Easy Zippered Pocket Tutorial

by Kelsey Norwood

in Crafts,Sewing,Tutorials

Purses need pockets. Lots of them. Zippered pockets, slip pockets, we need them all.

A zippered pocket is very easy to make and looks really sharp on the outside (or inside) of a purse. (I put one of these in my hobo bag from years ago and I’m still using it!)

Here’s how to do it!

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for a pocket measuring 10″w x 8″d
with a 9″ zipper opening
must be constructed before the purse pieces are sewn together!

1. Cut a rectangle of fabric measuring 10″ wide by 16″ long.

I used the fabulous new BEKKO home dec line (Michael Miller) coming out THIS MONTH! It’s 100% cotton sateen, comes in a handful of beautiful, modern prints in coral, navy, aqua, slate, mango, brown, kiwi, grass, black, orchid, tangerine, and coral. I want them all!

2. ON THE WRONG SIDE Mark a line 1″ from the edge of one of the short ends of the pocket fabric.

3. Draw another line 1 3/8″ from the edge of the short end of the fabric or 3/8″ further into the fabric from the first line you drew.

4. Make a long skinny rectangle by drawing two short lines 7/8″ in from the long edges on both sides.

CHECK: You should have a rectangle centered on your fabric 1″ from the top and measuring 3/8″ x 8 1/4″

5. Press the pocket piece in half (hot dog style) AND the purse piece you’ll be sewing the pocket onto.

6. Mark a line 1 1/2″ from the top edge of the purse piece.

7. Lay the pocket piece down on top of the purse piece (RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER), matching the top edge of the pocket piece to the line you drew in step#6 AND matching the center creases you pressed into both pieces.

Pin in place

CHECK: The pocket piece should be centered to the purse piece and 1 1/2″ below the top purse piece edge.

8. Sew right on top of the rectangle lines, decreasing stitch length to 1 before getting to the short end. Keep the stitch length short all the way until turning the second corner. Increase stitch length to normal (2.5) until you come to the other short end and repeat.

9. Draw another line right down the center of the rectangle (lengthwise).

10. Draw two more short lines 1/2″ in from either end of the rectangle.

11. Cut along that center line.

When you reach the little short line you drew in step#10, cut into the corner of the rectangle on both sides getting as close as possible without cutting the stitches.

CHECK: After cutting you should have little triangle pieces on the ends of the rectangle.

12. Press the pocket away from the purse, creating sharp creases where the seam is.

13. Push the pocket fabric through the slit to the wrong side of the purse piece and press. You shouldn’t be able to see the pocket fabric from the front.

This is what it should look like from the back, now with WRONG sides together.

14. Lay your work down on the table with the purse piece facing up. Flip one side of the purse piece over to expose the pocket behind and that little triangle of fabric from cutting the slit.

Sew the triangle down to the pocket fabric as close to the purse (or the wide base of the triangle) as possible. Use a zipper foot. Repeat on opposite side.

15. Lay a 9″ zipper underneath the purse/pocket and center it in the slit. Position so the zipper pull is a little underneath the fabric in case the fabric stretches as you sew.

16. Using a zipper foot, sew right along the edge of the purse. Begin sewing on the same side of the zipper for both sides – I start at the bottom of the zipper and sew toward the pull.

Sew the two long edges and then go back and sew the short edges.

Finished front view

Finished back view

17. Fold the pocket up, right sides together.

18. Sew three edges together with a 1/4″ seam (the fourth edge of the pocket is a fold).

Be sure to keep the purse fabric free from the pocket fabric. Only sew the pocket closed, DO NOT sew the pocket to the purse.

The pocket is finished! I tried to break it down into very small steps to be as clear as possible so even though this tutorial was long and boring, making the pocket will be a snap!

Finish constructing the purse as per the pattern instructions and enjoy your zippered pocket!


1 Tatyana Allenby December 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Thank you so much, great tutorial. I never attempted to make one as it looked complicated. It looks all very clear to me now and simple! Thank you

2 Sarah Burnett December 25, 2012 at 6:14 am

Brilliant instructions. Thank you

3 Niki March 21, 2013 at 6:58 am

Love love love this tutorial. Just made an awesome pocket using it!

4 Heidi April 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Thank you for this tutorial. I trying to put a bag together quickly and found your instructions very clear and easy. Thanks!

5 Brittany May 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Awesome tutorial! Using your tutorial was my first attempt at a zipper pocket, thanks to your detailed instructions and visuals, it turned out great! :)

6 patty August 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Thank you for this and all your tutorials!

7 Miranda August 6, 2013 at 12:43 am

My first bag and with or without pocket….well with your instructions it was really a piece of cake…thanks for putting this online and for your great help. Your tut was more than helpful

8 Jessica November 21, 2013 at 11:15 am

Awesome tutorial. Great instructions. So clear and easy to follow!

9 Laura January 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Thank you so much for such a great tutorial! I am making a bag with zippered pockets for the first time. I used a different tutorial for the front pocket and wasn’t happy with the results. The pocket I made with your tutorial is perfect. I wish I had found your site first!

10 nicole February 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm

thank you so much for this excellent tutorial! I appreciate all the photos and detailed explanations. This was first pocket and second zipper and it came out pretty good. I had a directional fabric with words on it and was a little stumped as to which was to put it when I started. Thought I had it figured out but its upside down on the side Ill see most. After the fact it makes more sense so I wont make the same mistake next time!

11 Kat March 28, 2014 at 8:43 am

What an awesome tutorial! Thank you so much! :-)

12 Suhey April 1, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Brilliant! This was a lifesaver!! Thanks a lot :)

13 Cheryl Goode August 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm

What a breeze! Thanks for the help! Not making a purse but a back pocket for my husbands camp pants!

14 Jen August 13, 2014 at 5:16 am

Great tutorial — you did a excellent job breaking down all the steps into an understandable process.

15 Valerie August 24, 2014 at 7:09 am

This is the very best tutorial I have found for sewing a zipper for a purse lining. Very smart result. Thank you.

16 Kayla November 2, 2014 at 7:08 am

This tutorial was great! Thank you so much for posting it – this was so much easier than I thought it was going to be!

17 Grandma G November 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Terrific tutorial! I’ve done several of these pockets before, but this one turned out the best of all – flawless! Thank you for making it so clear and simple!

18 Rebecca November 19, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Thanks so much for this easy tute! I have come back to use this again and again. Very simple and clear instructions.

Now can you do one for a recessed zipper in a bag? :-P

19 Donna December 20, 2014 at 12:04 am

Thank you for your wonderful tutorial, it really is one of the best that I have seen on this subject, very well done.

20 Rachael December 31, 2014 at 9:57 am

I have a question, if I just want an open pocket with no zipper would I just follow all of the steps except for the zipper part?

21 eqstrn January 2, 2015 at 2:47 pm

Thank you for your tutorial. I am new to making purses and this was a perfect finish.

22 selina June 5, 2015 at 12:13 pm

What a wonderfully clear tutorial. Thank you.

23 Sarah September 17, 2016 at 9:17 pm

I googled “how to sew a zipper pocket in a bag” and your tutorial was one of the first few instructions that was very detailed. I feel very confident with your tutorial to see my own zipper pocket on a bag I will be making. Thank you so much!

24 Munaiba September 22, 2016 at 12:12 am

Hi there
I just wanted to add my voice to the many to say “thank you” for such a lovely, easy-to-follow tutorial. I have made several of these pockets before but none has turned out as well as this one. I’ll post a link to your tutorial on my Facebook Page. Thanks again

25 Kelsey Norwood November 4, 2016 at 2:55 pm

Thanks for your kind words and thanks for sharing on your facebook page!

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