Are you are sewing a handbag or clutch and wish it had an internal zipper pocket to keep your valuables safe? Well here is a tutorial on how to sew a zipper pocket that you can easily add to any pattern.
How to Sew a Zipper Pocket: Supplies
- A plastic zipper. You could use metal but plastic zips are generally easier to sew. If you don’t have the correct length, read how to shorten a zipper.
- Optional – double sided tape. This is easier than pins to hold your zipper in place before sewing.
- Zipper foot
How to Sew a Zipper Pocket
Step 1: Cut 2 pieces for your pocket. I made mine 9 W x6 H inches (23x15cm). This resulted in a fairly shallow pocket which is great for putting a phone in sideways. You may want something longer depending on what you plan to put in it and the size of the finished bag you will be putting it in.
Step 2: Decide on your zipper length. Your zipper should be around 2 inches (5cm) shorter than the pocket but around 1 inch (2.5cm) longer than the size of the opening you want to create. I created an opening that was 6 inches (15cm) so used a 7 inch (18cm) zipper which was a plastic one I had shortened.
Step 3: Place one of the pocket pieces on the BODY with RIGHT sides together at least 1 inch (2.5cm) from the top edge. Make sure it is centered.
Step 3: Mark the stitching line for your zipper opening. The stitching line should be 3/4 inch (2cm) wide and your desired length. You will need at least 1 inch (2.5cm) at either end so you can stitch around your pocket in the final step.
Step 5: Stitch around the marked stitching line. Mark through the center of the lines and draw little rectangles on the end as shown. Using sharp scissors, cut the center line and the triangle points.
Step 6: Mark through the center of the lines and draw little rectangles on the end as shown. Using sharp scissors, cut the center line and the triangle points. Be careful you don’t cut through the stitching.
Step 7: Pull the lining through the opening and press it to the WRONG side. If your corners wrinkle up just turn your lining back to the wrong side and check if you can clip a little further into the corners.
Step 8: Put the zipper face-up underneath your opening. Pin it in place or use quilters double sided tape to hold it. It should be nicely centered and the head of the zip should be facing up. See how the metal ends of the zipper are inside the opening and the tail extends past the opening.
Step 9: Turn to the RIGHT side and stitch all the way around the zipper using a zipper foot. Be careful you don’t hit any metal underneath with the needle. Go really slowly over the ends and hand turn the wheel if necessary.
Step 10: Turn the body to the WRONG side and place the second pocket piece on top with RIGHT sides together.
Step 11: Stitch all the way around the POCKET edges with a 1/4 inch (6mm) seam allowance. Don’t catch in the BODY underneath. You will only be sewing around the pocket pieces.
And there you have a lovely pocket to put your phone, keys and other essentials.
More Useful Articles for Bag Making
- How to shorten a zipper
- How to insert magnetic snaps
- How to sew velcro
- Sewing Leather
- Covered zipper ends
- How to make a wrist strap