French Seam Zipper Pouch Tutorial – Highly Detailed

One of the first successful sewing projects I ever made was a really simple zippered pouch. The tutorial I followed was the most basic of tutorials but I was so proud of the results. Since then my sewing skills have improved, marginally but they have improved none the less.

Not long after that I wanted to make the idea my own and after a few hours of experimenting I figured out the secret to pretty looking zipper ends was going to be french seams. Since then I have made hundreds of these quick-to-sew pouches and fall in love with their simplicity more and more every time. I detailed the process of making them below. As usual, a free, downloadable version of this post is available in my Craftsy shop! 

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Materials:     Two coordinating fabrics

Zipper, the length of your desired finished pouch width

Lightweight fusible interfacing (optional)

  1. Begin by deciding the length and width you want your finished pouch to be. Then add one and a half inches to the width and in inch to the length
  2. Cut two rectangles of fabric in the sized you figured out above.
  3. In what will be your lining fabric, cut two small rectangles of fabric two inches long by one inch wide
  4. Apply light weight fusible interfacing to the two pieces of fabric that will be the outside of your pouch (optional)

Preparing the zipper

  1. Fold each 1”X 2” piece in half the short way so it becomes a 1” X 1” square. Press well
  2. Fold the short edges in again so they meet over top of the pressed fold from step five. Press well. these are your zipper endsimg_0303
  3. Trim the zipper to one inch shorter than your desired finished width. Make sure you do not cut off the zipper pull but instead open the zipper before you trim it.
    1. (optional) baste the end of the zipper closedimg_0304
  4. Slide one folded zipper end over each end of the zipper.
  5. Top stitch the zipper ends in place, 1/8” from the edge.img_0306

Inserting the zipper

  1. Lay one piece of your outside fabric down right side up. Then place your zipper down along the top width of the outside fabric piece, right side down, being sure to center it over the outside fabric piece. Place the lining fabric, right side down, on top of the zipper and outside piece, aligning the edges of the two fabric pieces. Pin in placeimg_0308
  2. Sew ¼” from the edge of the sandwiched pieces along the top width. Flip right side out and press well.
  3. Top stich along the fold, approx. 1/8” from the edge. Press again
  4. Repeat steps ten through eleven with the other two pieces of fabric and the other side of the zipper.img_0318

Sewing the bottom of the pouch

  1. With right sides together sew the bottom width of the two outside fabric rectangles together using a ¼ inch seam allowance
  2. With right sides together sew the bottom width of the two lining fabric rectangles together, using a half inch seam allowanceimg_0319
  3. Press each seam open
  4. Flip pouch so the lining fabric is right side out inside the outside fabric, which is also right side out

The French Seams

  1. Pin all layers of the fabric together
  2. Sew 1/4” from the edge down each side of the pouchimg_0322
  3. Trim as close to the seam as you feel comfortable, the closer the better, but make sure to not cut through the seam
  4. With the zipper completely open, flip the pouch so the lining is on the outside
  5. Sew down each side of the pouch, ¼” from the edgeimg_0324
  6. Flip the pouch right side out again, press well

If you make  pouch following this tutorial I would love to see it and if you have questions about it please dont hesitate to email sewuprising@outlook.com

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