Sunday, February 9, 2014

DIY Liberty Print Quilted Pouch

In this tutorial I'll show you how to make a quilted and lined Liberty print pouch with a zip! Perfect to hold your lip balm, nail file, phone and any other girly bits and pieces that have a tendency to gather fluff at the bottom of your hand bag. Mind you, once you've mastered the technique you needn't limit yourself to make up bags - pencil cases, washbags and anything else you can think of will be at your finger tips!

The layer of cotton batting adds just enough structure to the main fabric and will help to protect whatever's inside but still leaves the pouch pleasingly squishy. You could use a double later of batting if you wanted even more structure.

I chose Bourton F for the main fabric as I had some left over from my Liberty print dress but you could choose any print or pattern you fancy. I'm already dreaming of a version in Forget-Me-Nots!

I love it when cosmetic bags have a 'suprise' fun coloured lining so decided to double up on the Liberty print here and use a pretty, micro floral print for the lining fabric. This also has the advantage of helping to hide the inevitable smudges and marks that make up pouches tend to gather (in my hands at least!).

Materials & Equipment:

2 x pieces of main fabric 28cm by 17cm
2 x pieces of cotton batting 28cm by 17cm
2 x pieces of lining fabric 28cm by 17cm
2 x pieces of main fabric 6cm by 3cm
22 cm metal general purpose zipper
Thread to match main fabric
Contrasting thread for quilting (or you can use the matching thread again if you prefer)
Stitch marker / tailors chalk
Fabric scissors
Sewing machine
Zipper presser foot

Step 1: Pin the cotton batting onto the wrong side (WS) of your two main fabric pieces. Tack all the way around the outside and across the middle in two horizontal lines (this will help secure the fabric when it comes to quilting). Remove the pins.

Step 2: With WS facing, mark your quilting lines across both pieces of batting fabric (I wanted my stitches to be fairly close together so I made my lines 2cm apart). I found that a water soluble colouring pencil did a great job of marking up the batting nice and clearly and the marks won't be seen once the pouch is assembled!

Step 3: Machine stitch over the top of your quilting lines, changing direction with each row of stitching to help stop the layers of fabric slipping. I like to backstitch at the beginning and end of each row to help keep things more secure.

Step 4: Take one of your small fabric tabs and fold in half so WS are together, press. Open out the fabric and re fold the edges in so that they come to meet the crease you just made, press. With the ends still folded over, re-fold the original crease you made and press once more. Repeat for both pieces of fabric.

Step 5: Trim the ends of the zip so that 1cm of fabric remains at either end. Sandwich each end of the zipper in between the fabric tabs, making sure both ends of the zipper are just hidden. Pin in place.

Step 6: Machine sew across each fabric tab & zipper sandwich using a zipper presser foot. Feel for the end of the zip and try to get as close as possible but don't let the needle hit those gnarly zipper teeth! I like to finish the ends here by leaving a long tail of thread and tying it off in a double knot on the WS of the zipper rather than backstitching as I think it leaves a neater finish for such a small area.

Step 7: Place one of your pieces of lining fabric in front of you RS facing. Lay the zip along the top edge, RS facing. Place one of your quilted fabric pieces on top of the stack, WS facing. Make sure all the edges line up - especially along the top edge where you're about to sew. Pin all layers of fabric in place.

Step 8: Stitch along the top edge, parallel to the zipper teeth. Backstitch at the beginning and end to secure the thread. Fold back the main fabric and lining fabric so that WS are together and press. Stitch a neat row of topstitching onto the main fabric, parallel to the zipper teeth.

Step 9: Repeat steps 7 and 8 for the other side. You should now have something which looks a bit like this...

Step 10: Unzip your zipper half way (this will enable you to turn the finished pouch the right way round later on). Fold both pieces of main fabric to one side, RS together. Fold both pieces of lining fabric to the other side, RS together, making sure the zip is folded towards the lining.

Step 11: Pin the fabric in place and then carefully feel for the covered zipper ends. You'll want to mark a line just slightly in from where the fabric zipper tabs end - use a ruler and do this for both sides. Connect these two lines up with a nice straight line top and bottom - these will be your guidelines for sewing up the pouch! Machine stitch all the way around the outside of the pouch along the lines you've just drawn, leaving a gap in the lining of about 7cm (this is what you'll use to turn the pouch the right way round in a second). Backstitch at the beginning and end to secure the thread.

Step 12: Before you turn the pouch the right way round it's time to square off the bottom! Trim the seam allowance on the two short sides to around 1cm. You can use pinking shears for this if you have them! Next take the main fabric, grab a corner and squash it flat so that both seams line up and you have a neat little triangle. Pin the fabric in place and then mark a horizontal line 4cm down from the tip of the triangle. Repeat on the other side and on both ends of the lining fabric. Machine stitch across the four horizontal lines and trim away the excess!

Step 13: Hand sew the lining closed and you're all done!

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, if you decide to give it a go do let me know how you get on - I would love to see a picture of your creation!


  1. This is gorgeous. A lovely, easy to follow tutorial. Love the quilting.

    1. Thank you Lucie! Making these little pouches is rather addictive, I'm already busy choosing fabric for my next one! :)

  2. Philomena JeffroyJune 15, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    This is a lovely clear demonstration and good to follow! I have certainly learnt the best way to fit a zip into a bag without getting into a tizwaz!
    Thank you.

    1. Thank you Philomena, I'm really glad you like it!

  3. Thank you - excellent tutorial!!

  4. I am so thankful for this tutorial, you have no idea how long I have tried to figure this rather troublesome little thing out, thank you ever so much !! When enlarging the images I clearly see how it all is done.

    Aina, Norway

    1. Thank you for your comment, I'm so glad you like it Alina! :)

  5. Thanks for the tutorial, actually I have just made 3 cosmetic bags in 2 nights. I pretty much did the same thing. I did learn more about the zipper. A cleaner look for the zipper. Sue:)

    1. They're so quick and easy once you get going aren't they? Glad you liked it :)

  6. Would you pls kindly advise the length of the finished product ? Thanks

    1. Of course, the length at the narrowest point of this particular pouch is 20 cm.


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