Zippered Purse Tutorial

June 23, 2011

I have been wanting to start making some tutorials for you for a while now, so here is my first!  For the PDF download of this tutorial click here.

Here is what you will need:
Zip - 8 inch
Lining – 2 pieces measuring 8” x 5.5”
Exterior fabric – 2 pieces measuring 8” x 5.5”
Iron on interfacing – 2 pieces measuring 8” x 5.5”
(This little bag will end up measuring approx  7.5 inches x 5 inches, but you can make whatever size you like).

The interfacing is optional, however, if you are embroidering something on your outer fabric it makes it look and feel a lot more substantial and durable.

Start with the front of your purse – if you are embroidering a design do so first, and then this is the piece to use. 

 I like to think of this process as a zip sandwich. 
1               Put your outer/embroidered fabric face UP
2               Place your zip on top of this face DOWN
3               Place your lining on top of this face DOWN
4               Pin all together
5               Pull zipper half way open

Feel for the teeth of the zipper and line your zipper foot alongside them and sew along the length of the zip.  When you reach the zipper pull, you may need to lift the foot to get past it.  Just leave your needle in the fabric and gently work it through then put the foot back down and carry on.  

When done, flip the fabric so it is the right way round (wrong sides touching).
Next is to attach the other pieces of fabric.  What I find useful is to pretend the first sandwich isn’t there.  Just lay down the fabrics in exactly the same 5 step process as before (the only difference is the other side of the zip is already attached). 
I like to top stitch along the zip to avoid the zipper teeth getting caught in the fabric.  Press first then go for it.

Now it is time to sew it all together.  Pull your zip open half way.  If you forget this you might be looking for some choice words later.  Have the two exterior fabrics with right sides together, line up nicely and pin. Do the same with the lining pieces.  

The picture shows which way the zip ends should go.  Outer fabric sits flat and the lining has the zip ends.  If you wish to add a tag, now is the time to add it, remember it needs to be pointing inwards.

Using a ¼ inch seam allowance, sew around the perimeter leaving a 2 “ turning gap in the lining.  

Clip the corners to remove the bulk.  Turn right way out through the gap you left in lining.   Gently push out the corners.  

Press, and smile at your lovely new zippered purse.


  1. Thankyou so so much, I can't wait to get started on some of my own zippered purses. I love the toadstool embroidery do you have a pattern for that or do you just free hand. I've only ever done cross stitch, but would like to give the toad stool a try.

  2. Hi Sarah,

    Yes I just do it freehand. I did the outside of the red cap in chain stitch first. Next I did the white spots, then filled in the remainder of the cap.

    Basically everything is done in chain stitch except for the grasses which were done in stem stitch.

    Hope this helps!


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