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Crossbody Zippered Pouch with Tassel Accent

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Made to match our Elastic Waist Boho Short Skirt, this classic little zippered pouch can just as easily stand on its own as an everyday mini bag. We used a pretty modern batik for the exterior fabric, but you need just a small fabric cut, so you may already have something in your stash that would be just the ticket. The long braided yarn straps are secured with simple side loop channels. And a triple tier tassel adds a fun finish as the zipper pull. 

If you’re a Sew4Home regular, you’ll recognize how the construction steps for this bag are similar to our popular Classic Zipper Pouch, which also features finished ends on the zipper unit and a full lining. Measurements are given for the side loops, and they should be a good fit for most situations, but if you opt for a very fluffy yarn or a thinner, silkier yarn, make the straps first, then test the suggested length of the loops around your double straps to confirm you’ll get a snug fit. 

There’s a handy exterior pocket, but the inside is plain. Since the pouch has a standard bottom – no boxed corners, the front-to-back finish is flatter without a lining pocket. However, if you love your pockets, it would be easy to add a pocket on one or both of the lining panels prior to layering. 

For the crossbody straps, select a standard weight yarn that coordinates nicely with your fabric. Then, pick three additional accent colors of floss to create the triple tier tassel for the zipper pull. We recommend a thicker floss, such as a twisted pearl cotton. 

These are simply three standard tassels threaded into and through one another with the top tassel secured into a Dritz® Tassel Cap. It’s a lovely effect that is much easier to create than it looks. 

Although designed to be worn crossbody, you could also loosely knot the straps at the top to shorten the overall length and wear the pouch over just one shoulder. 

Our double straps finish at about 54”. As a rule of thumb for your starting length, the braiding reduces the original length by about 25%. We started with 72”.

We recommend a metal zipper as they traditionally come with a decorative zipper pull that has an opening at the tip to accommodate the tassel cap’s chain and jump ring. If you decide to not create a tassel, a standard plastic zipper could be substituted. 

The body of the pouch finishes at approximately 8” wide x 6” high with one 4½” deep pocket.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • ⅓ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for all the exterior elements; we used a selection from the Me + You Indah Batiks collection from Hoffman Fabrics that best matched our Boho Short Skirt: Peeks in Peacock 
    NOTE: This amount allows a bit extra for fussy cutting and matching the exterior pocket to the main pouch panel.
  • ¼ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton in a coordinating solid for the lining; we used Moda Bella Solids in Betty’s Teal
  • ¼ yard of 20”+ wide fusible fleece; we used Pellon Thermolam Plus one-side fusible fleece
  • Scrap or ¼ yard of 20”+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon ShirTailor
  • ONE 9”+ zipper; we used a brass jeans zipper with a pull that had a big enough opening to accommodate the tassel cap’s jump ring
    NOTE: The zipper will be cut to size so the length will be trimmed to fit the opening.
  • ONE small skein of standard weight yarn in a coordinating color for the straps; we used teal yarn, purchased locally
  • ONE Dritz® Tassel Cap; we used brushed antique brass #823
  • ONE skein each of THREE colors of heavyweight twisted pearl cotton embroidery floss; we used dark charcoal, turquoise, and bronze, purchased locally
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Clips to hold the yarn while braiding
  • Small piece of cardboard for the tassel wrapping template
  • Craft glue to hold the tassel in the tassel cap
  • Large-eye yarn needle or similar

Pattern Downloads

  • Download and print the Pouch Pattern.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern download consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the sheet to confirm your printout it to scale. 
  • Cut out the pattern along the solid line. 
    NOTE: You will cut the main fabric using the solid line and the fleece and interfacing using the dotted seam allowance line. You can cut the fabric first using the full pattern, then trim the pattern to cut the fleece and interfacing. Of, if you want to keep your patterns intact, print TWO, cutting one along the solid line and one along the dotted line. 

