Bag with zipper. Sew Tutorial

Bag with zipper
Zip it!
Make a groovy shoulder bag in your favourite retro-style fabrics. This roomy bag has a full zip closure and a useful zipped interior pocket.

Bag with zipper

- 0.75m main fabric - cotton print, 'Hatch Patch' in brown by Michael Miller Fabrics
- 0.75m lining fabric - cotton print, 'Painter's Canvas' in pink by Laura Gunn for Michael Miller Fabrics
- 2m medium weight, woven, fusible interfacing
- 26cm nylon zip, for pocket
- 30cm nylon zip, for main closure

Good To Know

- Fabric width used 112cm.
- R/S = right side, W/S = wrong side.
- RST = right side together WST = wrong side together.
- Seam allowances are included in the cutting sizes and pattern piece.
- Use 1cm seam allowance throughout, unless stated otherwise.
Finished size approximately: 29cm x 40cm.

To Cut See pattern sheet for main body pattern piece
Main fabric:
- Cut 2 main body on fold
- Cut 2 5cm x 34cm zip panel
- Cut 1 14cm x 105cm shoulder strap
Lining fabric:
- Cut 2 main body on fold
- Cut 2 5cm x 34cm zip panel
- Cut 2 20cm x 28cm interior pocket
Fusible interfacing:
- Cut 4 main body on fold
- Cut 2 20cm x 23cm interior pocket
- Cut 1 7cm x 105cm shoulder strap

To Sew

1. Fuse the interfacing pieces to the W/S of the corresponding fabric pieces, positioning the shoulder strap piece centrally widthways.

2. Hand-stitch the zip-pull end together on the 26cm zip. If you need to trim a longer zip to size, measure from the start of the teeth and trim the teeth length to 26cm. Stitch the teeth together, 1 cm from the trimmed end, to form a new zip-stop.

Bag with zipper

3. Draw a 24cm x 1 cm rectangle onto the W/S of one pocket piece, 3cm down from the top long edge and centrally widthways. Draw another line, centrally along the length of the rectangle, starting and stopping 5mm from the short edges. Draw V shapes at each end of the central line, going into each corner of the rectangle.

4. Place the pocket piece RST, on top of a main body lining piece, positioned centrally widthways and 3cm down from the top edge, pin. Stitch through both layers, following the outer lines of the rectangle. Cut along the central line, through all the layers. Snip into the V shape lines, going right up to the corners but not through the stitches.

Tip: use a seam ripper to make a starting hole in the centre line before continuing with sharp scissors.

Bag with zipper

5. Push the pocket piece edges through the opening to bring both pieces WST. Press both sides of the opening to define and neaten up the opening.

6. Apply double-sided sticky tape to the right side of the zip, along both long edges (optional). With both R/S up, place the main body lining on top of the zip, positioning the zip neatly inside the hole. Apply pressure around the opening to firmly secure the taped zip edges to the main body. Alternatively, pin or hand-baste the zip into position. Using a zip presser foot, topstitch around the zip opening, 3mm from edges.
Bag with zipper

7. Place the other pocket piece on top of the stitched one, with RST and all edges matching. Pin the pocket edges together, holding the lining out of the way as you pin each side. Stitch all the edges of the pocket, folding the lining back and out of the way.

8. Transfer the dart markings from the pattern, to the main body outer and lining pieces. Stitch all the darts. Press the dart seams away from each other on one outer and toward each other on the other outer. Press the lining darts in the same manner.

Bag with zipper

9. Place the outer main body pieces RST, matching up the dart seams. Stitch down one side, around the curved bottom edge and up the other side. Snip notches into the curves, avoiding the stitching. Press the seam open and turn R/S out. Repeat to sew the lining pieces together but this time leave a turning gap at the centre of the bottom seam and leave W/S out.

10. Make the main closure zip panel: with both R/S up, match one edge of the 30cm zip to the long edge of a zip panel lining, pin. Place a main fabric zip panel on top, with W/S up, pin. If desired, hand-baste the layers together to ensure the zip stays in the correct position. Using a zip presser foot, stitch with a 5mm seam. Bring the zip panels WST, matching up all the edges and pressing near the zip on both sides to neaten the folded edges. Topstitch 3mm from the folded edge. Baste the short and long raw edges together with a 5mm seam. Repeat to attach the remaining zip panels to the other side of the zip.

11.  With zip fully open and the panel  R/S up, pin the raw edges to the R/S of the lining bag - firstly matching up the short edges with the lining bag's straight side edges and then easing the long edges to match the lining's curved edges. Stitch around all the straight and curved edges. This is easiest to do with the zip panel uppermost.
Bag with zipper

12. Make the shoulder strap: fold the strap in half lengthways, WST, press. Open out so W/S facing up and fold over the long edges to W/S, to meet at centre crease, press. Fold in half lengthways again, to bring the folded edges together. Press and pin. Topstitch both long edges with a 3mm seam.

13. With RST, place one of the handle ends at the top side edge of the outer bag, matching the raw edges and positioning centrally across the side seam, pin. Baste 5mm from the edge. Baste the other end of the handle at the other side seam of the bag.

Bag with zipper

14. With the zip fully open, insert the  outer bag into the lining so RST. Ensure the shoulder strap and zip panels are tucked down between the layers. Match up the side seams and the top raw edges, pin. Stitch all around the top edges, with a 1.5cm seam. Snip into the curves and trim across the top corners, avoiding the stitching.

Bag with zipper

15. Pull the outer bag through the gap  in the lining, to bring both R/S out. Pull on the handle ends to release and reach in through the lining gap to ease out the corners. Lightly press both sections if required. Fold in the lining gap edges, to match the rest of the seam, press and pin. Slipstitch by hand or machine stitch, staying very close to the edges. Push the lining down inside the outer bag.

Bag with zipper

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  1. I just love this bag! I'd love to make one for myself as my next purse, but I'm not seeing the "main body piece" pattern on the page. Am I missing it or do I need to look somewhere else? Thanks!

  2. How do I get the pattern pieces?

  3. really nice bag, I like to make... But where is the pattern please?