Not only for back to school but for any day and time a simple zipper pouch is welcome in my house. I recently came across a super cute fabric with rulers on it and thought it would make the perfect pouch for pencils for my kids. See the perfect pencil zipper pouch tutorial today!
Pencil Zipper Pouch Tutorial
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Sewing a zipper pouch is not difficult at all! If you have never sewn one, this tutorial is for you! It’s detailed and I hope to have provided great images so you can see every little detail. So grab some fabric, actually two coordinating prints, as this pouch is fully lined and has no exposed seams. You also need some interfacing (not mandatory although it helps to keep the pouch sturdy longer) and an all purpose zipper. The finished pouch measures 4″ x 8.75″ and holds standard length pencils.
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List of materials used in this tutorial:
- I used this ruler fabric but if it’s not available anymore, here are plenty of other cute ruler prints.
- 1x Coats 7" all purpose zipper
- OPTIONALLY fusible interfacing (my favorite is Pellon fusible interfacing)
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine (I use this one)
- Rotary Cutter
- Iron (I love my Rowenta)
- zipper foot
The image below only shows one fabric and my zipper.
Cut two pieces 4.75″ tall x 9.5″ wide for the outside and two pieces for the inside. Cut two pieces 2.5″ x 2.5″ for the zipper extension tabs. If preferred for a bit more stability, also cut two pieces 4″ x 8.25″ fusible interfacing.
Following the Pellon fusible interfacing instructions, iron the interfacing on.
Take the zipper extension tab pieces and place them right side down, then fold in the left and bottom edges 1/4″. Press the folds down. I only used a pin to keep the folds down for this image.
Place your zipper’s end with right side down onto the left fold and leave about 1/4″ room from where the actual zipper part ends.
Fold down the top edge of the fabric piece so it reaches into the center. Pin in place.
Fold up the bottom fold of the fabric and overlap it in the center. Pin in place.
Sew along the left side of the fabric, backstitch the beginning and end. Keep a seam allowance of 1/8″.
Repeat this step with
It’s time to sew the pouch pieces! Place one of the lining pieces in front of you and place the zipper with right side up along the top edge as shown in the image below. Be sure to center the zipper so that both of the fabric tabs at each end reach out the same.
Take one of the outside pieces and place it right side down (and be sure to check that the print direction is going down as well). Align the top and side edges, then pin in place. The way you position the pins does not really matter. You can also use clips. Before you start sewing you would remove the pins one by one to not sew over them.
It’s time to get your sewing machine ready. Install your zipper foot! My Brother sewing machine comes with a zipper foot but yours may need a separately purchased one. It is really crucial to use a zipper foot as a regular foot won’t allow to sew close along the zipper which is needed to make a nice zipper pouch. Position your zipper foot to sew at the left side.
First, you want to position your zipper pull to the center of the zipper. It will get moved later on.
Start sewing at the left top edge with a seam allowance of 3/8″ which is about the width of the zipper foot. The zipper foot’s right edge runs along the fabric edge. Backstitch first and then sew until shortly before you reach the zipper pull.
Trim off your threads and reposition your zipper foot from the center to the beginning.
Start sewing again after you have moved the zipper pull. Backstitch the beginning. Continue sewing until you reach the end. Then backstitch.
This is how your project looks now.
To finish the instructions, please click on page 2 below!
Once you flip up the lining piece, this is how your pouch project will look like.
It’s time to sew the other side. Place the second lining piece with right side up down on your work mat.
Then place the zippered piece’s lining with right side down onto the lining. Now you should have both lining fabric pieces face each other with their right print sides.
Place the remaining outer fabric piece with right side down, onto the zippered outside fabric. Both should also face each other with their right sides. The print direction should face down. Also, open the zipper about 3/4 of the way.
Since the zipper pull is now open about 3/4 of the way, start pinning at the left side. Start sewing all 4 fabric layers plus through the zipper, along the top edge with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Stop half way through because you don’t want to sew past the zipper pull. Backstitch and trim off the threads. Now close the zipper all the way and then continue pinning/sewing the rest of the top edge. Remove all pins.
Unfold the layers so that each a lining and an outer fabric layer is on each side and the zipper in the center. Press the fabric along the zipper, be sure to pull both fabric layers away from the zipper so you won’t press any creases into the fabric. Double check the underside to make sure everything is nicely pressed.
At this time you could top stitch on the outer side, along the zipper on both sides. I didn’t top stitch this pouch. Move the zipper pull into the center or open it all the way. This is essential for turning the pouch later on.
Now it’s time to close the sides and the bottom and finish this pencil zipper pouch. Grab both outer layers and lift up the pouch. Then lay it back down with both outer layers facing each other, as well as both lining layers facing each other.
Fold up the zipper’s seam so that it reaching into the outer layers. If you did top stitch the zipper, your seam allowance will automatically face towards the outer layers. Pin the entire pouch together (pin both outer layers and both inner layers together).
Leave about a 4″ opening in the center of the lining so you can turn the pouch. Backstitch the beginning and start sewing with a 3/8″ seam allowance at the opening. Sew all around the pouch and very carefully over the zipper tab areas. Be sure to peek under your presser foot before you sew over these areas to make sure nothing has shifted. When you reach the bottom of the lining where the opening is, backstitch before you trim off the threads.
Here is a close-up of what my stitches along the zipper tab area look like.
Trim off all four corners diagonally and also trim off both zipper tabs.
It’s time to turn the pouch with right sides out. Reach into the pouch and grab the corners of the outer fabric. Pull them through gently and carefully poke out all four corners with help of a turning tool or a pair of closed scissors (they should have rounded tips).
Press and top stitch the opening on the lining fabric with a 1/8″ seam allowance.
And push the lining back into the pouch through the zipper. You are done! I can’t wait to give this pouch to my daughter who is anxiously awaiting to use it! Hope you liked it free zipper pouch tutorial!
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