Getting Started

  1. From the exterior fabric, cut the following: 
    Using the pattern, fussy cut TWO
    TWO 2” wide x 3” high strips for the side loops 
    NOTE: As mentioned above, if you choose a thicker or thinner yarn, you may need to adjust the size of the side loops.
    ONE 2½” wide x 2” rectangle for zipper tabs 
    ONE 9” wide x 10” high rectangle for the exterior pocket; when cut, fold in half, wrong sides together, and use the bottom of the paper pattern to round the bottom corners of the pocket.
    NOTE: We took the time to fussy cut our pocket panel to match our base panel.
  2. From the lining fabric, using the pattern, cut TWO 
  3. From the fusible fleece, with the pattern trimmed along the stitching line, cut TWO.
  4. From the lightweight interfacing, cut the following:
    TWO 2” x 3” strips for the side loops
    With the pattern trimmed along the stitching line, cut TWO
    With the pattern trimmed along the stitching line AND along the top of the pocket line, cut ONE
  5. From the yarn, cut TWELVE 72” lengths for the cross body straps. 

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Exterior panels and pocket

  1. Find the folded pocket panel and the pocket interfacing panel. Unfold the pocket panel wrong side up and flat on your work surface so the crease line is visible. Align the top of the interfacing with the crease line. There should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing along both sides and along the curved bottom edge. 
  2. Following manufacturer’s instruction, fuse the interfacing in place.
    NOTE: This pretty batik fabric has rich color on both sides. Not to worry, we’re not fusing on the right side!
  3. Find the two fleece panels. Center a panel on the wrong side of each exterior panel. There should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the fleece on all sides. 
  4. Following manufacturer’s instruction, fuse each fleece panel in place. 
  5. Place the pocket on one of the two exterior panels, aligning the bottom raw edges of pocket and the panel. Pin the pocket in place along both sides and along the curved bottom. We simply pinned the pocket; if you want additional security, you could baste the layers together. 

  6. Set aside the exterior panels.

Lining panels

  1. Find the two lining panels and the two matching interfacing panels. 
  2. Center an interfacing panel on the wrong side of each Lining panel. There should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse each panel in place.
  3. Set aside the lining panels.

Prepare and attach the zipper tabs

  1. Find the zipper and the zipper tab.
  2. Fold the zipper tab in half, wrong sides together, so it is now 1" x 2½". Finger press to set a center crease line.
  3. Unfold wrong side up so the crease line is visible. Fold in the raw edges so they meet at the crease line. 
  4. Finger press, then fold in half again along the original crease line and press with an iron. Your finished piece should now be ½” x 2½”. 
  5. Cut in half so you have TWO ½” x 1¼” tab pieces.
  6. Open up the zipper halfway.  
  7. Open up one of the tabs along the center crease line.
  8. Slip the top end ends of the zipper into the tab. The ends of the zipper should be flush with one folded-in side of the tab. The top metal stops of the zipper ends should sit just outside the bottom fold of the tab as shown in the photo below.

  9. If things are lining up, trim the zipper ends slightly to adjust the fit. We trimmed and tapered the side edges of our zipper ends to make a smooth fit. 

  10. Keeping the zipper ends together - ie. side by side. Pin in place on the tab.
  11. Stitch the zipper ends in place. It’s okay if this stitching is messy, it will be covered within the folds of the tab. We attached our Zipper foot and moved our needle position all the way over to the left. 
  12. Re-fold the tab along the original crease line, sandwiching the zipper ends between the layers. Pin in place; the inner folds should be flush on either side of the zipper.
  13. Edgestitch in place, close to the inner folds. This edgestitching should be as neat as possible as it will be visible.
  14. Find the front exterior panel. Place it right side up on your work surface. 
  15. Measure ½” in from each side edge and mark with a pin. 
  16. Find the zipper with its top tab in place. Unzip it about half way. 
  17. Place the zipper right side down on the front panel with the tabbed top end of the zipper just inside the ½” pin mark at the right edge of the panel. The side edge of the zipper tape should be flush with the top raw edge of the front panel. Pin in place. You can tell the wrong side of the zipper is facing up because that is our messier first seam line showing in the photo below. 
  18. Smooth the zipper into position across the top and mark the zipper tape at the ½” mark at the left edge of the panel. This is where the zipper will be trimmed to fit. 
  19. Close the zipper and place a second pin directly opposite the first. You could also draw a line across the zipper at this point with a fabric pen or pencil in a contrasting color. 
  20. Find the remaining end tab. Place the tab right side down on the wrong side of the zipper so the center of the tab aligns with the marking pins. In other words, one inner raw edge in aligned with this mark.
  21. Fold over the tab and place the zipper back down into place on the exterior panel to double check that the center of the tab is indeed aligned with your original ½” mark on the panel. 
  22. Remove the zipper from the exterior panel. The zipper should be wrong side up. With the tab still flattened, stitch the tab in place along its inner fold. 
  23. Flip over the zipper and use the raw edges of the folded-in sides of the tab as your cutting guide to trim away the excess zipper end. Remember to use utility scissors for this step – not your good sewing scissors. Trim one side of the tape, then rotate and trim the opposite of the tape. 
  24. Carefully cut around the zipper teeth. Discard the excess zipper and clean up the cut edge as necessary. 

