Zippered Pouch with Pleats

In order to learn to sew with zippers, I set my sights on a small zippered pouch using this tutorial from Skip To My Lou.  I was able to make this cute little pouch for my Mom’s birthday gift, and really recommend this project as an introduction to sewing with zippers for other beginners.

Of course, I can never leave well enough alone, and had to attempt to add a ruffled section to the middle of my front panel. Using fusible tape, I ironed a 5/8″ grosgrain ribbon to my accent fabric strip. Using the same gathering technique I talked about for the fabric flower clip, I gathered my accent fabric. I sewed 2 lines about 1/4″ apart to give me a spare in case one thread broke. It can also help give a more defined gather if you use both lines.

This turned into a major #fail. It became too ballooned, and I decided to scrap the gathered look. I didn’t want my pouch to look like it had a bulbous growth coming out of it! Next trial… pleats. Using pins and my iron, I hand pleated at 1.25″ widths. My panel was originally 12″ long, so I had plenty of extra length to work with, and just trimmed the end to match the size of my main fabric panels (approx 8.25″ x  4″). Sew the pleats down using a 1/4″ seam allowance. At this point, I have to say, the pleats were not looking so hot. After the pouch was completed, I added a top stitch 1/4″ from the ribbon on either side to help hold the pleats down. I would recommend doing that at this point, and not the end like I had to do. You can see the additional stitches in the picture of the completed pouch.

Attach the main fabric panels (one at a time), by placing right sides together and sewing straight across. I used a 1/2″ seam allowance, but you can certainly make it smaller. I like to give myself plenty of space as a beginning sewer. I then measured my finished panel, and cut the back panel to those measurements. I also cut 2 additional pieces of the accent fabric to use for the lining.

Sandwich the zipper between one piece of lining and one piece of outer fabric as the linked tutorial explains. Sew along the zipper, open the 2 pieces and repeat on the other side of the zipper.

You should have your lining pieces on one side and your outer pieces on the other side of the zipper (this picture does not show this, however, you can see how the side were attached to the zipper).

Open the zipper half way, and sew all the way around the pouch, making sure to stay to the outside of the metal clips on the zipper. Also, leave at least a 3″ opening in the lining so you can turn your pouch right side out! After turning, I take the easy route and machine stitch the opening closed, but you can hand stitch for a cleaner look.

I filled mine with snacks & travel goodies, and shipped it to my Mom for her Birthday! Happy Birthday Mom!

I also made this zippered pouch from Skip To My Lou for my Mother-in-Law’s birthday gift.


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