If you’ve wondered how to insert a zipper into a lined bag, here’s a quick and easy way to try it out. This same concept applies to any handbag or tote bag.
(Click fabrics for direct links for purchase at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.)
Casablanca Stripe - CASLIK
Casablanca Leaf - CAFLIK
Linen solid oats - LINOAT
Traditions Chocolate - TRSCHN
Roundabout Aqua - ROTAQA
Henna Breeze Linen - HEABRN
You can use as many or as few fabrics as you’d like. I have provided a pattern piece for a one-fabric lining or outer bag. If you want to use multiple fabrics, simply cut the pattern piece where you’d like to divide it and add 1/2-inch seam allowances.
You’ll need a 7″ zipper for each bag. For interfacing, I used Craft Fuse, which is a nice and sturdy fusible.
Here are my bag pieces. The lining is all one fabric and the outside is two. I simply cut the pattern piece and added seam allowances. I’m just going to demonstrate the process on one bag, although I have shown you several examples of bags in different fabrics.
Iron the fusible interfacing on the back side. I used Craft Fuse.
Take one outside piece and place a zipper face down along the top of it, centering the zipper. Pin in place.
Use a zipper foot to sew the zipper on. I sew along the entire area except where the zipper pull is. Then I slide the pull out of the way and finish.
Now place the other side of the zipper tape face-down on the other outer piece, in the same manner as before and sew.
When opened up, it should look like this from the right side.
And this from the wrong side.
Now it’s time to insert the lining. With the right side of the lining down, pin it opposite one of the front sides, with the zipper sandwiched in the middle. To help you see, I’ve got the lining off center here. Sew along the original stitching (where you stitched the zipper tape to the front piece).
Like this …
Here it is opened up, as seen from the “wrong side,” or interior. Just one side of the interior is done here.
I’ve lifted back a corner here so you can see how it’s put together a little better.
Here is the finished interior.
Next, top stitch along the zipper with each front and its corresponding lining piece lined up.
Now flip it so lining matches lining and exterior matches exterior — the opposite of how you just had it. IMPORTANT: You must open the zipper at this point or you will have a bit of a problem in a few minutes. I don’t want to hear any yelling or cussing — the baby is asleep.
The lining pieces are on the left, and I have put two pins in perpendicular to the bag to show where I’m going to leave a hole for turning the bag right side out.
Sew all the way around in a half-inch seam allowance, except at the designated turning hole. You’ll have open spots on the corners. Click the photo for a better view.
Now you need to form the corners, or square bottom of the bag. Do this by pinching the corners as shown at left. You’ll be lining up the side seams with the bottom seam.
Here’s another view.
With a half-inch seam allowance, sew across all four corners.
Now you’ve got this puffy bag. At the front is the hole in the lining we left for turning. Turn the bag right-side out. Now you’ll understand the importance of having opened the zipper a few steps back.
Fold the raw edges of the hole in and sew across close to the edge. You can also slip-stitch by hand if you want a more invisible finish.