Sew your own DIY Cosmetic Case with just a few sewing supplies including regular quilting cotton. My free sewing pattern is very easy and has step by step photos to make each part as clear as can be.
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You’ll love my handy pouch that’s great for cosmetics, school supplies, tools, and more!
I’m calling it the Cute Corners Cosmetics Case… and look how wide it opens.
That’s because the zipper opens up all the way past the pouch from one end to the other.
The corners fold down on the sides and are held that way with a snap.
My inspiration for this pouch was a picture of a frame cosmetic bag on Amazon, but my goal was to re-create the design without using any extra hardware.
I love how it turned out and hope you do too!
To make this fat-quarter friendly sewing pattern, you will need:
1/4 yd exterior fabric
1/4 yd lining fabric
1/3 yd fusible fleece interfacing (such as HeatnBond fusible fleece)
1 set of plastic snaps (I use Kam snaps)
1. From the exterior fabric cut:
2 rectangles 8 1/2’’ x 11 1/2’’
From the lining fabric cut:
2 rectangles 8 1/2’’ x 11 1/2’’
From the fusible fleece interfacing, cut:
2 rectangles 8 1/2’’ x 11 1/2’’
For the optional ‘label’, cut a scrap of fabric 1 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’. I fused fusible fleece interfacing to the back of mine to give it more dimension and a white layer that shows underneath the fabric.
2. Cut the usable part of the zipper down to 13’’ long, removing the stoppers at either end.
Make sure you move the slider to the middle before you cut! 🙂
The picture above shows how this would look using a (regular) 1’’ wide nylon dressmaker’s zipper. Regular zippers aren’t my favorite for this project, but they still work fine.
The turquoise handbag zipper that shows in other pictures was cut from a ByAnnie Zipper By the Yard.
3. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the pouch exterior pieces.
Then cut 2’’ squares from the bottom corners of all the pouch pieces, as shown above.
Save half of the 2’’ squares – 2 exterior and 2 lining – to be used for making the zipper tabs3.
With this pattern, it is very important that the exterior and lining pieces are the same size. Sometimes the exterior pieces will shrink when fused to fusible fleece (see above). If that happens, trim down the matching lining pieces so that they are the same size before you start sewing the zipper.
Attach the Label (optional):
1. Pin the 1 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’ ‘label’ to one of the pouch exterior pieces, centered and 1 1/2’’ above the top edge.
2. Stitch around the label 1/8’’ from the edge to secure.
Prepare the Zipper:
1. To make the tabs, place 2 different 2’’ squares (cut from the pouch pieces earlier) right sides together and sew around 3 edges. Clip the corners.
2. Turn the tabs right side out, pushing out the corners, and press.
Carefully turn the raw edges to the inside by 1/4’’ and press.
3. Insert the cut zipper ends into the tab by only 1/4’’. Pin or clip to hold in place.
Note: only insert the zipper ends into the tab by 1/4’’ – otherwise it will be difficult to install a snap on the tab later.
4. Sew around the edges of the zipper tab, 1/8’’ from the edge.
Tip: I like using a sewing stiletto to help sewing small pieces like this – without sewing my finger.
Prepare the Side Pieces and Sew In the Zipper:
1. Make a small 1/4’’ clip on both sides of each pouch piece (exterior and lining), 1’’ below the top edge.
2. Press the 1’’ sections at the top of each piece (on both sides) to the wrong side by 1/4’’
Do this for all pieces, exterior and lining.
2. Pin or clip the zipper face down against the top edge of one exterior piece – with the 1’’ sections at the top still pressed back.
Note: For a quick zipper pouch, I usually sandwich the zipper between the lining and exterior and sew them in one step. Because of the fiddly nature of these pieces (in order to keep the zipper ends out), I am going to sew each side of the zipper in 2 steps to ensure a neat finish.
3. Using a zipper foot, baste across the top edge with a scant 1/4’’ seam allowance.
Turn the piece over and check to make sure that the 1’’ folded edges remained turned over to the back, as seen in the second photo above.
4. Pin or clip the lining face down on top of the zipper.
Ensure that the folded back edges align perfectly with the folded back edges on the case exterior (already basted to the zipper).
If the lining piece is a little too big (see the last image above under ‘Cutting’), trim it to the right size and then re-clip and press the 1’’ folded back edge on that side.
5. Sew the lining to the zipper with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.
Note: as often happens, my lining piece stretched and by the time I reached the end, it was 1/8’’ longer than the exterior. To make sure my edges looked neat, I folded the 1’’ piece at the end over a tiny bit more (see above). This would ensure that the folded edge of the lining matched up perfectly with the folded edge on the exterior.
6. Fold the exterior and lining pieces wrong sides together and carefully press both fabrics away from the zipper.
Repeat Steps 2-6 above to sew the remaining exterior and lining pieces to the other side of the zipper.
Wait to topstitch the zipper until a later step. 🙂
Sew the Case Together:
1/4’’ seam allowance allowed.
1. Arrange the side pieces of the case with the exterior pieces right sides together and the lining pieces right sides together.
Align one exterior side so that the folded back edges are matching at the top and pin. Sew the side from the clip down to the cut out corner.
Sew the other exterior side the same way. Sew across the bottom edge.
2. Make sure the zipper is at least 1/2 way open, and then sew the lining pieces together in the same way.
Leave a 3-4’’ opening along the bottom edge of the lining for turning the case right side out later.
Press the seams open as best you can.
3. Flatten the side of the case against the bottom, matching up the seams. Pin. Sew with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.
Repeat for all 4 corners – 2 exterior and 2 lining.
4. Pinch the zipper tabs in half and tuck them inside the exterior side of the zipper – through the opening where the 1’’ edges are pressed back.
5. Turn the case right side out through the opening in the lining.
Press the edges at the opening to the inside and hand or machine sew the opening closed.
Tuck the lining inside the case.
Topstitch all Top Edges:
1. Work with the top corners a bit (a stiletto may help) until the folded edges on the exterior and the lining match up. Pin them together. Repeat on the other side of the case.
I like to smooth the lining down and put a pin on the bag sides too to ensure that the lining doesn’t creep up while I’m topstitching.
2. Topstitch all the way around the case, 1/8’’ from the top edge.
I like to start on one of the corners, stitch down, pivot at the seam, stitch back up,
and then sew across the side to the other corner.
Backstitch neatly when you reach the spot where you started topstitching.
If desired, fold the top corners against the side of the case and press the edges for 2-3’’ – this is to help the corner fold down.
Install the Plastic Snaps:
1. Measure up 1 1/4’’ from the bottom edge of the case and place a mark in the side seam.
2. Push an awl (or stiletto) through the seam and arrange the lining so that the awl comes through the inside of the case in the same spot.
3. Pull out the stiletto and quickly insert a snap back piece before the hole closes up.
4. Put the female side of the snap on the exterior and work the snap press in to smash them together.
Repeat on the other side of the case.
5. Install the male sides of the snaps in the center of the zipper tabs, with the back pieces on top.
All done! I hope you enjoyed this photo sewing tutorial and preview of my new Sweet Caroline curated collection from QT Fabrics – look for it in January! ❤️
If you liked this case, you’ll love the other tutorials in my Crafty Little Things to Sew roundup!
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