#Sprouthacks: Zipper Pouch with no Zipper!

Today we have a guest blogger from our own Sprout Patterns team. Katie is a web developer, an expert woodworker and an avid fan of goats.


Featured fabrics: smorgyle by jenimp, Girl Goats by candyjoyce, Festival Barn Roof by katie_allen

If you’re really excited about your Lined Zipper Pouch, but don’t happen to have a zipper lying around, I’m going to show you a way to put it together that only needs a button.  Use it for storing odds and ends, or as a cute clutch!

If you’d like to sew along with me (or test it out on some scrap fabric first), we are using four rectangles that are 9 ½” wide by 6 ¾” high.

You Will Need:


  • Zipper Pouch fabric
  • Thread
  • Scissors (a rotary cutter and mat are great to have around as well)
  • Ruler (the clear grid kind will be easiest, but regular rulers will work fine)
  • Button
  • Iron
  • Pencil
  • Hand sewing needle


  • Cut out your fabric.  There are two outer pieces, and two lining pieces.

For the construction of this clutch, you’ll have a bigger piece (outer + lining) that wraps over the top of the pouch, and a smaller piece (outer + lining) that goes underneath that.  I’m going to call them the “flap” and the “front” pieces, respectively.


There is a bit of drawing we’re going to need to do on the back of the fabric to get the shape that we want.  Don’t worry, it should be pretty painless!  All of your markings will happen on the back (the unprinted side) of the fabric.  We’re going to start with the flap.

  • Take one of your lining pieces and mark the center point (at 4 ¾”) about ⅛” down from the top.
  • Draw a line on each side, ⅜” away from the edge.
  • Along both of these lines, make marks at 1 ⅛”, 1 ⅝”, and 2 ⅛” down from the top.  It helps if the first mark extends in about ¾”.

I’ve highlighted the marks you should have at this point in red.

  • Use the round edge of a spool of thread to draw a small curved line between the middle and top marks on each side, then connect those to the center point with a straight edge.



I’ve highlighted these new lines in green.

And there you have it…the basic shape of the flap.  In addition to the marks on the lining, add these reference points to the wrong side of one outer piece:

  • Take one of your outer pieces, and draw lines ⅜” away from the side edges (just as you did before).
  • Make a mark on each of these lines 2 ⅛” down from the top.

You’ll have one outer piece and one lining piece left.

  • Cut a strip off the top of each of these that is 1 ⅞” thick.


Optional Pocket

Now, we’re ready to start sewing!  If you want, you can use the extra printed fabric from your fat quarter to make a small interior pocket.

I left about ¼” of seam allowance around each piece.  Put them right sides together and sew, leaving a gap at the bottom.  Clip corners, turn right side out, and press.  Stitch to the right side of your lining flap piece about 1 ⅛” up from the bottom.


It’s hard to see with all the goats, but the pocket is there!

Side Seams

  • Take the lining pieces, right sides together, and align the bottom edges.  Pin along the sides.


  • Stitch from that 3rd mark (the one I’m pointing at in the photo) on down the side seams, stopping and doing your backstitching about ¼” away from the bottom edge.


  • Repeat this process for the outer pieces (You will be starting at the 2 ⅛” mark you made, and sewing down the side seam from there).

This is what you should have at this point.  The top one is my outer, flipped over so that you can see how it looks with the front piece is on top. (Notice the stitching does not go to the edges.)

Top Seams

  • Press open all of the side seams that you’ve just sewn.
  • Turn the lining right side out, and slip it into the outer, matching the side seams.


  • Start at the center point of the flap, and sew down to meet the top of your stitching at the side seam.  As you do this, push all seam allowance out of the way so that you are not sewing into any of it!


  • Repeat from the center down to the other side.
  • For the front seam, since it’s just straight across, you can go straight across from one side to the other.  Starting at the top of the side seam stitching, sew with a ¼” seam allowance, and make sure you are still keeping all the side seam allowance out of the way.

Here is where you start (near my index finger).

  • Clip all your curves and corners to allow for sharp finished edges.  Make sure not to cut into your stitching!

Bottom Seams

  • Pull the lining up and out of the way.  Pin across the bottom of the outer pieces and stitch across the bottom with a ¼” seam allowance.  (You will be stitching from the end of one of your side seams to the other.  Keep your backstitching ¼” away from the side edges of the fabric so it’ll stay a little more secure when you clip those corners off.)


  • Do the same for a lining, but this time, leave a gap in the middle (about 2-3 inches, big enough to turn through).  Clip all corners.



  • Turn the pouch right side out, and press the lining towards the inside.  Press a crease in the flap so that it folds neatly over the pouch.
  • You’ll have that gap in the bottom of the lining that you turned the pouch through.  You can machine stitch this by pulling the lining back out and topstitching close to the edge, or you can handstitch it so that you can’t see the seam.


  • Lay the button on the flap where you want it, and mark it.  Sew a buttonhole there according to your sewing machine’s directions.
  • Handstitch the button on the front, and you’re done!


And Beyond…

Our team has been brainstorming, and we came up with a long list of other things you can do to really customize your project.


  • instead of a buttonhole, you could do a small loop of cord (the ends would be sandwiched between the layers of the flap)
  • use a snap instead of a button for a cleaner look

With the extra fabric (if you didn’t make a pocket with the fabric at the top, or with the fabric cut from the front pieces)

  • wristlet strap
  • loop on the inside to clip keys onto
  • make a tiny ribbon to create a cute zipper pull

Big changes

  • If your print allows, you could make a little square envelope by rotating the fabric 90°
  • You could redesign the top of the pouch slightly so that both sides fold over (instead of just a flap) so that things are less likely to fall out.  If you’re interested in this option, let me know in the comments and I can provide more detail about how I made one this way.

Different projects

  • make a little case for cards/your ID
  • put a drawstring at the short end
  • do two tiny pouches that are about half the size

Adventures (if you’re feeling bold…)

  • try a flat pouch with the zipper going across diagonally at a fun angle
  • make the button flap over a zipper closure for the look of a clutch but no worries about anything falling out
  • can you figure out a way to make the pouch reversible?

There are some great articles out there on making clutches and pouches…check out these links:

Try out some of these, come up with your own ideas, and share them with us!  We can’t wait to see what you make!


When Katie isn’t writing code, she’s carving small faces out of basswood, building hand-cut dovetail boxes, sewing her own clothes, going on long hikes, contra dancing, doing Iyengar yoga, practicing mindfulness meditation, and everything else she can cram in. She’s pictured here in a Colette Patterns Myrtle dress from Sprout.

From her time interning at her favorite goat farm, she has over 1000 photos of baby goats, which she often makes into fabric designs, such as bluegoats (the pouch lining shown) and strawgoatssmall (the dress print shown here).

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