Zipper Card Pouch

zipper pouch

[Update August 2014: I have another version of this zipper card pouch, they look about the same from the outside, but it is more spacious inside as I have hidden the seam allowance.]

Sew Zipper Card Pouch

To make: 1

Pouch Body [5 1/4″ x 3 3/4″]
1. Fabric – Canvas Stripe, 2
2. Fabric – cotton polka-dots, 2
Side Gusset [1 3/4″ x 2 3/4″]
3. Fabric – Canvas Stripe, 1
4. Fabric – cotton polka-dots, 1
Divider [5 1/2″]
5. Twill tape – 1″, 1
6. Grosgrain ribbon – 3/8″, 1
7. Zipper – 7″ (click here to watch how to shorten metal zipper)
8. Twill tape for biding – 10″

1. Sewing machine, with normal foot and zipper foot
2. Sewing kits
3. Pencil or Erasable fabric marker
4. Ruler
5. Scissors
6. Tools for turning like awl and knitting needle or bamboo turner

Finished Dimension: 4 1/2″ (W) x 3″ (H)

Seam Allowance: 3/8″

Note: If you are not using canvas but slightly thinner material like quilter weight cotton, you will need to attach an interfacing or stabilizer to make up the thickness and steadiness.

Materials and Dimensions
Get ready the materials with the correct dimension respectively.

Left: Sew ribbon to the center of the twill tape to make a divider in the card pouch.
Right: Mark 7″ zipper according to the measurement of 0, 1/4″, 3″ and 7 1/2″.
Remark: offset the measurement 1/4″ from the zipper stop as shown in the photo.

Side Gusset
1. Place canvas and polka-dot right side facing each other. Sew top and bottom.
2. Turn to right side. Top stitch near the top and bottom edges.
3. Fold the gusset into half (vertical), sew near the fold but make sure it sews the canvas too.
4. A sewn crease line created along the center of the gusset.

Place and pin the divider 1″ below the top seam allowance. Sew the divider to the lining a little outside the seam line (onto the seam allowance).

1. Sew the gusset 1/2″ below to the top seam lines. Attach both sides.
2. Right side of the lining with gusset attached.

Change to zipper foot. Pin and sew zipper (wrong side facing up) to the canvas, just outside the seam line, sew to the 3″ point [1] at the zipper, don’t go beyond. For advanced and experienced sewer, pining will do (same to the rest of the similar steps).
Fold [2] over then flip the lining [3], align to the zipper and canvas. Pin.

Sew on the seam line, stop at the 3″ point on the zipper too.

You will see this arrangement after folding the lining to the back of the canvas.

Repeat the sewing of canvas and lining to another side of the zipper.

Bend the zipper, pin to the canvas. Fold the end of the zipper onto the seam allowance.
Sew them together just outside the seam line.

Now bring the lining to the front with right side facing the canvas, align, pin and sew it to zipper and canvas on the seam line.

Top stitch near the seam lines on the canvas along the L-shaped zipper.

Repeat the sewing steps to the other side. Adjust the zippers by pulling up and down if required so that the zipper don’t get in the way of your zipper foot during sewing.

Fold the pouch with right side facing each other. Pin and sew the side and bottom of the pouch.
If you are using stripe canvas or any print that needs to align, check if they are aligned properly at the seam line.
Clip the corners.

Pin the twill tape to the seam allowance with 1/2″ access at the end.
Fold the tape nicely at the corner.

Fold the tape end down to the other side, pin. Repeat the same to the other end.

Fold the tape and pin to the other side of the seam allowance. A help from an awl will be good to achieve a neater fold at the ends and corner.

Sew the twill tape binder on the seam allowance.

If you find that the seams are too bulky and thick. Using of warm iron can be hard to press them down.
I am not sure if this is a good / normal method… I use a hammer to flatten it.

Lightly pound the seam allowance of the lining side of the pouch before turning them in. Use a piece of folded fabric / cotton flannel to protect the pouch to prevent pound marks. Be careful when pounding at the corners where the zipper meets, don’t accidentally spoil zipper teeth, pull and stops.
Turn the pouch right side out, adjust all corners and bound seam allowance. Lightly pound to flatten the bulging seams from outside.

A completed canvas zipper card pouch with a side gusset that can easily hold up to 20 – 30 credit cards, discount cards and/or member cards.

{More photos and story on Page 1.}

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118 comments... read them below or add one

  1. I taught myself sewing since December, 2012, starting with something simple like glasses cover. Love this pouch and just gave it a try. I was struggling a bit but it was an enjoyable learning experience. :-)

    Thank you Joanne for hosting such a great site.

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  3. Dude. I’m usually very good at sewing, but I’m totally lost with this one:

    Change to zipper foot. Pin and sew zipper (wrong side facing up) to the canvas, just outside the seam line, sew to the 3″ point [1] at the zipper, don’t go beyond. For advanced and experienced sewer, pining will do (same to the rest of the similar steps).
    Fold [2] over then flip the lining [3], align to the zipper and canvas. Pin.

    I changed the foot and sewed the canvas to the zipper to the 3″ point as instructed, but there seems to be something missing from the instructions. The next step in this part of the instructions doesn’t make sense. Maybe I’m reading it wrong. I don’t know. But I’ve been sitting here for 30 minutes just staring at it and can’t figure out what the heck I’m supposed to do next. Help!

