Recently a friend was telling me about her disastrous (her words, not mine) attempt at making a padded makeup pouch for herself and I knew it would make the perfect beginners project for the blog! When it comes to things like installing zippers, or adding lining to a project, it can seem daunting to someone just starting out but I promise you, as long as you know the right tips it’s a piece of cake.
For this project we’re going to pad the pouch, put on some quick decorative stitching, install a nice clean zipper, and finish it all off with some lining to cover up all those unsightly seams. And the best part? As long as you prewash all of the fabric before you begin the whole thing will be washable and ready to use year after year.
Since this is a beginners project let’s talk about some things you should already have in your tool stash but if not run out to the store and buy them NOW! You’ll thank me. First of all you’ll need a zipper foot which I’m pretty sure all sewing machines come with but if not you can easily find one at any fabric store. Check the manual or do a quick Google search of your machine type to see how to install it and line it up nice. Secondly, you’ll need a disappearing or water soluble ink fabric pen. It comes down to personal preference when picking them out but personally I like the water soluble version best. I find the disappearing ink pens disappear a little too fast for my liking. For the water soluble kind you just spritz some water on the markings and they’ll disappear before your eyes!
Let’s get started and remember, enjoy the tutorial, and have fun!
- Patterned cotton fabric cut @ 3 1/2″ x 11″
- Linen fabric cut @ 5 1/2″ x 11″
- Thin quilting batting cut @ 8″ x 11″
- 2 pieces of lining cut @ 8″ x 6″ each
- 7″ nylon zipper
- Sewing machine
- Zipper foot
- Fabric marking pen
Notes Before You Begin:
- Prewash all fabric before you begin
- Finished pouch is 7″ x 5″
- Seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated
- Try to use a pattern with no discernible direction so the design isn’t upside down on one side of the bag
1. Pin the patterned strip and the linen strip together, right sides of the fabric facing each other, and stitch down 1 11″ side with a 1/2″ seam. Press the seam open.
2. Pin the piece of batting to the back of the linen/patterned piece. Use a ridiculous amount of pins so the pieces don’t shift while being sewn.
3. Top stitch down the seam between the patterned fabric and the linen on the right side of the fabric. This technique is called “stitch in the ditch” and is a pretty good descriptor for exactly what is suppose to happen.
4. Take out some of the pins around the seam line that was just sewn but leave most in. Using the fabric marking pen, draw a design along the edge of the seam. I drew something akin to a Hershey Kiss but anything would work such as a scallop or triangles. To make things easier draw a 1″ x 1″ square on a piece of cardstock, draw one section of the design you have in mind within the square, and cut it out to use as a template. This will help keep everything nice and evenly spaced.
5. Carefully top stitch over the pen lines being careful not to shift or move the layers of fabric and batting. When the design is finished, increase the length of the stitch and sew all the way around the entire piece of fabric 1/4″ away from the edge to keep the layers together. This is called a “baste stitch”. When the baste stitch is finished turn the stitch length back down to a “normal” setting. Spray some water onto the marker lines and rub the fabric gently to remove them if using a water soluble pen. If using a disappearing ink pen, just wait and the lines will disappear on their own.
6. Remove the regular presser foot from the sewing machine and replace it with a zipper foot. Make two marks on the corner of the linen edge of the bag body 1/2″ in. Open up the zipper and lay the left side face down on the linen perpendicular to the top edge so the metal stopper is 1/2″ in. Stitch in place.
7. Twist the zipper around so the zipper edge meets up with the raw top edge of the bag body. Stitch the zipper in place but not too close to the teeth, that will come later. This is just another baste stitch to keep the zipper in place.
8. Pin a piece of the lining, face down, on top of the zipper and stitch it in place right up close to the zipper teeth edge.
9. Repeat steps 6, 7, and 8 with the other side of the bag body, the other half of the zipper, and the last lining piece.
10. Remove the zipper foot from the machine and replace it with the regular presser foot. Close the zipper halfway and pin the bag together with the right sides of the pattern/linen fabric facing, and the right sides of the lining pieces together. Pin the seams with the zipper flat towards to the lining half of the bag. Stitch around 3 sides with a 1/2″ seam leaving a 3″ gap in the bottom edge of the lining.
11. Trim the seams down to 1/4″ except where the gap is. Reach inside, open up the zipper, and carefully flip the bag right side out through the hole in the lining.
12. Poke all the corners out and then close up the lining hole by tucking the seams inside the bag and top stitching the hole closed as close to the edge as possible.
13. Tuck the lining inside the bag and then carefully iron the fabric around the zipper so it lays flat. Tie a little piece of fabric onto the zipper pull and fill it up! Enjoy your bag and feel free to share how it came out on Facebook or post photos on Instagram!