Embroidery Library

Zipper Pouch (In-the-Hoop)

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.


Stitching with zippers is easier than ever! These cute and clever pouches assemble in-the-hoop, complete with adorable decoration and a smooth finished edge. They're a perfect catch-all for trinkets and treasures -- for kids and grown-ups alike. Follow along to make your own!


Project Needs & Notes:

- 1/2 yard linen, twill, flannel or quilters cotton.
- All-purpose zipper (11" + zipper for small size, or 13" + zipper for large size)
- Elastic, cord, or ribbon (for strap, if applicable)
- Scissors
- Masking tape
- Temporary spray adhesive
- Tear-away stabilizer


Designs featured in this tutorial include:
- X14206, Little Monster Zipper Pouch (In-the-Hoop)


Finished size:
6 1/4" wide x 4 1/4" tall


Special notes:
The dielines for the front of the pouch are designed to be cut on the fold. To get the correct fabric shape for these pieces, fold the fabric in half, place each dieline with the long edge along the fold, and cut around the non-folded edges. The back piece should be cut from a single layer of fabric.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

In-the-hoop designs are specially digitized to be embroidered and completed right in the hoop.

This zipper pouch in-the-hoop design has four files. One is an embroidery file. The other three are dieline files marked with the letters DL. Dielines are used to cut the fabric to the right shape and size.

Open the dieline files with embroidery software and print them.  If you do not have embroidery software, Wilcom TrueSizer is a free program to use.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

To begin preparing the fabric pieces, cut two rectangles out of the main fabric that are twice as big as the front top and bottom pieces. Fold both pieces of fabric in half with wrong sides together.

Press the folded edge and spray the wrong side of the fabric with temporary adhesive to hold the folded fabric together. Adhering the two folded sides together will help prevent shifting and make the pieces easier to cut.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Next, spray the back of the front paper dielines (2) with temporary adhesive, and smooth them onto the right side of the fabric, matching one edge up with the folded side. It can be helpful to label the pieces, so they don't get confused.


Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Cut the two front pieces out on the fold, and fold up one corner of the paper dieline. Keeping the paper on the folded pieces will help to keep track of which side is the front side (the side with paper is the front).

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

For the back piece (and any stiff felt pieces if the design has them), simply spray the paper dieline with temporary adhesive, and smooth it onto the right side of the fabric. Once this is done, cut out the shapes and remove the paper.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Now that the fabric pieces are ready, hoop a piece of tear-away stabilizer tightly. Madeira E-Zee Tear 1.5 oz. or Floriani Tearaway Medium are good choices. Those brands are more fibrous, less paper-like, and will tear more cleanly.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Load the embroidery file onto the machine, and begin to embroider the design. The first thing to sew will be the "zipper dieline". This marks the place where the zipper will be placed on the stabilizer.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

The zipper dieline sews a box with a centerline through the middle. To place the zipper correctly, close the zipper, and match up the center of the zipper (the teeth that zip and unzip) with the sewn centerline. Make sure the wrong side of the zipper is against the stabilizer, and tape it in place. The zipper should hang over on both sides and will be trimmed away later.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Now that the zipper is placed, load the hoop back on the machine, and embroider the "zipper tackdown" step. This will adhere the zipper to the stabilizer, and hold it in place for the remainder of the design.

Don't worry if it sews over the tape, it can be easily torn away from around the stitches.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Some zipper pouches have the zippers going with the long side of the embroidery design instead of the short side. The steps are still the same, and the zipper should hang over either side of the hoop.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Carefully remove the tape and embroider the "top front piece dieline" step. This will sew out an outline where the top front fabric piece will go.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Spray the back side of the folded top front fabric piece with temporary adhesive (the side w/o paper). With the folded edge alongside the zipper, smooth the fabric piece inside the sewn dieline shape.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Continue to embroider the "top front piece tackdown" step.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Repeat the previous steps to embroider the "bottom front piece dieline".

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Next, spray the backside with temporary adhesive, and smooth the bottom front piece into place with the folded side along the zipper. Embroider the "bottom front piece tackdown", and then continue to embroider all the inner details.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Zipper pouch designs with stiff felt pieces have dielines to show you where to place the felt pieces. This is to ensure that they are positioned perfectly after you turn the design right side out.

Follow the color change sheet, and embroider the "horn placement markers" which will act as a dieline for the felt horns.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

It is very important to move the slider (also called the pull tab) of the zipper to the center of the design. This will leave the zipper about half open and will allow the slider to be opened and closed. If you do not move the slider, the pouch will be permanently stuck closed, so do not forget!

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

If the file has stiff felt pieces, place them in the stiff felt dielines, and tape them in place. Make sure the right side of the fabric is facing down. They will be turned in a strange direction now, but this will make them face up correctly when the pouch is turned right side out.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Choose if you would like a wrist strap or shoulder strap added onto the zipper pouch. For the wrist strap, cut a piece of elastic or ribbon 8"-12" long. Fold it in half, and place the looped end on the inside of the pouch (so the raw edges hang over the edge). Tape it in place.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

For the shoulder strap, cut a piece of cord 40"- 50" long. Fold up the majority of the strap, and tape it as flat as possible in the center of the shape. Tape the two edges in place so that the raw edge is outside the monster on the stabilizer.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Place the back fabric on top of everything with the right side facing down. Match up the edges with the edges of the front fabric pieces, and tape it in place along all four sides.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Finish the embroidery by stitching the final "finishing seam". This will sew out the final shape of the monster, and adhere the back, front, and straps together.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Once the embroidery is finished, tear away the excess stabilizer from around the design. Carefully remove the stabilizer from the back of the embroidery as well to uncover the zipper opening and make the bag more flexible.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Using scissors, carefully cut off the extra zipper length on either side of the pouch.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Trim away the excess fabric by cutting around the finishing seam. Only leave about a 1/4" of seam allowance around the shape for best results.

Free project instructions for creating in-the-hoop zipper pouches.

Finally, turn the pouch right side out through the open zipper. Remove any tape and press the edges.

Zipper Pouch (In-the-Hoop)



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Products used in this Project: