Just because a project includes a zipper doesn’t mean it can’t be done in a zip. A top zipper with end tabs is one of the easiesr zipper installations you can do. For our final day of Gifts in a Jiff with, we have a small, medium and large set of posh little pouches in a luscious flannel-backed satin with a realistic crocodile texture. This is a fashionable new collection sent to us by Fabric.comIt comes in ten jewel tone colors, each one more elegant than the next. We had a hard time narrowing it down to our three favorites! To bring the trio together as a set, each features a matching base fabric, lining, and sparkling metallic zipper. 

Give the set as an organized threesome, or split them apart into individual gifts. Pop a few extra goodies inside to sweeten the deal.

We added a cotton lining to each, again matching it across all three bags to tie them together. If you’re making individual bags, you could certainly personalize each lining fabric. 

The Golding flannel-backed crocodile satin was an absolute dream to sew with. It has a beautiful drape and texture, but it also quite stable. And, that flannel backing means it’s not slippery under the needle like a traditional satin. 

For the base, you want a fabric with a similar density to the rich satin. We used a medium weight 100% cotton twill, which comes in a rainbow of colors.

Add a flashy zipper and a shiny zipper pull to finish things off. We purchased our metallic zippers (which are really plastic!) locally, and so don’t have a direct link for you, but the options out there for zippers is huge right now. Choose a metallic finish, an interesting color for the teeth, or even a patterned zip.

Our thanks to for being the product engine behind all five days of Gifts in a Jiff. As we’ve mentioned, their huge and varied selection gives you endless combinations. A great way to see how everything looks together is to use the Design Wall function. It’s easy to add and delete swatches. You’ll see an “Add To Design Wall” button accompanying each product description. The first time you click on it, you create your Design Wall; additional items are then added from there.

Our pouches finish at 9″ x 12″, 6″ x 9″ and 5″ x 7″.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

NOTE: Inventory shifts constantly, and some fabric may not be in-stock when you first visit. However, there are other color options as well as re-stock dates listed when appropriate for each fabric at the site

The ingredients shown below are for a set of THREE zippered clutches as shown in our sample set with coordinating fabrics for each top section and matching fabric for the base sections and the linings. In the Getting Started section below, you can see the specific cut sizes should you wish to make just one of the pouch sizes.

Getting Started

  1. From the fabrics for the top panels (Flannel Backed Crocodile Satin in our samples), cut the following:
    Large Pouch: TWO 7″ high x 13″ wide rectangles
    Medium Pouch: TWO 5″ high x 10″ wide rectangles
    Small Pouch: TWO 4″ high x 8″ wide rectangles
  2. From the fabric for the bottom panels and zipper tabs (Dyed Solid in Storm in our samples), cut the following:
    NOTE: The zipper tab sizing is based on our 10″ zippers. If your zippers are the exact sizes specified (7″, 9″ and 12″), TWO 1¼” x 2½” strips should work for each pouch
    Large Pouch: TWO 4″ high x 13″ wide rectangles and TWO 1¼” x 4″ tab rectangles
    Medium Pouch: TWO 3″ high x 10″ wide rectangles and TWO 1¼” x 3″ tab rectangles
    Small Pouch: TWO 3″ high x 8″ wide rectangles and TWO 1¼” x 3″ tab rectangles
  3. From the fabric for the lining (Color Full Small Dots in Smoke in our samples), cut the following:
    Large Pouch: TWO 10″ high x 13″ wide rectangles
    Medium Pouch: TWO 7″ high x 10″ wide rectangles
    Small Pouch: TWO 6″ high x 8″ wide rectangles
  4. From the fusible interfacing, cut the following:
    Large Pouch: TWO 10″ high x 13″ wide rectangles
    Medium Pouch: TWO 7″ high x 10″ wide rectangles
    Small Pouch: TWO 6″ high x 8″ wide rectangles
  5. Cut the ribbon into THREE 11″ lengths.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Exterior panels

  1. With right sides of fabric together, pin each top panel to a base panel. 

    NOTE: We stitched a Sew4Home label to the upper right corner of our base panels prior to stitching top to base. If you choose to add your own label, remember to account for the seam allowances and topstitching when positioning. We recommend approximately ¾”  – 1″ in from the top and side. 
  2. Stitch together, using a ½” seam allowance
  3. Trim back the base seam allowance to approximately ¼”.
  4. Press the seam allowance down towards the base panel. 
  5. Find the appropriate interfacing panels. Following manufacturer’s instructions fuse an interfacing panel to the wrong side of each sewn exterior panel. 
  6. On both the front and back assembled panels, topstitch along the horizontal seam, ¼” from the seam within the base panel. We lengthened our stitch and re-threaded with a heavy-weight thread in the top and bobbin

