Cosmetic Bag tutorial, Tutorial Tuesday, Tutorials, zippy pouch tutorial

Tutorial Tuesday: Simple Cosmetic Bag

Hi Everyone!
First – I love getting your comments. I have them sent to my email account so I can answer back. But many of you have checked the ‘do not show my email’ box in your Blogger profile and it’s really frustrating that I can’t reply in person! So if you comment on blogs but never get emailed replies, go check your settings (you can do it from your Dashboard)!
Today’s tutorial is a re-visit of sorts. I did a Cosmetic Bag Tutorial before which featured a card pocket on the front.  But if you wanted to make a simple cosmetic bag with no pocket, the former tutorial was kinda long.
These cosmetic bags make fantastic gifts – you can tuck some earrings and sweets inside, a gift card or even a bit of money (or cosmetics!). The great thing about them is that they’re quick, and I have a few tips in there to help you make it look totally profesh!
As always, if you have any questions, email me:
What you need:

  • 2 x 8″ by 6″ pieces of your exterior fabric
  • 2 x 8″ x 6″ pieces of your interior fabric
  • 2 x 8″ x 6″ pieces of woven fusible interfacing (check ebay for good prices) applied to your exterior pieces.
  • 8″ or 9″ zipper
  • sewing kit: machine, scissors, pins, marker, etc.

1. Do the Two-Step Zip Dance: Lay your zipper on top of one interior piece, lining them up at the top. Make sure the end of the zip is hanging off the side, as shown in the picture – this makes attaching it way easier! ***If you are wondering why I’m doing my zip in 2 steps, scroll to the bottom. If you don’t care and just want to make your bag, go to #2***

2. Using your zipper foot, stitch about 1 cm away from the zipper – a little less than 1/2″. When you get to the end, you’ll notice you don’t have to worry about going around the zipper pull, because it’s not in your way! Yay! {arms flapping in excitement!}

3. Now lay one exterior piece Face Down on top of your zip, lining up the top edges – if your exterior pieces have a directional print like mine, make sure you’ve put it on correctly before you sew!
So now, you can sew that, using a 1/4″ seam allowance (.5cm) or so. Basically you want to sew about 1 threads’ width in (towards the zipper) from the line of stitching you’ve just completed. Yay! One side done!

4. Now smoosh or press the fabrics away from the zipper, so you can repeat those steps on the other side. Lining up your top edges, pin the other side of the zipper to your otherinterior piece (as shown above). Now sew that like you did in step 2.

5. After that, lay your other exterior piece onto the zipper and stitch that the same way you did in step 3.  Press all fabrics neatly away from the zipper.

6. Topstitch along the zipper edges, as shown above. It’s optional, but I think it looks pretty…

7. Now we’re going mark where the ends of the zipper are so we don’t run our needle over them while we’re sewing. It also means we can sew quite close to them, which looks nice and neat. So find the end of your zip, like shown above.

Then mark it on the back sides of the fabric, as shown above. Then UNZIP the zipper! If you sew this with the zipper closed you won’t have any way to turn it out later and you will be SO mad! So unzip it right now!

8. Pin the interior pieces Right Sides Together (RST), and do the same with the exterior pieces – you’ll notice that the zip will probably sit toward the interior pieces, and that’s just fine. When you’ve got it all lined up and pinned, place two marks about 1.5″ in from the bottom edges or the interior pieces. Those are the starting and ending points as we sew this all up. You’ll start sewing at the mark near that bottom pink pin, go all the way around and end near the orange pin. Like below:

9. Sew using a 1cm SA – if you can’t see the seams in the small pic, click on it to see a larger one. I’ve left that gap open. Clip all 4 corners off and then press your little gap open.

10. Turn it right sides out as shown above. Press so it’s all nice and neat.

11. Pin the little gap closed!

12. Edgestitch it shut!


An adorable Cosmetic Bag!!

Don’t forget to add your creations to The Linky Party! or even the Flickr group!
© Copyright J C Excell, 2011
All rights reserved
***I use a two-step zipper system because I feel like it gives better control when sewing a zip in. This control is especially important when you’re working with interfaced cotton duck like I am, which is very thick. If you stitch the zip to the interior piece before the ext., you know it’s not going anywhere wonky, even though you can’t actually see it. So, yes, it might add an extra step, but I get much neater results when I do it this way, and as most of the cosbags I make get sold in the etsy shop, I need them to be as neat as possible. And it is a good system for beginners, too, who are often quite nervous about zips.***

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10 thoughts on “Tutorial Tuesday: Simple Cosmetic Bag

  1. Wow, I will be giving that a try. I tend to hand stitch small bags and purses even though I have a sewing machine. thanks for the tutorial.

  2. OH my goodness! Thank you for such a great tutorial (especially for a newbie like me); zippers give me nightmares! 🙂 I would love for you to stop by and link up to my Ten Buck Tuesday link party!

  3. Jenna – I love your cosmetic bag! It's so cute! And your tutorial – – really easy to follow. I love how the zipper is done and looks so polished and pretty!!

    Hugs ~~ Suz

  4. love this tutorial so much! Makes me think I can attempt a zipper again, you make this look so easy. One thing I noticed in the tutorial though was that somewhere around step 7 we’re probably supposed to open the zipper before we sew all the way around…or is that not important in this case? Love the fabric choices and can’t wait to try this today!

  5. Great project! I just wanted to let you know that we featured this project on our Facebook page with over 17,000 fans. We’d love it if you’d use our Featured Blogger button, available at: Our audience loved the project and we look forward to sharing more from you. Please let us know if you have any questions or projects you’d love us to feature! Thanks!

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