You can’t sew bags without pockets and zippered pockets are the best. You can sew zipper pockets in a few different ways, here is one that I think is the quickest and easiest one.
You need a zipper (I used an 8” zipper- this is the length between the stops of the zippers, not the length of the tape) and fabric for pocket. If you use quilt weight fabric, add interfacing to the back. I like to use home decor fabric and this way, I skip the interfacing step.
I used a 10.5” x 12” piece of fabric. The piece should be with 2.5” wider than the zipper (8+2.5=10.5”).
Prepare the zipper
Fold the end of the tape on the back as shown below; baste by hand or by machine to keep it folded this way.
Use thread in a matching color!
Do this for both ends of the zipper.
Attaching the zipper
Attach the zipper foot to your sewing machine (if you don’t have a zipper foot, a narrow foot that allows you to stitch close to the zipper teeth is good too).
Lay the fabric right side up. Place the zipper along one of the short edges, right side (teeth side) down. Keep it centered on the edge. Align the edge of the tape with the edge of the fabric. Pin to keep the zipper in place.
Place the other short edge of the fabric over the zipper, aligning the edges. Remove the pins inserted in the previous step and pin again to keep all three layers together.
Stitch at 1/4” from the top edges. Then stitch at 3/8” from the right and left edges, leaving a gap in one of the side seams.
Turn the piece right side out through the gap. Press nicely all the seams, close the gap in the side seam and topstitch close to the top edge.
The pocket is ready to be attached to the lining panel.
Turn the pocket with the right side of the zipper down and place it with the zipper at the desired distance from the top edge of the lining.
Sew at 1/4” from the edge of the zipper, attaching the zipper to the fabric.
Flip the pocket back over the lining and pin to keep it in place.
Topstitch close to the edge, as shown below.
Secure the top corners with additional stitching like in the picture below.
Voila! A zipper pocket stitched in probably 10 minutes!
I love it! If you give it a try, please let me know if you like it!
I hope this helps! I have about 10 leftover pieces of faux leather, ready to be turned into zipper pockets.
Download this tutorial here!
I still have to sew the bag! And I can’t finish this post without some pretty pictures, so here is: my latest pouches!
I ADORE these new pouches; they look complicated but in reality, it’s just common techniques plus one or two little tricks! If you want to learn more about these pouches, check out my new TWIN POUCH patterns.
Joan Unsworth says
Thank you so much for your easy to understand directions. You have made it so I have more confidence in my sewing. Keep up the amazing work.
Geta Grama says
Glad to hear this, Joan.
kim pyott says
Thank you for that easy to understand zipper pocket. I am currently working on a backpack pattern and the side pockets dont have zippers however I want the zipper to be on the flat side instead of the edge. Do you have more ways to show how to apply zippers?
Geta Grama says
Yes, take a look here, Kim:
download my free ebook Sew Better Bags.
Tillie Smith says
I am ordering patterns and confused, first I put two patterns combined, $17. (Usuallly $24). Then I ordered a bundle for $39.
Am I ordering the same patterns? I won’t place the order till I hear from you. Anxious to sew so.e pouches, have been afraid of them but you make it look simple and doable.