Installing a Flush Zippered Pocket

How to Install a Flush Zipper; Once Upon a Sewing Machine

In October Rachel and I participated in a pleats,smocking and pin tucking challenge. We opted to make a market bag with both a pleated and smocked pocket. See our pocket tutorials here.

We had chosen fabric for two bags when we were doing our challenge. Rachel has the bag we made for our challenge and I brought the second stash of fabric home with me, with the intent of making my own bag.

I love bags of all kinds. My hubby just shakes his head and does not even comment
anymore. I decided to make some tweaks to the new bag and add a flush zippered pocket. I was excited to put this inside my market bag.

After I cut all my bag pieces I needed to decide on the size of my pocket. I decided that my finished pocket would be 8 inches by 11 inches finished. This would be large enough to fit keys, wallet and phone. All the essentials!

When cutting your pocket pieces be sure to include seam allowances. I like to use 1/2 inch seam allowance. The zipper for our pocket needs to be 4 inches less than the width of the pocket. Always use a nylon zipper. They can easily be cut and sewn without harming scissors or sewing machine.

How to install a flush zipper- Once upon a sewing Machine

After trimming your zipper down to size, from the zip pull end, hand stitch the pull ends together.

shorten a zipper

Next you are going to mark and make a hole for your zipper. On the wrong side (WS) of
your pocket draw a rectangle the width of your zipper teeth, and 3/8 inch high on the
center of the pocket.

This opening should be at least 2 inches down from the pocket top. Draw a center line in your triangle with a V-shape at both ends.

attach a zipper

Place your pocket on the lining of you bag WS up at least 2 3/4 inches down from top edge to allow for any fasteners and seam allowances to be added at a later time. Pin and stitch around the rectangle.

sew a zipper

Using a pointed sharp scissors, cut through all layers on the marked center line and V shapes. Be careful not to cut into the stitching line.

flush zipper

Pull the pocket fabric through the hole. Press well both from the RS and the WS.

prep for zipper

Place the zipper on the wrong side of the opening. Arrange and tape in place. Be sure your zip opens on the right side of your pocket. Using your zipper foot, stitch in place.

Assemble your pocket. Place your pocket pieces WS up and stitch around being sure
not to catch your lining. Now your pocket is attached to your bag lining.

You are free to build whatever kind of bag you like. This is a great interior zip pocket for any kind of bag! Enjoy!

Flush zipper pocketHappy Sewing,


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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Amy mayen December 11, 2012, 4:31 pm

    Rachel, I did my first one last week on a bag I made (ill put photos on the blog later this week) and I love it! I think I cut my triangle too long because I had some weird pulling in one corner…I covered it with a decorative button. I can’t believe you did it with lace, very nice! When do we get to see the bags?

  • Mira December 12, 2012, 4:01 am

    Thanks for this tutorial! I will pin it and definitely get back to it!

    • onceuponasewingmachine December 12, 2012, 9:21 am

      So glad it’s helpful!

  • Marisa. December 12, 2012, 10:26 am

    What a beautiful tutorial, everything is really well explained, thanks. I pin it to my board on Pinterest for future reference. Marisa-
    Marisa. recently posted..My recent crochet scarves.My Profile

    • onceuponasewingmachine December 12, 2012, 11:22 am

      Thank you!

  • Cindy December 15, 2012, 9:09 am

    Great tutorial!
    Cindy recently posted..Behind the SewingMy Profile

  • Diana Rambles December 16, 2012, 5:24 pm

    I hate sewing zippers, but you make this look so easy!! And you have the same phone cover as I do.
    Diana Rambles recently posted..Mega Mint BrowniesMy Profile

    • onceuponasewingmachine December 16, 2012, 8:18 pm

      Hope this inspires you to give zippers another chance! haha some applications are easier than others, I think at least!

  • Jill December 17, 2012, 5:49 pm

    Lovely tutorial Donna!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    Jill recently posted..December 18th upcycled adventMy Profile

  • Taelia88 February 17, 2013, 11:50 am

    Wonderful tutorial! I loved the outcome!
    Great post!! I included it in my post Βόλτα στη Γειτονιά #22 🙂
    Have a great week!!

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