DIY handwoven zipper pouch tutorial
This tutorial is all about sewing a handwoven pouch, but you can use my tips for sewing bags, pillows and even cloths. If you don’t know how to weave yet, you can start with my previous weaving tutorials. If you’d like to purchase a loom like the one I used for these pouches, you’ll find it in 3 different sizes (I used size L) in my shop.
From handwoven cloth to a finished piece
I love weaving and I love making usable products with my weaves. I usually weave on a floor loom, but this piece was made during my holidays, so I worked on a frame loom instead. The final weaving was relatively small but big enough to make a pouch or two :) Follow this tutorial to get to see me explaining my process and let me know if you tried it. I’d love to see what you make!
Taking the cloth off the loom
For my handwoven zipper pouches and pillow, I don’t use any special finishing techniques. Just a few knots on each side of the loose warp are enough to make sure the weaving doesn’t unravel before you even start working with it. If you’re working with a bigger piece, you might want to wash it in a gentle wool wash bath. This way fibers will connect with each other and the cloth will become more stable. For smaller pieces like this one it’s not necessary.
The first reinforcement - interfacing
This is the most important step of them all. I use interfacing to make the piece more rigid. It adds stiffness to my cloth and it prevents the yarns from displacing. Another great advantage is that it keeps yarns from stretching and shrinking, which means your weaving will stay perfectly flat from now on. If your cloth is tightly woven, you can use any color of the interfacing you like. I’m usually using black, but I worked with white with great results, too.
Attaching the interfacing
Cut a piece of interfacing slightly bigger than your cloth. Make sure all loose warp ends are facing outwards. Set the ironing temperature to “low”, otherwise your interfacing might just melt. Put the interfacing with the sticky side facing down and gently iron it onto the cloth. Make sure it’s properly ironed everywhere and it sticks well.
Planning the pieces
My cloth was big enough to make two small pouches with it. Plan the size of your piece. It should be as wide as the zipper, and twice as long as the finished product plus 1cm for the seams on each side.
Cutting the cloth
Cut the cloth, either with scissors or a roller cutter. Cut off the loose threads and make neat edges. It doesn’t matter if the warp will be horizontal or vertical in the finished piece - we used interfacing which makes the cloth look good when sewed in both directions.
Cutting the lining
For the lining I chose plant dyed linen fabric. I cut a piece as wide as the handwoven rectangle and about 2 cm shorter. If the lining piece will be cut too long, it won’t fit inside the pouch well and will crumple inside, so make sure it’s slightly smaller the the outer fabric.
The second reinforcement - zigzag stitch
Now it’s time for my second trick. Run a zigzag stitch on all 4 sides of your cloth. It will work like a hemstitch you know from finishing your weavings - it’ll hold the ends in place.
Attaching the zipper
Place the zipper on your lining, with the zipper pull facing up. Sticht with a running stitch (don’t forget to change the stitch from zigzag to running on your sewing machine). Attach the zipper to the other end of your lining, too. You will have to find the perfect distance from the stitch to the metal teeth - I noticed that the closer the stitch, the neater the pouch looks in the end but if you stitch too close, it won’t be possible to open it. Find the spot that works best for you and your zipper.
Attaching the outer fabric
Place the lining with the zipper pull facing the handwoven piece. You can not see the zipper now - it’s hidden between the lining and the woven cloth. You can see the stitch you made to attach it to the lining, though. Stitch over the same line again to attach the zipper to the outer fabric…
…repeat on the other end. It’s slowly coming to life, see? Now it’s time to open the zipper and leave the zipper pull at the half of the length. If you leave the zipper closed, it won’t be possible to finish the pouch, so please don’t ignore this step!
Closing the sides
This is a small but important detail. Prepare the fabrics for stitching the sides - right sides facing each other. Put the zipper teeth towards lining on the inside, pin to keep in place and stitch all the way. Repeat on the other side with one exception - leave a small opening in the lining, otherwise you won’t be able to turn the pouch right side out (yes, happened to me enough times before).
Turning the pouch right side out pt.I
Slowly and gently turn the lining right side out. Now you should have a small pouch with a lining on the outside. If the zipper is half-open and with the pull facing inside at this point, you did everything right. Open it all the way to make the next step easier.
Turning the pouch right side out pt.II
Pull the handwoven cloth from the inside of the pouch gently. Don’t pull too much, otherwise you might displace the yarns. The pouch is almost finished. Work the ends of the zupper and the corners of the pouch to put it in shape.
Closing the lining
Run a stitch at the opening in the lining to close it. All the sewing is now done!
Put the lining inside the pouch. It’s finished! I like to iron my pouches after sewing, so that the zipper stays flat and they keep a nice shape. I also added a leather zipper pull for a nice detail. And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed it!
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A stop-motion video of the whole process
Here’s the full process again as a video. If you’d like to purchase a loom I used for this weaving, you can order it directly here: