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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Zippers 101: Cosmetic Bags!

When I was making purses, I had a lot of requests for zippered bags. Yikes! Then my wonderful friend Caitlin sent me a tutorial on how to make a zippered pocket. I adjusted the placement of the zipper and changed the technique for a cosmetic bag. So please follow along!

First, go to my Craftsy Pattern Store and download the Zippered Cosmetic Bag Pattern AND the two FREE tutorials: How To Make A Zipper Template and How to Insert an Exposed Zipper.

4. Place template on fused fabric.
  1. Cut fabric to the size you desire.  
  2. Fuse fusible fleece to the back of the exterior piece of fabric - following manufacturer's directions. Fusible fleece works best. It makes zipper installation a lot easier. 
  3. Get zipper template. 
  4. Place fused exterior fabric (with fusible fleece right side up) on a cutting mat, lining it up on the corner of mat.  
  5. Place template on top (this is a 12" x 14" piece of fabric) and center it. 
  6. Draw around the opening in your template - creating a small rectangle. 
  7. Get lining fabric and place exterior fabric and lining fabric RST! 
  8. Head to your sewing machine. 
  9. With fabric together, sew ON THE LINE you just drew. Go all the way around the rectangle. Pivot at the corners. Take your time. 
  10. Slice the opening as shown - I use a rotary cutter and scissors. 

Pull the LINING fabric through the slice you just created. I will start to make sense!


Straighten and work with fabric. The lining and exterior fabric will now be wrong sides together. 

I like a little bit of the lining fabric to show around the opening. The lining fabric will not be perfectly flat! It will pucker around the corners. Press flat. 

TIP: I put it right side up, then reach under and straighten out the lining fabric...and press.

Head back to your machine with your zipper and cosmetic bag. Sew around zipper once. Then stitch in the ditch. You'll find more detailed instructions in my free tutorial in my Craftsy Pattern Store.

BTW, you can see the cute lining fabric around the zipper. It looks like it's piping!
You will have to fiddle with the zipper pull when you are sewing in the zipper. You can see the installed zipper here:

Here is the zipper from the back/inside of the cosmetic bag.

When you are done, you can go ahead and make your cosmetic bag!


4/12/2012 - Be sure to check out my Jewelry Wallet pattern at Craftsy. It uses the same technique!



  1. I need to make one of these! the fabric choices too...

  2. They are a lot of fun to make - and simple once you figure out your machine settings!

  3. Very nice thank you for sharing

  4. Very clear and easy to understand tutorial. Thanks!

  5. Excellent instructions! This took some practice, but I got it! Thanks for posting!

  6. YAY! Have some fun with it!

  7. thank you. I have used this method many time but not on a cosmetic bag. The end results are very neat looking. I will use this in the future.

    1. Excellent! I love the technique because it's simple and fast.


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