Embroidery Library

Zipper-Back Pouch (In-the-Hoop)

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

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


Craft a charming zipper pouch to carry your treasures! These adorable creatures stitch up in-the-hoop, with a zipper incorporated on the back for a perfectly polished finish. Follow along to create your own!


Project Needs & Notes:

- 1/2 yard quilter's cotton
- Small pieces of quilter's cotton (for applique)
- All-purpose zipper (11" + zipper for small size, or 13" + zipper for large size)
- Elastic, cord, or ribbon (for strap)
- Scissors
- Masking tape
- Temporary spray adhesive
- Tear-away stabilizer
- Seam ripper


Designs featured in this tutorial include:
- X14239, Fantastic Fox Zipper Pouch (In-the-Hoop)


Finished size:
About 5"x7" for large size; about 4"x6" for small size


Special notes:
As the last color stop of file "b" sews the "a" and "b" pieces together, make sure to completely embroider file "a" before embroidering file "b".

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

To begin preparing the fabric pieces, cut two rectangles out of the main fabric that are twice as wide as the back (file "a") top and bottom pieces.

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-back pouches.

Next, spray the back of the back paper dieline pieces (file "a") 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 to pieces so that they don't get mixed up.

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

For the front pieces (file "b"), simply spray the paper dieline with temporary adhesive and smooth it onto the right side of the fabric. Then cut out the shapes and remove the paper.

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

Load the back embroidery file (file "a") 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-back 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-back pouches.

Once the zipper is taped down, place 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-back pouches.

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

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

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

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

Repeat the previous steps to embroider the "bottom front piece dieline". Place the fabric piece and embroider the tackdown. Again, make sure that the folded edge is against the zipper. Once the design has finished embroidering, trim away the excess stabilizer from around the back piece. Do not cut the zipper.

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

Once the back piece (file "a") is completed, hoop another piece of tear-away stabilizer and load the front (file "a") onto the machine. The first thing to embroider will be the dieline for the main fabric piece.

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

Place the fabric piece in the sewn dieline, and embroider the tackdown step.

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

For the raw edge applique pieces, embroider the dieline and locate the "branches" that extend around the sewn shape. These show where the fabric edge should be placed, and allow for the stitching to be more hidden under the fabric piece.

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

Spray the backside of the applique piece with temporary adhesive, and place it so the edges of the fabric match up with the tips of the dieline "branches".

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

Embroider the tackdown for the applique piece.

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

Repeat the last step to embroider the dieline, place the fabric piece, and embroider the tackdown for all the applique pieces. Some designs have more applique pieces than others, so simply follow the color change sheet to embroider them.

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

After the applique pieces are all in place, the inner details of the design will sew. Follow the color change sheet and stop before sewing the "finishing seam".

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

Before sewing the "finishing seam", stop the machine and remove the hoop without unhooping the design.

To add a wrist strap, cut a piece of cord 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 over the embroidered details, and make sure the loop will not get caught in the finishing seam.

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

For a shoulder strap, cut a piece of cord 30"- 50" long. Fold up the majority of the strap and tape it as flat as possible in the center of the shape. Next, tape the two edges in place so that the raw edge is outside the zipper pouch on the stabilizer.

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

On the back piece (file "a"), it is very important to move the slider of the zipper (also called the pull tab) to the center of the design. This will leave the zipper about half open and will allow the slider to be a part of the zipper pouch, so it can 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-back pouches.

Next, lay the back piece (file "a") with the half open zipper on top of the hooped front piece (file "b") with the right sides together. Match up the outer edges, and tape the back piece in place around all four sides of the design.

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

Place the hoop back onto the machine, and embroider the final "finishing seam step. This will bind all the layers together, and create the final shape of the purse.

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

Once the design has finished sewing, tear away the excess stabilizer from around the design. Carefully remove the stabilizer from the back of the front side of the design to give it more flexibility.

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

Repeat the previous step to remove the stabilizer from the backside of the back piece as well to uncover the zipper opening and make the bag more flexible.

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

After all the tear-away stabilizer has been removed, 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. Also cut both sides of the zipper off about 1/4" away from the finishing seam.

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 edge.

Zipper-Back Pouch (In-the-Hoop)



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Products used in this Project: