In this tutorial you’ll learn how to turn any bag through the zipper from the interior pocket. If your bag pattern does not include an interior pocket you can create one and turn your bag using this technique.
Most bag patterns have instructions to turn the bag right side out through an opening left at the bottom (or side) of the lining and this opening is usually closed by hand. This technique is widely used, but there is a better technique where you can turn the bag through the zip pocket and no hand stitching is required – the bag is sewn 100% in your sewing machine.
Follow these instructions to turn your bag through the zip pocket – you’ll probably have to use a zipper longer than the one required by your pattern.
- Start with a 9″ zipper and Two pocket pieces 10″ x 7 1/2″ and Press your seam allowance to the wrong side of the pocket pieces. This pocket size will work for most bags, but if you are making a larger bag you can use larger pieces and a 10-12″ zipper.
2. On the wrong side of one of the Zipper pocket pieces, Draw a rectangle 8”L x 3/8“W, 1” down from the top side. Then draw a line through the middle of the rectangle stopping 1/2” away from each end drawing a line to the corner creating triangles.
3. Lay the pocket piece on top of one Lining piece (right sides together) centered at least 1” down from top edge. Pin and Stitch on the outer drawn line.
4. Cut on the center line and the corners to the stitching line but without clipping your threads.
5. Pull the pocket piece through the opening to the other side and Press.
6. Center the zipper and attach it to the lining using a double-side tape and Stitch around your zipper close to the edge (1/16″ to 1/8″)
7. Place the second Zipper Pocket piece on top (right sides together) and stitch ONLY 3 sides, leaving the bottom edge with the pressed seam allowance open! This will be your turning point.
8. Finish your bag construction (Make sure to leave the Zipper Open), Turn right sides out through the open bottom of your Zipper Pocket.
9. Pull the Zipper Pocket and Edgestitch the opening closed.
This is my Harriet Expandable Tote Bag (Pattern from Swoon Patterns).
This YouTube video shows this technique!
I hope you find this tutorial useful!
This is fantastic! Thank you for sharing!
Could this same method be used if the pocket is on the exterior of the bag?
I haven’t done it with an exterior pocket, but it should work.
Oh wow, this is so smart! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this evening that features your tutorial:
Thanks for sharing Anne!
Tutorial: Turn a lined bag through a zipper pocket – Sewing
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I would love a you tube version of this tutorial. I love what you have here, but I’m just not quite getting it. I’ll keep trying though cause it seems very cool.
Yes, this technique is very cool! I turn all my bags through the interior zipper. This YouTube video shows the technique: https://youtu.be/EemiNX0J1OA
Thanks! I’ll check it out.
Oh, you clever girl!! Must try this one.