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open wide zippered pouch: DIY tutorial

Doesn’t it ever get annoying digging through a zippered pouch?  I love being able to see what’s inside and what I’m searching for.  I spotted this little pouch the other day and had to make something similar.

I also made a bunch of sizes, but today I’ll show you the small size, next time, I’ll share the medium and large sizes (not pictured) so you can make all three!


  • fabric, 1/4 yard would be plenty
  • zipper, at least 10″ long or longer
  • thread
  • interfacing of your choice, I used Pellon 101SF, or skip it all together
  • scrap for zipper end pull
** Update: three sizes chart post here

(1/2″ seam allowance, unless otherwise noted)

(Optional) Fuse on or baste on interfacing of your choice to main exterior pieces.

Lay one exterior piece right side up, lay zipper (teeth side down) on top with the zipper pull at the left – aligning zipper tape edge to the raw edges of the top of the exterior piece.  Tuck in pull side zipper end, just bend it 90 degrees.  You may choose to sew it down, or just pin it in place like I did.  Make sure the metal bit of the zipper is just about 3/4″ away from the left edge.  Layer lining piece on top, right side down on top of zipper.  Pin and baste, you can skip this part, but basting really does help things from slipping around too much.

Use your zipper foot and a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Sew over basting stitches, but not all the way to the end.

At about 1″ before the edge of the fabric, stop, backstitch, and then pull the zipper away from the seam, bending it down out of the way, in towards the fabrics.  The whole point is to pull it out of the way so it doesn’t get caught in the seam.  Continue stitching along the fabrics until the edge.

Flip so that the fabrics are wrong sides facing and press.

Lay the remaining exterior piece right side up, lay zipper (with fabrics attached) on top – teeth side down with the zipper pull at the right. Tuck in pull side zipper end, just bend it 90 degrees, just like before, making sure the metal bit of the zipper is just over 3/4″ away from the right edge this time. Lay lining piece right side down on top.  Pin and baste.  Using the zipper foot and a 1/4″ seam allowance sew over basting stitches, but not all the way to the end just like before. 

Again, about 1″ before the edge of the fabric, stop, backstitch, and then pull the zipper away from the seam, bending it down, in towards the fabrics.  Continue stitching along the fabrics until the edge.  Flip so that the fabrics are wrong sides facing and press. Do NOT topstitch along either side of the zipper at this point, we’ll be doing that in another step towards the end. This is what you’ve got so far:

Next. flip so that the exterior fabrics are right sides together and the lining pieces are right sides together (with the zipper hidden in the middle). 

Open the zipper at least half way at this point!  

Pin and sew around all edges leaving approximately a 4″ opening in the bottom (or side) of the lining.  You’ll be using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Be sure to get close to the metal zipper ends on one side, and bending the zipper end down into the pouch on the other side making sure it doesn’t get caught in the seam.  

Box the corners by pinching each corner together and aligning the side/bottom seams.  Use a ruler and water soluble marker to mark a line perpendicular to the side seam 3.5″ long.

Sew along that line, trim the seam allowance.  Do this for all four corners (two exterior, two lining).

Pull pouch right side out through the opening you left in the lining.  Tuck in raw edges of opening. Sew opening in lining closed using a small seam allowance by machine (sewing close to the fold as in the above picture) or hand stitch the opening closed.  Push lining into exterior.  Press around entire opening and carefully along the zipper.

Topstitch using a slightly longer stitch length (and taking your time) around the entire opening of the pouch.

Trim the zipper tail so that you have about 1″ of space past the pouch’s side (be careful not to accidentally slide the zipper pull off the zipper!).

For making the zipper pull tab, take a 2″x3″ piece of fabric.

Press all edges in by 1/2″, slip over zipper end.

Fold in half, sew around all four edges of the tab.

That’s it!  Enjoy your super functional pouch and have fun being able to find the things you need easily!!!


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218 Responses to open wide zippered pouch: DIY tutorial

  1. Jessica at Me Sew Crazy 06.25.2012 at 9:52 am #

    As always Anna – these are lovely. The tutorial is fantastic, and I look forward to putting it to good use in the future. Thank you!

  2. erica 06.25.2012 at 9:56 am #

    Your tutorials are always so clear and concise! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. kendascrafts 06.25.2012 at 10:03 am #

    sweet! thanks for the tutorial!

  4. Sasha 06.25.2012 at 10:08 am #

    Super cute!!!!! I love how big the opening at the top is!!!

  5. Vanessa 06.25.2012 at 10:08 am #

    These are so cute! Love the bright fabrics you used. Aren’t zippers fun?

    • Vanessa Liming 12.23.2013 at 12:27 am #

      Zippers are AWESOME, they are my favorite thing right now!

  6. Krista 06.25.2012 at 10:11 am #

    very smart idea! And you make it look easy.

