Double Zipper Pouch w/Tutorial

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Because I keep forgetting to bring a mask with me, I wanted to make a pouch that I could keep in the car, with a supply of clean masks in one compartment, and a separate compartment for the used masks. I looked online for a tutorial, but all of the ones that I could find were either too complicated, or something I had to pay for. So, I let the idea percolate in my brain for a bit, and then I came up with this solution. I’m sure it’s been done this way before, but I couldn’t find a free version :slight_smile:

For supplies, you’ll need: Exterior fabric (I’m using a reusable shopping bag from a craft store), Interior fabric, 2 coordinating zippers at least 7" long (note: I got a little “fancy” with my zippers-see below), thread, optional scrap of ribbon or scrap of a zipper.

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If you want to get all “fancy” with your zippers, you can swap out the zipper pulls. I had a random 4" white zipper, and a 14" grey zipper. I cut the grey zipper in half, and used the zipper pull from the white zipper as the new pull on the half of the grey zipper that needed one. This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag2zUhgLVKw) can show you a neat way to use a fork to swap out the zipper pulls (they need to be the same brand/type of zipper), but I was too lazy, although it would have been easier in the end. Once you’ve replaced the zipper pulls- MAKE SURE to stitch a stopper at the end of the zipper so you don’t accidently fling the zipper pull across the room when you pull it off the end of the zipper… twice… Notice that I don’t have them stitched in the photo below… don’t be like me…

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From your lining fabric, you’ll need 2 pieces that are 7.5" X 7.5" and 2 pieces that are 5.5" tall X 7.5" wide. From your exterior fabric, you’ll need 2 pieces that are 7.5" X 7.5" and one piece that is 5.5" tall X 7.5" wide.

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You should probably iron the fabric. Again, don’t be like me…

To cut the panel for the front, I made a template the size of the panel, and cut a rectangle out of the middle so I could choose the part of the design that I wanted for the panel.

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If you’ve never made a basic zipper pouch before, this might be a little confusing, but I’ll do my best to explain it!

The first part you’ll make is the front side of the pouch with the smaller zipper compartment. There’s one tricky bit, but it’s not hard to do, just tricky to explain…

Fold a zipper in half to find the center, and make a mark. Take the front panel (5.5" X 7") and a matching lining piece and mark the centers of each. Create a “zipper sandwich” by placing the lining face up, the zipper face up (match the centers and the top edge), and the front panel face down. Clip or pin together, and stitch along the edge to secure the zipper in place (a zipper foot may be helpful). At some point, you’ll need to move the zipper pull out of the way. Stop with the needle down, raise the presser foot, and move the zipper. {Hopefully you don’t have to spend an hour trying to put the zipper back on (twice) or find it when you pull it off by mistake and it goes flying across the room. Hopefully, you were smart and sewed the zipper stoppers at the start…}

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Once you’ve stitched them together, put the fabrics together and away from the zipper so you can topstitch close to the zipper.

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Now comes the tricky part…

Take the 7.5" X 7.5" front panel. Lay it face up on the table. Line up the front panel + zipper so that the bottom edges of both panels are aligned (see the right edge in the photo below). Make a mark where the middle of the zipper is. Use a pin or a marker. You should probably mark the left and right sides so you can make sure it’s straight. I only marked one side, so my zipper is a little bit crooked.

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Now, flip the shorter section (the 5.5" X 7.5" section with the zipper) over so that the free edge of the zipper is lined up with the mark (indicated by the pen tip below), and the lining side is face up.

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Next, take the other 5.5" X 7.5" piece of the lining and lay it face down along the edge of the zipper. Pin it in place. Then, stitch the zipper down (again, you’ll have to move the zipper pull out of the way). It’s not sewn together in the photo below, but you can see how it’s lined up.

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Flip the lining piece down, and topstitch from the lining side, being careful that the large panel is lying flat underneath (you don’t want to catch the top side of the large panel in the topstitching).

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The tricky part is now complete! You’ve just made most of the smaller compartment. Arrange all of the pieces so that the bottom edges are lined up. If things don’t line up exactly, you’ll trim it down in a later step, if needed.

