Who doesn’t love a Zippered Box Pouch. They have so many practical uses, especially with back-to-school being right followed by Christmas sewing.
Before writing this tutorial I was looking for a box pouch tutorial because I wanted something small to carry around a few hand sewing supplies. Every tutorial I found had exposed seams in the lining. This was never going to work for me because those seams would eventually fray and have lots of loose threads.
If you’ve ever made a simple zipper bag, you know how easy it is to hide the seams; so, I have taken it upon myself to create a DIY Zippered Box Pouch Tutorial that has hidden seams.
All you need are a few fat quarters and the ability to sew a straight stitch. Remember this post: DIY Pom Pom Napkins with Mitered Corners. I still had some leftover fabric from the fat quarter bundle and knew it would be perfect for a making a DIY Zippered Box Pouch.
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Disclosure: Below are affiliate links. I personally use and love these items and that is why I recommend them.
- One Fat Quarter Bundle (affiliate)
- One 14″ Zipper
- Pellon Woven Fusible Interfacing (affiliate)
- Quilting Ruler like this one (affiliate)
- Frixion Heat Removable Fabric Marking Pen (affiliate)
- Rotary Cutter (affiliate)
- Cutting Mat like this one (affiliate)
- Clover Wonder Clips (affiliate)
- Matching Thread
- Usual sewing supplies:(sewing machine, iron, ironing board, scissors, pins, etc.)
Most fat quarters come folded so press each fat quarter until there are no creases.
Cut out the following:
- Outer Fabric: 2 pieces 10″ x 7 1/2″
- Lining Fabric: 2 pieces ” 10″ x 7 1/2″
- Interfacing: 4 pieces 10″ x 7 1/2″
- Coordinating Fabric for Zipper Pull Tabs: 1 piece 2 1/4″ x 7″
Follow the directions on the fusible interfacing package and fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of each piece of Outer Fabric and Lining Fabric. Lay the bumpy side onto the wrong side of the fabric and press with a hot iron for approximately 10 seconds.
The Zipper Pull Tab fabric does not need interfacing.
The zipper is purposely longer than you will need for this project. Later in the tutorial we will be cutting down the zipper to precisely fit our bag so feel free to use any size zipper as long as it is at least 14″.
Lay the zipper right side up on top of the right side of the Lining Fabric. It should be placed so it equally extends beyond the fabric. Mark a line where the zipper meets the fabric.
Mark a second line 3/8″ in from the fabric’s raw edge. You do not want to sew beyond this mark. You will need the small amount of space that this provides when you’re attaching the Zipper Pull Tabs and sewing the bag side seams.
Place the Outer Fabric right side down over the zipper, lining them up evenly.
Your fabrics will now be right sides together with the zipper sandwiched between them. Rather than pinning, I prefer these Clover Wonder Clips because of the zipper’s raised edge. (affiliate) Clip the zipper and fabric together.
Make a mark 3/8″ from each end to remind you where to start and stop.
Put a zipper foot onto your machine. Stitch the three layers together starting at the Second Line 3/8″ from the fabric’s raw edge. It is very important to leave this unstitched for now. This is what it looks like with the zipper-side up.
Now for the other side of the zipper. Lay the other piece of Lining Fabric flat and place the zipper’s edge along the top edge of the fabric. The Lining Fabrics will now be touching right sides together.
Place the Outer Fabric on top of the zipper, lining up the edges. The Outer Fabrics will now be touching right sides together. Clip to hold. Stitch together using a zipper foot.
Press your Outer and Lining seams flat. Your bag is starting to take shape.
You want to top stitch next to the zipper. This prevents the fabric from getting caught in the zipper once you are using the bag.
Starting 3/8″ from the edge, top stitch next to the zipper. Repeat on the other side. If you have an Edge Stitch Foot this is an excellent place to use it.
Note: I am using a darker thread in order to demonstrate.
- On the end opposite the zipper, pin the Lining pieces right sides together. Be sure to leave a 3-4″ opening for turning. One trick I use is to put double pins at the two stop points.
- Use a 3/8″ seam allowance.
- Starting at one end, stitch until you reach the double pins, back stitch.
- Starting at the next set of double pins, back stitch, then stitch to the other end.
When you turn your bag these stitches have a tendency to pop open if they aren’t back stitched.
Pin the Outer fabric pieces right sides together. Using a 3/8″ seam allowance stitch from one end to the other. (It isn’t necessary to leave an opening.)
Refold your bag so the seams and the zipper teeth align. Press open the seams on one side, flip over and press open the seams on the other side.
Don’t forget about the opening on the Lining Fabric. Be sure to line up these seams when pressing.
Set the bag aside.
Time to make the zipper pulls. Take your piece of 2 1/4″ x 7″ zipper full fabric and fold right sides together. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance stitch down the long edge.
Using either a turning tool, safety pin, or chopstick, turn the zipper pull right side out. Press with the seam in the center.
It is very, very, very, very important that you follow these next steps in exact order. If you don’t you will not be able to turn your bag right side out.
For this step you will only be working with the Outer fabric. On the side of the bag with the zipper stop, open up the end of the fabric. Insert one of the Zipper Pulls in between the right sides of the fabric matching it to the raw edges. Pin in place.
With right sides together, pin the Outer fabric together. It is important to make sure the Lining Fabric does not interfere with this step. I like to pin mine back and out of the way so I don’t accidentally sew it into this seam.
You may want to use a zipper foot for this seam. Stitch together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Go slowly over the zipper teeth. For extra security you may want to back stitch over the zipper.
Trim away the excess zipper.
OPEN THE ZIPPER at least 2/3’s of the way across. If you don’t open the zipper, you will not be able to turn your bag. Open the zipper. Open the zipper. Open the zipper.
Repeat Step 11 on the opposite side. You will need to take a few additional precautions because your zipper is now open. I like to use a safety pin to hold my zipper together. I also use pins to make sure the zipper doesn’t move when I’m sewing it down.
Insert the Zipper Pull in the same manner as Step 11. Pin in place. Be sure the now-open zipper is correctly lined up and then stitch down. It is a good idea to back stitch when you sew over the zipper, just like you did in Step 11.
Trim away the excess zipper at the seam allowance.
We will now sew the Lining Fabric together in a similar manner. With right sides together, pin the Lining in place. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch the lining fabric together.
Repeat this exactly on the opposite end of the bag.
At this point you may want to trim down all of your end seam allowances down to 1/4″. This will make it easier to create the boxed ends on your bag. If you decide to do this, be careful when cutting over the zipper teeth.
Creating the boxed ends is easier than you think.
Starting with one corner of the Outer fabric, fold the bottom corner of your bag so it creates a triangle in the corner. Match up the seam with he crease on the opposite side and it will line up perfectly.
Pin the corner; and with your Friction pen, make a mark 1 1/4” in from the corner.
Draw a stitching line and then stitch across to create a pleat.
Clip away the triangle, leaving a 1/4” seam allowance. Be sure to remove the markings with an iron.
Repeat on the other seven corners of the bag.
Notice how nice and boxy the bag is!
Time to give birth to your bag.
Remember the opening we left in Step 7. Reach your hand into this opening and pull the fabric right side out.
Push the Lining Fabric back inside the bag. Using something pointy (like a chopstick), poke out all eight corners of the bag. This will give it a nice boxy shape. Press the boxy ends.
You will need to sew closed the opening used for turning. You can do this either by hand or by machine. Personally, I prefer the machine because I don’t want any chance of it coming undone and something getting between the Outer fabric and the Lining.
Carefully, iron out any creases so your bag looks amazing. You may need to use something like a sleeve board to properly press the bag.
The finished size of this bag is 7″ W x 4″ D x 3″ H. For a larger bag, adjust the starting measurements.
And you are done!
Now fill the bag with whatever you desire. I’m using mine for hand sewing supplies. I plan to make several more that I will use when I take a sewing class. That way I can separate out supplies like threads, bobbins, etc.
This bag is really super easy to make. The first one may be a challenge, but after that you should be able to whip them out in no time at all. Since it is July, this is a good time to get started making Christmas gifts ~ and a Zippered Box Pouch would make a fabulous gift.
Get creative with this bag. Try using laminated cotton, oil cloth, or minky fabric. If you have an embroidery feature on your sewing machine, monogram initials (around Step 2); if not, machine applique something to the fabric to give it a one-of-a-kind look. If you like handwork, add some embroidery or beading. You could even make a masculine one for the fella’ in your life.
The possibilities are endless.
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