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Patchwork Zipper Pouches with Floss Tassels

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Cuteness alert! These pretty little pouches are a super ScrapBusters project. Use them for pencils, make-up, and more…just zip and go. This is a great project to feature a decorative zipper. Coats makes several interesting options you can easily find in-store or online, such as the black and white polka dot option we used on our pink pouch. We also show you how to make a kicky double-tier tassel as a fun zipper pull. 

Zippered pouches are a great way to overcome the zipper phobia from which many sewers suffer. Their small size along with the generous reveal across the zipper’s teeth make them an easier installation than what you might experience in garment sewing.

As mentioned above, a decorative style zipper is a great way to add a little “zip to your zip.” But it’s not mandatory. A standard metal zipper is what we used on one of our pouches, and even a traditional polyester zipper would be an attractive choice in a bright color.

The double-tier tassel on the zipper pull is another fun embellishment that is totally optional. We provide the steps below to make one as well as a link to another of our zipper pouch projects that features a triple-tier tassel.

End tabs at the top and tail of the zipper nicely fill in the opening and allow the zipper to open to its full 7”. It’s a great technique to learn that can be used on this or any project with an exposed zipper.

The cuts below show a full lining piece (8” x 8½”), which was our choice on the pink pouch. But you can also continue the patchworking theme on the lining and create the cut from two of more pieces. For our red pouch, we seamed together two 5” x 10” Jolly Bar pre-cuts and cut our finished lining panel from that.

We do recommend taking the time to fussy cut your exterior pieces, especially the center accent band. These are the little details that can take a project from “ho hum” to “oh wow!”

Fast and easy, a clever zippered pouch is always a great gift idea. Fill one up with trinkets and treasures to make it extra special. Or, since it’s wedding season, how sweet would it be to create matching pouches for the bridal party filled with accessories for the big day?!

Our Zipper Pouches each finish at approximately 4” x 8”.

Sewing Tools You Need

Sewing Machine and standard presser foot

Quarter Inch Seam foot; optional but helpful for patchwork seams

Zipper foot

Fabric and Other Supplies

NOTE: Quantities shown below are for ONE pouch.

  • Scraps, Jolly Bar pre-cuts (what we used for one pouch) or yard cuts of THREE different coordinating 44”+ wide quilting weight cottons for the exterior panel and the zipper tabs
  • Scrap, Jolly Bar pre-cuts (what we used for one pouch - seaming together two) or a ¼ yard cut of ONE 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton for the lining
  • Scrap or ¼ yard of 20”+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Shape Flex
  • Scrap or ¼ yard of 20”+ wide fusible fleece; we used Pellon Thermolam Plus
  • ONE 7” zipper
  • TWO skeins of embroidery floss in complimentary colors for the optional zipper pull tassel
  • All purpose thread to match fabric
  • Iron and ironing board
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors 
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Straight pins
  • Large-eye sewing needle

Getting Started

  1. We recommend THREE fabrics for the exterior: two feature fabrics (#1 and #2) and one accent fabric for the center band (#3). From these three fabrics, cut the following:
    From fabric #1, cut TWO 1” x 1½” rectangles for the zipper tabs
    From fabrics #1 and #2, fussy cut TWO 8” wide x 2¼” high rectangles for the main patchwork
    From fabric #3, fussy cut ONE 8” wide x 1½” high strip for the center accent band
  2. From the fabric for the lining, cut ONE 8” wide x 8½” high rectangle.
    NOTE: As mentined above, you can piece together two or more pieces to create enough fabric from which to cut this piece.
  3. From the lightweight fusible interfacing, cut TWO 8” x 8½” rectangles.
  4. From the fusible fleece, cut ONE 7” x 7½” rectangle.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Create the exterior panel

  1. Gather the five pieces that make up the exterior panel and place them in order.
  2. Pin the first two pieces right sides together along one inside edge.
  3. Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch together.
  4. Find the next piece in the sequence and pin it right sides together, along one inside edge, with the sewn pair.
  5. Again, sew in place with a ¼” seam allowance.
  6. Continue in this manner to stitch together all five pieces to complete the exterior panel.
  7. Press the seam allowances away from the center accent band.

Fusing and preparing for the zipper

  1. Find the two 8” x 8½” rectangles of lightweight interfacing. Place one on the wrong side of both the lining panel as well as the completed exterior panel. All edges of both layers should be flush. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
  2. Find the 7” x 7½” rectangle of fusible fleece. Center it on the wrong side of the exterior panel, which should already have its interfacing fused in place. There should be ½” of fabric extending beyond the fleece on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
  3. Edgestitch along each patchwork seam, using a slightly lengthened stitch in a matching color.
  4. Find the two zipper tab pieces.
  5. Fold each piece in half, wrong sides together. Pin a folded tab to each end of the zipper, aligning the raw edges of the folded tab with the raw edge of the head and tail of the zipper tape just beyond the zipper stops.
  6. Attach a Zipper foot.
  7. Edgestitch each tab in place, running each short seam as close to the zipper stops as possible.