Now, you’re going to essentially treat that entire panel as one piece and create the rest of the pouch the way you’d normally create a basic zipper pouch.

So, now you need to make another “zipper sandwich”. This time, take your front panel that you just assembled and lay it face up on the table. Take your second zipper and lay it face down on the panel. Take one of the 7.5" X 7.5" lining pieces and lay it face down on the zipper. Pin the top edges together and stitch in place, moving the zipper pull as needed.

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Fold the lining piece back and topstitch close to the zipper edge.

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Next, take the back exterior panel and the remaining lining piece to create the last “zipper sandwich.” Lay the lining piece face up, the zipper face up on top of the lining piece, and the back exterior panel face down. Align the edges, pin in place, and stitch together, moving the zipper pull when you need to.

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Topstitch close to the zipper when you’re done.

Next, you might need to even up the edges. Fold it in half, or lay it out flat to trim the edges.

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If you want to make a little grab tab, you can use a piece of ribbon or a zipper scrap (I used the 4" zipper that the white zipper pull came from… I honestly don’t know why I ever bought a 4" zipper…). Or, if you want to get really fancy, you can make one with a scrap of fabric. Whatever option you choose, you’ll want to fold it in half and baste the edges together.

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Then, you’ll want to baste it to the edge of the bag. Make sure that you’re only basting it to the outer front panel- don’t catch any of the other layers in the basting stitches. I placed it between the zippers.

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You’re almost finished!! Take a moment to do a mini happy dance, if you’d like.

Now, you’ll need to bring the lining pieces right sides together, and the outer panels right sides together. The zipper will be in the middle.

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IMPORTANT: Open up the zipper for the larger compartment (at least 3/4 of the way). If you forget, you can’t turn it right side out, and you’ll have to unzip the zipper from the underside, which is a pain in the butt.

Leaving a gap of about 4" at the bottom edge of the lining, stitch around the edge (I used a 1/4" seam), making sure to catch all of the layers when you are stitching the outer panel.

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Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Stitch the opening in the lining closed by hand if you want it to be invisible, or by machine.

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Tuck the lining inside the bag, and you’re done!

You have a lined double pouch, and all of the seams for the smaller pouch are neatly hidden by the lining.

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13 Likes

Nice tute, and great trick splitting a zipper!

I have a special place for used masks, too; the back seat of the car. I do get them out and wash them…eventually, when I run out of clean ones.

2 Likes

Thank you!

I have started to randomly stick them in pockets, and then it’s like hide and seek when it’s time for the laundry. Hopefully this will help me to keep track of them… and not remember at 11 pm that I don’t have any clean masks for the next day!

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You did a very nice job! Well thought out and the beauty of sewing is that you can make what fits your needs and habits!

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This is great and such a good idea

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Thanks! It turned out to be the perfect size! And, I made it entirely from my stash. I still haven’t figured out why I had a 4” zipper on hand :laughing:

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I am still working on the zipper stash I accidentally ordered from Amazon a few years ago…I have sent some out to others, but still have quite a few…I do use the tiny zipper pieces to make tiny macaroon purses…I never knew you could buy just the zipper pulls separately until I saw that fork video a few years ago, so I have been saving them all! lol

I have a sizable zipper stash as well. Once I realized that you could switch the pulls, I ordered a bunch. I own a class (on Craftsy) that uses half a zipper to make pouches, so extra pulls are handy to add to the other zipper half. As long as they’re the same brand and type, swapping the pulls is easy enough!

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Great idea and very pretty!

Thanks! I really liked the floral print on the shopping bag, and since I have a ton of tote bags, it was an easy decision to cut it up.

Great solution for the mask issue and a great pouch for lots of things!

Thanks! It will definitely be helpful. Now, I just need to round up all of the masks that are in random places so I can wash them and pop them into the new pouch!

Look at you, tutorial maker!!! Thank you!

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Smart & pretty! Cool trick with the zipper loop too.

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Thanks! I wish it was just a little bit bigger, but I based it on the size of the matching zipper. And, the zipper loop just makes me happy. :slight_smile: