Sew an easy Project Pouch with my free sewing pattern! This zippered bag with a vinyl front is perfect for organizing your hand sewing work, unfinished quilt blocks, or embroidery project to take on the go. My quilted handle technique is totally new – you won’t see it anywhere else (until someone copies it, lol)!
This vinyl project bag sewing pattern includes 3 sizes, plus I’ll share tips so you can adapt the pattern to any size you need. Don’t save it for sewing projects only! Wouldn’t this make lovely gift wrapping for small items? I recently used the square size to hold my rings and earrings when I went on a cruise. I used another one to hold charging cords, and a third to hold travel documents!
Together with my Boxy Duffle Bag, I was really traveling in style!
This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Vinyl Project Pouch Pattern is included in the blog post below and is free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $3 is optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.
I am planning to make more to fill with goodies and give as teacher gifts this year. The 6” x 10” size is perfect for pencils and pens. No matter how many you sew up… you are going to need more of these fast and easy zipper pouches!
This pattern for vinyl project pouches includes three sizes:
- Large: 12” x 12” square
- Medium: 6” x 10” rectangle
- Small: 7 1/2” x 7 1/2” square
After sewing my horizontal 6” x 10” pouch, I couldn’t help but make a vertical pouch the same size! It will be perfect for holding pens, markers, or crochet hooks.
Tips for Choosing Zippers
I highly recommend size 4.5 or 5 handbag zippers for this project. They are durable and wide and provide a more professional finish than regular dressmaking zippers. Regular dressmaking zippers may be substituted but will not provide the same look.
For my pouches, I used size 5 zippers by the yard that can be found on Amazon. The zipper teeth only look metallic, they are actually made of nylon and easy to sew over. Cute metallic zipper pulls are often sold separately, including
- This cute sewing machine pull
- An assortment of cute rainbow zipper pulls
- More size 5 zipper pull choices to browse
As you may have guessed, I love shopping for zippers and zipper pulls and have a huge collection.
Size 4.5 zippers by the yard and zipper pulls will work great for this bag too, but there aren’t as many choices.
After sharing my cutting instructions and sewing tutorial for these three sizes, I’ll give you tips and ideas for making any size you like, just in case you are like me…
And you have piles of quilted fabric and stabilizer scraps, and maybe also a bin of stabilizer pieces that need to be used!
Are you ready to sew up some of these amazing project pouches??? Let’s go!
Free Vinyl Project Pouch Sewing Pattern
You will need:
- Fabric pieces for the front and back of the quilted piece that can be seen through the vinyl. Cutting dimensions are below.
- A quarter yard or less of fabric for the top of the pouch and the binding
- 14 or 16-gauge vinyl (such as the kind sold on large rolls near the back of fabric and craft stores)
- Flexible foam stabilizer (Soft and Stable from ByAnnie suggested)
- Medium weight fusible interfacing (Pellon Shape-flex SF101 suggested)
- A size 4.5 or 5 handbag zipper that is 1/2” wider than the pouch (see zipper tips above)
For The Large (12” x 12”) size, cut:
- 2 fabric rectangles 14” x 13” for the back of the pouch (exterior and interior)
- 1 piece of flexible foam stabilizer 14” x 13”
- 1 fabric binding strip 2” x 12” (vinyl binding piece)
- 1 fabric rectangle 2 1/2” x 10” (handle binding piece)
- 1 fabric rectangle 2 1/2” x 12” (for the top of the pouch front)
- 1 rectangle of medium weight fusible interfacing 2 1/2” x 12” (for the top of the pouch front)
- a pieced fabric strip 2 1/4” x 52” (pouch binding)
- 1 rectangle of vinyl 11” x 12”
- 1 zipper piece 12 1/2” long (with a zipper pull)
For The Medium Horizontal (6” x 10”) size, cut:
- 2 fabric rectangles 8” x 11” for the back of the pouch (exterior and interior)
- 1 piece of flexible foam stabilizer 8” x 11”
- 1 fabric binding strip 2” x 10” (vinyl binding piece)
- 1 fabric rectangle 2 1/2” x 9” (handle binding piece)
- 1 fabric rectangle 2 1/2” x 10” (for the top of the pouch front)
- 1 rectangle of medium weight fusible interfacing 2 1/2” x 10” (for the top of the pouch front)
- 1 fabric strip 2 1/4” x 36” (pouch binding)
- 1 zipper piece 10 1/2” long (with a zipper pull)
For The Medium Vertical (10” x 6”) size, cut:
