Rainbow Pouch | A Tutorial

I’ve fallen hard for zipper pouches! They’re a quick project with so many customizable opportunities. Today, I’m bringing you a fun hand-quilted zipper pouch tutorial! Fully lined, no raw seams, and hand-quilted details makes this a project you’ll want to make over and over again.

A couple of things to note before we begin:

  1. This tutorial uses faux leather (vinyl). Any time a hole is punched into vinyl (like with a needle, for example), the hole is permanent. I’ve written this tutorial for you to be able to make the pouch without using pins, but take extra care when sewing the vinyl. If you use a seam ripper, the holes created by the stitches will stay.
  2. To make the rainbow arc, I reference my Baptist fan tutorial. You may need additional supplies, so if you’re planning on doing the rainbow, check out the Baptist fan post before you begin.

Supplies:

You’ll need…

  • 1/3 yard fusible fleece (I like Pellon 973F)
    • Cut (2) 10″ x 12.5″
  • 1/4 yard main exterior fabric (I used Essex Linen in Linen)
    • Cut (2) 5″ x 12″
    • Cut (1) 2″ x 2″
  • 1/4 yard faux leather (vinyl “leather”, available at big box stores like JoAnn Fabrics)
    • Cut (2) 5″ x 11.5″
    • Cut (1) 0.5″ x 5″
  • 1/3 yard lining fabric (I used Riley Blake Designs Shades in Bottle Green)
    • Cut (2) 9″ x 11.5″
  • 10″ zipper
  • Assortment of hand-quilting threads (8 or 12 wt)
  • hand quilting supplies: needle, thimble, scissors
  • machine sewing supplies: sewing machine, ruler, thread, iron

Instructions:

1. Lay the faux leather on the fusible fleece, so that the fusible side is touching the back of the faux leather.

2. Place the main exterior fabric on top of the faux leather, right sides together and sew on one long side with 1/4″ seam. The main exterior fabric is longer than the faux leather, position it so it is centered on the faux leather. Repeat for the second set of fusible fleece, exterior main, and faux leather pieces.

3. Finger press the exterior main fabric away from the faux leather, and sew 1/8″ away from the fold.

4. Fuse the main exterior fabric to the fusible fleece. Make VERY sure that the iron doesn’t touch the faux leather, it will melt!! Only fuse the main exterior fabric to the fleece. If you wish to secure the faux leather to the fleece, use a little bit of basting spray to tack it down.

5. Using one of the panels, mark the center of the main exterior fabric. Measure 4″ from center on either side and mark. This is your stitching area. To mark a rainbow, use the template and instructions from the Baptist Fan hand-quilting tutorial and make a series of half-circles. I used the 1″ marks to make 4 half-circles.

6. Hand quilt on your marked lines.

7. Trim both panels to 9″ x 11.5″. Both the exterior main fabric and the faux leather should measure 4.5″.

8. Prepare your zipper by folding back the top edges at an angle and tack in place.

9. Fold the 2″ square in half, open, and fold both sides towards the middle. Place at the end of the zipper, close to the end, and topstitch in place. Trim the fabric so that it is flush with the zipper tape.

10. Mark your front panel (the one with the hand-stitching) 1/2″ from each top edge, and line zipper up between marks.

11. Baste zipper in place with 1/8″ seam allowance.

12. Place lining fabric right sides together with exterior fabric and sew together with 1/4″ seam allowance.

13. Fold lining back to expose the other side of the zipper. Repeat the process by first lining up both exterior fabrics right sides together and basting the zipper in place with 1/8″ seam allowance.

14. Place lining fabric right sides together with the exterior fabric and sew together with 1/4″ seam allowance.

15. Press all 4 panels (2 exterior and 2 lining) away from the zipper. Be careful not to touch the faux leather with the iron. Topstitch on both sides of the zipper close to the edge.

16. Open zipper at least halfway, and place both exterior fabrics right side together, and both lining fabrics right sides together.

17. Sew all around the edges with 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 4″ gap unsewn at the bottom of the lining fabric. Do not use pins on the faux leather! If you need to keep fabrics in place, use binding clips.

18. Trim a 1.75″ square out of each corner.

19. Fold the corner on itself, matching up the seams on both sides, and sew across raw edge with 1/4″ seam. Repeat for the 3 remaining corners.

20. Turn bag right-side out and stitch the opening closed.

21. Admire your bag! All that is left is to add the zipper pull. Insert one end of the 0.5″ x 5″ faux leather piece into the end of the zipper, fold in half. Sew down the middle to secure.

22. And you’re done!

If you make one, use the hashtag #rainbowzipperpouch on Instagram so I can see it too!

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