Insert the zipper

  1. Find the appropriate zipper and end tab strips.
  2. Place one strip on each end of the zipper. The strip and the zipper are right sides together. Open up the zipper about midway. 
  3. Check the tabbed zipper against the exterior panel. The zipper should be centered side-to-side. If your zipper is the exactly correct size for the pouch, the zipper tabs are flush with the ends of the zipper and your seams will run just below the top and bottom zipper stops. 
  4. If you are cutting the zipper to fit and/or filling in the opening for a smaller zipper, adjust the tabs so there is 1″ or more of the tab as needed from each raw side edge. By adjusting for at least 1″, when the ½” side seam is stitched, you will have at least ½” of end tab filling in the top zippered opening. 
  5. Stitch the zipper tabs in place.
  6. We used a double seam for extra reinforcement.
  7. If you are shortening a zipper, cut away the excess teeth to make it easier to sew the side seams and turn the pouch right side out.
  8. Press the zipper tabs away from the zipper on each end.
  9. Find the front and back exterior panels again.
  10. Place one exterior panel right side up on your work surface. Place the zipper right side down on the panel. Center the zipper teeth on the panel, allowing the zipper tabs to fill in the excess width as needed. The top of the zipper tape should be flush with the top raw edge of the exterior panel. Pin along this top edge through both layers. 
  11. Attach a Zipper foot. Open the zipper to the center of the panel. 
  12. Stitch across the top of the panel through both layers (fabric and zipper tape). 
  13. Go slowly. When you can start to feel you’re approaching the zipper pull, stop with your needle in the down position. Twist your fabric around slightly and carefully close the zipper. Re-position your fabric and finish sewing to the end. Be very careful and go slowly; you want your seam line to be nice and straight.
  14. Trim any excess tab fabric so the side edges are flush. 
  15. Pin the remaining free edge of the zipper to the top edge of the remaining exterior panel. Right sides together as above.
  16. Stitch in place as above, maintaining the same seamline, ¼” from the zipper teeth.
  17. Flip over to the right side. Fold out the exterior panels flat to either side of the zipper. Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to match the top panel fabric. We lengthened our stitch and re-threaded with a heavy-weight thread in the top and bobbin.
  18. With the Zipper foot still attached, topstitch to either side of the zipper within the top panel. Your seams should be within ¼” from the zipper teeth to each side. As with your original zipper insertion, you’ll need to stop, with the needle in the down position, to move the zipper pull out of the way. 

Complete the exterior bag

  1. Open the zipper about half way again. Fold the two panels right sides together, aligning the raw edges along both sides and across the bottom. Pin in place.
  2. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the bottom corners. We recommend a substantial backstitch at both the beginning and end of your seam to reinforce these stress points at either end of the zipper.
    NOTE: We went to the trouble to change our thread color to match the panels. This is optional, but does insure that when the pouch is turned right side out, the seams are a nice match in case any of the thread is visible. 
  3. Press open the seam allowances, clip the corners, and grade the seam allowances, trimming back one side of the seam allowance for a smoother finished edge. Leave the exterior wrong side out.

Create and insert the lining

  1. Find the appropriate lining panels. Place them right sides together and pin along both sides and across the bottom.
  2. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. 
  3. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
  4. Fold down the top raw edge of the lining ½” all around. Press well.
  5. Find the exterior bag. 
  6. Turn the lining right side out but keep the exterior bag wrong side out. Slip the exterior bag inside the lining so the two bags are now wrong sides together.
  7. Align the bottom and side seams. The top folded edge of each side of the lining should fall below the zipper teeth by about ⅛”. If it doesn’t, adjust the fold to fit and gently re-press.
  8. Pin the layers together along the edge of the zipper. 
  9. Thread the hand sewing needle.
  10. Slip stitch the lining to the bag, using very small stitches. Stitch along the front and the back, but leave the lining loose where it wraps over the side seams. This allows some “give” in the lining so it folds smoothly as you zip the pouch open and shut.
  11. Turn the clutch right side out through the open zipper. Push out the bottom corners and the upper zipper tab corners. Use a long, blunt tool if necessary to help the corners round out. Press flat. 
  12. Thread a length of ribbon through the zipper pull and knot in place.
  13. Cut the ribbon tails at a diagonal, and add a dot of seam sealant to the ends to prevent any raveling. 


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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