One of the most versatile bags to make, zip bags have so many purposes and uses. They are super easy to make, let me show you how easy it is to make a zippered pouch with a flat bottom.
Firstly have fun choosing your fabric, the type of fabric and interfacing you choose will make a real difference to the shape of the finished zippered pouch. An upholstery/curtain fabric will give a much stronger shaped pouch to quilting cotton, the other big factor in the overall finished bag is the interfacing. In this tutorial, I have used heavyweight iron-on interfacing.
If you are contemplating the right stabilizer to use check out my video where I demonstrate the same bag with lightweight interfacing, fusible fleece and decovil light.
This zippered pouch with flat bottom features zip tabs.
You may find my zippered pouch tutorial flat bottom video helpful.
Zippered Pouch Tutorial
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This completed zippered pouch with flat bottom measures 10″ long by 7″ high by 3″ wide.
To make a flat bottom pouch we first need to start with the maths – hopefully, this diagram helps explain how. The measurements shown produce a finished bag measuring
My measurements are as shown on the diagram (newsletter subscribers there is a PDF version of the tutorial in the resource library with a free printable pattern).
Measure out the iron-on interfacing as shown in the diagram, you will need two pieces. The short edge of the cutout corner forms the base, the flat bottom of the zippered pouch. This is the finished size of the bag, cutting the interfacing to the right size reduces bulk in the seams.
For my outer bag I have used a combination of cork and a heavier weight cotton fabric. Using a straight seam I have seen the two fabrics together, presses and added some top stitching along the cork edge.
Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of your outer bag fabric.
If you have chosen to use two fabrics for the outer bag I suggest measuring marking partway down the interfacing so each side is identical and your joining seam of two fabrics parallel to the top of the bag. I have measured 2 1/2”.
Trim the outer bag fabric, ensuring you include your preferred seam allowance.
Cut out lining fabric the same size as the outer bag fabric. I have chosen to use a former shower curtain so the bag can be used for wet swimming costumes, or as a makeup/wash bag.
Next the zip – I have used a long zip and shortened it to 9″. I keep a large stash of zips picked up at charity shops to hand, it’s really easy to shorten to the right size. If you need more detail check out my how to shorten a zip post.
Your zip should be 9” (yes it is too short but we are going to add tabs).
Let’s create covers for each end of the zip. Cut out four pieces of fabric approximately 1 1/2”. Place right sides facing the zip, with seam allowance just over your zipper stop.
Stitch to secure in place, then fold back and press.
Now you are ready to sew your zipper pouch with flat bottom together. Lay your lining right side facing you, then the zip, then the outer bag wrong side facing you along the top edge of the pouch.
Using a zipper foot stitch along the top, along the edge of the zip. Fold the fabrics away from the zip and press, then topstitch. This prevents the lining from becoming caught up in the zip when you are using the finished bag.
Repeat for the second side.
Undo the zip part way (this is a very important step). Now open out your fabric so the right sides of the outer bag face each other and the right sides of the lining. Pin in place.
Machine stitch all around, except a 6″ turning gap along the bottom of the lining.
Now fold your corners so the edges are facing each other, this creates the boxed corner.
Machine stitch, and repeat for all four corners. Turn the bag the right side out. Fold the raw edges from your turning gap in and machine stitch to close.
One completed zipper pouch with flat bottom, if you are anything like me as soon as you finish one a member of the family appears “I like that, can I have it?” – so much for trying to get ahead with some gifts for Christmas!!