- 2 fabric rectangles 11” x 8” for the back of the pouch (exterior and interior)
- 1 piece of flexible foam stabilizer 11” x 8”
- 1 fabric binding strip 2” x 6” (vinyl binding piece)
- 1 fabric rectangle 2 1/2” x 8” (handle binding piece)
- 1 fabric rectangle 2 1/2” x 6” (for the top of the pouch front)
- 1 rectangle of medium weight fusible interfacing 2 1/2” x 6” (for the top of the pouch front)
- 1 fabric strip 2 1/4” x 36” (pouch binding)
- 1 zipper piece 6 1/2” long (with a zipper pull)
For The Small (7 1/2” x 7 1/2”) size, cut:
- 2 fabric rectangles 9 1/2” x 9” for the back of the pouch (exterior and interior)
- 1 piece of flexible foam stabilizer 9 1/2” x 9”
- 1 fabric binding strip 2” x 7 1/2” (vinyl binding piece)
- 1 fabric rectangle 2 1/2” x 8” (handle binding piece)
- 1 fabric rectangle 2 1/2” x7 1/2” (for the top of the pouch front)
- 1 rectangle of medium weight fusible interfacing 2 1/2” x 7 1/2” (for the top of the pouch front)
- 1 fabric strip 2 1/4” x 34” (pouch binding)
- 1 zipper piece 7 1/2” long (with a zipper pull)
You will also need:
- wash away Wondertape (optional, but I love it)
- a large safety pin for turning the handle right side out
- a sewing stiletto tool (optional, but very helpful)
Make the back of the pouch:
For any size of project pouch, you should have 2 pieces of fabric and one piece of flexible foam stabilizer that are the same size.
1. Smooth the first piece of fabric over your stabilizer (right side up) and baste all the way around 1/8’’ from the edge. Here’s a how-to blog post and video for this step.
2. Smooth the second piece of fabric over the back of the stabilizer (right side up) and baste all the way around 1/8’’ from the edge.
3. Quilt the fabric and stabilizer together however you like. Easy straight line quilting is a good option if you’re in a hurry.
If you have a long-arm quilter, you can use up extra backing fabric at the bottom of your quilts by adding any stabilizer you like and other fabric. That is how I often make my quilted pieces of fabric and stabilizer.
4. Cut a pouch back piece and a handle piece from your quilted piece. The back piece is the same dimensions of the finished pouch. The handles are 8”, 9”, or 10” long.
For the large pouch, cut:
- 1 back piece 12” x 12”
- 1 handle piece 1” x 10”
For the medium pouch (horizontal or vertical), cut:
- 1 back piece 6” x 10”
- 1 handle piece 1” x 9”
For the small pouch, cut:
- 1 back piece 7 1/2” x 7 1/2”
- 1 handle piece 1” x 8”
4. Sew around each piece, 1/8” from the edge, to seal the edges.
Make the Handle
This pattern includes three different lengths of handle. Each handle is 1” wide.
1. Place a handle binding rectangle right sides together with the 1” wide quilted handle piece (the handle binding should be the same length as the handle piece). Pin or clip the long edges together.
2. Sew along the long edge with a 1/4” seam allowance.
3. Line up the remaining long edge of the fabric with the remaining long edge of the handle piece. Pin or clip in place. Sew with a 1/4” seam allowance.
4. Attach a safety pin to the handle piece at one end. Use the safety pin to turn the tab right side out through the tunnel made with the fabric rectangle.
Start by tucking the end of the quilted handle piece into the tunnel.
Then, gently work the handle out through the other end using the safety pin to help. Press the handle flat.
Make the Pouch Front
1. Fold the vinyl binding strip that is 2” x the width of the pouch in half lengthwise and press. Open and press the long edges to the center. Fold in half again and press.
2. Wrap the binding strip around the top edge of the piece of vinyl and pin or clip in place.
3. Stitch close to the edge of the binding to secure it to the vinyl.
4. Cut or tear off a 10” long piece of Wondertape and adhere it to the zipper, centered and along the lower edge of the zipper tape.
Tip: If you are using a piece of zipper by the yard, sew the ends of the zipper closed to prevent the slider from accidentally coming off while you are working.
Remove the paper backing and finger press the binding against the lower edge of the zipper. The top edge of the binding should be about 1/8” away from the zipper teeth.
Tip: I love Wondertape for this step, but you could use pins of you choose.
5. Sew the bound edge of the vinyl to the zipper, close to the top edge of the binding.
6. Fuse the 2 1/2” wide piece of fusible interfacing to the fabric rectangle for the top of the pouch front. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.
