Friday, June 10, 2011

Zippered Lining Tutorial

As promised...

A lining can add a lot to a bag. In this case, I added a lining made with home decor weight cotton and it added sturdiness to my "It's a Cinch Bag".  You could also add a lining with a pretty printed fabric to give an old bag new interest.

Don't let zippers scare you. I promise they're very easy to sew with. You don't need a special zipper foot, just your regular old presser foot will do just fine. Give it a shot! What do you have to lose?

Here's what you'll need:

  • A sturdy lining Fabric or  if you prefer a  pretty patterned  fabric to add something to your bag
  • Zippers 
    • One longer than the width of your bag (mine was 22")
    • And a couple more if you want internal pockets in your bag (mine were 7")
  • Twill Tape or Ribbon (i used about a 1 1/3 yard)

Let's get started!  First you want to cut 2 pieces of fabric to the dimensions of your bag plus 1 inch.
My bag was 20" x 20" so I cut two sections of fabric to 21" x 21"

Lay your long zipper across the top of the bag face down. If my fabric was patterned I would place my zipper face down on the wrong side of the fabric. Pin all the way across.

Sew the zipper to the fabric with about a 1/4" inseam

Lay this section of fabric zipper side down, again on the wrong side, of your other piece of fabric. The zipper should be lined up with the top of the second piece of fabric. Pin across.

Stitch across. 

Iron down the seams you just sewed. 

Top stitch just next to your zipper.

Now you'll need to sew on your twill tape to cover up the raw edges of your seams. 

Time to add some pockets.  Lay your zipper down on the bag lining and mark to the right of the zipper pull and the left of the end clasp like so.  

In hindsight, I wish I had done this on the other side of the fabric so that I didn't have red lines showing in my finished product. Oh well, no one sees it anyway!

Draw a rectangle the length of the lines you just drew and just shorter than the width of your zipper.

Cut the rectangle as shown:

Press so that you have a nice even rectangle. 

Lay your zipper over this opening and pin in place.

Stitch around the perimeter.

Cut a small section of fabric for the lining of your actual pocket. You can make the pocket as big as you like depending on how big you cut this piece of fabric.

Sew around the perimeter of your pocket. 

Add another pocket if you like. 

Now with the zipper tab up, line your pieces of fabric up. 

Sew down the sides and bottom with a 1/2" inseam.

Whew! Now you have a lining. All that's left to do is sew it to your bag. 

Insert the lining into your bag.

Match up the seams of the lining with the seams of the bag and pin in place. Pin all the way around.

Stitch all the way around, under the straps, and you're done!

Now you have an awesome lining for your purse complete with pockets for all your knick knacks! 



Rachel // Maybe Matilda said...

And you even included pockets?! Bless you! I'll be using this next time I make a bag . . . thanks!

Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

Tanya said...

That is a GREAT tutorial! Thank you so much! I will totally use this.

Happy in red said...

This is a fantastic tutorial and you're not even using a zipperfoot! Thank you, Esther.

Rachel // Maybe Matilda said...

I'm back, and I loved this so much I featured it on my blog today! You can check it out here:

Thanks for sharing your great work!

Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

kiran sawhney said...

following you

Tati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tati said...

How did you stitch at the side where the ziper don't open/ is blocked?

Malory {Snips & Spice} said...

Great tutorial! I have been getting ready for a bag week on Snips and Spice and would love to feature this post.

Suzanne said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I also like the bag that you see on this tutorial! Did you design it yourself? Or else, can you tell me where I can find the pattern?

Katy said...

Tati, good question. You want to sew close to the top of the bag all the way around but when you get to the side of the zipper pull, you'll need to dip down towards the hem. As long as you don't run over the zipper pull with your needle, it should be fine. Just be sure to use a thread that matches the color of the bag. Hope that makes sense!

Thanks for reading!

Katy said...

Suzanne, Thank you so much! I actually got the inspiration for the bag from Dana at MADE. Here's the link :

I would love to share a tutorial with you all but I'm afraid that would be unfair to Dana. I can tell you that the dimensions of the bag I used are 22" by 22". You would need 2/3 yd of the main fabric (the striped fabric in this post) and 1/2 yard of the complimentary fabric (the army green).

Hope that helps! Thank you so much for reading and for your sweet comment. Hope to see you again!

Tati said...

I think I got it! I'll try!!
Thank you!

Samantha said...

Hey, only just found you and am working my way backwards...I only stopped by for the cap sleeve blouse tutorial and got sucked in!

There's a fabby new pen out called Frixion which is a great ink pen but it rubs out. Or you touch it with a warm iron and it disappears. It might be the solution to your pen marks issue. I hate using tailor's chalk and always end up with water tide marks with water soluble pens so I love Frixion. I only wish I was working on commission :D xx

Happy in red said...

That didn't seem hard at all... can't be thát easy surely? Ponder ponder ponder... maybe I should give this a try. Hm.. ;-)

Ghazal said...

can you make a tutorial on how to make a purse out of a rice burlap sack?

A. Kemp said...

Oh God, you have no idea how much I appreciate this tutorial!! I've been looking for something like this for ages!!! Thank you ever so much :)

Unknown said...

Hi, Katy! I own a canvas bag like this and I really don't like the drawstring closure...Am absolutely new to sewing. So can I stitch a zipper this bag? Please do suggest any other way if so :) Thanks!

Protectora Rosario said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jesi said...

you're AWESOME!
thanks for the tutorial! I loved it!

Jesica from Argentina

Pamela said...

Love your bag and love the zippered closure lining idea. The internal zippered pockets are a great addition too. Definitely going to give this one a try.

Joyce in NC said...

Thanks for a great tutorial.

Andrea A said...

This is by far the most easiest tutorial I have found for a bag lining. I am new to sewing and searched all over the internet for instructions. Even video instructions don't compare to this. Your pictures made this very easy for me to follow and finish. Thanks

Janiepip said...

What a brilliant tutorial, thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to say thank you for your tutorial.. and I like to share with you and everyone.. my version of the cinch bag that I finished making..

Nicole said...

Thank you for this tutorial! It is the most easy to understand one that I have come across. Outstanding job!

The Beaton Path said...

I have the SAME striped fabric and now I have an idea of what to do with it! THANKS for this very informative tutorial.

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Unknown said...

This is just what I need for my vacation to Florida with my husband and daughter and granddaughter. I can't wait to make this cinch bag! Thanks for the totorial!

Unknown said...

Great tutorial!!! Thank you for providing clear easy to follow instructions. I am now inspired to make a bag with zippers!!

Nalee said...

Love the tutorial. I'm just a bit confused on some parts.

1. When top stitching the zipper, is the zipper tab faceing up?

2. Where exactly does the twill tape go es after the top stitching on zipper?

3. The rectangle box, is it supposed to be the same size, (width wise, long sides) as zipper or half of size of zipper?

4. How should I place zipper into the opening after being pressed?

5. Sew the extra fabric to the lining? Encasing/ backing the zipper?

Ty sooo much in advance for answering questions. I already purchased items necessary to make bag for the summer.😆😄

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