Zippered bag pocket tutorial

Putting a zipper pocket into a bag seems tricky, but it’s actually quite simple. I originally learned how to do this from U-Handbag, but I am re-creating the tutorial here for you.


(Click fabrics for direct links for purchase at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.)

Glam Wan - GLMWAL

Terrace Chocolate - TEEWAL

Stiff interfacing

Make the pocket any size you want, with two pieces of fabric and two pieces of interfacing the same sized rectangle. Your zipper should be smaller than the rectangle, but the exact size doesn’t matter.

The pattern

Cut two rectangles fabric and two rectangles interfacing, all the same size. The rectangles can be whatever size you’d like for your pocket.

The process

Iron the interfacing to the back of your fabric pieces.
Tack the open end of your zipper closed.
A little ways from the top, and centered width-wise, mark the length of your zipper teeth and draw a rectangle this long plus 1 cm high. Yeah, that darn metric system. It’s a little less than 1/2 an inch. This rectangle is where the zipper teeth will show through from the front, so you don’t want it too wide or the zipper tape won’t fit inside of it. 

Place one pocket piece right-side together with the right-side of the fabric where you want the pocket opening. Stitch around the rectangle.

Within the rectangle, draw a horizontal line in the center that extends almost to the ends and then draw a little triangle on each end. You’ll need to click the photo here and above to enlarge and see what the heck I’m trying to describe. 

The cut along the center line and the little triangle lines, but don’t cut into the stitching.

Pull the pocket piece all the way through to the wrong side. And I mean all the way through. You’ll have to finagle it a bit and use your trusty iron to press and steam it smooth.
This is the view from the wrong side.
That opening is where the zipper goes, so place the zipper on the back side of the fabric with the right side of the zipper showing through the hole you just made. Center the zipper and pin a few pins to hold it in place. 

Top stitch around the opening to secure the zipper in place.

Now take your other pocket piece and place it right-sides together on the first pocket piece. Sew all the way around the pocket pieces. You will have to keep moving the bag piece out of the way as you sew around.