How to put a zipper pocket in a purse lining


Learn how to sew a zipper pocket for any bag, either in the lining or as a feature on the outside of the bag with this super easy sewing tutorial. I use a zipper pocket in my latest tote bag pattern designed to hold a tablet.

A zip pocket is an essential tool in your bag making skills. Check out my other essential skills tutorials for bag making:-

Learn how to sew a zipper pocket for any bag, either in the lining or as a feature on the outside of the bag with this super easy sewing tutorial.

Before we start it is essential to note that you must add your zipper pocket before you sew up your bag, to your fabric which has any fusible fleece/iron-on interfacing attached.

What is the finished size of your desired zipper pocket? Let’s start by working out the measurements for your pocket.  The measurements for your pocket fabric are the size of the finished pocket, plus seam allowance all around, you will need a good inch above the zip opening.  Cut a rectangle 2″ wider than the zipper then twice as long as you want the pocket depth plus 2″


This pocket has an 8″ zip, the piece of fabric required is 24 by 12″. I have used fusible fleece to support the cotton fabric as it is designed for a tablet, I suggest you use iron-on interfacing. 


How to sew a zipper pocket

Iron fusible fleece to the wrong side of your zip pocket fabric.

Place the zip pocket piece onto your bag piece, in this tutorial I am making an internal zip pocket, with the fabric placed 2 1/2″ down from the top of the lining. This allows room to insert a magnetic snap closure and includes seam allowance at the top of the bag.

On the wrong side of the zipper pocket mark out a rectangle 1/2″ by the length of the zip. This needs to be 2″ from the top of the zipper pocket fabric, centrally.

Draw a line down the middle of your rectangle and diagonally into the corners. I have used a water dissolvable fabric pen.

Stitch around your rectangle along the marked lines, secure your threads. You may find it helpful to lower the needle, lift the footer and move the zipper along when topstitching around the zip.

Cut down the centre of the stitched rectangle and diagonally into each corner.

Pull the zip pocket fabric through the opening to the back of the lining fabric. Iron a neat edge around your opening.

Place your zip, so the right side of the zip faces the right side of the fabric. Tack in place, some people use a glue stick but I think it is worth the extra couple of minutes to tack it in place.

Top stitch around the rectangle to secure the zip.

Turn over, fold up the bottom of the zip pocket to the top to create an envelope (right sides of fabric facing each other).

Stitch all round to finish the enclosed zip pocket, being careful not to catch the bag lining.

How to sew a zipper pocket

I use zip pockets frequently in bag linings. Check out my reader’s favourite bag tutorials:-

Sashiko Denim Tote

Large Tote Bag with Zippered Closure

Denim Tote Bag


If you are new to sewing check out this great sewing tutorial which will soon having you happily sewing away.

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