Free Tutorial: Project Zippy Pouch

We are of the firm belief that there is nothing better to organize your life than a good ol’ zippy pouch. They are so super handy, easily customizable, portable, and endlessly cute. They are also a terrific example of a wonderful way to use Aurifil thread in something other than a quilt!

Our Technical Creative Specialist, Kristi McDonough (also of Schnitzel & Boo), recently had to stitch this adorable zippy up and she has been kind enough to share a simple tutorial. We’ll first offer a up a HUGE thank you and then we’ll hand the reigns over to Kristi for all the details. Take it away, Kristi!

This Project Pouch is a fast and fun way to use some of your favorite fabrics, even if you only have a small piece. In fact, you can use four different feature fabrics! It’s also a perfect way to experiment with Aurifil‘s different thread weights. While I’ve referenced the exact threads used below, feel free to use whatever weight thread you have on hand.

by Kristi McDonough

— 1 Fat Quarter Main Fabric
— 1 Fat Quarter Accent Fabric
— 1/3 yard Cotton Canvas/Duck Cloth
— 1/3 – 1/2 yard Lining Fabric (depending on direction of print)
— Batting Scraps
— 1/2 yard Medium to Heavy Weight Fusible Interfacing
— 28wt, 50wt and Wool Aurifil Thread
— 14”-18” zipper
— Sewing machine, iron, cutting mat, acrylic ruler, rotary cutter and other preferred supplies

*Seam allowance is ½” unless otherwise noted. Construction of pouch will be with Aurifil 50wt thread unless otherwise specified

Cutting Instructions:
— Cut one 13” (wide) x 9” (tall) rectangle each of Main Fabric, Accent Fabric, and Interfacing for Pouch Front/Back (Keep direction of print in mind when cutting fabric!)
— Cut one 8” x 14” rectangle from Accent Fabric for zipper tab
— Cut two 14-½”x 12-½” rectangles of lining fabric
— Cut two 6-½” x 12-½” rectangles from canvas and interfacing for pouch bottom
— Cut two 14” x 10” rectangles of batting

*To use 4 of your favorite fabrics,  cut four 6-½”(w) x 9”(t) pieces, then continue sewing as directed.

1. Fuse Interfacing to wrong sides of both pieces of Pouch Front/Back; cut in half to measure 6-½”(w) x 9”(t).

2. Fuse Interfacing to wrong side of Canvas; set aside.

3. Fold Zipper Tab fabric in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together and press. Open this piece up, fold the raw edges in to meet the center fold; press. Refold the entire piece along the center fold and press again. Fold and press one short end to the inside 1”. Re-press original folds as necessary; set aside.

4. With right sides together, stitch one Main piece to one Accent piece along the 9” length; repeat for the other two pieces, making sure to stitch along the same side for both sets. Press seams open.

5. Place wrong side of Pouch Front/Back on the batting; quilt as desired using Aurifil 28wt thread.

6. With right sides together, align canvas to bottom of Pouch Front/Back; stitch. Press seam towards canvas; topstitch using Aurifil Wool thread (use 50wt in the bobbin.)

7. Place Pouch Front/Back right side up. Lay zipper face down along the top of the pouch; pin in place keeping the last 2”-3” free. Place a lining piece, wrong side up, along the pinned zipper edge; repin all layers together, making sure to keep the last few inches of the zipper free, but pinning the lining to the pouch.

8. Using a zipper foot, stitch zipper in place. Hold the zipper free of the stitch line when you get to the unpinned zipper section, but keep sewing!

9. Press pouch Front/Back and Lining pieces away from zipper; topstitch using Aurifil Wool thread.

10. Lay the pouch out flat on the table; match right sides of Lining and right sides of Pouch and pin all the way around, leaving a 4” gap in the lining for turning; stitch, making sure to backstitch at the start and finish.

11. Decide how wide you want the bottom of your bag to be and divide that number in half. I wanted this one to have a 1-½” base, which is ¾”. Start the measurement at the seam lines, and draw a square. (Be careful that your lines are accurate! In the photo, I have a “square” that is 1” on one side and ¾” on the other. I took the photo, then adjusted the measurement and forgot to take a new picture. Oops! Mark this square on all four corners; cut on the lines with sharp scissors. DO NOT STITCH THE CORNERS YET!

12. Turn Pouch right side out.

13. Tuck the end of the zipper inside the folded end of Zipper Tab, topstitch across the top of the tab. Make sure the butt of the zipper is out of the way of the stitching line and the path of your sewing machine foot.

14. Guide the zipper tab along the length of the pouch to determine how long to make the handle; mark with a pin, then measure ½” down (towards the end of the tab) and mark with fabric pen on both sides of the tab.

15. Turn the pouch wrong side out again.

16. For the lining, bring the seams together, placing the seams in opposite directions (this will help reduce bulk and make it easier to sew); stitch making sure to backstitch!

18. Tuck the tab through the corner opening. The tab should be centered in the opening and the raw edge of the corner should match up with the mark; pin in place and stitch, using a backstitch on both ends. Stitch the last corner in the same manner as the lining described above.

19. Turn pouch right side out. Pin the opening of the lining; edgestitch using Aurifil 50wt.

That’s it! You’re finished:). Have fun with your bag and fill it with as many treasures as it will hold. We’d love to see what you’ve made, so tag us on Facebook (@aurifil) or Instagram (@aurifilthread) so we can see what you’re up to. Happy Stitching!



  1. I love how the zipper turns into the handle: brilliant!! I’ve got to try this one!! 🙂 Hugs, H

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