/ / Twice as Nice Zippered Organizer – free sewing pattern

Twice as Nice Zippered Organizer – free sewing pattern

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Sew up a double sided pouch to help you organize your cosmetics, sewing and craft items, art supplies, travel necessities, and more! This zippered case has two angled compartments that hold more than they appear to. Plus the inside of the pockets is sewn with vinyl so you can easily see what’s inside.

Worried about sewing vinyl? Don’t sweat it! There is only one piece of vinyl to sew into this project, and I’ve worked out the easiest way possible. I’ll show you how to make it work no matter what sewing machine you have. You can also refer to my tips for sewing on vinyl here.

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below contains everything you will need to make the Twice as Nice Zippered Organizer and it is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The formatted-for-printing PDF download for $2 is totally optional.

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If you are a video learner, you’re in luck! Sulky is making a webcast for this pattern. Learn more about the webcast here.

I’ve sewn up a bunch of double sided organizers like this as I have worked out the best possible combination of techniques and materials.

My favorite combination for this case is an exterior made with 2 layers of fabric quilted together with foam stabilizer in between. The case looks so professional plus it’s sturdy and will last a long time. See more projects with fabric and foam stabilizer quilted together.

Oh, and did I tell you that this sewing project is FAT QUARTER FRIENDLY??? Yup! So if you struggle to put together coordinating fabrics, just grab a few fat quarters from the same collection and you’re set. (A fat quarter is a pre-cut piece of fabric that is 18’’ x 22’’.)

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The interior has fabric panels above each zipper with a magnetic snap closure to keep the case closed when not in use.

The see-through pockets are made with a single piece of vinyl. I love using vinyl because it’s inexpensive and great for organizing. Even if it’s your first time sewing on vinyl please give this project a try – you will be glad you did!

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To save time in my ‘research and development’ stage, I also made a few versions of this pouch using fusible fleece. I used the same pattern that I will share with you below, except that I used a piece of fusible fleece instead of foam stabilizer. My fusible fleece was only fusible on one side, so after I used my iron to fuse fabric to one side of the fleece stabilizer, I used basting spray to attach a fabric piece to the other side of the stabilizer. I skipped the quilting step to save even more time. This pouch turned out cute, but I don’t think it’s as beautiful or professional looking as the quilted version.

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Are you ready to sew the Twice as Nice Zippered Organizer? Let’s go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Click here to download the free Twice as Nice Zippered Organizer pattern template as a PDF file with 2 pages. Print the file at 100% – do not enlarge or reduce it. Cut out pieces A and B and tape them together as seen above.

You will need:

  • 1 fat quarter or 1/3 yard of fabric for the case exterior

  • 1 fat quarter or 1/3 yard of fabric for the case interior

  • 1 fat quarter or 1/4 yard of fabric for the interior panels and the binding

  • a piece of sew-in foam stabilizer that is 12’’ x 18’’ (I used ByAnnie Soft and Stable)

  • 1 piece of vinyl 9 1/2’’ x 8’’. See note about vinyl below.

  • 2 zippers that are 8’’ or longer in between the zipper stops. See note about zippers below.

  • 1 magnetic snap closure (I like the smaller 14mm size because the pieces are easier to sew around)

  • 1/4 yard (or scraps) of medium weight fusible stabilizer (such as Pellon SF101)

  • Various fabric marking pens or pencils (depending on the colors of your fabrics)

  • Pins and Wonderclips

About vinyl: I cut a rectangle of 12 gauge vinyl that I bought at Joanns. For this project you don’t need very thick vinyl. Since you don’t need a very large piece you may be able to get enough from a vinyl package such as the kind that bed sheets come in. Read more here.

