tutorial: bit of liberty rainbow zipper pouch


while doing a bit of housekeeping in the studio, i rediscovered a YKK rainbow zipper that i had received as a sample and meant to do something with but somehow misplaced in the process.  to make a long story short, i finally got around to doing something with the zipper last week.  i know i know, people usually buy zippers with a certain existing project in mind.  this zipper (look at its cheerful rainbow teeth) demanded that a project be adapted to fit it!


i decided to use just a bit of liberty as an accent, so that the rainbow hued teeth on the zipper could shine on their own without having to compete too much with the liberty.

here’s what i did . . .



Cut out Patterns

  • Moda Unbleached Cotton Linen Solid
    1. Cut 4 pieces of “Body and Lining” pattern
    2. Cut 1 piece of “Liberty Accent Fabric” pattern (this will be used as the lining
  • Liberty Tana Lawn
    1. Cut 1 “Liberty Accent Fabric” pattern
    2. Cut 2 rectangles (1 3/8″ x 3″)
  • Fusible Fleece
    1. Cut 2 “Body and Lining” pattern
    2. Cut 1 “Liberty Accent Fabric” pattern

Prepare the Fabric

  • Following manufacturers’ instructions fuse (iron) the Fusible Fleece to the two Body pieces cut from Cotton-Linen and the one Liberty Accent Fabric piece cut from Tana Lawn
  • Prepare the zipper tabs as shown in the photo below.  Fold the piece in half.  Open it up and then fold the ends towards the center (fold you just made).  Next, fold the piece in half again.


Now to Sew


Install zipper foot on your machine.  Then, sandwich the zipper tabs on the ends of the zipper and sew in place (about 1/8″ from the metal zipper stop.  You may need to snip off the ends of the zipper fabric to get a good fit.  When sewing with a metal zipper (as is the case here) make sure that you do not sew onto the metal zipper stop or teeth, as your needle will break.


Center the lining against the zipper with the top edge aligned to the zipper.  The right side (RS) of the lining should be touching the wrong side (WS) of the zipper.  With a basting stitch, sew 1/4″ from the edge of the metal teeth.


Repeat for other side. It will look like this from the WS of the zipper when done.


Next, fold the top edge of the Body piece 1/2″.  Press the crease with an iron. With the seam allowance tucked under, place the Body piece next to the zipper, aligning the bottom and side edges of the Body piece agains the lining.  Sew 1/4″ from the zipper’s metal teeth.  You will be sewing through quite a few layers here (the Body piece, the folded seam allowance, the zipper, the Fusible Fleece and the Lining).


Repeat for other side.  It will look like this when done (yes, I went a bit wonky on the alignment and sewing but you’ll be much straighter than me! )


Remove the basted stitches from prior steps.


Line up the center folds of the Liberty Accent Fabric Lining piece with the lining.  Attach with a 3/8″ seam allowance. I found it easier to add a few pleats when sewing around the corners.  You will have about 3/4-1″ extra fabric at the ends of “Liberty Accent Fabric” piece.  The excess should be folded down as close to the edge of the zipper teeth as possible.


Repeat with other side.  It will look like this when the lining is completely assembled.


Then, using the same technique, attach the Liberty Accent Fabric piece cut from Tana Lawn to the Body of the bag.  Again, you will have 3/4-1″ extra fabric at the ends, which should be folded down as close to the edge of the zipper teeth as possible.



Before you sew the second and last edge, make sure the zipper is completely open.  Then, sew leaving 4″ gap at the bottom of the pouch.


Reach in with your hand, flip the bag around.


Finally, sew the gap shut with an invisible ladder stitch. And presto, you are done!

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