    • Yeah, I am stuck at the same point. Really wish she had taken the time to answer your question. Always disappointing when the author of a tutorial isn’t willing to take a few minutes to answer someone earnestly trying to figure out. Says a lot about that person and the site in general.

      • Glad I’m not the only one totally lost. Been fooling with this for at least two hours. Seems like I sewed a seam per directions & then the next picture, something different. Not many instructions but clear as mud.

    • Cute card holder but WORST instructions I’ve come across. This probably should have taken about 1 hour MAX to make, but I’ve had to try to figure this out by the pics alone, because the instructions made no sense after the first few. And unfortunately the pics don’t help that much because the color of the lining blends with the website background!
      What a waste of my time.

    • I think it’s just having the lining on the same picture that makes it confusing. I like thoroughly reading instructions before starting a project, so although I haven’t tried it yet, this is my understanding.
      Basically, I think that she is saying to fold the lining right sides together with the side without the divider on top (facing you, making sure the top seam is as the top) and the gusset in (not showing). Keeping the canvas with the zipper wrong side up, line up the lining with the canvas and sew over the canvas/zipper (so.. sew over the line where you first sewed the zipper to the canvas).

      Then repeat on the other side.. sew the zipper to the canvas, the shimmy the lining over so that you sew the edge of the lining to the canvas, leaving the gusset free to do its work in the middle.

    • P.S. for the pinning part, she means that is you are not a beginner, you can just pin it all together and sew it once instead of sewing zipper to canvas then the lining to the canvas/zipper combo as it’s a little tricky for beginners to sew three layers of fabric (canvas/zipper/lining) together.

  4. cool! i just started my own blog too, cool tutorials!thanks from:

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  6. Pingback:DIY: zipper card pouch |

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  11. Can’t get the pattern directions. Locks up. Is it really for FREE.
    I like the look of the project….HELP. Also where can you get these type of zipper.

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  13. Thank you so much for your perfect tutorial. I learned how to sew a gusset, how to sew in a zipper round a corner and how to sew all that in the right order. With your help i managed this quite well and I’m very pleased with my result. If you want you can see it in my flickr album:
    I also mentioned your tutorial! Thanks again.

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  16. Wow, how confusing was that??? I ended up abandoning the instructions half way through & working it out for myself! The pictures were helpful but the wording is way too complicated & confusing!

    • Some part is hard to show in picture and to describe in the written instruction. It is good that you can work it out your way :) Some purse sewing experience could be in help and should have no problem by just look at the picture :) Thanks.

  17. Where did you get your cute zipper pulls? I’m seeing the butterfly and the ball, did they come with the zippers or did you buy them seperately and if so where from? Thank you so much for your time.

    • The ball shaped zipper pull comes with the zipper, the brand is YKK. The butterfly is a separate zipper pull that I attached with a zipper that able to install different pulls, not sure about the brand. You can find from Taiwanese or Japanese or even Malaysian or Singaporean hobby shop that specialized in bag making.

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  20. Although some parts of this were difficult for me, they were an issue of sewing experience and skill. I found the instructions to be plenty clear. Thanks for making this pattern available.

  21. Such a pretty pouch….but I dont think so ill b ever able to stitch this…:( its so tough

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  25. Can you please post a pdf sewing pattern of this zipper card pouch for me? I really love it! It’s so pretty!

    • You may print or save the sewing pattern in pdf format by using the printer icon at the end of the tutorial (before the comment area). You probably will need a PC or laptop to do it if you can’t find the icon when viewing the tutorial from your mobile device.

  26. I have just followed the instructions and came to last steps and oooooooooohhhhhh noooooooooooo!!!!!! The zipper is too short!!!! i couldn’t believe it, … If the sides of the pouch are 5 1/4+ 3 3/4 …how can we use a zipper of 7 inches… does not fit at all…firstly I was going to use a longer one but choose this one for not having to cut it….but the result was horrible as I told before….the zipper does not come to the endddd….:(
    Please tell me if the measures are wrong for being able to do it again…this time with correct measurements…..

    Thank you 😉

    • The 5 1/4 + 3 3/4 is including seam allowance of 3/8″, the actual length after deducting seam allowance should be 4 1/2 + 3. A 1/4″ off set at the start point and end point from the 7″ zipper will give you 7 1/2″ length which is exactly the length you need to sew the zipper to the pouch. I hope this explained again that the measurement is correct.

  27. They are so nice. I will try to do one

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  30. You said to use a hammer to get the bulky corners down. Why don’t you just trim the corners and side seams? I did and no need to use a hammer.

    • If the fabric is thick, it will be still bulky and thick. That’s the reason why I suggest to use hammer to pound it flat. If yours is OK, then you can always skip this step :)

  31. Thank you for the tutorial. I’ve been wanting to do this since 2 years ago but only have the courage to start today. I am handsewing everything and it looks great. I even manage to hide all the raw seams so that I don’t have to use the twill tape. Thanks again.

  32. I’m struggling with this tutorial. Wish there was a video to help understand. I seem to be getting stuck at the same spot as everyone else. Bummed.

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  35. Thanks for sharing the pattern and tutorial.
    Here is what I’ve done with it:

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  38. I want one ; can i buy ???

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