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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 easiest zipper installations you can do. This small, medium and large set of posh little pouches combines a luscious, jewel tone satin with a sturdy canvas. To bring the trio together as a set, we matched the base fabric and lining, and added coordinated metallic zippers.

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 textured satin we originally chose was an absolute dream to sew with. It has a beautiful drape and texture, but was also quite stable. Satin traditionally comes in a wide variety of colors as well as striking prints. We found a good satin selection at Fabric.com. The home décor section is another great place to look for textured satin, chenille, or similar interesting options.

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

Add a flashy zipper and a shiny zipper pull to finish things off. We used faux metallic zippers; they are really plastic! You could also opt for a real metallic finish, an interesting color for the teeth, or even a patterned zip.

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

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

NOTE: 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.

  • ¼ yard EACH of THREE COLORS of the same 44″+ wide medium-weight décor fabric; we originally used a rich satin
  • ¼ yard of 44″+ wide twill or similar for the base panels
  • ½ yard of 44″+ wide cotton for the linings
    NOTE: Remember, we used the same bottom panel fabric and the same lining fabric for all three of our clutches, which tied them together nicely as a set.
  • ½ yard of 45″ medium-weight fusible interfacing; we originally used Décor Bond by Pellon
  • THREE matching metallic zippers: 12″, 9″ and 7″; we originally used silver colored plastic “faux metallic” zippers
    NOTE: If you are having trouble finding three zippers that match, here’s our trick: we purchased three matching 10″ zippers, cutting two to size and fitting the third by extending the end tabs.
  • 1 yard of ¼” ribbon for the zipper pulls; we originally used a two-sided satin ribbon in silver gray
  • All purpose thread to match fabric
  • Heavyweight thread to match fabric for topstitching; optional
  • See through ruler
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Fabric pencil, pen or chalk
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Seam sealant the ribbon ends; optional

Getting Started

  1. From the fabrics for the top panels, 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, 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, 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”. This is known as grading the seam.
  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 half way.
  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 seam line, 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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