Olivia's Split Zippered Pouch || Tutorial

This post has been updated, and it includes photos from my previous project along with updated photos.  

* This was suppose to be named SPLIT instead of SLIT.  Haha.  I was too lazy to edit all the photos.  Slit works too, and it's a bit edge-y.   Gotta love trying to name patterns.

I have not updated you since my last post on sewing machines, but I bought my very first sewing machine last week!  A BERNINA 550 QE [Squeal!].  Thank you to those who helped me by giving their advice.  I was out of town over the weekend, so I couldn't play with my new machine.  I wanted to do an instant gratification project, and zippered pouches seem to do the trick.  

This is a nice size pouch.  It's small enough that you can't lose anything in the pouch, yet it is large enough to to carry pencils and pens, feminine items, and little knick knacks.   You could even keep your makeup in this pouch too.

The bright pouch was my sample to develop the pattern, and it was also the one that I used to take photos of the process.  For those people who pay closely attention to detail in photos if something seems slightly off in the photos, just ignore it.   I make mistakes too, but you won't be making the ones I did.  :)   The second pouch (yellow and gray) was made following my pattern.

* All measurements are given in order of width then length
* 1/4" seam allowance
*Backstitch or lock stitch when you sew
* If you make this pouch and share on the web, please be kind and give credit by linking back to owen's olivia.

Here's what you will need to make one pouch:

(1) 8" zipper in the color of your choice along with 2 small pieces of scrap fabric to cover the ends

Section A (fabric above the zipper)
-  (1) 2.5" x 1.75" scrap of fabric
- (1) 3" x 1.75" scrap of fabric
- (1) 4" x 1.75" scrap of fabric

Section B (fabric below the zipper)
- (1) 2.5" x 3.75 scrap of fabric
- (1) 3" x 3.75" scrap of fabric
- (1) 4" x 3.75" scrap of fabric

Section C (backside of the pouch) **See Step 8
- (1) 2.5" wide x 5.5" long scrap of fabric
- (1) 3" x 5.5" scrap of fabric
- (1) 4" x 5.5" scrap of fabric

- A(1) 8.5" x 4.5" piece of fabric
- B (1) 8.5"wide  x 6.75" long piece of fabric** See Step 8

- (2) 4.75" x 1.5"

Step 1.

Stitch Section A pieces together in the order you prefer.  Repeat with Section B and Section C.  Press seams open.  Topstitch 1/8" to 1/4" from the seams.


Step 2.

Prepare your zipper by sewing on a folded piece of scrap fabric to both ends.  This gives it a nice decorative finish.  Stitch about 1/2" from the end of the zipper and close the edge of the folded fabric.

Take your two Tag pieces and pin right sides together.  Sew along both long edges.  Pull right side out and press flat.  Topstitch close to the long edges for a decorative effect.

Step 3.

Using a zipper foot, sew the zipper into place.  Lay your Section B outer fabric face up.  Place the zipper face down lining the top edge of the zipper to the top of the fabric.  Place the Lining A face down lining the all the fabrics together at the top.  Sew close to the zipper.

Ignore my lovely nails, okay?  Thanks!

Once the zipper is sewn in on one side, it should look like this.

Repeat this step for Section A and Lining B to install the other side of the zipper.  Topstitch 1/8" to 1/4" from the zipper.  I like to use the zipper teeth as a guide.

Step 4.

Apply the tag by folding in half and placing the tag towards the inside of the pouch.  Pin in place and zigzag over the edge in the seam allowance to secure.

Step 5.

Lay your piece right side up.  Open your zipper up halfway, so you can push the pouch through after you are done!

Place Section C over the front of the pouch right sides together.  Ignore those beautiful nails again.

  Pin outer Sections B and C together.

Step 6.

Flip the pouch over so the linings are face up.

Fold the top lining over, and align it with the top of the outer Section A piece.

Step 7.

Pin through all the layers at the top above the zipper (outer Section A piece.)  Below the zipper, only pin the lining together.  (The outer pieces should have been pinned together in Step 5, but if not, pin those separately together now.)

Step 8.

Make sure you have opened your zipper halfway.  Starting from the zipper and top of the pouch, sew the lining and outer fabrics together from one end of the zipper to the other side of the end of the zipper  (black stitch lines in the photo).   Be careful when sewing over the zipper.

Ignore the tab sticking out in the photo below.

Separate the bottom lining pieces from the bottom outer fabric pieces.  Sew those individually stopping at the zipper (whet stitching lines in the photo).  Leave a 2-3 inch opening at the bottom of the lining, so you can pull your pouch right side. out.

**You'll end up with about an 1" of extra length for Lining B and about a 1/4" extra length for Section C.  I just trim this off after sewing my seams, but if you want to conserve, you take that into consideration when cutting.

Step 9.

Clip all corners and excess fabric.  Pull the bag right side out.  Push out all the corners.  Press the pouch.  Stitch close to the edge the opening in the lining.

Now you have what I call a slit err split pouch!

xx nancy

My quilting book released Sept. 24, 2015 and is on Amazon.  Check it out!


  1. Anonymous8/22/2012

    You are amazing. I love your creativity and drive.

  2. Very nice! I like the little bit of fabric at the ends of the zipper. Makes it look neat.

  3. Love the fabric!

    1. Thank you Jen! It's a mixture of Field Study, Amy Butler, and Washi.

  4. Thank you for such a sweet little pattern for this charming nick-nack bag! :-)

  5. Nice tutorial! Love your Split Zip Pouch!

  6. Ack, I'm totally lost at step 5! I'm a beginner. Any additional tips?! Thanks in advance!

    1. I'm so sorry to hear that! Let me make another one with more detailed photos for #5. Can you wait?

    2. Sure! And thanks so much for your response!! I even had a friend look at it with me, and we weren't sure how to proceed. We were confused by the picture that shows the lining with the dotted lines, because it looks like the lining pieces have been sewn together(? looks like there's a seam just above the orange pins) and I don't remember seeing that step. Which lining piece should be folded over the top? Both? Also in that same picture, what is the X doing over the tag? I assume that means fold it out and don't sew it inward? Sorry I have so many questions! It seems other people got it right away! I can email you pictures of my project if that would help?

    3. I'm so sorry! I'll get you there! I think it will be best if you can wait for me to update this post. I'll knock out a pouch tomorrow, and I'll upload the photos with updated instructions sometime tomorrow night or Friday. Feel free to email me photos if you like. Thanks!

    4. You're so sweet! Thank you! And no super rush on my end...

  7. Just saw the update! Thanks again, so much. I will try this as soon as possible and let you know how it goes. It looks a lot clearer already. :-)

    1. It worked! Well, mostly. Somehow my lining and the outer fabrics didn't quite line up (lining is shorter than the outer on the bottom of the pouch), but I'll take it! I'll try again with another fabric combo one of these days and hopefully it'll be exactly right then. Thanks again for responding to my confusion. :-)

    2. Great!! I mentioned in the updated post about the extra length and leaving it up to the maker to reduce the amount if wanted. It's so little that I just trimmed it off in the end. Glad it worked!


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