Zip Techniques in Bags

zip techniques for bag making

Zips are a huge part of sewing. I avoided sewing zips for a long time but just admitted to myself that i just need to practice! The more you sew anything but especially zips, the more comfortable you will become.

These are a few of  the different ways zips can be used in bag making.

In seam zip

This zip style is very common and in my opinion the easiest for beginner sewists. This technique can be found in so many bags and a lot of free tutorials including my thin pencil case tutorial and the paper pieced pencil case tutorialpencil-case-final

thin pencil case tute

With this technique you don’t have to use a zip that is the perfect size it can be cut down after it is sewn.


Zips with tabs

This technique looks so good and professional on any bag or pouch. It’s easy to create zipper tabs

This technique is so easy. You want the zipper to be the length of the fabric piece minus the seam allowance

Move the zip to the centre and cut the zip to length
Zip Tab Technique

The tab pieces should be 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″

Fold each zipper tab in half on the short sides wrong sides together.
Open out and fold each short end in to meet in the centre.

Zip Tab Technique

Press and fold over and press.

Fold the tabs over each end of the zipper ensuring that the zip end is touching the crease and stitch. Trim the side of the tabs to match the side of the zipper tape.

Zip Tab Technique

When sewing a pouch or bag you still sew using the seam allowance and sew close to the tabs but not over them.

Pocket zip

This is the trickiest techniques but once you know how you will want to do it again and again because it looks so good!


I have a great tutorial on how to create this style of zip for the Jenna Purse pattern. You can adapt this tutorial for any bag by making the zipper hole longer or shorter. Many bags even have them vertical.

zipper tutorial lorelei jayne

The single side zip

This is one i have just attempted and it was a lot of fun!

with this technique, the first thing you do is take apart the zip… i know scary! you use one size of the zip and reattach the zipper pull once it’s sewn.

The results are amazing.

I Downloaded the Raccoon Case Free Pattern by pink pony design on Craftsy (Affiliate Link) and gave the single side zip a go!

 Raccoon Case

This is such a cute pattern and heaps of fun. Perfect gift as well!

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2 thoughts on “Zip Techniques in Bags

  1. I cannot get the zipper pull back on. It is more than tricky–it appears to be impossible. I’ve tried positioning the pull both ways (so the zip goes in from the bottom and the top. We had two people trying and no success. Can you help?

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