Clear Zipper Pouch Tutorial
*Update: I made this using PVC Clear Vinyl. If you are using TPU Clear Vinyl, I recommend increasing your tension (crank it way up), using a teflon/non-stick foot or even a walking foot and a leather needle.
This is an easy and quick zipper pouch to show off your clear vinyl! I created this size to use for TSA air travel instead of a plain ziplock for those little liquids bottles. The finished size is approximately 9" wide x 6" tall x ~3" depth. Note: I cannot guarantee this is TSA friendly, but I have used it on multiple flights without issue.
- Clear Vinyl (enough for TWO 10" wide x 8" tall pieces, plus a small scrap for zipper tabs)
- 9" Zipper (I use #5 zipper tape by-the-yard) and Zipper Pull
- Zipper foot for your sewing machine
- Non-stick foot for your sewing machine (recommended)
- Microtex Needles (recommended)
- Double Stick Tape 1/4" wide (recommended)
STEP 1: Cutting! We will need:
- Main Panels: TWO 10" wide x 8" tall pieces of clear vinyl
- Zipper Tabs: TWO 1" wide x 1.25" tall pieces of clear vinyl
- 9" zipper with pull on it (Note: feed your zipper onto your zipper tape, but leave the pull in the middle so that BOTH ends of the zipper tape are still closed. This will make adding the zipper tabs much easier.)
A rotary cutter and grid ruler are great for cutting clear vinyl!
STEP 2: Prepping the Zipper
Take your zipper tabs and fold them in half along the 1" side (hot dog style) so that they are 1.25" tall x .5"
Flip your zipper OVER and add a small piece of Double Stick Tape to the very end of the tape (make sure its at the end so that the tape stays out of the way when we sew on the tab).
Remove the tape backing and slip a Zipper Tab on the end so the fold is lined up with the end of the zipper.
Top stitch ~1/8" from the raw edge to attach the zipper tab. Your stitching should go through the top and bottom of the tab enclosing the zipper end.
Do the same for the other end of the zipper. You should now have tabs on both ends.
STEP 3: Attaching the Main Panels
Lay one of your Main Vinyl Panels RIGHT SIDE UP. Center the zipper FACE DOWN along the top edge. Clip in place.
Sew the zipper onto the main panel using 1/4" seam allowance. I used a stitch length of 3.
Zipper pull in the way? Put your needle down, lift up the presser foot, and carefully guide your zipper pull up and around so it is now out of the way. Don't forget to put your presser foot back down before you start sewing again!
Now that your zipper is attached, fold the clear vinyl down. Since we can't iron it (hello melty mess), use your fingers to press it down well so we can top stitch.
Carefully top stitch your main panel down. I switched to my non-stick foot and used a stitch length of 3.5.
STEP 4: Attach the other Main Panel
Take your second Main Panel and lay it RIGHT SIDE UP. Take your first Main Panel with the zipper sewn on and lay it WRONG SIDE UP on top of it. Center the zipper and clip in place. Sew it on like the first panel using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Just like we did before, press the panel down with your fingers and top stitch along the zipper.
You should now have the two main panels connected to your zipper.
STEP 5: Box the Corners
In the 4 corners, mark squares that are 1.75" x 1.75". Cut them out. I recommend using scissors (not a rotary cutter) to get a careful clean cut.
OPEN THE ZIPPER! Then, fold right sides together, matching the bottom seam. Clip along the bottom seam, then match and clip along the side seams.
Double check your zipper is open! Sew along the sides and the bottom (blue lines) with a 1/4" or 3/8" seam allowance. Don't sew inside the little squares we cut out!
Stick your hand inside the bag and pop the corners open. Match up the side and bottom stitching and clip along the edge. Do this for both corners.
Your bag should look like this after you clipped it.
Sew along the corner seams using 1/4" or 3/8" seam allowance, taking care to make sure your seams are open and matched up with each other (where the blue arrow is pointing).
And now the fun part.... flip your bag inside out! You can use a hair dryer to heat up the vinyl (just a bit) so it is more pliable.
Once your bag is right side out, popping out the zipper tabs can be tricky. I use a pair of dull scissors (not your fancy sharp fabric scissors) or the back of a pen and place the tip on the bottom side of the zipper tab (the side that will end up inside the bag). Then I place my thumb on the top of the zipper tab (you may have to wedge it in there), so the tab is now sandwiched between the scissors and my thumb. Twist your hand to flip the tab right side out (the motion is similar to scooping ice cream). Just be careful your scissors are only on the tab- you don't want to get it caught on your side seam. Use scissors at your own risk- it's far safer with a pen!
You can tweak the size of your bag by adjusting the size of the square corners we cut out. Bigger the squares = wider base & shorter height. I would stay in a range of 1.5" - 2" squares.
And that's it! Enjoy your new clear bag!
Thanks for reading,
Did you make one with Purple Dragon clear vinyl? Be sure to show it off in our Facebook group!