Kristin Lehrer
| December 26, 2012

A zipper pouch is a fun, quick, and easy sewing project.

READ: DIY Placemat to Pillow

If you can stitch in a straight line (either using a sewing machine or by hand) you can easily whip up one of these bags.

They're great to keep around the house, but also make wonderful gifts.

  • Rotary cutter and self-healing cutting mat (or just scissors)
  • 2 contrasting fabrics (I used 2 fat quarters)
  • 7-inch zipper
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Iron and ironing board
  • sewing machine, or a thread and needle if sewing by hand
Kristin Lehrer
Cut Your Shapes

Before cutting your fabric, you may want to iron out any wrinkles.

  • Cut four 7"x9" pieces of main fabric — Two for the outside of your purse, and two for the lining.
  • Cut a 3"x20" strip of main fabric for (optional) handle.

How to Make a Handle:

  • Fold fabric strip in half length-wise and press with iron to create a center crease. Unfold.
  • Fold both sides of the fabric, lengthwise, inward towards crease. Press with iron and DO NOT unfold.
  • Once more, fold in half, lengthwise and press with iron. Your fabric strip should now be a quarter-inch wide.
  • Sew a straight stitch down center of strip. Set aside for now.
Kristin Lehrer
Make a Zipper Sandwich
  • Lay your liner fabric, FACE UP.
  • Next, center the top edge of your zipper on the top edge of the liner fabric.
  • Then lay the outer fabric, FACE DOWN over the zipper.
  • Pin in place.

Now it's time to sew!

Kristin Lehrer
Get Stitching!

If your sewing machine doesn't come with a zipper foot, don't worry. Just sew a quarter-inch seam along the edge, being careful not to sew over the zip tab. Do not sew over pins. Remove them as you go.

Kristin Lehrer
Sew the Other Side

Just as with the first side of the zipper, sandwich the other side between remaining 7"x9" contrasting fabrics. Pin and sew.

Kristin Lehrer
Trim Your Sides
  • After you're done sewing, lie flat and press the whole piece with an iron.  This will set your stitches and make your fabric lie flat against the zipper.
  • Trim the fabric length-wise on both sides, leaving about a half-inch of fabric on either side of the zipper.
  • Unzip the zipper half-way. This is important because once you are done sewing all the sides, you'll need to flip the bag right-side-out through the zipper's opening.
Kristin Lehrer
Insert Handle (Optional)
  • Fold your quarter-inch strip of fabric in half.
  • Sandwich the strip between the two outer pieces of fabric, so that it lies parallel to the zipper. The loop should be facing inward, toward the middle, and the ends of the strip should be sticking out (about an inch) at the side.
  • Pin in place.
Kristin Lehrer
Pin and Sew All Your Sides
  • Fold matching pieces of fabric towards each other, with their printed sides facing inward and pin in place.

Important: When pinning, make sure the unzipped portion of the zipper teeth are folded toward the lining side of the fabric.

  • Pin all your sides leaving a 2-inch gap at the top of the lining fabric. (It may help to mark the opening with a water-soluble marker or pencil)
  • Starting from one end of the 2-inch gap, sew all the way around the piece (removing pins as you go) until you reach the other end of the gap.
Kristin Lehrer
Flip It Right-Side-Out
  • Trim the points off of your corners, excess thread and extra fabric from handle.  This will give you clean, sharp corners when you flip your purse right-side-out.
  • Pull all the fabric from inside, through the 2-inch gap and then through the zipper opening. 
  • Voila! It's a purse.