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Zipper Organizer Pouch Tutorial

Zipper Organizer Pouch Tutorial
I have really been enjoying my zipper pouch. It holds all the essentials and keeps them organized, so I can toss it in a larger bag or just grab it for a quick errand. I thought you might enjoy a how-to.
This is really long, like all my how-to's, but trust me, after a little practice, these go together really quickly from start to finish!

You Will Need:

Main Body -->
6 pieces of fabric 11.5" x 7" (2 upholstery/home dec weight, 2 cotton for lining, 2 fusible interfacing)

Pockets -->
2 pieces of fabric 11.5" x 5" (cotton for lining)
2 pieces of fabric 11.5" x 2" (upholstery/home dec weight)

Strap -->
1 piece of fabric 9" x 2.5" (upholstery/home dec weight)

9" zipper

* If you're using scraps like me, you can get all this from ~2 12" x 12" upholstery samples! Lining was from my stash.

Prep the Pieces:

Iron the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your 11.5" x 7" lining pieces.

Take your 9" x 2.5" strap piece, iron in 1/4" on both long edges, then iron in half. Top stitch both long sides, about 1/8" or less from the edge.

To make the pocket, place one 11.5" x 2" piece of upholstery weight fabric right side down on one 11.5" x 5" piece of lining fabric. Using 1/4" seam allowances, sew along the long edge.

Then sew the 2nd long edge of the upholstery piece to the second long edge of the lining piece to form a tube.

Turn right sides out and press so that the upholstery forms the top of the pocket.

Top stitch if desired. This is what I usually do:

Repeat with the other pocket pieces.

Begin Assembly:

Line up one pocket 1.5" from bottom of one lining piece. Mark the center with a small line, and 3" on either side of the center (adjust this dimension if you are making a pocket for a specific item, like a cell).

Stitch carefully along the bottom edge of the pocket, close to the edge. When you reach the marks, leave the needle down and pivot your work 90° and sew towards the top edge of the pocket. When you reach the top edge, leave the needle down and pivot 180° and stitch back to the bottom edge.

Your pocket will look like this:

Repeat with the second pocket and second lining piece:

Install the Zipper:

Center the zipper face up along one lining edge. Place one upholstery piece right side down to create a sandwich.

Using the zipper foot on your machine, sew in the zipper. Start and stop your stitches at the zipper stops, not the edges of the fabric. You'll also have to stop sewing halfway, remove your work from the machine, get the zipper pull out of the way, and finish sewing. Overlap your stitches a little when you start again for security.

Pin the lining and upholstery layers away from the zipper and topstitch. Again, start and stop with the zipper stops.

Create a second zipper sandwich with the remaining lining and upholstery pieces.

Sew as you did for the first side of the zipper. Pin away and topstitch. Your pouch should now look like this:

Final Trimming:

Now that the zipper is installed, square up the fabric by trimming the upholstery layer and the lining layer to be the same dimensions.

Make a mark 1/2" in from each edge by the zipper:

Trim diagonally from this mark to each lower corner, making sure not to cut the webbing of the zipper.


Position the strap and pin, catching the upholstery weight fabric only.

Pin the outer pieces and the lining, right sides together. Make sure the zipper is at least half way open so you can turn.

Using 1/2" seam allowance, sew as shown in the diagram, leaving an opening in the lining for turning (1) and overlapping your stitches on the outer fabric for security (2). Back stitch as close as you can to the zipper, making sure the open zipper ends stay aligned.

Box the corners, feeling to make sure the side and bottom seams are lining up; mark a line where the corner is an inch wide. Repeat with all four corners. Sew back and forth a couple times on this line and then trim off the corner.

Zipper Organizer Pouch Tutorial

Deep breath, we're almost there! Turn the bag right side out. I've found this is easiest if I tuck the outside and inside together first, then start pulling through the hole I left in the lining.

Close up the opening in the lining with either hand stitching or a neat machine stitch. Tuck everything back together with lots of smoothing and stretching. This is where I like the interfaced lining.

And voila!!
Zipper Organizer Pouch Tutorial

I hope you stuck with me through to the end and this all makes sense!

Zipper Organizer Pouch Tutorial

Zipper Organizer Pouch Tutorial


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