I have zipper pouches everywhere and they have such a variety of uses I can never have enough. I don’t think I’ve ever actually sewn one for myself, so I wanted to take it up a notch for something a little more fun and frilly. Just adding ruffles to this zipper pouch took it to a whole new level.
- Woven fabrics in a variety of coordinating colors and prints
- I used a total of 5 different fabrics for this one
- Zipper that is at least 10″ long (you can cut it down to size if needed)
- Nylon zippers work best, but use what you have
- Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies
- Optional: fusible interfacing
Cut Your Pieces
- Main and lining fabrics: cut two of each 10″ X 7″
- Optional interfacing: cut two 10″ X 7″
- You can choose to add ruffles to both sides or just the front. Cut two of each if you want ruffles on both sides, cut 1 of each if you only want them on the front. You can also change up the number of ruffles or their widths, this is just a jumping-off point for you.
- Top ruffle: 18″ X 2.5″
- Middle ruffle: 18″ X 3.5″
- Bottom ruffle: 18″ X 4.5″
Preparing you pieces
- If you are adding interfacing, iron it onto the wrong side of both main pieces of fabric.
- Interfacing is optional. The fabric I used was on the thinner side so I chose to add interfacing to give it more structure.
- Starting with the top ruffle, fold the bottom edge up 1/4″ and press.
- Fold up 1/4″ again and press to enclose the raw edge.
- Sew along the folded edge with a scant seam allowance. (Approximately 1/8″)
- Repeat this for the middle and bottom ruffle pieces.
- On both the middle and bottom ruffles, cut along the top edge with pinking shears, or use an overcasting stitch or serger to prevent fraying.
- Sew a gathering stitch 1/4″ in from the top edge using a long straight stitch and loose tension.
- Pull the bobbin thread to create the ruffles until they are the same width as the bag pieces then tie the threads at either end.
- Do this for all of your ruffle pieces.
Sew on Those Ruffles
- Starting with the top ruffle, pin the raw edge along the top edge of the main bag piece.
- Sew with a straight stitch and 1/4″ seam allowance. Remove any noticeable basting stitches.
- Take the second ruffle piece and line up the top edge just under the top ruffle.
- Pin and sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance along the top edge of the ruffle.
- Repeat the same process with the bottom ruffle piece.
* I choose to sew the ruffles on just underneath the previous one instead of just stacking them on top of each other along the top to reduce the amount of bulk along the edge where the zipper will be sewn on.*
- Pin both outer edges of the ruffles to the main bag piece.
- Baste all the ruffles in place from top to bottom the keep them from shifting while finishing the bag construction.
A nylon zipper works the best, but you really just need any type of zipper that is at least the same length as the bag. (I used a sport separating zipper for this one because I was snowed in when I was making this and that was all I had in my house.)
This is optional, they just give the bag a more professional finish. If you want to skip the tabs, scroll on down to attach the bag to the zipper.
- Cut two pieces of any of your fabrics to 4″ X 2.5″
- On the side with the zipper pull when the zipper is closed, pin one of the tab pieces right side down to the zipper tape just next to the end of the zipper teeth.
- Use a zipper foot and sew as close to the zipper teeth end as possible.
- Flip the tab back so that the right side is facing up.
- Wrap the sides to the back of the zipper tape, overlap them slightly then pin. Cut off the excess fabric.
- Sew along the tab close to the edge next to the zipper teeth.
- Cut off any excess fabric that extends past the zipper tape.
- Measure the length of the tab you just made. You will want the tab on the opposite side to be the same length. (Mine is 1″ long.)
- Lay the zipper along the top edge of one of your bag pieces lining up the tab end at one side.
- On the opposite end of the bag, measure over from the bag edge the length of your first tab and mark that point on your zipper.
- You will also mark on the zipper where the outer edge of the bag sits.
- Set the other tab piece right side down with the edge of the tab 1/4″ past the first marking on the zipper and pin along the marked line.
- Sew the tab with a 1/4″ seam allowance so that you are sewing over the inner line marked on your zipper.
- Cut your zipper (with your regular scissors) along your outer marked point.
- Repeat the same steps from the first tab to fold back and sew the tab.
Attach the Bag to the Zipper
- Pin the ruffles to the main part of the bag to keep them from flipping up and getting sewn into the zipper.
- Pin one of your main bag pieces right side down ontop of the opposite right side of the zipper.
- Flip the bag over so the right side of the bag and the wrong side of the zipper are facing up.
- Take one of you bag lining pieces and place it right side down on top of the main bag piece.
- Line up one edge of the lining piece with the side that the main piece and zipper edges are pinned.
- Pin the lining to the main bag and zipper sandwiching the zipper between the two pieces.
- Sew along the pinned edge with a straight stitch and 1/4″ seam allowance.
- Open the two pieces and pull the lining away from the main piece.
- Sew along the top edge of the ruffle securing it to the zipper tape to keep it from getting stuck in the zipper.
- Flip the lining back down so both pieces are on the same side of the zipper with wrong sides together.
- On the opposite edge of the zipper, pin the other main bag piece to the zipper tape right sides together.
- Flip the bag over and lay the other lining piece right side down on the back side of the zipper sandwiching the zipper between the main and lining pieces.
- Pin together and sew with a straight stitch and 1/4″ seam allowance.
- Open the bag and pull the lining piece away to sew the top edge of the main to the zipper tape if desired.
You’re almost there. You can open it up to make sure all is looking like it should before sewing the rest of the bag together.
Finishing up You Bag
- Open the bag so that the two lining pieces are right sides together and the two main pieces are right sides together.
- Pin all the way around the bag leaving a 2″-3″ opening along the bottom of the lining.
- When you get to the points where the zipper connect at the sides, line up the seam of the main pieces and pin them in place.
- Push the zipper and tab towards the lining side and pin to secure.
- Make sure you have moved the ruffles towards the center to keep them out of the way of the stitching.
- Sew around the bag with a 1/4″ seam allowance making sure to backstitch several times at the start and finish of the opening in the lining.
Box the Corners
- Flatten the bottom edge of each side bringing each end to a point.
- Measure in 1.5″ from the point and draw a line all the way across then pin along the line.
- Do this with both the main and lining.
- Sew across each pinned line with a straight stitch.
- Cut off each point just past the stitches.
- Pull the bag through the opening in the lining to turn it right side out.
- Use a ladder stitch or whipstitch to close the hole in the lining.
- Push the lining down into the main bag and push the tabs up to flatten them out.