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.
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 – This is necessary to get nice and close to the edges of the zipper.
- All-Purpose foot
- Sewing Machine and sewing supplies
How to Sew a Zipper Pocket – VIDEO
Got a couple of minutes spare? Here is a video I made for you on how to sew a zipper pocket.
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How to Sew a Zipper Pocket – Instructions
Step 1: Cut Fabric
Cut 2 rectangular pieces for your zipper pocket. The pieces should be the same size.
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: Measure Zipper
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. (how to shorten a zipper)
Step 3: Position Pocket
Place one of the fabric zipper 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 4: Mark the Opening
Mark the stitching line for your zipper pocket 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 Opening and Cut
Stitch around the marked stitching line. Use small straight stitches (2.0-2.5) in length.
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 6: Turn Right Way Out
Pull the lining through the opening of the zipper pocket 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 7: Position Zipper
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.
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 8: Back of Pocket
Turn the body to the WRONG side and place the second fabric pocket piece on top with RIGHT sides together. Match the fabric pieces raw edges. The zipper will be in the middle.
Pin the edges of the pockets without going through the outside (hot pink) fabric.
Step 9: Stitch Pocket
Stitch all the way around the zipper 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.
How to Sew a Zipper Pocket – In Conclusion
And there you have a lovely zipper pocket to put your phone, keys and other essentials. You can add a tassel or pom-pom to the end of the zipper head for a bit of individuality. These zipper pockets can even be added to the outside of larger bags as an easy to access option.
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
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