About zippers: My favorite zippers are size 4.5 YKK handbag zippers because they are easy to use and have nice big zipper pulls. They are great for all kinds of bags and pouches. Instead of buying them in pre-made sizes, I keep on hand ByAnnie Zipper by the Yard in all my favorite colors. Zipper by the Yard is simply a 4 yard piece of YKK size 4.5 zipper that comes with 16 zipper pulls so I can cut my own zippers to the size that I need with no waste. For this project you will need 2 zippers that are 8’’ or longer, or simply cut your own 2 zippers using Zipper By the Yard and add pulls (that’s what I did). If you use regular zippers, trim them down to 8’’ and sew across the ends to prevent the pulls from coming off.

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Cutting

From your exterior fabric, cut 1 rectangle 12’’ x 18’’.

From your lining fabric, cut 1 rectangle 12’’ x 18’’.

From foam stabilizer, cut 1 rectangle 12’’ x 18’’.

From medium weight fusible stabilizer, cut 2 rectangles 4’’ x 8’’.

From your binding and interior panel fabric, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 4’’ x 8’’

  • 2 strips 2’’ x 8’’ for binding the edges of the vinyl

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From the leftover fabric for your binding and interior panels, cut a few 2 1/4’’ strips of fabric on the bias (at a 45 degree angle). You’ll need enough strips so you can sew them together to make at least 40’’ of bias binding.

Alternatively, you could use my tutorial for making a whole lot of bias binding from a single square of fabric.

Quilt the Fabric and Foam Stabilizer Together and Cut the Case Exterior

When I was making this organizer, I recorded this step in a quick video that will play above. If you can’t see it, I show the technique separately in this blog post (but that is using different fabrics).

1. First attach the 12’’ x 18’’ piece of fabric to one side of the 12’’ x 18’’ piece of foam stabilizer by smoothing the fabric out on top (right side of fabric up) and then sewing all the way around with a long basting stitch about 1/8’’ from the edge.

Turn the stabilizer over and smooth out the second piece of fabric on the other side (right side of fabric up). Then baste the fabric and stabilizer together by sewing all the way around again 1/8’’ from the edge.

2. Quilt the fabric and stabilizer together however you like. For this project I sewed straight lines 2’’ apart and then turned the piece and sewed more straight lines 2’’ apart in a cross hatch design. I marked my lines first using a ruler and frixion pen.

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Here’s my 12’’ x 18’’ piece of fabric and foam stabilizer all quilted together.

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3. Fold the quilted piece in half with the shorter edges together. Pin the free printable template on top with the 8’’ straight edge along the fold of the quilted piece.

Cut out the case exterior around the edges of the template.

It kind of looks like two storm trooper helmets!

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4. Baste around the case exterior piece 1/8’’ from the edges to seal the edges and prevent the fabrics and foam stabilizer from separating.

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5. On the lining side of the quilted piece, draw a line down the center as seen above. Since my fabric was dark, I used my white Sewline Ceramic Marking Pencil. Note: this line may show on your finished case.

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6. Also on the lining side, mark the center of the piece at both ends. These marks won’t show, so I used a sharpie.

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Bind the Ends of the Vinyl Piece

1. Fold a 2’’ x 8’’ strip of fabric in half and press. Open and fold the long edges to the center and press. Fold in half again to make a 1/2’’ x 8’’ strip and press.

Repeat with the other 2’’ x 8’’ strip of fabric.

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2. Wrap the 8’’ long binding pieces around the 8’’ long ends of the vinyl piece. Secure with Wonderclips.

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3. Stitch both binding pieces in place, sewing 1/8’’ away from the edge of the binding.

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4. Use a pen or marker to draw a line down the center of the vinyl in between the bindings. Note: this line may show on your finished case.

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Make the Interior Panels and Attach the Zippers and Snaps

1. Press to fuse the 4’’ x 8’’ medium weight fusible interfacing pieces to both of the 4’’ x 8’’ fabric pieces.

2. Fold each piece in half lengthwise and press.

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3. Pin one of the folded and pressed panel pieces to the top edge of one of the zippers with the fold on the panel along the zipper teeth.

4. Attach the zipper foot to your sewing machine if needed. Sew the panel to the zipper, sewing 1/4’’ away from the fold on the fabric.

