Super Easy Zippered Pouch Tutorial – (Zippered Purse)

If you have been wanting to create a zippered purse or pouch but have been a little too hesitant because you have never sewn a zip before then this is the tutorial for you. This is a super easy zippered pouch and once you have created your first one, you will fly through them.

easy zippered purse tutorial


What You Will Need

  • 1 pc fabric @ 7 ½” x 9″ (front bottom piece)
  • 1 pc fabric @ 7 ½” x 2 ½” (front top piece)
  • 1 pc fabric @ 7 ½” x 12″ (back piece)
  • 1 zipper @ 10″
  • A small piece of ribbon – approx 3 or 4 inches.

  • Start by folding each piece of fabric in half and press.

super easy zippered pouch tutorial

  • Take the front bottom piece and place the folded edge up against the teeth of the zipper on one side. You an pin this on to hold the zip in place or use a fabric stick which makes things sooo much easier. We use a Lapel Stick and love it.

easy zippered purse tutorial

  • Sew along the edge using your sewing machine zipper foot. Check the video below on how to use a zipper foot if you have never used one before.

easy zippered purse tutorial

  • Now attach the front top piece to the other side of the zip and sew down.

super easy zippered pouch tutorial

  • Open the zipper pull down to about the middle of the pouch.

zippered purse tutorial

  • Bring the two open ends of the zip together and sew back and forward 2 or 3 times over the top in order to keep the two sides of the zip together. (See image below for where you need to sew. Also check the video below if you need further clarification.)

zippered purse step by step

  • Take your piece of ribbon and fold in half. Place it facing in towards the purse and sew to tack in place.

easy step by step zipperd purse tutorial

  • Place your back piece over the front of the pouch and sew all around the edge using a quarter of an inch seam and sew back and forth over the zip areas on both sides to reinforce the zip. Just ensure you have that zipper opened first as you will not be able to turn the purse through.

zippered purse tutorial

  • Once you have sewn the back on, you can trim off the overlapping zip and also trim the corners to reduce the bulk.

zippered pouch tutorial - step by step

  • Now turn the pouch through the opening in the zipper. User a pencil or chopstick to push the corners through nicely and give it a good press. You are done!!

Note: Take care to use an ironing cloth or teflon sheet if you are using a non-metal zipper as the zipper teeth may melt during the ironing process.

simple zippered pouch or purse tutorial

Velvet Gypsy Tote Bag Tutorial

velvet-gypsy-bag, craft, tote bag, sewing


This bag is made from recycled velvet. We visited the local op-shop and picked up some old velvet skirts and tops that were just ideal for this bag and it was economical as well.

What you need:

  • 8 strips of velvet fabric measuring 20″ w x 5″h.
  • 2 pieces of lining fabric 16″w x 18″h.
  • Piece of cord.


  • Sew 4 of the strips together with a ¼” seam allowance. This is for the front of the bag.
  • Sew the other 4 strips together with a ¼” seam allowance. This is for the back of the bag.

velvet-gypsy-bag,sewing,craft,tote bag,

  • Cut each piece so that it measures 16″ x 18″.
  • I had all sorts of problems with this fabric as it slipped and moved constantly. That is why I started out cutting it at 20″ in width to start with. It gave me plenty of fabric to allow for mishaps.

velvet-gypsy-bag,tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Lay one of the lining pieces on the table – right side facing up.
  • Lay the velvet piece on top – right side facing down.

velvet-gypsy-bag, tote bag, slouch bag, craft, sewing

  • Pop a pin in the lining piece only. Place this to match the seam line of the velvet piece.
  • Alternatively you can measure your bottom piece of velvet fabric and place the pin the same distance from the bottom.
  • Fold the velvet piece back out of the way.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Place some A4 (or other) paper just covering the pin and just having the seam line amount of fabric exposed.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Spray with adhesive spray. We found we needed a heavy spray.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag,tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Place the velvet piece back onto the lining, matching the side edges and press firmly in place over the adhesive.
  • Leave to dry.
  • Repeat this process along the bottom edge
  • Repeat this process on the other side edge.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Lay  one velvet piece on top of one piece of lining and place right sides together.
  • Starting with a backstitch sew from the seam line of the bottom piece of velvet, across the bottom of the bag and up to the seam line of the bottom piece of velvet on the other side.
  • Sew with a ½”seam.
  • End with a backstitch.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Lay the pieces on the mat with the velvet fabric facing up.