  25. Bring the tab over the cut end and into position. You’ve now sandwiched this bottom end just as you did the top end. As above, the folded ends should be flush on either side of the zipper. Pin in place.
  26. Edgestitch the tab in place. 
  27. You now have a perfectly-sized zipper for your pouch with two neatly finished ends

Insert the zipper between the exterior and the lining

  1. Place the exterior panel, with the pocket pinned in place, right side up again on your work surface. 
  2. Pin the zipper unit in place across the top, double checking that the zipper and the panel are right sides together, that each tabbed end sits just over ½” in from the sides of the panel, and that the zipper pull is situated so, when closed, it’s to the right of the front piece (in general, pouches open right to left). After checking the position, open the zipper half way.
  3. Find one lining panel. Place the lining panel right side down on top of the front panel, sandwiching the zipper between the layers. 
  4. The top raw edge of the lining panel should be aligned with the other layers. Pin well. 
  5. Stitch across the top through all three layers, using a ¼” seam. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot; you could also use a Zipper foot

    NOTE: All with all zipper insertions, when you feel you are approaching the zipper pull, stop with your needle in the down position. Raise the presser foot and twist the layers slightly so you can access the pull to move it out of the way of the presser foot. Once clear, drop the presser foot, re-position the layers, and finish the seam. 
  6. Fold the lining back so the front panel and the lining are now wrong sides together and the remaining free side of the zipper tape is sticking up. Press. 
  7. Find the back exterior panel and the remaining lining panel. Make a second sandwich similar to the first one. Place the back exterior panel right sides together with the front exterior panel, aligning its top raw edge with the free edge of the zipper tape. Lightly pin in place. 
  8. Lift up these layers to double check the the exterior panels are right sides together.  
  9. Place the remaining lining panel right sides together with the in-place lining panel. The top raw edge of the lining panel should also be flush with the free edge of the zipper tape. As with the first sandwich, you have sandwiched the remaining free edge of the zipper between the back exterior panel and the remaining lining panel. The two exterior panels are right sides together and the two lining panels are right sides together. Pin in place through all three layers.
  10. Stitch through all three layers along this second side of the zipper, again using a ¼” seam.
  11. As you did above, fold the exterior back and lining wrong sides together and press.
  12. Open up the entire unit so it lays flat. The exterior front and lining are wrong sides together to one side and the exterior back and lining are wrong sides together to the other side with the zipper in the middle. Press well and pin in place.
  13. Again to double check, this is what the flat unit looks like on the back side at this point. 
  14. Lengthen the stitch. Edgestitch along the zipper teeth on either side on the zipper to hold the fabric layers together.
  15. Remember to stop to move the zipper pull out of the way so you can maintain a straight seam along either side.

Create and place the side loops

  1. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the lightweight interfacing to the back of each side loop. 
  2. Fold each loop in half so it is now 2” x 1½” and pin in place.

  3. Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch each 2” seam.

  4. Turn right side out and roll the seam to the center back. Very lightly press. You don’t want to leave any super sharp creases in the loops.

