Sashiko Zipper Pouch | A Tutorial

This pouch all started when I found some Sashiko templates and realized they were nearly the right size for my rainbow zipper pouch pattern. I quickly got to work making not one, not two, but 5 pouches! When I get excited about something I go all in! And while you can access the original rainbow zipper pouch tutorial and probably figure out how to modify it for the sashiko templates (which yields a pouch a BIT smaller than the original size), I thought I’d go ahead and do the work for you.

Because tutorials take time, I decided to shorten the process by reusing some of the original tutorial photos. So in the tutorial below, you’ll see the zipper pouch switch from white linen to navy blue and back again. Just pretend they’re all the same color and follow the directions, I promise they won’t lead you astray.

A couple of things to note before we begin:

  • If you don’t have a sashiko template, you can hand-draw your design onto your fabric before starting.
  • This tutorial uses faux leather (vinyl). Any time a hole is punched into the vinyl (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.
  • On that same note, take great care never to touch the faux leather with the iron, it will melt!!


  • 1/8 yard linen fabric (Riley Blake Linen or similar), cut into (2) 5″ x 12″
  • 1/8 yard faux leather, cut into (2) 5″ x 12″
  • 1/3 yard fusible fleece, cut into (2) 11″ x 13″
  • 1/3 yard lining fabric, cut into (2) 9″ x 11″
  • Aurifil 12 weight thread or perle cotton, 8-12 wt
  • Marking utensil: chalk or washable marker
  • Hand quilting supplies: needle, thimble, scissors
  • 10″ metal zipper
  • 4″ Sashiko template
  • machine sewing supplies, sewing machine, zipper foot, walking foot, ruler, thread, iron


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. Mark both exterior panels using the sashiko template and marking utensil. For dark linens, chalk or chalk pencils are recommended. For light linens, a washable fabric marker works well. Make sure to leave at least 1/2″ from each edge of the fabric when marking your design.

6. Hand quilt on your marked lines, then rinse off the marks following the directions on your marking utensil’s package.

7. Trim both panels to 9″ x 11″. Both the exterior main fabric and the faux leather should measure 4.5″. The edge of the stitching to the edge of the panel should measure 1/2″.

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

9. Mark one of your panels 1/2″ away from each top edge, and line up the zipper up between marks.

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

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

12. 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.

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

14. 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.

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

16. 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.

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

18. 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.

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

20. Admire your bag!

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

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