Tag Archives: zipper

Zipper Bag Stash

Have I ever mentioned I have a thing for zippered bags? Kind of an obsession, I should admit. They work perfectly to hold a small moleskin sketchbook and a couple drawing tools, or to hold a couple makeup goodies inside my purse.

I have been trying to make more simple projects like these with fun fabrics from my stash.

So I pulled a combination that made me think of candy. This style measures 6 inches wide by 4 inches tall.

I pulled another fun combination from my Garden Party stash, since I haven’t made much with that collection yet. This style measures 6 inches wide by 6 inches tall.

I made a little collection from hand-dyed fabrics I got from my friend Vicki.

I made another fun set of zipper bags with a stash of summery prints I picked up recently.

I can’t get enough of them, but I can’t possibly use all of these zipper bags, so I listed a few in my shop to share with others.

Simple Makeup Bag Tutorial

What girl wouldn’t want to carry such a pretty makeup bag? Would you like to learn how to make this so you can carry one yourself or give it to your bestest friend for a gift?

This particular bag has a little secret – fusible vinyl on the inside! That is my little twist on this common bag, so I will show you how to do it.

Supplies:

Fat quarter for outside – I used a cute toile print by Jennifer Paganelli.

Fat quarter for lining

Batting or interfacing

Fusible Vinyl – I used Therm-O-Web Iron-On Vinyl (from Joann’s)

7-inch zipper

Usual sewing tools (ruler, rotary, thread, iron)

Note: use a 1/4 inch seam allowance throughout this project.

Cutting:

1. Cut out your outside and lining fabric 9-1/2 inches wide x 5-1/2 inches tall.

Cut out your batting or interfacing 9-1/2 inches wide x 5-1/2 inches tall.

Cut out two pieces of fusible vinyl 9-1/2 inches wide x 5-1/2 inches tall.

Cut two pieces of either fabric 2.5 inches wide x 2.5 inches long or 2.5 inches x 3 inches long. (Feel free to use scraps for this step because the ends are going to get trimmed and buried in the seam allowance.)

Preparing the Pieces:

1. Position your outside fabric over the batting (or interfacing) and quilt. I did a grid of diagonal lines for this sample. My grid lines were a little over 1 inch apart. I also used a guide bar, which you can see in the photo below (positioned behind the needle and foot), to help keep the lines straight and even.

2. Make the same grid on the back piece.

3. To fuse the vinyl to the right side of the lining fabric, peel off the paper backing of the vinyl. Position the vinyl sticky-side down over the RIGHT side of the lining fabric and press with your hand to smooth it out. Place that paper backing shiny side down on the vinyl and hold  your iron over the area for a few second. Continue until the entire area is laminated. Turn fabric right side up and press each area again, just for good measure. (you can also follow the directions that come with the fusible vinyl)

4. Take one fabric tab and fold the short end over about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. (use your judgment here in the amount you fold over, depending on the size of scrap you’re using.)

Now, fold in half the long way to create a sort of pocket.

Insert one zipper end into tab so the fold meets with the end of the zipper teeth. Top stitch close to fold to attach to end of zipper. Repeat for other side of zipper. (At this point, don’t worry about any long excess fabric on these tabs. They will get buried in the seam allowance and trimmed to reduce bulk.)

Bag Assembly Instructions:

1. Fold outside front piece in half to find the center. Fold the zipper in half to find the center. With zipper pull on left side and face down, position zipper over right side of front fabric, using those fold creases to center it, and pin.

Put a zipper foot in your sewing machine and stitch zipper onto front fabric.

2. Position this piece-in-progress face down over one of a fused lining piece, which should be right side up. Pin in the seam allowance (so your pin holes are hidden in the seam allowance), and sew along that stitching line. At this point, everything will feel quite slippery because of that vinyl. Just hold the pieces together and go slowly to keep an even stitching line and keep the raw edges lined up.

3. Snip off the excess fabric from the tabs. At this point, here is what your piece-in-progress looks like when you open it up.

4. Position your piece-in-progress over the back fabric with the outside fabrics facing each other. (zipper will be face down) Pin and stitch.

5. Align your piece-in-progress over the final lining piece with the lining fabrics facing each other, pin in the seam allowance, and stitch. This is what your piece-in-progress should look like now, with all four pieces sewn to the zipper.

Here’s the lining side. (I couldn’t resist adding one of my new labels printed by Spoonflower!)

6. Open your zipper all the way. This is very important so you can turn the bag right side out and through the zipper opening when you’re all done with the assembly.

7. Lay out your piece-in-progress so that the outside fabrics are right sides together, and your lining fabrics are right sides together. Pin in the seam allowances, leaving a space in the bottom center of the lining. That is where you’re going to leave a hole for turning the bag inside out.

8. Stitch all the way around the bag, starting at the bottom center of the lining, and ending about 3 inches from your starting point (so you have an opening in the bottom).

Making a Flat Bottom:

1. To prepare the corners for a flat bottom, pinch a corner so the seams line up, making the corner look like a triangle. Measure 3/4 inch from one side of the triangle, and draw a line all the way across. Stitch on that line, which will give you a 1.5 inch bottom.

2. Snip off the corner, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Repeat for the remaining three corners of your bag.

