap before sewing up sides.)

Very carefully, begin sewing side seams, mindful of the zipper fabric tabs. DO NOT CATCH THEM IN THE SEAMS. Slowly sew over the zipper teeth. (If zipper has metal teeth, hand walk foot over the zipper to prevent needle breakage.) Reinforce by stitching over the teeth once more.

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Turn pouch inside out to check and make sure all is right. Are you happy with your work? If yes, trim zipper excess.

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Finish off bottom as you normally would.

And done!! Enjoy!!

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If you try this, let me know how your zipper turned out. Thanks!!

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10 comments on “How To Add A Zipper To A Pouch… Donna Style

  1. Lennette says:

    You make it seem so easy Donna!!! I can’t wait to get started on my pouch project!!!!

  2. picperfic says:

    wow…that looks nifty…I’m going to give this a go! Thank you…

  3. gabrielaquintana says:

    Add a zipper: the most annoying thing to do (for me). thanks for the advices!!

  4. Deb says:

    Guess what arrived today? Can’t wait to get started! Just gotta finish off the earrings I’m doing right now and then clear the table so I can cut fabric… hehe.

  5. Carol says:

    Thank you Donna. This IS a very polished look. I LIKE the Donna Way!!
    xx, Carol

  6. Ellyn says:

    thanks for giving another option! I will give it a try

  7. Rae says:

    That is a really useful tutorial – I make pencil cases for my nephews and am always after a new way to get the zips to fit nicely

  8. CeLynn says:

    That is how I make my zipper pouches too! Love the fabric you used,and the red kitty zipper pull is too cute 🙂

  9. That is so pretty! I would love it if you would come by and show it off on my blog hop!

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