How to make a zippered pocket

What you will need:

  • A quilted background (see this post to find out how to use the designs from the Transformation Quilting Collection to create a quilted background – and this post to find out how to apply Deco Foil to your fabric before quilting).
  • A piece of fabric the same size as your quilted background to use for the lining
  • 2 strips of fabric 1 1/4″ wide and as long as the finished side of your zippered pocket + 2″ (my finished size is 8″ x 6″ – so my strips are 6″ + 2″ = 8″ long)
  • A zipper at least as long as the side of your quilted background

Multiple hooping for quilting in the hoop

To create a flat zippered pocket

Place your quilted background right side up on the table. Place the zipper right side down so that it is centered on the top edge of the background. Hold in place with a few pins. Center the lining fabric right side down on the quilted background. Hold in place along the zipper with a few pins. Stitch along the top edge using a zipper foot, creating a 1/4″ seam. Open up the lining and the quilted background to reveal the zipper. Finger press.


Bring the quilted background right sides together and align the end with the other side of the zipper. Pin in place. Bring the lining right sides together and align with the back of the zipper. Hold in place with pins. Stitch along the edge using a zipper foot, creating a 1/4″ seam.

How to insert a zipper

Finger press the quilted background and lining away from the zipper. Open the zipper and turn so the quilted background is right side out.

How to insert a zipper

Partially close the zipper – make sure that the zipper tab does not go beyond the edge of the quilted background. Turn inside out. Make a fold about 1″ from the zipper. Fold the unit flat and pin the sides in place

How to insert a zipper

Fold in 1/4″ along the long side of each 1 1/4″ wide strip. Align the raw edge of the strip with the edge of the pocket, leaving 1″ hanging off each end of the pocket. Stitch in place with a 1/4″ seam. Trim the zipper to the edge of the pocket.

Finishing the pocket

Fold the ends of the strip over the end of the pocket. Clip the corner of the strip to reduce bulk. Fold the strip over the edge of the pocket to create a binding. Stitch in place. I used a zig zag stitch – 3mm wide and 1mm long.

Finishing the pocket

Repeat on both sides. The inside of the pocket is nice enough to be the outside!

Pocket from the inside

Turn the pocket rights side out to reveal the quilted background. Isn’t it gorgeous?! Be sure to click on the photo below to see a larger version.

Zippered Pocket with Deco Foil and quilting in the hoop

To create a zippered pocket with a gusset

Insert the zipper as for the flat pocket.

With right sides in, fold the pocket at the zipper and bind the side edges.

Zippered Pocket with Deco Foil and quilting in the hoop

Cut a 1″ square from the two bottom corners of the pocket.

Zippered Pocket with Deco Foil and quilting in the hoop

Open the corner and pin as shown below, with right sides together. Stitch a 1/4″ seam with a straight stitch. Restitch with a small zigzag stitch. Repeat for the other corner.

Zippered Pocket with Deco Foil and quilting in the hoop

Turn the pocket right side out. Doesn’t this create a beautiful shape?

Zippered Pocket with Deco Foil and quilting in the hoop

Be sure to click on the photos to see a larger version.

Zippered Pocket with Deco Foil and quilting in the hoop

Leave a comment below and tell me – which one is your favorite pocket? And who do you know who would love one? I know 2 girls who are going to love these!


  1. Pingback: How to use Deco Foil on fabric - Machine Embroidered Applique by Sarah Vedeler Designs

  2. Total #CreativeGoodness. Excellent tutorial that definitely goes into “My Favorites” list. While I look forward to making a pocket using your tutorial, I felt I did something similar with the zipper at the top of the bag, but when I turned it, my bag was not as even in the corners as yours is. Not certain what I did wrong, other than need for more practice.


  3. why didn’t you put the J over the quilting? was there a technical reason for this or just personal preference in how it looked?
    beautiful projects!

    • Hi Donna,
      The Deco Foil needs to be applied to a flat surface. The amount of heat and pressure needed would totally flatten the quilting too.

  4. Thank you for gifting all your readers with your expertise! I love the gusset method. I’m going to try covering the zipper with a lapped method since I live out in the boondocks and can’t always shop to find a match of zipper to fabric .( Only just visualizing and being away from home now)…. if I extend the seam allowance outside the rectangle an inch and a half or so on the lower edge which would wrap around and become the top of zipper, it would allow a seam to achieve a 1/2″ overlap to upper edge of zipper . Maybe decorate the zipper roll area with a foil stripe or machine decorative edging. I also like wrist straps and your cool inside binding technique will accommodate a strap insertion if one so chooses. Very cute . In remembering the ole “kiss” saying, I’ll follow your very good directions first and then play! My Mom passed away and I have inherited 6 embroidery machines. (One is a Big Bernina 830.) I am a non profit “Home Ministries”. I want to have work shops with”the girls” to project together to raise money for local small town causes. This little purse as a project will be just the ticket! My Mom made tons of little embroidered in the hoop projects. She loved going to Las Vegas and give things away to the bingo or Keno girls. I want to carry on that spirit. Thank you Sarah .PS. On one of the many Chauffeuring trips to LV, I discoved Quiltique in Henderson, Nevada where I became Bedazzed with your quilt and the shop! What a fabulous quilt. You bad girl! You made me buy the embroidery, most all the accuquilt go dies that go in it and the silks. My Mom always gave me gambling money and I would stick it in my pocket and off I would go to Quiltique. A year has almost passed and I need to pull myself together and Bedazzle others as you have us your loyal readers. Many Blessings to you this New Year. Janette

  5. love your tutorials! Thank you

  6. This is a great tutorial. I like making bags with my machine quilting practice pieces. I will have to add letters or something to the outside. Very cool.

  7. This is a great project. I just happen to have the designs and can see how it can be made any size. I’m going to make 1 to keep in my embroidery lesson binder to put my mouse and power cord in so nothing is left at home.

  8. Love this…….Thanks so much…..
    Grateful for Heathers progress. ?

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