Zipper Pockets on Foam Tips

Zipper Pockets on Foam - Tips - Andrie Designs

Have you ever made a bag and got a little spooked when it said to add a zippered pocket to the exterior with foam? Well, you are in luck! In this post, we are going to share with you some tricks to get flat, beautiful pockets each and every time!

For this tutorial, I am making a Polly Cross Body Pouch which you can find here!

To watch a video tutorial on creating a zipper pocket, click here!

*Just a heads up before we start! My stitching is a little wonky because I got a new sewing machine and we are still becoming friends with vinyl and he doesn’t always listen to me πŸ˜‰ *

Ok, so you have your pocket stitched down, now what is the best way to turn it and make it smooth along that bulky edge?

Pocket ready to finish - Zipper Pockets on Foam - Tips - Andrie Designs

The first thing we want to do is trim all that bulky foam on the backside of your fabric! The easiest way to do this is to separate it from your exterior fabric and vinyl and trim as close to your stitching as possible. I like to use the tip of my seam ripper to separate the two quickly and easily.

When you are trimming, get as close to your stitching as you can without cutting your stitching. You only want to trim away the foam!

Once it is all trimmed, we can turn that pocket through and give it a good press. Chances are your pocket is going to look like this, especially if you are using something like vinyl or leather:

Pocket ironed but messy - Zipper Pockets on Foam - Tips - Andrie Designs

I have the perfect trick to smooth that all out! We are going to pin that pocket piece flat so you can see your opening for the zipper. When you are pinning, only pin through a little bit of the foam layer and NOT your exterior material. You are basically just catching it so your fabric lays flat. Start with the corners then pin the straight edges staying close to the raw edges so you can sew!

*You could also use a temporary-hold glue such as the Sewline Glue Sticks and set the glue with your iron, for an alternative way to hold the edges of the pocket piece flat temporarily!*

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Once you have that done, you can add your zipper. I like to use a little bit of glue to hold the zipper in place. (Double-sided tape works too!) This allows the zipper to lay flat rather than ripple if you pinned it! I use Beacons Fabri-Tac for my glue!

You can then go ahead and stitch it down. (leave the pins in as you are sewing)When you are done sewing remove your pins!

Once you have that done, you can go ahead and finish your bag!

Finished bag with zipper pocket - Zipper Pockets on Foam - Tips - Andrie Designs

Your zipper pocket should lay good and flat and be pretty straight too! Before I sign off, I have a bonus tip for you!

*Bonus: When you are adding a zipper pocket to a material like vinyl or cork that you can’t really pin into. I like to pin within the opening, where I’ll be cutting, of my zipper pocket. It helps keep it in place and stops wiggling!*

Bonus tip for vinyl - Zipper Pockets on Foam - Tips - Andrie Designs

We hope that these tips will help you with your next bag making adventure! If you have any additional tricks you use, let us know in the comments below because we are always open to learning more too!

Check out the Polly Cross Body Pouch here!

To watch a video tutorial on creating a zipper pocket, click here!

<3 Aimee

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2 thoughts on “Zipper Pockets on Foam Tips

  1. Peg Farrell says:

    Another, similar, way to do it is to cut the foam before you sew your pocket (or pocket facing) to the exterior piece. I position my pocket on the front where I want it (with my stitching box showing), then poke a pin through to the back at each corner (no harm done, you’re going to be making a stitch there anyway). Turn it over, mark where your pins come out of the foam, remove them, and connect your dots. Then *very* carefully use a small utility knife to cut away the foam β€” and only the foam β€” rectangle. If your exterior is very thick or stiff, you could even cut your opening a hair outside of the lines to give it a bit more space to turn. Same end results as yours, just slightly different method. Thanks!

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