A couple of months ago Craftsy released my free class, Bag Making Basics: Reversible Tote and Zipper Pouch. I’ve been shocked and honored that nearly 40,000 people have signed up! Aside from a few criticisms of my messy hair (LOL, for real!) and the way I pin my fabric together, people have been very kind and complimentary. If you’ve taken the class and shared your project or commented, thank you!

Nesting Zip Bags

A few people have asked me about resizing the Zipper Pouch, which has been on my to-do list. I have some travel plans in the coming months (including QuiltCon!), so I’ve been meaning to make more pouches for all the things I carry on the plane. I decided to make a travel set using the new fabric line, Stamped, by Ellen Luckett Baker of The Long Thread. I absolutely love this collection, which is printed on a wonderful linen/cotton blend from Kokka. (The same base cloth they use for Melody Miller, Echino, and Heather Ross.)

Zip Closeup

This is a wonderful weight for bags, but not so heavy that you couldn’t use it for quilts or garments. The best of all worlds! 

Front Zip Pencil Pouch

The original bag from the Craftsy class is a 9″ x 5″ pouch with a zipper on the front. I love this size and shape for pencils, makeup brushes, and sewing notions.

Business Card Open

I’ve resized the bag to fit business cards or cash. 

Front Zip iPad Case

I’ve also sized it to fit my iPad. This version is lightly padded with fusible fleece. The bag is big enough to hold the iPad in its cover, as well as a charger. I’ve made the handle longer so it is more functional.

Front Zip Magazine Case

The largest size is just right for magazines and a notebook or pad of paper. I’ve added a pen pocket to the front and a D-ring on the handle so I can clip a strap on or off.

Strap Closeup

Fully Lined Zip Pouches

Unlike a few other front zip pouch patterns, this version is fully lined with hidden seams. Nice and tidy!

Front Zip Pencil Pouch

They all nest together for handy storage when I’m not traveling.  

This is intended to supplement the Craftsy class by offering alternative sizes to the bag in the class. Below are the dimensions for each bag. You will need to sign up for the FREE class to print the instructions and/or watch the videos on how to construct the bag. The construction process is exactly the same for each bag with the  following exceptions:

  • I added a patch pocket for two pens on the front of the Magazine Bag. To construct this pocket, cut two pieces of fabric 2.5″ x 5.5″. Place them right sides together and sew around all the sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 2″ gap on one of the longer sides to turn it right side out. Turn and press, tucking in the seam allowance on the opening. On the bottom exterior fabric (ladybugs in my case), measure 2″ over from the right side and 2″ up from the bottom and pin the pocket in place. Sew around both sides and the bottom to secure the pocket to the exterior.  Sew up the middle to divide the pocket in two.  (I demonstrate how to make a patch pocket in the other part of the class, Reversible Tote.) Do this before you sew the bottom exterior to the zipper.
  • The fusible fleece for the iPad case and Magazine Bag is 1″ smaller than the exterior and lining fabrics. This is so it doesn’t get sewn in the seams, which cuts down and bulk and allows it to lie flatter. When fusing the fleece to the fabric, center it on the back, leaving 1/2″ around all sides.
  • I put the strap on the bottom section of the Business Card Holder instead of the top.
  Finished Front Top Front Bottom Back Strap Zipper Size
Pencil Pouch (original) 9″ x 5″ exterior = 10″ x 2.5″
lining = 10″ x 2.5″
interfacing = 10″ x 2.5″
exterior = 10″ x 4″
lining = 10″ x 4″
interfacing = 10″ x 4″
exterior = 10″ x 6″
lining = 10″ x 6″
interfacing = 10″ x 6″
4″ x 3″ 9″
Business Card Holder 5.5″ x 3.5″ exterior = 6.5″ x 1.5″
lining = 6.5″ x 1.5″
interfacing = 6.5″ x 1.5″
exterior = 6.5″ x 3.5″
lining = 6.5″ x 3.5″
interfacing = 6.5″ x 3.5″
exterior = 6.5″ x 4.5″
lining = 6.5″ x 4.5″
interfacing = 6.5″ x 4.5″
3″ x 3″ 5.5″
iPad Case 9″ x 11″ exterior = 10″ x 3″
lining = 10″ x 3″
fusible fleece =9″ x 2″
exterior = 10″ x 9.5″
lining = 10″ x 9.5″
fusible fleece = 9″ x 8.5″
exterior = 10″ x 12″
lining = 10″ x 12″
fusible fleece = 9″ x 11″
13″ x 3.5″ 9″
Magazine Bag 10.5″ x 13.5″ exterior = 11.5″ x 3″
lining = 11.5″ x 3″
fusible fleece = 10.5″ x 2″
exterior = 11.5″ x 12″
lining = 11.5″ x 12″
fusible fleece = 10.5″ x 11″
exterior = 11.5″ x 14.5″
lining = 11.5″ x 14.5″
fusible fleece = 10.5″ x 13.5″
5″ x 3.5″ 10.5″

Please remember that “zipper size” refers to the length from the stop to stop, and doesn’t include the extra length at the ends. If you have to size a zipper down (and you probably will for some of these sizes), measure from the zipper stop at the top down and mark the teeth at the proper length. Use your sewing machine to run back and forth over that area on the teeth, essentially creating your own zipper stop out of thread. Leave 1/2″ of tape after the stop and trim.

That’s it! I hope you enjoy making a bag or two. Let me know in the comments if you run into any trouble.