  5. If you didn’t already when getting started, use the paper pattern to mark the position of the loops at either side of the exterior front panel. Place pins at the top and bottom marks along each side. 

  6. Fold each loop in half, aligning the raw ends and pin in place between the marks on each side. You are pinning the loops just to the front exterior panel. Move the lining out of the way before basting!

  7. Baste each loop in place to secure. 

Complete the pouch

  1. Make sure the zipper is open half way. 
  2. Fold the exterior pieces right sides together. Align the raw edges along both sides and across the bottom. Pin in place.
  3. Fold the lining pieces right sides together. Align the raw edges along both sides and across the bottom. Pin in place, leaving an approximate 3” opening along the bottom for turning. 
  4. You again have one flat piece. This time the lining panels are to one side of the zipper and the exterior panels are to the other side of the zipper. 
  5. Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter. You will be stitching alongside, but not on, the end tabs. The tabs remain free, so it may be easiest to stitch around the perimeter of the exterior layers first and then re-set to stitch around the lining layers. 
  6. Remember to stitch slowly and evenly around the curves and to lock your seam at either side of the 3” opening at the bottom of the lining. Press open the seam allowance

  7. Generously clip the curves.

  8. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining. Pull the side loops out into position. 

  9. Gently pull out the lining and hand stitch or edgestitch the opening. We opted to hand stitch.
  10. Push the lining back down inside the pouch. Using a long blunt tool, such as a chopstick, knitting needle or point turner to push out the upper corners and round the bottom corners. Remember, as you push all the corners and curves out into place, the finished tab ends of the zipper are free from side seams; they sit just above the seam, making a teeny gap at each end. You've probably seen this on pouches before.

Braided straps

  1. Find your twelve 72” lengths of yarn. Break them into two sets of six. 
  2. Gather together each set of six lengths so they are flush top and bottom. Knot together the strands at one end, leaving about 4” of individual strands (unbraided) at the top.
  3. Braid from that knot down to the other end. 
  4. You are doing a standard three strand braid, but are using two lengths of yarn for each strand. 
  5. You want to end up with about 54” in total length for each braid. The braiding takes up about 25% of your original cut length. 
  6. When you get to about 4” from the end, tightly wrap tape around the braid, leaving the strands below loose.
  7. Untie the knot at the opposite end and wrap tape around that end as well, matching the position.
  8. Feed each end through one of the side loops.
  9. Remove the tape and tie a large knot just below each side loop. Trim the loose ends 2” below the knot. 

Optional tassel

  1. Create three approximate 3” tassels.You can also use cardboard or plastic cut to size. We used an index card and wrapped around about 10 times. If you want a fluffier tassel, wrap more. For a thinner tassel, wrap less. 

    NOTE: If you are brand new to making your own tassels, we have a full step-by-step tassel tutorial you can review prior to starting the project. 
  2. When all three tassels are complete, thread the top floss piece of the bottom tassel (the bronze tassel in our sample) through a large-eye hand sewing needle. 

  3. Insert the needle through the bottom of the second tassel (the turquoise in our sample), bringing it through and out the top of the head of the second tassel.

  4. Knot the bottom tassel thread (the thread you are pulling through) at the top of the second tassel (knot it to the second tassel’s top floss). Trim away the second tassel's floss after tying, but keep the needle threaded with the original bottom tassel floss.

  5. Repeat to thread the two bottom tassels into the top tassel (the charcoal in our sample).

  6. Pull tightly and knot securely at the top of this third tassel. Trim off any long ends. 
  7. Find the Dritz® Tassel Cap.
  8. Place a drop of glue inside the tassel cap and insert the head of the tassel. 
  9. Drive in the tassel cap’s screw to finish. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild

Section: 

Comments (4)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Kay - There is a PDF button at the very top right of the article, directly across from the date. We just tested it on our end and everything is working great. 

Kay R in WA said:
Kay R in WA's picture

yes, that is the one I keep trying. I'll try a different browser.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Kay - We traditionally test in both Chrome and Safari. Both are working fine.