Make up Bags

Set of 3 make up bagsOver the years, I have made a ton of these cute little zippered make up bags. The small size is great for make-up to be tucked into a  purse or used when traveling. The larger ones are great for travel or just to store things in something pretty. I often make this set of 3 for a gift. The method is not too difficult and can be used in many applications. With a ribbon handle added to the small size, these can also make a cute purse for a young child.

For this set of 3, you will need:

  • Fabric and lining 8″x12″
  • Fabric and lining 11″x16″
  • Fabric and lining 14″x20″
  • 3 zippers, 8″, 12″ (if you can find an 11″ zipper, use this), 14″
  • Iron-on interfacing (optional)

When choosing a lining fabric, I like to go with something light colored and usually solid. The lighter color makes it easier to see inside, especially if you are trying to find something small. For the outer (pretty) fabric, anything you can sew on will work. I like to use cotton and these Batik designs are so pretty! I find them hard to resist and sometimes have to stay clear of the entire Batik section when in the fabric store, just to avoid temptation!

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To get started, we are going to stitch the zipper in place. For the small bag, I did not use interfacing – I’ve made it both ways and find it a bit stiff for the small size, but it’s totally up to you what you like and want to use it for. If you’ve never used interfacing, it’s pretty easy and usually comes with instructions on the roll. You just iron it to the wrong side of the fabric. As far as the weight, I don’t know if there are specific rules or not – I just pick what I think will work best, something middle of the road – not too stiff, not too thin.

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Lay the zipper face down on the right side of the outer fabric, then lay the liner on top of the zipper to form a sandwich with the zipper in the middle, right sides of the fabric facing the zipper and wrong sides facing out.

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Pin in place and stitch along the edge, close to the zipper, using a zipper foot. When sewing zippers, zip and unzip as needed to move the zipper pull out of your way. Just drop the needle and lift the foot, then zip or unzip as needed. Drop the foot back down and keep sewing.

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Fold the fabric back away from the zipper so it’s right side up. It’s starting to get a finished look to it.

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Next we are going to do the same on the other side of the zipper. You will have a “loop” of lining on one side of the zipper and a “loop” of outer fabric on the other side. So bring the right sides together with the zipper sandwiched in the middle. So just fold the outer fabric up to the zipper and fold the bottom fabric under to sandwich the zipper.

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Pin in place and stitch close to the zipper using the zipper foot.

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Next, turn the outer fabric right-side out and over the lining.

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Unzip the zipper and iron the material next to the zipper nice and flat. Stitch the fabric down close to the zipper. this will prevent the fabric from getting stuck in the zipper when in use.

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Now, turn the bag inside out and smooth out any wrinkles. Line up the ends of the zipper so they match nicely. Then pin each side.

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Stitch straight down each side, being careful to keep the zipper lined up.

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Trim off the excess with pinking (zig-zag) shears.

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Turn right-side out and poke out the fabric in the corners to make sure they are square.  A knitting needle, crochet hook, or a pen (with cap) works great for this.

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Technically it could be finished at this point, but I like to hand-sew the end of the zipper for a more finished look.

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Just make a couple of stitches over the top corner to cinch the end together.

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That’s it. On the larger ones, I added the interfacing, so below is a picture of the fabric with interfacing ironed to the back.

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I follow the exact same process for the larger sizes. it might seem like a lot of steps, but these really go together pretty quickly. I was able to make these 3 in a little over an hour. You can make any size(s) you want. I chose these 3 because they make a nice set, but any size will work.

Set of 3 make up bags