velvet-gypsy-bag.tote bag, slouch bag, craft, sewing

  • Take one piece and fold the velvet fabric back as far as the previously sewn seam.
  • Do this with each bag piece.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Lay one piece on top of the other, right sides together.

velvet-gypsy-bag.slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Smooth out the pieces and make sure the edges of the lining line up.

velvet-gypsy-bag,tote bag, slouch bag, craft, sewing

  • Pin the two lining pieces together.
  • Make sure the velvet pieces are out of the way. You don’t want to sew over them.
  • Pin down one side and when you are pinning along the bottom edge, leave a gap of about 4-5″. This gap will be used to turn the bag through later on.


  • Sew with a ½” seam.
  • Start with a backstitch, sew down one side, pivot your needle at the corner and sew along the bottom until you come to the first pin where your gap is going to be. Backstitch.
  • Move your needle to the pin on the other side of the gap. Remove the pin and backstitch.
  • Continue sewing along the bottom edge and up the side.
  • When you reach the pin at the base of the velvet fabric, backstitch.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • So here is the lining sewn with a ½” seam and showing the opening in the bottom edge.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Now its time to sew the velvet pieces together.
  • Spray the seam lines with basting spray as shown previously.
  • Start sewing from the seam line that was sewn when we started constructing the bag.
  • Sew around the edge with a ½” seam.
  • Start and end with a backstitch
  • Do Not leave an opening in the bottom edge. We only need one opening and we have that in the lining piece.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bat, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Here are the velvet pieces sewn together.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

If you want to box the corners you can check out our tutorial on how to do that here.

  • Turn the bag through the gap in the bottom of the lining.
  • Push the lining into the bag.
  • Push out the corners.
  • Top stitch down the opening edge, across the bottom of the opening and up the other side.
  • Start and end with a backstitch.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Sew up the opening in the bottom of the lining.
  • You can hand stitch this together or topstitch it on your machine.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • As you can see here, I have machine stitched the opening together.

velvet-gypsy-bag.slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Turn over approx 1″ on the top edge. This will vary depending  on how wide your cord is.
  • Pin in place.
  • Do this on both sides of the bag.
  • Stitch along the pinned edge.

velvet-gypsy-bag,slouch bag, tote bag, craft, sewing

  • Thread your cord through the opening.

velvet-gypsy-bag.tote bag, slouch bag, craft, sewing

  • You can see how to join the cord in the video.


Patchwork Tote Bag with Couching – Tutorial


I love using 5″ squares to make bags. Everything is precut and you don’t have to think to hard about matching fabrics as it’s all done for you. That is of course, if you are using Moda Charm Squares or another brand of precut squares. However, for this tutorial you could cut also your own. I have used Suzani by  Michelle Marvig for George Parsons. I just love the colours

Note: You can scroll down to see the video tutorial for this project.

What you need:

  • 16 x  5″ squares
  • 1 piece for the backing – ours is 18½” by 18½”
  • 2 pieces of batting or fusible fleece – depending on the look you want – our two pieces each measure 18½” by 18½”
  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 18½” by 18½” for the lining
  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 5″ x  22″ or the length you want for your handles.
  • 2 pieces of batting 2½” wide by the length of your handle
  • 1 ball of thick wool (you don’t need much so you may have some in your wool stash)


Step 1:

  • Lay out your squares


Step 2:

  • Sew the squares together in rows


Press the seams in opposite directions for each row, as pictured above.

Step 3: 

  • Sew rows together


Step 4: 

  • Add batting to back of main piece and wrong side of back piece. Put backing piece aside.



Step 5: Couching

  • On a piece of scrap material test the size of your zig-zag stitch. You want it to go right across the yarn and not split it.


  • When you are happy with the width of your zig-zag then you are ready to attach the thread to the seam lines of your squares.  We sew the thread across all three rows then turn the bag and couch down the other three rows, just running the thread over top of the thread you have laid down previously.add-yarn-attach
  • Trim off the threads


Step 6: Sew Main Piece to Backing Piece

  • Place the main piece and the backing right sides together and sew around 3 sides with a ¼” seam.
  • Leave the top end open.
  • Pivot at the corners.
  • Backstitch at the start and the end.


