A basic zipper pouch teaches you all sorts of skills like top stitching, zipper insertion, squared off corners and turning a bag. It makes a quick gift for anyone…just adjust your fabrics to match the recipient’s personality. For this pattern, we will use a basic sheet of copy paper as the pattern.


  • 1/2″ yard of exterior or main fabric for the outside of the bag.
  • 1/2″ yard of lining fabric for the inside of the bag.
  • 1 yard of Pellon SF101 Shapeflex in white. It measures 20″ wide.
  • 1 zipper, 12″ or longer. A YKK basic zipper is best to begin so you can cut the zipper. For your first bag, I do not recommend a metal zipper.


  • From your exterior fabric, use a regular piece of copy paper and cut two fabric pieces the size of your paper.
  • From your lining fabric, use the copy paper to cut two fabric pieces.
  • From lining fabric, cut two squares that measure 2.5″ x 2.5″ to be used for your zipper tabs.
  • Cut four pieces of Pellon SF101 using the copy paper as your pattern.
  • Fuse the SF101 Shapeflex to the wrong side of the two completed exterior panels and the two lining pieces following the manufacturer’s instructions.



  • This is the time to add any embellishments to the exterior of the bag if you desire.  


  • Press both zipper tab pieces in half with the wrong sides together (WST) to make a center crease. Fold and press the long raw edges in ¼”.

  • Cut a 12” or longer zipper to 9”. NOTE: Do not cut off the zipper pull by accident. DO cut off the metal stopper end first, just inside the stopper.
  • Center a folded and pressed zipper end tab over one end of the zipper. The tabs cover each cut end of the zipper by at least ¼”. Leave ½” of the tab hanging off the end of the zipper. Topstitch the open end of the tab at 1/8” to secure tab to the zipper. Repeat on the other end of the zipper. 



  •  Mark the center top (along an 11″ side) of all exterior pieces and linings. Mark both long sides of the zipper in the center. Use a pin or chalk to mark these.  
  • Line up the front exterior panel and a lining piece right sides together (RST) matching all edges and clip in place.
  • Insert the zipper between the top edge of these two pieces, matching all center marks. The zipper top/teeth should be right sides together with the exterior panel. The back of the zipper is next to the right side of the lining fabric. Clip in place.

  • Using a zipper foot, sew the top edges to secure the first side of the zipper. 

  • Fold lining and exterior panel back. Press evenly and top stitch along the zipper edge using a 1/8” seam.  
  • Repeat the last steps on the other side of the zipper. (The previously sewn exterior and lining will be sandwiched between the new side…tucked inside…like the peanut butter to the new bread you are adding.) 



  • OPEN THE ZIPPER HALF WAY. Fold the two exterior panels up over the zipper and line them up, right sides together. Clip or pin in place. Line up the edges of the lining fabric pieces, right side together and clip or pin in place.  

  • Using a 1/2” seam allowance, begin sewing 3.5” from the bottom edge/corner of one side of the lining fabric toward the edge/corner.


  • Turn ½” from corner and sew up the side of the bag. At the zipper tab, slow down and sew just beside the tab. Do not catch the tab in the seam. Sew the bag all the way around, slowing down at the second zipper tab. Stop 3.5” from the remaining bottom corner. This will leave a 4” opening in the bottom seam of the lining for turning the bag.  


OPTIONAL FLAT BOTTOM (If not, skip to Turning the Bag Section) 

  • If a flat bottom is desired for the bag, so it will stand up, cut away a 2” x 2” square from each corner of the bag while still wrong side out.  

  • Working one cut out square at a time, there are four, stick your finger in the seam so you can grab each seam and pull them out to bring the 90-degree cut out corners together. Nest the seams by turning one one direction and the other the opposite. Pin or clip in place and sew shut using a ¼” seam allowance.  Press all seams.  Repeat for remaining three corners.  


  • Trim all edges to ¼” seams.  
  • Reach into the opening at the bottom of the lining and pull the entire back right side out and stuff the lining into the bag.
  • Press the bottom of the lining flat and stitch closed by hand or machine (using a 1/8” seam allowance or smaller if by machine) 
  • Press the entire bag flat and crisp.  


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