  7. Carolien 06.25.2012 at 10:27 am #

    Thanks so much for this tutorial!

  8. gail 06.25.2012 at 10:38 am #

    so great! and that hello kitty fabric…adorable! thanks for this!!

  9. {Leila}Where the Orchids Grow 06.25.2012 at 10:38 am #

    Sweet! Great tute Anna, they are on my to do list!!

  10. Tansy Dolls 06.25.2012 at 10:54 am #

    This is a great tutorial. I love the little tab of fabric you use to finish off the zipper. I will have to try this the next time I make a zippered pouch. It looks so neat and well…finished, if that makes sense.

  11. Julie 06.25.2012 at 11:09 am #

    These are goig on my ever increasing “to do” list for the week.
    where did you get such cute fabrics???
    thanks for sharing such a great tute.
    have a fabulous week.

  12. Delia 06.25.2012 at 11:10 am #

    I love this Anna! I will definitely give this a go! I like how the interfacing helps it stand up well too.

  13. Sandra :) 06.25.2012 at 11:50 am #

    Oh my, I love finding fun new zipper bag ideas, and this one is COOL (so are your fabrics – YUMM!) :) Thanks for the tute – I want to try this! I especially like that there are no raw edges – not every designer makes the extra effort to ensure the inside of their bags is finished properly :D

  14. Amy Friend 06.25.2012 at 11:51 am #

    Great idea!

  15. Jeannie 06.25.2012 at 11:52 am #

    Love, love, love!!! will be making one asap!

  16. Sandra :) 06.25.2012 at 11:55 am #

    OOPS ensure the inside of their bags *ARE finished properly, lol.

  17. Sew Much Ado 06.25.2012 at 12:33 pm #

    These are super cute Anna! I love how they look like little whales when you’re looking from the top like in the last pic :).

  18. Annie 06.25.2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Love your tutorials, Anna, they’re always so clear. These are so cute!

  19. Lindsey R. :: LRstitched 06.25.2012 at 1:26 pm #

    ooh, love this! I just got a bunch of zippers, I see some pouches in my future. That dotted HK is adorable!

  20. Anonymous 06.25.2012 at 1:33 pm #

    awesome! I’m loving the HK dots too. Where did you find it?

  21. i.ikeda 06.25.2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I just found your blog through pinterest, and I’m so excited! Love your tutorials and your adorable pouches and bags.

  22. Patrice 06.25.2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Yep! Super Awesome!! :)

  23. Patrice 06.25.2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Yep! Super Awesome!! :)

  24. Karenkay 06.25.2012 at 1:53 pm #

    thank you for taking the time to put a tutorial together for this adorable pouch! I have really cute fabric for this, just need to go get some zippers!

  25. Mel 06.25.2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Quick THANK YOU! Now I need to go collect my supplies so I can go make this!! Adorable and brilliant <3

  26. Kendall Hoover 06.25.2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Thank you thank you thank you! Used this to put in the diaper bag to keep all the little toy cars and things in one easily accessible place instead of all over the bag. Keep writing!
    Professional, Affordable, Impeccable Blog Proofreading – When your blog has too many readers to pretend it’s okay because no one is going to see it.

  27. LEPÄÄVÄ ESTEETIKKO 06.25.2012 at 3:05 pm #

    I really like that you left the zipper end out of the lining, it is roomier and faster to use like this. Good idea and so nicely made!

  28. beth lehman 06.25.2012 at 3:12 pm #

    great idea~! can’t wait to try it out!

  29. Anonymous 06.25.2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Anna you amaze me every single time I stop by! Thanks for sharing this cool pouch. Can’t wait to have a minute to myself to make one (or five!)

  30. Jo @ a life in lists 06.25.2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Great tutorial, thank you so much for taking the time to put it together! Can’t wait to make a few of these when I get a chance.

  31. Miss Creatuurtje 06.25.2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Great! I’m gonna try this, thank you!

  32. Angela {fussycut} 06.25.2012 at 4:41 pm #

    You smart girl you! Can’t wait to make a ton of these.

  33. Alexis 06.25.2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Just the tutorial I needed :) Thanks for sharing.
    I’m going to make one tomorrow.

    Do you happen to know where I can find that Hello Kitty fabric online. I’m in love it.


  34. Katy Cameron 06.25.2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Very cool, thanks for the tute!

  35. Emily 06.25.2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Super cute!! I have got to make time to learn to sew a zipper.

  36. Allison C 06.25.2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Love this. Where did you get your HK fabric?

  37. Pam 06.25.2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Such a cute little pouch. Thanks for sharing!!! I’m pinning this one…

  38. Jacqui 06.25.2012 at 9:27 pm #

    This would be such a great way of making book bags for school, so you can open up the bag wide to get big books in – and how cute are they when they’re small! No wonder you made a bunch :)

  39. chris 06.25.2012 at 10:56 pm #

    These are adorable, Anna! Hooray for more zippers, and the Hello Kitty fabric is darling.