The Home Stretch!

Turn your bag right side out through the opening you left on the bottom of the lining and through the zipper you left open.

Hand stitch the opening closed. Fill with your goodies!

That’s it! Easy, right? I hope these instructions are helpful, and I hope you try making at least one of these fun little zipper bags! I would love to see a picture of your version.

If you’re interested in printing out this tutorial without using a lot of toner, I made a PDF with just the step-by-step instructions and one photo for reference.

Please don’t make this bag to resell, whether in your shop, at your local craft fair, or any other place.

Edit: Here’s a little plug for my shop to let you know I added this makeup bag and another pretty pink toile bag to the New Products section of my shop, in case you need a cute little gift but don’t have the time to make one yourself. I’m always happy to take a custom order too!

Tweaking

I am constantly tweaking one thing or another on the patchwork projects, handbags and clutches I make.

I just finished making the custom order purse for my insurance agent just like the purse I made for my mom for Mother’s Day.

This one also measures 12 inches wide by 8 inches tall, but my agent requested the inside pockets be zipper pockets to keep little things more secure. I think I have found another addiction!

I used this tutorial as a guide to walk me through the steps for the first zipper installation. It was actually pretty easy, and provides great results.


These purses were a little difficult to part with, so I decided I needed a new summer purse for myself, using more fabrics from this Poppy collection.

And of course, I had to add a zipper pocket inside of my new purse too.

It’s fun to experiment with different fabrics, but it’s also fun to tweak ideas and add more cool features like this.

– – – – –

Related posts:

A Purse for My Mom

Clutch Experiment – Part 2

Clutch Experiment

Clutch Experiment

I have been in the midst of a clutch design experiment over the past few months.

I have been making several different styles from a variety of shapes and colors.

Rhinestones, studs and chains have been sneaking their way into my projects too.

I sketched out a few designs using my curved design rulers, which I learned how to use in graphic design class last year. I have used them so much lately for a few patterns to try.

My inspiration for the brown zebra bag was this vintage beaded clutch I’ve had for years. It’s very pretty but delicate and a little stained, so it just sits safely tucked away in my dresser drawer. I decided to use it as a starting point to come up with my own party clutch. I think my party clutch needs to be wider, so I’m still tweaking the design.

I have also been trying out different fabrics, such as this silk I used for the lining. I’ve never sewn with silk, so I was nervous. It’s more stretchy than I realized, and more slippery than anything I’ve worked with (except for spandex back in the ’80s). But I think it looks so cool as a lining, so I’m definitely going to try that again!

My inspiration for the black zebra bag was this gold clutch I bought in Vegas for $10, thinking it would be another good example to put my own twist on. I was going for a rock-n-roll look with this one.

I love how it turned out, with that asymmetrical flap and musical fabric for the lining. I would like this one to be wider too, so I’m back to the design board.

Can you tell how much fun I’m having with this experiment?! I can’t wait to come up some the final samples to show you.

One For Me

Thank you for the patchwork love lately! I appreciate all that positive feedback. It really gives a girl a boost of confidence to keep pushing on.

I had some patchwork left over from those custom bags I made last weekend, so I decided to make a small zipper bag for myself. (it’s about 5 inches high by 8 inches wide)

pink bag with black embellishments

This one has some embellishments that I’m crazy about, including this awesome black and silver patch on the front. Then I framed that patch with rhinestone trim. A girlie bag has to have some sparkles!

black embellishments on pink bag

I also added a black chain for a handle, which was a first for me but definitely worth the effort to figure out how to make it work. I think it really dresses up this little patchwork even more.

black chain handle

Another small detail – a tiny black fleur de lis patch sewn onto the back.

fleur de lis patch on back

I really pushed myself with this project, setting off the pink fabrics with unexpected details, making the contrast more striking.

pink patchwork with black details

How fun combining the girlie pink patchwork with these black embellishments! This one is for me!

Custom Order for Two Bags

My mission this weekend was to complete a custom order I received from one of my sister’s friends. Wahoo, another custom order for my shop!

cheerful fabrics for custom order

One of my sister’s friends in China requested two zippered bags to carry her techie gadgets. She requested patchwork in cheerful fabrics similar to my zippered bags and laptop bags, so I selected these fun fabrics in various pinks and reds.

Since she wanted cheerful, I used this fabric for the  lining. These charming birds and the whimsy connecting them remind me of spring and happy days.

cheerful fabric for lining

She needed a zippered bag to carry her MP3 player and headphones.

zipper bag for mp3 player

zipper bag for mp3 player

She needed another zippered bag to carry her DVD player.

zipper bag for dvd player

Using the measurements she gave me of her DVD player and MP3 player, I drew templates onto cardboard to gauge the size and fit. I am getting hooked on sketching patterns and templates to work my way through a custom order or new project idea.

template for mp3 player bag

I added handles to both bags with the option to disconnect them if she wants to carry them inside her tote bag. I think (hope) they will both work fine for her needs.

template for dvd player bag

Mission completed, which makes me happy this Monday! I’m always honored when someone asks me to make a custom patchwork project for them. I am so in love the bright, girlie colors of these bags, so I hope my new customer likes them as much as I do!