Made For, Notebook of a Beginner Sewist, Zipper Pouch

Made For 10/Notebook of a Beginner Sewist 4: Zipper Pouch Meow

Double meme post today. When I had posted about the last zipper pouch I had made, I felt afterwards I should have included it in my Notebook of a Beginning Sewist series. Over the past, few days, I’ve been working on another one for the fifth grader’s teacher’s end-of-the-year gift which will house a card and a gift card. Jellybean told me her teacher likes cats and I know she loves to read.

Fabric (purchased from Sew Stitching Happy on Etsy)

    • NONO Ecole Cat – Cat (Natural Background) – Kokka – Canvas
    • Jot – On Loan Library Cards (White Background) – Heather Givans – Windham Fabrics

Cut Measurements

  • Outer Fabric (2 pieces): 12″ x 9″
  • Lining (2 pieces): 12″ x 9″
  • Fusible Fleece Interfacing [Pellon 987F] (2 pieces): 11″ x 8″
  • Handle (2 pieces): 12″ x 2″
  • Zipper Tabs (2 pieces): 3″ x 2″

What I Learned

First off, let me restate who taught me how to sew zipper pouches which is now ingrained in my brain – Dana of MADE Everyday. She has a Youtube tutorial here.

A. Directional print fabric can end up right side up for the front of the handle but upside down for the back.

  1. I cut the two pieces for the handle and laid them out like below, with the top piece upside down. Then I flipped the top piece down on the bottom one so right sides faced each other.
  2. I sewed them with a ¼” seam allowance. The joined pieces were laid down on my ironing board wrong side up so I could iron open the seam flat.
  3. The long edges were folded towards the middle seam, ironed, and then closed like a clam.
  4. Each long edge was top-stitched on the outsides.

B. How I Sew a Zipper in

In the past, I’ve used my zipper foot. While it worked, I didn’t like how the edges of the material moved as the zipper foot doesn’t hold down much of it.

I have seen all over IG how many sewists use the clips. I bought some and tried just those, but still felt the material shifted when sewing. Now I have my own way of securing the zipper down.

  1. After centering the zipper, I pin it down in three places like you see in the first photo.
  2. Then I carefully lay down the outer fabric print side down and use three, sewing clips – placing each one near a pin.
  3. I use the all-purpose, sewing foot and sew ¼” seam allowance. And I run my sewing machine slowly.

C. Boxing Corners

I would draw a square in the corner of each fabric piece, sew up the sides, and then pinch the corners so that the vertical, side seam lay upon bottom, horizontal seam before sewing across the triangle at the drawn line. However, with the taco zipper pouch I had made here, I had messed up and then had to rip apart the side seams and redo everything after the zipper was sewn in. All of the fabric had cut bottom corners out of them. I scratched my head to figure out how was I going to sew the corners. The light bulb went on and I found using cut-out corners was easier for me to make sure I had seam lines lined up; these seam lines show outside of the pouch.

  1. I used a quilting ruler to draw 2″ cubes in each bottom corner.
  2. When the bottom and side seams were sewn for the outer fabric, you see this corner mouth that’s open? I pinch the corners outwards to close the mouth, making sure seam lines are lined up.
  3. I then sewed ¼” from the edge.

I’ll take pictures of this particular part next time I make a zipper pouch.

D. Putting in the Handle and My Tag

  1. Lay out in front of you the outer piece that would have the zipper tab on the left side when it is closed.
  2. I pin the handle (Notice it’s one, long piece that is folded in half.) all inside the intended pouch, having its edges line up with the edges of the fabric.
  3. My tag is folded in half. I face it print side down, all inside the intended pouch, with its opened edges placed halfway through the seam allowance. I don’t want to pin it because a pin creates holes. Therefore, I use tape to tape it in place.
  4. When I sew past these items, I always reserve stitch to strengthen those areas before moving forwards and on.

And now you see the finished product. The weight of this canvas, cat material is very sturdy and holds up extremely well with the interfacing. With the lining, I always sew a long seam about one-eighth of an inch from the edges across the whole bottom. The finished dimensions are 11″ high x 8″ wide x 4″ deep (boxed bottom).

Okay; time to get ready for bed. I may read a little before turning out the lights. Thanks for dropping by today. TTYS.

22 thoughts on “Made For 10/Notebook of a Beginner Sewist 4: Zipper Pouch Meow”

    1. Thank you! Joann only does so much for me so I’ve been turning to Etsy and need to check out a few other websites other IG’ers have mentioned. Do you prefer me to respond to you on WP or email?


  1. WOW. I wish I could sew. It seems so intricate and multi stepped!! I dont think I have the room for bolts and cutting and all. I’ll admire yours . Lucky teacher


  2. Hi Stephanie :)) Your zipper pouch looks awesome! Zippers to me are like cryptonite to Superman lol…I fear them I loathe them…if I challenge myself to face them…they bunch up and hate me, rendering me powerless ha ha! 🙂 I first heard the term “sewist” a few years ago and was staunchly against it. But I’m the type who resists any type of change, I had Windows 98 until 2013 so go figure lol, but it’s growing on me. I like “seamstress” but sewist is kind of nice too 🙂 Hope all is well in your neck of the woods! I’m just enjoying our short little spring and summer season as best I can. Porch life. 🙂


  3. These are so super cute! I love both patterns, I am a cat person and a library person! Lol.

    Great job!!


    1. Thank you. And Dana has simple, sewing projects there. I even think she has published patterns and I know she has her own fabric lines that can be found online.


  4. Hello Stefanie!
    This is a super cute pouch! I love the fabric you chose, and that little tag on the side is a nice touch. Looking forward to seeing more of your DIY projects 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Stefanie! It’s my ESL teacher who gave me this name because it sounds like my chinese name (which is super hard to pronounce!)
        Yes it’s great to find the perfect fabric for a project 🙂


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