  40. Anonymous 06.25.2012 at 10:59 pm #

    thanks! I love the wide opening!

  41. Stefanie in St. Louis 06.25.2012 at 11:23 pm #

    I just discovered your blog and it’s amazing. You should write a book!

    thanks for sharing your talent with us!


  42. CÖ SER 06.25.2012 at 11:54 pm #

    gracias ¡¡¡¡

  43. Lesley at Fabulously Flawed 06.26.2012 at 12:31 am #

    Oh gosh…. so pretty! Thank you, girl!

  44. thingsforboys 06.26.2012 at 1:52 am #

    Awesome! This makes all my junk so much easier to get to!

  45. sewkatiedid 06.26.2012 at 2:09 am #

    so cute! you never really outgrow hello kitty.

  46. Cindy 06.26.2012 at 8:12 am #

    These are adorable, Anna! Thanks for sharing your tutorial! I’ll be making a few of these!:)

  47. Jessica 06.26.2012 at 8:31 am #

    What a super cute pouch! I need to make one of these!

  48. tini-uk 06.26.2012 at 9:58 am #

    Thank you so much, 4 out of 6 teacher presents sorted!

  49. Elizabeth 06.26.2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Ah, this is perfect! I’ve been wanting to make a nice travel zip bag for small toiletries, and this could be perfect. (Also love your nail polish!)

  50. Veronica Scott 06.26.2012 at 3:38 pm #

    Gotta try this. Love that fabric and love your tutorials!!

  51. susan Ann Sands Wedeward 06.26.2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Anna, I love the new Hello Kitty Pouch. It’s super cute as always you out did yourself again…………………

  52. Tammy 06.26.2012 at 10:16 pm #

    And my sewing to-do list just got a little longer :) Thanks for a great tutorial!

  53. aneela 06.27.2012 at 5:26 am #

    Thank you! On my need to make list :))

  54. Kimberly 06.27.2012 at 10:26 am #


  55. Solange Revendedora 06.27.2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Amei, trabalho lindo e ótima dica!
    Beijo no coração.

    Solange Nunes

  56. My Creative Mommy 06.27.2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Sewing scares me, but I think my babygirl would love this pouch! Where did you get that fabric?

  57. Marcia 06.27.2012 at 8:48 pm #

    Great! I think these will be my Christmas gifts to sisters and co-workers. Thanks so much for sharing!

  58. kristin 06.27.2012 at 9:39 pm #

    So awesome! Can’t wait to make one! Great tutorial, Anna. :)

  59. Tracie 06.28.2012 at 9:01 am #

    Fabulous!!! never thought about putting a zipper on this way!!!

  60. kluckingbear 06.28.2012 at 1:28 pm #

    GREAT tutorial and I really like the zipper positioning! Thanks for sharing.

  61. Betty 06.28.2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Thanks Anna for sharing this wonderful pattern!

  62. Marilyn 06.30.2012 at 10:56 am #

    Perfect timing—this is just what I need!!! Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous tutorial!

  63. jmj 07.01.2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Hi your tutorial came just in time for my sister’s 60th, too too much fun!!!!! Love the way the zip goes in!!!!

  64. Anonymous 07.03.2012 at 9:19 am #

    Anna this is awesome! You just seriously made my day. I have been sewing since I was a little girl and still am so clueless, but your tutorials are so easy to follow and helpful! I am going to be making some for sure.

  65. Katie 07.03.2012 at 7:51 pm #

    super cute pouch!!!

  66. elnorac 07.05.2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Thanks for another awesome tutorial, Anna! You’ve done soooooo much for sewists all over the world… How awesome is that? I hope the ones that follow your free tutes also buy your wonderful patterns. I carry your 241 tote every single day (in various “incarnations” as my purse, and I love that pattern!!!!! Thanks for being so wonderful!

  67. Ann 07.06.2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Super! I have made several pouches but had not thought of leaving the zipper tail long with the tab. Really like this style.

  68. ~mo sews with re*purpose 07.07.2012 at 10:37 am #

    Makes me want to dig for my zipper stash! :D These are lovely… and so practical too!

  69. Lori 07.09.2012 at 11:33 am #

    These are so cute. Thanks for the awesome tutorial. Ohhhh I could put handles on either side and it could be a small purse for a little girl. Ohhh I like that idea. I have a birthday coming up for my great neice. Thanks again.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  70. sparklesness 07.10.2012 at 3:38 am #

    oooh this looks like something i could actually sew!

  71. Sandra :) 07.13.2012 at 11:39 pm #

    I DID IT I did it I did it!! And it’s fantastic! Thank you for a most excellent tutorial – I made a bag tonight and it is darn near perfect! I was nervous about the zipper (even though