I know there are lots of zippered pouch tutorials out there, and they're great, but I haven't found one that explains how to make the ends of the zipper more finished. Once I figured out how to do this, I thought I'd share. This tutorial is more about the zipper ends than it is about the finished pouch. Though I am going to tell you how big I cut everything, you can easily make these pouches any size you want. I tried to take a lot of pictures, but if anything is unclear, please let me know!
(2) Exterior pieces, I cut mine 8.5" x 6.5"
(2) Lining pieces, mine are 8.5" x 6.25"
(1) 2"x4" piece of exterior fabric to cover the zipper ends
(2) pieces of medium weight fusible interfacing OR fusible fleece the same size as your exterior pieces. The interfacing you use will determine the feel of your pouch. The mid-weight interfacing, I used Decor Bond by Pellon, gives the pouch a bit more stiffness while the fleece will make the pouch more soft and pliable. ***UPDATE Shape Flex (SF 101) is what I use most often now. It bends nicely with the fabric since it's woven. You can also use it in conjunction with Decor Bond or fusible fleece.
(1) zipper--Mine is 7" The rule of thumb here is to have your exterior pouch length be 1.5" longer than your zipper. So in my case, the length is 8.5" so I used a 7" zipper.
Trim the corners of the fusible interfacing to reduce bulk and fuse to the exterior of your pouch.
Trim the ends of the zipper to where the little "stoppers" on the zipper are.
Fold the 2"x4" piece of exterior fabric in half lengthwise and press.
Open it back up and fold in one side to the crease you just made and press.
Repeat for the other side.
Fold again along the original center crease and press.
Cut the skinny 4" strip in half to create two .5"x 2" pieces. Open up one piece and tuck one end of the zipper in.
See what I'm doing?
Sew about 1/8" away from the edge next to the zipper. You can try and use pins to hold the tab in place, but I found the piece to be so small that it's easier for me to hold it.
Repeat for the other side. This side will be a bit trickier since you will have to unzip the zipper and hold the two free pieces together as they would be when the zipper is closed. Again, you can try to pin, but I get better results (i.e. less shifting) by just holding it.
Trim the extra fabric away from the zipper tabs. You should end up with something like this.
With your lining right side up, place your finished zipper on top and center it. This is easy to do on your cutting mat--use the ruler markings to make sure it's even on both sides.
Place your interfaced exterior fabric right side down on top of the lining. See? Right sides together, sandwiching the zipper in between. There are other ways to attach the zipper to the fabric where you can actually see the zipper while sewing, but I like this method. If you want to do it another way, go for it!
Pin in place. You can see in this picture, it looks as if the lining has shifted a bit, but it is just from the pining along the top. The top edge is straight with the exterior, interior, and zipper lined up.
I'm not going to lie, this is the trickiest part. Put on your zipper foot, take a deep breath, and sew about 1/4" away from the top edge. You are essentially doing this Stevie Wonder style since you can't see the zipper, but you can feel it! The first 1/2" near the zipper pull is the hardest and you may have to tug on the end or push it through for a bit. Just go slow. Once you make it past the pull, it's really easy. I leave my pins in and sew over them. This, I have found, is critical to keep all three layers lined up. I have as yet to break a needle, but I have broken a few pins. I'd much rather risk a broken pin than bring out my seam ripper because my layers shifted.
You should now have something like this.
Use your iron to press the lining away from the zipper.
Press the exterior fabric down too.
To give the exterior a more finished look and to secure the lining from getting caught in the zipper, I top stitch the exterior about 1/8" away from edge near the zipper. I know I'm not using my zipper foot correctly here, but it worked so stop laughing! Truthfully, I'm never sure I'm using it correctly, I just do whatever works to get a zipper attached. Rules be damned!
Now it's time to attach your other lining and exterior pieces. You do this the same way you did before only now you have some fabric attached to your zipper. No biggie! Repeat my previous instructions on pining the layers and sewing on the zipper. Remember to top stitch the exterior on the other side, we want your pouch to look pretty!
It should look like this now. The next step is super important. Are you paying attention? Don't skip this part! If you've printed this out, highlight this part: OPEN UP THE STINKIN' ZIPPER! You will be cursing yourself and making best friends with your seam ripper if you forget that!
We're going to pin the exterior and lining right sides together, but first, we need to sort of fold/smush the zipper toward the exterior. See how I'm pinching it? Pinch it into place where everything is lining up--you can see how the top edges of the exterior fabric would line up if I squeezed them together, right? Pin that little guy in place! Continue pinning around all the edges.
UPDATE: You *can* do this step and have the zipper pushed toward the interior, I guess when I made this one I just found this way worked for me to keep things lined up. Since making this tutorial, I find myself always pushing the zipper teeth toward the lining instead. Maybe this pouch was a freak of nature, who knows! Feel free to experiment to find what works best for you!
Here's what it looks like all pinned together.
Starting in the middle of the lining, about 2" away from the corner, using a 5/8" seam allowance, sew a few stitches and back stitch. We are going to leave an opening in the lining so you need to secure the stitches so your pouch won't come apart when you turn it. I leave the pins in for this step too!
When you sew past the zipper/tab area, you may have to pull or push a bit since there are so many layers, just go slow. When you reach the exterior fabric, I sew slightly less than 5/8", more like 1/2", so that the lining will be a tiny bit smaller than the exterior and fit better into the pouch when I turn it. You don't have to do this. You can sew with the same seam allowance around the entire pouch.
**update--so you understand, sew very very close to the tab, but not through it.
When you get back to the lining side, leave a 3" opening or so for you to turn your pouch. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of either side of the opeing! Trust me, I know this from experience. If you fail to backstitch this bad boy can come part on you--the turning process can be rough on stitches!
Hi there! You will soon be pulling the entire pouch through that tiny hole! It's a bit like child birth. :)
But first! Clip your corners! Careful, don't clip your stitches!
Now push! he he! Push, pull, finangle, shimmey the exterior fabric through the open zipper and then through the hole in the lining.
Keep going. It's a messy job.
Whew! Now use something pointy, but not sharp, to push out the corners of the exterior fabric. Also use the tool to push out/up the finished ends of the zipper.
Wrinkly, but lookin' good! Now iron the lining down a bit.
Sew the lining hole shut. My raw edges naturally turned under once I turned it, but if yours don't, just fold them in and press then sew the opening shut. You can hand sew this closed if you care about seeing the stitching, but I don't. It's at the bottom of the pouch, a pouch that is meant to be used, so surely the stuff you put in it will hide the stitching, right? My thoughts exactly!
Yay! Tuck the lining inside and......
See how pretty the ends are?
Now, what to put inside?