  • Turn bag to right side. Put aside for now.


Step 7: Lining

  • Take your two lining pieces and join them on 3 sides using a ¼” seam allowance.
  • Leave the top end open.
  • Pivot at the corners.
  • Backstitch at the start and the end.


Step 8: Box the Corner

I wanted a four inch base on this bag so I measured down 2″ from the base of the ‘V ‘at the corner  where the bottom and the side seam meet.  Make sure the bottom and side seams line up perfectly as you want to have a continuous look to your seam line when you finish.

We have a tutorial on “How to Box Bag Corners” where you can see this process in detail.

You need to box all four corners – 2 on the lining and 2 on the main piece of the bag.



Trim the excess fabric  from the boxed corner when you are happy that the seams line up. Leave about a ¼” seam.


Put all the pieces aside and make your handles.

Step 9: Handles

  • Fold your handle pieces right sides together and press down the length of the fabric


  • Open out and fold each edge to the middle – the fold line that you have just made down the middle – and press


Open out and lay your batting down the middle.


  • Fold the edges back into the middle over the batting.


  • Topstitch down both sides of handle ⅛”  from the edge.


  • Measure in 4″ from each side seam and draw a small line with a water erasable or Frixion pen.


  • Pin the handles in place, with one side on the mark you have just drawn. Make sure they are not twisted and pin with the bulk of the handle out towards the side seam.
  • I like to stitch them in place before adding the lining so that they don’t move and I know that they are sitting correctly.


Step 10: Putting the Bag Together

  • Turn the lining inside out and place the bag inside the lining so that the right sides are facing. Make sure the handles are pushed down towards the bottom of the bag.  We don’t want to catch them up in the seam we are going to sew around the top.


  • Line up the sides seams from the lining piece and the main bag piece and pin


  •  Give the bag a bit of a shake (hold on to the top edge), you want the whole thing to lay relatively flat.
  • Pin the two pieces together and join with a ¼” seam. Make sure you leave about a 4″ to 5″  opening on the back side of the bag so that you can turn the bag through once you have sewn it together.


  • Turn bag through. Push lining to the inside of the bag. Make sure it’s nice and neat by giving it a bit of a press.
  • Topstitch around the top of the bag about ⅛” from the edge.


And here we have it – our finished bag.  Don’t forget to check out the video for the full instructions.


Tote Bag Tutorial – How to Box a Corner

Adding a boxed corner to a tote bag gives it some stability  so that it will stand up on its own and it just gives a nice finishing touch to a bag.

In our video we show you how to box a corner. It’s not difficult and it’s well worth getting the hang of.

We don’t box the corners on all our bags and you may not want to either, but this just such  is a handy technique to know for those times when you do.

DIY Canvas Tote Bag Tutorial

DIY Canvas Tote Bag Tutorial

We’ve been meaning to create a tutorial for a canvas tote bag for some time now, so when we found some lovely teal canvas fabric from our local craft store, we took that as a sign.

This is a really simple bag to make because it doesn’t have any lining. For our bag, we used a canvas fabric with a design on the outside but you can use a plain fabric for this if you prefer.

NOTE:It is best to use a fabric with a multi-directional print. The fabric will be folded in half and if you have a one directional print the pattern on the back of bag will be upside down,

What You Will Need:

  • 1 piece of canvas fabric measuring 34 ½” x 15 ½”
  • 2 pieces canvas fabric measuring 5″ x 55″ for the handles – Note that the finished length of the handles will be 104″ so this is why we cut two pieces as the width of our fabric off the roll was about 55″ in length. We sewed those two pieces together to make 110″ and then cut it back to 104″.

The trick with this bag is that we sew it together with the wrong sides facing. So our first seam is on the right side of the fabric. But that’s okay, there’s no need to panic.  We are going to tidy up the seams by turning the bag inside out and sewing a seam line that encompasses our previous seam and hides the raw edges. This is known as a French Seam, and it is generally used on lingerie and fine fabrics. But  hey, there are no seam police so we are going to use it on our canvas bag.

I left my first seam at ¼” but you can trim it down to 1/8″ and make a smaller final seam if you wish.