How to Sew a Quilted Makeup Bag

How to Sew a Quilted Makeup Bag

QUILTED COSMETIC BAG TUTORIAL. The perfect make for using up fat quarters from your stash. Make this boxy make-up bag with quilted sides and a zip fastening – it’s easier than it looks!

Finished size
Approx 10 x 14 x 7cm (4 x 5 1⁄2 x 2 3⁄4in)

✦  Two fat quarters: one for the outer bag and one for the lining
✦  One 52 x 42cm (20 1⁄2 x 16 1⁄2in) piece of wadding
✦  One 18cm (7in) zip
✦  Zip foot, walking foot and quilting  guide, optional

All measurements include  1⁄2in seam allowances, unless otherwise stated.


1   From each of the fat quarters and the wadding cut the following pieces:
✦  One 8 1⁄4 x 10 1⁄4in piece: bag bottom
✦  Two 4 1⁄2 x 10 1⁄4in pieces: bag top


1  Take the two 4 1⁄2 x 10 1⁄4in outer bag pieces and pin them right sides together. Position the zip along the centre of one long side, about 3⁄8in in from the edge, and mark the fabric at the top of the zip (where the zip pull is) and at the bottom of the zip where the teeth finish. Set the zip aside for the moment. See
‘Adding a zip’ for more information.

2  You will now need to sew along the long edge where your zip will be. Sew the seam with a 3⁄8in seam allowance from the fabric edge to the first mark, backstitching when you reach it to lock your stitching. Then machine baste the zip opening by increasing your stitch length to maximum: start stitching 2in along from the fi rst mark (without backstitching) until the second zip mark is reached. Change your stitch length back to regular 2.5mm and continue the seam to the end. Press the seam allowance open.

3   Place the zip face down on top of the pressed-open seam, with the teeth running along the seam line and the top of the zip in line with the 2in gap left unstitched. Pin and baste in position.

4   Turn the fabric over to the right side. With a zip foot on your machine, stitch the zip in place through all thicknesses, starting at the base of the zip at the seam. Make three or four stitches across the bottom, then, with the needle down, pivot the fabric to stitch up the side. When close to the zip pull, again stop with the needle down, raise the presser foot and push the zip pull below the stitching. Continue to the
end. Repeat for the other side of the zip. 

5   Pin the 4 1⁄2 x 10 1⁄4in wadding pieces to the reverse of your zipped piece, butting  the wadding up against the zip tape. Quilt in place using a grid pattern: start with parallel lines stitched across the width, then sew vertically from the zip out to the edge, spacing the lines about 1in apart. Trim away any excess wadding.

 6    Add the 8 1⁄4  x 10 1⁄4  wadding to the 8 1⁄4 x 10 1⁄4 in outer bag piece in the same way as described in Step 5. Quilt in a grid with horizontal and vertical lines as before, keeping the same 1in spacing between your lines of stitching. Trim the edges to square up if necessary.

7   To make the bag corners, measure and mark up and in 2in on each corner  on both of the quilted panels. Cut away the marked squares as shown in Fig 1.

How to Sew a Quilted Makeup Bag

8   Unpick the basting stitches and open the zip. Place your two quilted pieces on top of each other, with right sides together. Sew front to back along the top, bottom and sides, leaving the cut-out square sections unsewn.

9   Bring the cut-out square edges together to form a seam at each of the  corners and stitch together; press.

Adding a zip

Zips add the finishing touch to so many projects, ranging from bags to pillow covers and of course
clothes. A centred zip is the easiest to master, with just six simple steps.

1   Neaten the raw edges of the fabric the zip is to be inserted into, either by pinking with pinking
shears or sewing a line of zigzag stitching. Mark the zip position by laying the zip on the wrong side of the fabric and marking the fabric at the top of the zip pull and at the bottom of the teeth. See Fig 1.

2   Remove the zip and machine stitch down to the first mark and then backstitch to anchor the
stitching. Cut the threads. Increase stitch length to the longest available and, leaving a 1 1⁄4–2in gap, machine baste down to the second mark. Decrease the stitch length to 2.2–2.5 before stitching the
remainder of the seam. Remember to backstitch at the start and end of the regular stitching to anchor
the threads. See Fig 2.

3   Press the seam allowance open. Lay the zip, face down, on top of the seam with the teeth centred
over the seam and the zip pull at the end with the 1 1⁄4–2in gap. Pin in place. See Fig 3.

4   With a contrast thread colour machine or hand baste the zip in position, through all the layers of
fabric. Create straight lines down the sides of the zip tape and across the top and bottom. See Fig 4.

5   Attach your zip foot. With the zip and fabric right side up, start at the seam at the bottom of the zip.
At right angles to the zip seam, take three or four stitches, stop with the needle down, raise the presser
foot and swivel the fabric so that you can stitch up the side of the zip, following your basting stitches.
When you get close to the zip pull, stop with the needle down, raise the presser foot and pull the zip
pull down, out of the way. Continue to stitch to the top, pivot and stitch to the seam. Repeat for the other side of the zip. See Fig 5.

Handy hint
A zip foot will have one toe with indents either side and two pins to attach it to the sewing  machine so that you can attach it with the foot to the right or left of the needle. Attach it so that  the toe is furthest away from the zip teeth.

6   Using a quick unpick, or seam ripper, carefully remove all the hand and machine basting stitches, then carefully press the zip. See Figs 6 and 7.

10   You will now need to create your lining. Pin the two 4 1⁄2 x 10 1⁄4in lining pieces together, right sides facing. As in Step 2 you will need to sew them together at either end of the top long edge, leaving a gap in the middle long enough to accommodate the zip. Press the seams and zip opening open. Place
this seamed piece of fabric on top of your 8 1⁄4 x 10 1⁄4in piece of lining fabric, right sides facing. Mark and cut a 2in square away at each of the corners. As in Step 8, sew along the outside edges, leaving the
cut-out square sections unsewn. Sew up the corners as in Step 9. See Fig 8.

11   Turn the lining right side out and slip the main bag inside it, so that  the wrong sides are facing each other. Slipstitch the lining to the bag around the zip tape, then turn the bag the right way out.

How to Sew a Quilted Makeup Bag

How to Sew a Quilted Makeup Bag

How to Sew a Quilted Makeup Bag

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