Sunday, February 20, 2011

Patchwork Zipper Bag Tutorial, Part Two

First we made up the two patchwork pieces.

Now it’s time to assemble the bag.

1.  Iron the fusible fleece onto the back side of the patchwork pieces, leaving a seam allowance of approximately one-quarter inch all around.  I add a little bit of light quilting at this stage. 

2.  Take the two 2" squares that you had reserved the for the zipper gussets and iron them in half.  Then iron the two sides into the middle seam.  Iron closed.  Your remaining pieces should be 2" by 1/2".

3.  Trim off the excess zipper length just beyond the metal stop at the bottom of the zipper.

4.  Tuck the zipper end into one of the gussets and top stitch down along the edge.

5.  Trim the zipper length to 3/4" less in length than the width of your patchwork.  In this case, 7 1/2".  Be sure that you open the zipper so that you do not cut off the zipper pull.

6.  Add the gusset to the open end and then trim both gussets even with the zipper edge.

7.  I now add quarter-inch Steam-a-Seam tape to the top and bottom edges of the zipper, both front and back.

8.  Lay the lining piece right side up.  Remove the paper from the top back of the zipper and lay the zipper on top of the lining, leaving about 3/8" on each side.  Be sure the zipper pull is facing up.  Press to hold in place.

9.  Remove the paper from the top of the zipper and place the outer bag patchwork right side down on top of the zipper and lining.  Press in place. 

10.  Sew along the top edge of the bag.  A zipper foot will definitely make this easier.

11.  Press both the lining and the outer patchwork away from the zipper teeth.  Top stitch along the edge of the fabric.  In this case, an edge foot will make this neater. 

When you come up on the zipper pull, leave the needle down in the fabric, lift the presser foot, squeeze the zipper pull under and to the back, lower the presser foot and finish stitching.

12.  Repeat for the other half of the zipper.  When you are finished, your bag will look like this from the front.

And like this from the back.  (You may notice that the lining fabrics don’t reach all the way to the edge of the patchwork.  That’s because I like to cut my linings with a little less depth so they don’t bunch up inside once the bag is finished).

13.  Now is a good time to make sure that your zipper is at least half way open.

14.  Fold the pieces so that the patchworks are face to face on one side of the zipper and the linings right sides together on the other.

15.  Pin the edges together being careful to match up the zipper seams carefully.  Sew all around the exterior of the bag leaving a 2 1/2" opening in the lining along the bottom edge.

16.  Trim the excess off all four corners.

17.  Turn inside out through the opening in the lining. ( This always reminds me of giving birth).  It looks pretty funky for a while.

18.  Use the opening in the lining to push out the corners and to iron everything nice and neat.

19.  Sew the opening closed.

20.  Tuck the lining inside the bag and enjoy your pretty new bag!


  1. You always make it look so easy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you for this tutorial, I must give this a go it looks great, you don't want to know how I have been making mine...the hard way!

  3. Thank you so very much for this tutorial!

  4. Thanks, Terrie. That explained just what I needed to know about sewing in the zipper!

  5. It is a gorgeous bag and the tutorial is wonderful. I love the colors you used Terrie.

  6. I am a zipper bag fan Terrie and you have given me some more ideas. Thanks so much. Loving your little quilt on my wall and itching for a little time to start playing with a few projects from you book. Thanks agan.

  7. You're so productive!! Love the new bag and your Civil War blocks!

  8. After subscribing to your blog for ever, I finally got your book through the library to see if I could figure it out (never did any paper piecing at all, but I don't like "wonky" style pieces (intentional or not), and my mother assured me that that's the way to get perfect corners... and miniature's a good way to try it out!). I'm thrilled with the outcome! So, I think I'll turn the book back in and go buy a copy :)