Repeat to sew the remaining panel piece to the other 8’’ long zipper.

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5. Use a fabric marking pen or pencil to place a dot in the center of the panel, 1’’ below the top raw edges.

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6. Place one of the metal disks that came with the magnetic snap closure over the dot and use it to draw two short cutting marks on either side of the dot.

Use a seam ripper or sharp scissors to cut small slits through the first layer of fabric (and the interfacing) only.

Push the prongs on one side of the magnetic snap through the slits.

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7. Place the magnetic disk over the prongs and fold the prongs outward.

As you can see, I only cut through one layer of fabric so the prongs and magnetic disk are in between the fabric layers.

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Repeat to attach the other side of the magnetic snap to the remaining zipper panel in the same way.

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Sew the Bound Vinyl Edges to the Zipper Panels

1. Pin one of the bound edges of the vinyl to the lower edge of one of the zipper panels. The edge of the binding should be along the zipper teeth.

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2. Sew across the binding about 1/4’’ away from the zipper teeth.

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3. Repeat to sew the remaining zipper panel to the other bound edge of the vinyl.

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Sew the Vinyl to the Interior of the Case

Note: I experimented with several techniques to determine if it was easier to attach the vinyl first, or sew the corners of the case first. I decided that it was easier to attach the vinyl first and then move it out of the way to sew the corners. When I sewed the corners first, I had to smash them down in order to sew the vinyl and it was tricky to attach the vinyl straight.

1. Lay the quilted piece on your workspace with the lining side up. Then place the vinyl piece with the zipper panels on top with the zippers facing up.

Place the drawn line down the center of the vinyl right on top of the marked line down the center of the quilted piece. Secure the vinyl on top of the quilted piece using wonderclips at the edges as seen above.

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Tip: Some companies make a special teflon sewing machine foot that is made for sewing with vinyl. I have one, but I find it easier to place a drop of sewing machine oil on my finger and rub it across the bottom of my regular sewing machine foot to make it a bit slippery. Then I place one more drop of oil right in front of the foot and spread it across the line in the direction I am going to sew.

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2. Adjust your stitch length to medium long (mine is a 3) and sew the vinyl piece to the exterior along the line. If you placed sewing machine oil on the line to help you sew smoothly, wipe it away with a paper towel when you are done.

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Sew the Corners of the Case

1. Fold the vinyl piece together, letting the magnetic closure snap together. Then place it at one side of the case.

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2. Turn the case over and fold the top left corner down so that the corner that sticks out like a storm trooper helmet meets the center of the pouch (on the stitched line from attaching the vinyl).

Secure with a pin or wonderclip.

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Check the other side to make sure that the vinyl is folded away from the corner that you are going to sew.

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3. Sew the corner with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

Note: This seam is only 1 1/2’’ long.

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4. Place the case right side up on your work space again. Fold and clip (or pin) the remaining corner on the same side of the case.

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Sew the corner seam with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

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The corners on one side of the case are done.

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5. Turn the case over and flip the vinyl piece (with the magnetic closure still closed so the sides move together) over to the other side.

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6. Fold, clip (or pin), and stitch the 2 remaining corners in the same way. Make sure that the vinyl sides of the case interior are moved out of the way so you don’t sew on them.

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If desired, finish the corner seams with a zig zag stitch. To do this, you will need to finish each of the 4 seams separately, making sure to move the vinyl interior sides out of the way so they are not caught in the stitching.

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Baste the Interior of the Case Together

1. Open out the vinyl piece on the case interior.

Pin the zipper panel to each end of the case using two pins near the magnetic closure pieces.

Then pin the sides of the binding on the vinyl to the sides of the case exterior using 2 more pins on each side.

As you can see from the image above, I used 4 pins on each side of the case.

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2. Turn the case over and use a rotary cutter or scissors to trim away the extra fabric so that the interior of the case matches the rounded corners on the exterior of the case.

