Sew a stylish cosmetic bag with my color block cosmetic bag tutorial!
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I’ve been getting a lot of good use out of the Color Block Mini Zip Pouch I made for myself. It’s great for when you want to go out but don’t want to carry a purse all night. I’ve used it as a cash bag for a Girl Scout cookie booth, and also as a business card wallet at a conference. I kinda think everyone needs to have one!
But as handy as the little zip pouch is, I couldn’t help but think I needed to make a bigger version, one that’s large enough to use as a cosmetic bag.
So I went back to my pattern and sized it up to create the cosmetic bag version of the pouch. It still has the curved top and the color blocking, but now in a larger size. Inside, pockets will hold small items like earrings.
I also added a cute little coordinating zipper pull. Go to my Fabric Tab Zipper Pull Tutorial to see how to make them.
Finished dimensions are 8″ wide at the top (6″ wide at the bottom) x 5″ tall x 2″ deep.
Color Block Curve Top Cosmetic Bag Tutorial
Gather your materials
Quilting weight cotton, scraps are okay
Fusible fleece, scraps are okay
9″ (or longer) nylon zipper (affiliate link) Don’t use a zipper with metal teeth!
Wonder Clips (optional)
Temporary marking pen (optional)
Prep Your Pieces
Cut out all pattern pieces. Mark notches with short snips less than ¼”.
Fuse fleece pieces to the back of the outside pieces.
Press ¼” under on short ends of the zipper tabs. Then, press in half.
Press pocket piece in half lengthwise.
Now for the sewing!
All seam allowances are 3/8″.
Sew the outside top to outside bottom along longest edge, right sides together. Press seam allowance open.
Baste pocket across the bottom of one of the lining pieces, right sides up, along the raw edges.
Stitch vertical lines across the pocket to divide it into smaller pockets. If you want three pockets all relatively the same size, stitch lines 2 ¼” from each side.
For the bottom of the pocket, stitch a horizontal line across the pocket 3/8″ above the notch that is cut out of the corner.
Open zipper part way. Bring the open ends together and wrap a zipper tab around them. Use Wonder Clips to hold it in place. Topstitch close to the folded edge.
Make a mark on the zipper 7 3/4″ from the stitched edge of the zipper tab. Wrap the other zipper tab around the other end of the zipper so the folded ends line up with the mark. (You’ll need to trim your zipper to do this.) Clip in place, topstitch close to the folded edge.
Pull the ends of the zipper tape out from the zipper tab and trim to ¼” to reduce bulk.
Mark the center of the zipper on each side of the tape. I fold it in half and cut a teeny tiny notch, but you can also just use a marking pen.
Now to sew the zipper to the bag pieces. Start by making a sandwich with your zipper and bag pieces. Layer an outside piece face up, then the zipper face down, and then the lining face down. Match the center notches so everything lines up.
Use a zipper foot to sew along the zipper, starting at the center notch and sew to one end. Then, flip the work over and sew from the middle notch to the other end. When you get to the zipper pull, stop with the needle down into the fabric, raise the presser foot and pull the zipper pull past where you’re stitching. Put the presser foot back down and resume sewing.
Clip curves, turn right side out (zipper teeth peeking out). Press.
Use the same process to sew the zipper to the other side of the bag.
Topstitch the fabric down both sides of the zipper.
HANDY TIP: I get so annoyed with my lining fabric creeps while I’m topstitching and makes a little flap that gets in the way of the zipper. If you use a glue stick right at the seam to glue the lining to the seam allowance, you can keep the lining back where it belongs. Just make sure you press with a hot iron before stitching so your glue will be good and dry.
Trim the ends of the zipper tabs even with the bag.
UNZIP THE ZIPPER.
Open up the bag and flatten it so the outside pieces are right sides together and the lining pieces are right sides together. Mush the extra fabric at the zipper tabs toward the lining.
The edges aren’t trimmed in this photo, but imagine that they are.
Sew down the sides and across the bottom, leaving 2.5″ along the bottom of the lining to turn it. Do not sew the notches at the corners.
Box the corners. Open up the corners and flatten so the raw edges are aligned and the side seam goes down the middle. Sew along the raw edges.
Do this for all four corners.
Turn the bag right side out. Use a ladder stitch to sew the hole closed.
HANDY TIP: Your pouch will probably get all wrinkled and out of shape when you’re turning it right side out. I’ve found the easiest way to press it back to a crisp, clean finish is to first fill it with wadded up plastic grocery sacks. The sacks fill out the shape of the bag while you press it.
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This is adorable! I made one from the pattern and it turned out so cute! When I make the next one, I will use the style of zipper tabs that you don’t sew through and I’ll taper the lining to a larger seam allowance as I go towards the bottom of the bag. I used interfacing instead of fusible fleece, so it is a little stiffer, which I prefer. Loved the zipper pull idea too. Great pattern and awesome tutorial. My zipper is the best I’ve sewn and it was curved! Thanks for sharing your talent!!
That makes me so happy that the tutorial worked well for you! That’s a good idea about tapering the lining to a larger seam allowance. –Anne
You could make a little strap and use it like wristlet. I love your charmpac bag!
That’s a great idea!!
I have made four now but am very uncertain if I am to top stitch thru the lining or make sure it is not in the way of the top stitching. Please advise soon! (Have several more ready for this process) Sandy email@example.com
I’m not sure if I’m understanding your question. Are you asking about when you’re top stitching the zipper in place? In that case, you would top stitch through both the outside fabric and the lining. The tip I gave was to keep the lining where it belongs (pulled back away from the zipper teeth) while you’re top stitching. When I’m top stitching at this step, the lining is on the bottom so sometimes it creeps over a little bit and you get a little flap that can get in the way of the working of the zipper. It’s just a minor annoyance, but if you want to avoid that, you can just use a little bit of glue to keep the lining pressed where it belongs while you’re stitching. It just creates a cleaner line of stitching on the lining, but it’s totally optional.
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