How To Make A Lined Zipper Pouch–Beginner Sewing Project 4

sew collage 2

A side view shows the base that helps it to sit upright and a view of the inside gives a peak at the coordinating lining.

Welcome to lesson four of my five beginner sewing project tutorials.  This project repeats most of the skills acquired in the first three lessons and introduces inserting a zipper and a lining.  Neither are too difficult, and both are invaluable basic skills that open up many future project possibilities.  This project looks time intensive, but like the others before, it’s easily taught within the four-hour class time, allowing for warm-up exercises and a twenty-minute break.  I should add here that I have the fabrics pre-cut for students and they choose the combination of elements–zip, ribbon, lining and main fabric. I’ve put in lots more pictures because they can sometimes speak clearer to you than the written instructions.  Don’t ever hesitate to ask me for help with anything.

sew collage 4

         Fabric choice makes a huge difference. These have a chenille outer with a cotton lining. Above picture is cotton outer with a canvas lining. Two completely different looks.

Before cutting the body and lining out, decide which will be cut in half and which will be left as one piece.  The one cut in half should be the liner, unless the outer fabric is directional such as the blue and red car print in the first photos.  It had to be cut into two pieces so neither side would be upside down. The reason for cutting it in half is to allow for an opening in the bottom of the bag to turn it right side to after assembling. The printed fish fabric didn’t need to be cut into two but I did by mistake.  It works and looks fine either way, but is tidier to have it hidden inside and looks more professional, but well finished seam won’t make much difference in the end product.

sew collage 3

                         Fabric cut and ready to sew aside the written instructions I have                       been teaching from and which I am using to write this tutorial.

Gather your materials and supplies

  • one 9″ wide x 13″ long fabric for main body of zip pouch (lining if main fabric has a directional pattern)
  • two 9″ wide x 7″ long fabrics for liner of zip pouch (main fabric if it has a directional pattern)
  • one 9 1/2″ or longer zipper
  • one 6″ long piece of 3/8″ wide ribbon (I used grosgrain ribbon)

Prepare you sewing machine and zipper


Change from regular machine presser foot to zipper foot.

sewing collage

Consider putting a chalk mark on each side of the zipper top to avoid confusion once it is cut apart. Cut both ends off of zipper, throw ends pieces away. Separate into three pieces by removing zipper pull-You will have two zipper strips and one zipper pull.   Pictured here with pins to keep zipper lying flat for photo purposes only.

 Pin zipper between lining and main fabric sandwiched as follows:

DSCF2556 3

Make sure the teeth side of zipper is in towards the center of the bag and also that the right side of the zipper is facing the main body fabric.  You will do this twice, once for each side of bag.

Stitch zipper in: 


Top fabric is only lifted to show how fabric is layered (as pinned in previous step).  Stitch close to zipper teeth, but NOT too close; space is needed for zip pull to pass between seam and teeth when opening and closing.  Not all zipper feet are the same, but with this one, notice how the foot is butted against the edge of fabric and zipper–this makes a perfect seam allowance and is easy to keep eye on while stitching.

This is what it is looking like now.

This is what it is looking like now.  Notice direction of seam allowance (turned under zipper).  Keep them facing this way when ironing and top stitching in next step.

zip 3

Iron along zip edges of main fabric and then topstitch along edge.

zip in

Reinsert zipper pull one side at a time…

zip in2

…then slide it down and completely off other side–two sides are zipped closed together now. Repeat steps to reinsert zip pull. *Slide just beyond half way point and then zip back to open as in third picture.*

*if zipper is not left partly open then it will be very difficult to turn right side out.  See instructions above.*  

Change back to regular presser foot. 


Lay zipper pouch as pictured above with right sides facing together, raw edges aligned and pin together. Make 2 chalk marks, each 3″ in form either corner as shown. You will not stitch in the center between the chalk marks (like the pillow and book cover tutorials). This will be left open for turning right side to. **I have my students criss-cross pins as a reminder of where to stop and start.**


Start at chalk mark on left hand side so pouch lies to the left of the needle. Seam allowance is zipper foot aligned with edge of fabric as noted in a previous step. Reverse stitch and continue to the corner, turn corner and …

...carefully proceed over zipper. Manually turn hand wheel if necessary to slowly 'walk' needle over this point. Your machine may have no problem with this, but if unsure, better to be take care not to break the needle.

…carefully proceed over zipper. Manually turn hand wheel if necessary to slowly ‘walk’ needle over this point. Your machine may have no problem with this, but if unsure, better to be take care not to break the needle.

Continue stitching to the end/corner.  Reverse stitch, remove from needle and cut free.

Continue stitching to the end/corner. Reverse stitch, remove from needle and cut free.


Now to stitch the other side–starting at the opposite end/corner of the one you just ended on–again, pouch should be lying over to the left of needle.  Stitch, being careful over zipper again, this time ending at the second chalk mark. Notice seam allowance–align presser foot with raw fabric edge. Reverse stitch at end and cut free.

...carefully proceed over zipper. Manually turn hand wheel if necessary to slowly 'walk' needle over this point. Your machine may have no problem with this, but if unsure, better to be take care not to break the needle.

Carefully clip corners.  NOT too close to stitch line.

This is how it is looking now.

This is how it is looking now.


Grab pouch by center front and back at zipper and separate so a side seam is now facing up and corners begin to form points.

Preparing the corners of the bag.  There are four corners in all–two each for lining and main fabric.


It is important that the corners are folded with the seam directly down the center. Other wise the bag will be lopsided. Picture 2 is uneven, picture 3 is perfect.  Not the end of the world–it will still function perfectly as it should, but it will look nicer if time is taken in this step to be accurate.


Pin in place and make a chalk line 1″ from the corner that is at a 90° angle from the seam.


Side view of corners pinned & top view of all four corners pinned. Stitch all four corners, remember to reverse/reinforce stitch each one.

Turn bag right side to through opening in base of fabric.  Once this is done, fold in seam of opening (pic 1 below) and prepare to sew hole closed by pinning along edge as shown.  Either machine stitch along this edge using 1/8″ to 1/4″ seam allowance or alternatively, blind/ladder stitch


 Pin opening and stitch closed.  Insert lining into main fabric, poking corners into place.  Insert ribbon through zip pull.  Fold ribbon in half and pin together.  Stitch ribbon in place. 

Voila!!  Your pouch is super snazzy and so are you!!


More in my ‘How To’ series of tutorials and worksheets…

*How to Make a Picture Pocket Pillow–Beginner Sewing Project 1

*How To Make A Reversible Book Cover with Pen Holder and Bookmark–Beginner Sewing Project 2

*How To Make A Drawstring Backpack–Beginner Sewing Project 3

*How Well Do You Know Your Sewing Machine?–Beginner Sewing Worksheet 1

*How to Worksheet 2–Basic Tools for Beginner Sewing



      • Thank you. It is always such a joy when I read something and reach to turn the printer on. It is usually something I have been challenged or stumped by…and there will be a post like yours that really makes sense out of it. I’ll ask if I get stuck.


  1. Pingback: How Well Do You Know Your Sewing Machine?–Beginner Sewing Worksheet 1 | The Aran Artisan


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