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3. Using a long basting stitch, sew all the way around the case 1/4’’ from the edge. I found it easier to sew with the interior of the case facing up.

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When you are attaching the vinyl to the side edges, flatten the case against your sewing machine bed so you can stitch in a straight line.

Place a drop of oil on the bottom of your sewing machine foot and in front of the foot too to help you sew smoothly.

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When the interior and exterior of the case are sewn together, the cute shape will appear!

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Make and Attach the Binding

1. Sew the 2 1/4’’ binding strips together at an angle to make a bias binding piece at least 40’’ long.

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2. Fold the binding in half lengthwise and press.

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3. Sew the binding to the inside edge of the case.

Tips:

Even though the joining seam in my binding would be more visible, I decided to join the ends of my binding along a straight edge on the fabric panel because it would be easier than on the vinyl.

So begin sewing near one of the rounded top corners, leaving 4-5’’ of binding free at the top.

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Attach the binding with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

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As you attach the binding over the vinyl sides, flatten the case against your sewing machine bed so you can sew in a straight line.

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4. After you sew around the last rounded corner, stop sewing and remove the case from your sewing machine.

Bring the ends of the binding together and fold back, making a crease on both binding ends where they meet.

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Trim away the ends of the binding 1/4’’ past each crease.

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5. Unclip and place the binding ends right sides together. Sew with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

Finger press the seam allowance open.

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Re-fold the binding and finish sewing it to the inside of the case.

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6. Flip the binding around to the outside of the case and sew it down close to the folded edge.

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I have found that a sewing stiletto really helps me sew straight binding around curves and in tricky spots!

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Fill your beautiful case with your favorite things and get organized!

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As always, I love to see the things you make with my tutorials! Post a picture to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe or #sewcanshe so I can take a look.

Happy sewing,

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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. 🙂

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9 Comments

  1. Another awesome bag from you! I can hardly wait to make one. Thanks for all the work you put into these projects!

  2. Ohh Caroline! Your directions are just superb!!! This interesting pouch comes to life in your tutorial and I’m in awe at your skill in taking a picture and not only making a pattern but then teaching everyone else on how to make it themselves! Thank you for sharing! God bless you! Marie

  3. I LOVE YOUR PATTERNS !!
    I JUST WISH YOU DID TUTORIAL VIDEOS…I UNDERSTAND MOST …BUT GET A LITTLE CONFUSED ON SOME..I AM A BEGINNING SEWER AND I LEARN BEST BY VISUAL..
    BUT THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WHAT YOU DO !! AND THANK YOU FOR SHARING ❤️

  4. Love this! Can’t wait to make. You never disappoint!!

  5. I love this pattern and it’s almost exactly what I’ve been looking for to hold embroidery supplies. What is the finished size of the piece? I need to be able to slip an 8" embroidery hoop in one of the vinyl pockets.

    If it’s not large enough as written, it looks like I could simply enlarge the pattern template and adjust the remaining measurements by the same percentage, but I haven’t done that before and want to make sure I’m on the right track.

    I’ve made several of your patterns and am always pleased with how they turn out. The Chubby Lunch Tote was MOST impressive when finished!

  6. You have some of the Most Useful Tutorials! In fact you’re one of my most favorite blogs to follow! THANK YOU for doing the monthly design choices!! The double pocket pouch will make a great mask pouch…one side clean, the other used!

  7. This looks like a very useful bag. I want to give it a try! Thank you!

  8. Lori Rodgers says:

    Looks great! On my list to make!

  9. Thank you for this beautiful, practical, FREE pattern! I am halfway through creating two of these bags as appreciation gifts for my daughter’s teachers, and it has been such a fun project.

    I have one small note: for the vinyl pocket binding, I would make it maybe 1/8" to a 1/4" wider so that it fully hides the zipper tape. I am using Annie’s zipper by the yard which has nice wide tape, but a little sliver of it peaks out below the vinyl binding. Or maybe I’m just too picky?! : )

    Thanks again!

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