Tutorial – Zippered pouch

For the third week of the sewing challenge, we made zippered pouches. This is another item that you can fully customize for size and shape. It has gussets on the bottom and is fully lined, just like the tote bag. Since they are similar in construction, I made mine to match the tote bag.


  • exterior fabric – 1/4 yard or fat quarter
  • lining fabric – 1/4 yard or fat quarter
  • 9 inch zipper
  • fusible fleece – 1/4 yard

Step 1.

Cut your fabric pieces

exterior fabric 

  • 8 x 11 (cut 2)

lining fabric 

  • 8 x 11 (cut 2)
  • 1 x 2 (cut 2)

fusible fleece

  • 8 x 11 (cut 2)

(I pieced together the outside panels of my pouch to match the tote bag. The final dimensions were 8 x 11)

All seam allowances are 1/4 inch

Step 2.

Make tabs for the zipper. Fold each 1 x 2 piece in half to make a 1 x 1 square. Place the square on the zipper with the fold just past the zipper stop. Sew along the fold then press it closed again. Repeat for the other end of the zipper.

Step 3.

Fuse fleece to the wrong side of the exterior fabric.

Step 4.

Attach panels to zipper

Place one exterior piece right side up. Place the zipper right side down along the top edge of the exterior fabric and pin into place.

Then add the lining, right side down on top of the zipper so that the two fabric pieces are right sides together. Carefully re-pin (one pin at a time) so that all three layers are held together.

Step 5.

Using a zipper foot, sew a quarter-inch seam along the zipper.

  • Sew fleece side up to prevent bunching
  • Reach between the layers to move the zipper head out of the way as you sew so you don’t have to swerve around it

Step 6.

Turn the pieces right side out. Press the panels away from the zipper.

Topstitch down the edge of the fold near the zipper.

Repeat steps 3 – 5 with the second side. You now have a zipper with wings.

Step 7.

Construct the pouch

Open the zipper halfway so it will be out of your way while sewing. Fold the panels so that the exterior panels are right sides together and the lining panels are right sides together. Make sure that the topstitching on each side of the zipper lines up exactly. The zipper tabs should be folded toward the lining.

Mark a space at the bottom of the lining to leave open to turn. Sew the edges. Mark one side of the opening as A and the other as B. Mark a spot in the middle of the exterior side as C. Start sewing at A and make your way around to C and stop. Then start at B and make your way around to C. Sewing over the zipper in the same direction on both sides helps everything lay more evenly.

Step 8.

Add gussets

Pinch one corner of your pouch so that the side seam lines up with the bottom seam, forming a triangle. Test that you have them lined up by pushing a pin through the stitching on one side and see where it comes out at the back. If it comes out in the other line of stitching, you are all lined up. Pin it into place.

Step 9.

Measure down the seam 1 inch and draw a line across your triangle. Repeat for all 4 corners, 2 in the fleece and 2 in the lining.

  • This will make a 2 inch gusset. If you would like a 3 inch gusset, measure 1 1/2 inches from the point. Make it whatever size you like. The width of your gusset is 2 times your measurement from the point!

Step 10.

Sew along each of the 4 lines you just made.

Trim the excess, leaving about 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Step 11.


Turn your bag right side out and push out all of your corners.

Step 12.

Fold in the seam allowance at the opening. Pin closed.

Step 13.

Either hand sew or topstitch along the opening to close it. I chose to hand sew.

Push the lining inside the bag and you are done!


Happy sewing!!!



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