Attach the exterior to the lining

  1. Place the exterior panel right side up and flat on your work surface. Place the zipper right side down on the exterior panel, aligning one raw side edge of the zipper tape with the raw edge of the panel. The zipper should be centered side to side. Pin in place.
  2. Place the lining panel right side down on top of the exterior panel so the two fabric panels are right sides together with the zipper sandwiched between the layers. Re-pin through all the layers.
  3. Still using a Zipper foot, stitch through all the layers, staying approximately ¼” from the raw edges.
    NOTE: As 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. 
  4. Fold the panels back and away from the zipper. The exterior and the lining are now wrong sides together and the remaining free side of the zipper tape is sticking up. Press. 
  5. Slightly lengthen the stitch. Edgestitch along the zipper teeth to hold the fabric layers together.
  6. When flattened and pressed, here’s what your project should look like at this point.
  7. You’ll now reverse the process to stitch the opposite side. First fold up the remaining raw edge of the lining behind the exterior panel. The lining should be folded right sides together and the raw edge of the lining should be flush with and behind the remaining free edge of the zipper tape. You can just see the right side of the lining behind the open zipper in the photo below.
  8. Fold up the exterior panel, so it is now right sides together. Its raw edge should be flush with and in front of the remaining free edge of the zipper tape. Re-pin through all the layers.
  9. You should have two folded units – the exterior folded up and the lining folded up, one sitting on top of the other.
  10. Still using a Zipper foot, but with the stitch length re-set to normal, stitch across through all the layers. As above, you’ll need to move the zipper pull out of the way (and remove the pins) as you stitch across.
  11. When complete, you should have a tube with two open ends.
  12. You still need to edgestitch along the second side on the zipper teeth. This side will be a bit harder because the project is now an open, but narrow tube. Open up the zipper all the way and roll the side that still needs to be stitched out and away from the opposite side, flattening it as best you can under the presser foot.
  13. Slightly lengthen the stitch and sew along the teeth at a distance to match your initial edgestitching
  14. The most futzing required will be at the beginning and end of the seam. You’ll need to twist the ends up a little to free them enough to start and complete the edgestitching. Go slowly!

Stitch the side seams

  1. Carefully turn the pouch wrong side out through the open zipper. Pin together each end.
  2. Re-set the stitch length to normal.
  3. Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch each end.
  4. Finish the seam allowance with your favorite method. We used a standard zig za stitch and switched to the Janome Skyline S7's Built-in AcuFeeef™ Flex fabric feeding system. If you are new to seam finishing, we have a four-part series that covers the most popular and useful options.
  5. These seam allowances will be raw inside the lining, but because of the small size of the seam allowance and the long, narrow shape of the pouch, they will be well hidden at either end.
  6. Turn the pouch right side out through the open zipper. Use a long blunt tool to gently push out the corners so they are nice and square. A knitting needle, chopstick or point turner works well for this. Press flat.

Create the double tier tassel

  1. To make the two approximate 1½” tassels, we used a 1½” piece of cardboard as our form.
  2. These tassels should have a chubby look to them. We used a double strand of floss, wrapping it around the cardboard form 34-36 times.
  3. Tie off the top with a length of doubled floss. Then cut away the bottom loops to free the tassel from the cardboard.
  4. Lay the tassel on top of another length of doubled floss.This length of floss should be perpendicular to the tassel and about ½” down from the top.
  5. Wrap the floss around several times then knot off to create the head and neck of the tassel.
  6. Trim the tassel ends flush.
  7. Create the second tassel in the same manner.
    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. 
  8. When the two tassels are complete, thread a length of floss to match the top tassel (the pink tassel in our sample) through a large-eye hand sewing needle. Insert this length of floss through the head of the bottom tassel (the yellow tassel in our sample).
  9. Pull the floss all the way through, sliding the needle free.
  10. Re-thread both ends of the floss through the eye of the needle.
  11. Find the top tassel and flair out the bottom to create access to the head and neck through the center of the tassel. Insert the needle through the center of the top tassel, bringing it out the top of that tassel’s head and in the same process, cinching up the bottom tassel inside the top tassel.
  12. Tie off the floss at the very top of the tassel.
  13. Slip the ends through the zipper pull and knot approximately ¾” from the head. Trim away the excess thread close to the knot.


    NOTE: If you love the look of this tassel, check out our boho chic Crossbody Zipper Pouch with Triple Tier Tassel.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild

Section: 

Comments (4)

Georgette M said:
Georgette M's picture

I love these & the sewing steps are pretty close to sewing a cosmetics case. Just follow the directions exactly as a few steps seem counterintuitive but eventually you'll have the technique down to memory. Good luck. 

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

@Georgette - Thank you! And, yes, the steps really are easy. Let us know if you give it a go!

lhutchens said:
lhutchens's picture

I love these. It looks like you edge stitched the exterior pieces after they were sewn together.  Do you recommend doing that before fusing to the interfacing or after? Thanks.

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

@hutchens - Thanks! And, yes, we do recommend edgestitching after fusing the interfacing and fleece in place. It gives a nicer look.