7. Use Wondertape or pins to secure the folded fabric rectangle to the top edge of the zipper. The fold of the fabric should be about 1/8” away from the zipper teeth.
8. Stitch the top piece in place, close to the folded edge.
Move the zipper slider to the middle and trim away the extra zipper tapes. Set this piece aside.
Assemble the Vinyl Project Pouch
1. Clip or pin the front of the pouch to the quilted back of the pouch that you prepared earlier. Line up the top and side edges. If you can clip the bottom edge, do so. The bottom vinyl edge of the front piece is probably longer than the back piece, depending on the width of your zipper and how close the fabric pieces are to the zipper teeth. That’s fine.
2. With your longest stitch length, baste around the whole piece, 1/8” from the edge.
Tips: Start sewing on the left side on the fabric binding below the zipper.
Pivot at the corner and baste across the top edge.
Then turn and continue basting down the right side.
If your sewing machine does not sew smoothly over the vinyl, there are several tips you can try for sewing on vinyl. My favorite is to place a single drop of sewing machine oil on my finger and wiping it across the bottom of my sewing machine foot. I always have smooth sewing after that.
Finish basting the layers together until you reach the spot where you started.
3. Trim the vinyl even with the bottom of the pouch. Square up the pouch layers too, if needed.
4. Pin or clip the ends of the handle to back of the pouch along the TOP edge.
The distance between my handle and the side edges of my pouches is:
- For the large pouch, my handle ends are 3” from the side edges.
- For the medium pouch, my handle ends are 2 1/2” from the side edges.
- For the small pouch, my handle ends are 2” from the side edges.
5. Stitch the ends of the handle to the pouch a scant 1/4” away from the edge.
Bind the Edges of the Pouch
Note: this is the way I usually bind the edges of my projects. If you have a different favorite way, feel free to use it!
1. Fold the binding strip in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press. Pin or clip one end of the binding to the bottom edge of the pouch, with the raw edges lined up.
2. Using a regular (2 – 2.5) stitch length and a 1/4” seam allowance, start sewing about 4” away from the end of the binding. Sew until you are 1/4” away from the corner. If you wish, you may pivot 45 degrees and sew to the tip of the corner as shown.
3. Fold the binding toward the sewn edge to make a 45-degree angle fold. Finger press the fold.
Then fold the binding over and along the next straight edge of the pouch.
Begin sewing at the edge and continue sewing the binding to the pouch with a 1/4” seam allowance. Sew the binding to each corner the same way.
Stop sewing after turning the fourth corner, about 4-5” from where you started.
4. Bring the ends of the binding together in the middle and fold the edges back. Crease the folds with your fingernail.
Carefully cut away the extra binding 1/4” past the creases.
5. Place the ends of the binding right sides together and stitch with a 1/4” seam allowance. Finger press the seam open and re-fold the binding as before.
Finish sewing the binding to the bottom edge of the pouch.
6. Flip the binding over to the front of the project pouch and sew it down close to the fold.
As you approach a corner, a sewing stiletto may come in handy to help neatly fold a 90 degree corner.
Make sure the handle is folded back so it doesn’t get caught as you sew the front of the binding.
7. From the back, gently press the handle upward away from the pouch.
Tips for Making Any Size Vinyl Project Pouch
You may have noticed that I worked out a formula for making this pattern work in every size that I wanted. You can do that too!
1. Start with a piece of quilted fabric and stabilizer that is the same size that you want the finished pouch to be. This is the back.
2. For the handle, cut a quilted fabric and stabilizer strip 1” x 8-10” (as desired). Cut the handle binding strip 2 1/2” x 8-10” (the same length as the handle).
3. For the front of the pouch, cut:
- 1 piece of vinyl that is the same width as the quilted back and one inch shorter.
- 1 vinyl binding strip, 2” tall x the width of the vinyl.
- 1 fabric rectangle and fusible interfacing vinyl, 2 1/2” tall x the width of the vinyl.
4. You will need a handbag zipper that is the width of the back piece or up to 1/2” longer to make sewing it a bit easier.
5. Prepare a binding strip 2 1/4” tall x enough to go around the entire pouch + 4”.
Then follow the instructions above to sew a vinyl project pouch that’s the perfect size for you!
If you make this free vinyl project pouch sewing pattern or any of my free sewing patterns, I hope you show me by posting a picture to Instagram and tagging me @sewcanshe or #sewcanshe.
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. 🙂