Inserting a zipper pocket tutorial

A zipper pocket when you first look at it, appears to be a daunting task.  I remember when I first read a tutorial, it had me baffled (and this was only 3 months ago).  There are many tutorials on the net, so I thought I would jump on board too.  I love creating these pockets, there is something satisfying about them, I seem to be adding zips to everything.

So here is a quick picture tutorial of how it is done.  Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the layout of fabric  and drawn box (but have made a quick mock up to show you what it’s like).

Measure and cut your pocket fabric.  The pocket lining needs to be fairly long as you will fold it up and enclose it to make the actual pocket / lining.  Mine was around 5 1/2″ wide by 10″ long, it must be narrower than your main fabric, that will be on the top.  With right sides together, place the pocket fabric roughly where you want the pocket opening to be.  I wanted mine at the half way point.

Draw a rectangular box  about 5/8″ down from the top of the pocket fabric, with the length you want your zipper to be, mine was around 4 1/2″ and the height I always mark 1/2″ this is where your zip will be placed.  Draw a central line, this is where you will make your cut, along with some ‘Y’ diagonal lines at either end into the corners, so you get a clean squared off corners (well, as can be).


Draw a rectangular box, which should be the width of the opening you require, and the height is 1/2″ which will surround the zipper

Sew around the drawn box

Stitch around the border of your drawn box. Note when turning the corners, ensure your needle is down position all the way through the fabric

Continue all of the way around until you reach your stitch start point.


Here is what it will look like


Carefully make an incision on the centre line and cut along the this line all the way to the beginning of the ‘Y’ point


Using a sharp knife of scissors carefully cut along the diagonal lines, close to the stitches, down to the centre line


Feed the inner pocket piece through the hole, to the back of your main section


Should look something like this!


Here is what the reverse (wrong side) will look like. Don’t worry too much about the neatness, it will be ironed and stitched up and won’t be seen!


Iron it out flat as can be


Next take your zipper, and place it under your fabric, within the gap you have just created


So it looks like this, ensure the zipper pull is within the opening


Next take some masking tape, to hold the zip in position, it is easier than attempting to pin it in place!


Sew a 1/8″ seam around the opening, to fix the zip in place, just remove the tape out of the way as you sew. You can use a zipper foot, but I find it just as easy to use my standard foot


This is what it will look like from the outside, fairly neat ay!


Turn the fabric over to the wrong side, you will see you have quite a bit of excess zip. Trim this away with scissors, fairly close to the stitching.


This is what it will look like


Take the pocket section and match the bottom edge with the top edge of the zipper. Pin in place.


Stitch a 1/8″ seam all around the open edges of the pocket piece. Make sure you keep the main section fabric out of the way.


Don’t worry if it isn’t neat, as it will be hidden away!


Here is your complete pocket section 

Sit back and admire your work!