How to Sew a Zipper Pocket
Learn how to sew a zipper pocket the right way for your handmade diaper bag! You can do this if you follow this tutorial. Every bag I buy has got to have an interior zippered pocket, so why should the ones I make be any different? An interior pocket is great in diaper bags to keep all your mama stuff seperate. Lip balm, keys, wallet...that sort of thing.
Many people are scared of dealing with zippers, especially beginner sewers. I admit, they are a pain to deal with if you don't know what you are doing. Like many crafts, there is a trick to it! Once you see how to sew a zipper with this method you can take your diaper bag making to the next level.
The photos below shows the lining pieces for the bag that is on the free diaper bag pattern page. The two pocket pieces are not on the printed pattern because they are just two rectangles! I used a 7" zipper so my two pocket pieces were 11" by 9".
So, if you have a 7" zipper, cut two identical pocket rectangles 11" wide by 9". To add stability to your pocket, either use interfacing or use fusible web to iron together two layers of fabric - which means you'll need to cut four rectangles. If you are using sturdy canvas you can omit this step if you want.
An inch and a half down from the top, draw a rectangle that fits the size if your zipper, draw a line through it and little triangles to the corners as shown below.
Next, pin your drawn on pocket piece onto the right side of your lining fabric. That is right, if you have patterened lining fabric you are to pin this down on the patterned side. This will make sense in a moment. Now, sew your pocket piece onto your lining, tracing just the outer rectangle that you drew.
Unpin and using a scissors, cut along that center line all the way to the corners. You are cutting through your pocket piece and your lining.
Next, you need to shove your entire pocket piece through the hole you just made.
After ironing, you have a nice little square hole in your lining for your zipper to peek through. Cool, huh?
Now, pin on your zipper, peeking through your rectangle hole and sew securely all the way around, using a matching thread. If you do not have a zipper foot on your machine you can do it the old fashioned way and hand sew it on, just as long as it is very secure since the zipper will get tugged on a lot.
Easy as pie. (or in my case, much easier than pie...I always have trouble getting my pie crust right)
Now, the hard part is over and you survived! All you have to do now is finish the pocket, by adding the other pocket piece right on top of the one that is attached to your lining. I usually use pins to get my lining out of the way, so I'm sure to just sew the edge of my pocket pieces.
And that is it, you know are the proud owner of the knowledge of how to sew a zipper pocket into a bag. You can now continue putting your bag lining together as usual, only with the addition of a super duper fantastic zippered pocket!