Adding a Zippered Pocket Tutorial

Adding a Zippered Pocket 

Want to learn how to add a zippered pocket to a handbag? This Tutorial is all about sewing a zippered pocket into a handbag or other similar item where you seek to add a zipper pocket to the middle of an item.  I have added these to bags and binder inserts.  These step by step instructions will show you just how easy it is.

Finished Zippered Pocket, How to Sew a Zippered Pocket
Finished Zippered Pocket

What you Will Need: Adding a Zippered Pocket

  • Outer Fabric
  • Lining Fabric
  • Interfacing
  • Zipper
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread
  • Seam Ripper/Scissors

Step 1:

Determine the size you want your pocket to be and the size you want your opening to be.  For this example, I chose a pocket that is 9″ wide with an eight inch opening.  For the 8″ opening, I used a 9″ zipper.  The pocket piece in this example is 14″ long. The reason that it is 14″ long is that it folds up to create the pocket.

Step 2:

Cut out a piece of fabric the dimensions you want your pocket to be.  I cut out 9″ wide x 14″ long as the size of my pocket.  Then fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of the pocket piece. I use Pellon 808 interfacing for my pockets to give them structure and strength. If you are unfamiliar with interfacing the instructions generally come with it when you purchase it but it is easy to fuse.  The interfacing has a glue side and a non-glue side.  Place the glue side to the wrong side of your pocket piece and press with a hot iron on the fabric side.  The glue melts and fuses with the fabric so that it can be treated as one piece of fabric.

Step 3:

Line up your pocket piece with your outer fabric right sides together where you want your pocket to be and either clip or pin the pocket piece to the outer fabric. I generally center the pocket piece with the outer piece.  Once the pocket piece is secured measure down 1″ from the top center of the pocket piece and place a dot.  Use this dot as the center of your zipper.  From here, draw a line the length of your chosen opening.  Since I chose an 8″ opening, I measured 4″ on each side of my dot. Then draw down 3/8″-1/2″ down on each end and complete the rectangle by drawing a second line across the bottom. Once the rectangle is complete, draw a 1/2″ triangle at either end then connect the two triangles with a line.

Place the interfaced pocket piece onto the main body, Adding a Zippered Pocket Tutorial
Place the interfaced pocket piece onto the main body
Draw a rectangle on the pocket piece, Adding a Zippered Pocket Tutorial
Draw a rectangle on the pocket piece

Step 4:

Sew around the rectangle through all layers.  This should secure the interfacing, pocket piece and the main body piece together.  Then use a seam ripper and/or small scissors to cut out the line and the legs of the two triangles making sure not to cut the stitching.

Step 5:

Push through the pocket piece to the wrong side of the main body piece and press.  This will leave you with a flat front piece with a rectangular opening. Press so that the seams are flat and smooth. Once everything is nice and flat, line up the zipper by centering it in the opening you have created.  You can pin the zipper here if you like but I prefer to use a nice little sewing hack that really works.  Take a standard glue stick that you get at any office supply store and rub it onto the right side of your zipper then press the pocket piece and main fabric you just created over it so that it is centered underneath the hole. Press to set the glue.  This hack keeps the zipper from moving while you sew and will not clog up your needle.

Step 6:

Using a zipper foot Sew the zipper into place over the main body fabric and through all layers near the teeth of the zipper. After the zipper is secure and neatly sewn, turn the piece to the wrong side and fold up the pocket piece fabric so that the actual pocket is formed.  Sew around the top and two sides making sure not to catch the main body fabric.  Voila, the zippered pocket is complete.  You can add this pocket to either the outside or the lining of most any bag making project.

I hope you have enjoyed this zippered pocket tutorial.  This step-by-step tutorial has shown you how to add a zippered pocket to any handbag or binder insert.

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