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Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Little Fabric Shop Blog Free Bag Sewing Pattern

The days are getting longer, and sun is shining bright. We are so excited for spring! This week’s sewing tutorial combines our Zipper Bag project with a new rainbow exterior. We love working with the beautiful Century Solids fabrics from Andover Fabrics! Such a dream to use! 

This tutorial is an Advanced Intermediate skill level pattern. Knowledge of curve sewing and how to us the foundation paper piecing method will be helpful. If you want to learn these fun techniques, we have tutorials to get started. Check-out the links below:

 

Link to Curve Sewing Tutorial

Link to Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial

 

General Rainbow Zipper Bag Project Information:

Finished Size: H: 6” x W: 9.5” x D: 4”

Link PDF Download: Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

Seam Allowance: 1/4” throughout pattern unless otherwise noted.

Dimensions: are written height x width throughout instructions.

Backstitch: at beginning and end of all seams to lock stitches in place.

Century Solids Fabric Colors Used: Uniform, Lagoon, Isle, Aqua, Spring, Mango, Papaya, Paprika, Red, Redwood & Cornsilk

 

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial Materials Needed:

10 Different Quilters Cotton Fabric Colors - 1/8 Yard each for Exterior Rainbow

1/4 Yard Quilters Cotton Fabric for Exterior Sun & Base of Bag 

One Fat Quarter (H: 22” x W: 18”) for Lining Fabric in Quilters Cotton, Linen or Lightweight Woven Fabric 

One H: 22” x W: 18” for Fusible Fleece (such as Pellon 987F) 

One 9” Zipper

 

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial Supplies Needed:

Ruler, Scissors, Rotary Cutter, Mat, Pins, Binding Clips, Add-a-Quarter Ruler, Seam Roller, Zipper Foot or Walking Foot, and Chopstick or Pointed Tool.

 

Fabric Sides Diagram:

 

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

 

Create 4 Foundation Paper Pieced Rainbows:

By using the Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP)Rainbow Templates on PAGES 9 & 10, create 4 Rainbow halves - 2 Left and 2 Right . You will need the 10 Different Quilters Cotton Fabric Colors - 1/8 Yard each for this step.

Sew using an 1/4 inch seam allowance. The Add-a-Quarter Ruler is helpful in completing this step.

TIP: Starch your exterior fabric prior to sewing. This will give you a slightly stiffer fabric & will make sewing easier.

 

Attach Sun Curves to FPP Rainbows:

Cut four Exterior Suns using the Curve Templates on PAGES 8 & 9 - 2 Left and 2 Right. Pay attention to your cuts and which way the fabric is facing as the templates are directional. The Right Sun Curve goes with the Right Rainbow and the Left Sun Curve goes with the Left Rainbow. Attach each sun curve to the foundation pieced rainbow using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

 

Assemble Exterior Fabrics:

You should now have two finished/sewn left blocks and two finished right blocks as shown below:

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

Sew one finished LEFT block to one finished RIGHT block to create the sunshine and rainbow burst. Make sure the curved sun edges are lined up. Repeat for the remaining two blocks.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog 

Press open center seam.

Trim the bottom edge so that each finished exterior block measures H: 6.75” x W: 14.25”.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog 

Now it is time to attach the base fabrics of the exterior panels. Cut 2 base fabrics to the dimension H: 2.5” x 14.25”. With the right sides facing each other, sew a base fabric to each of the exterior blocks along the bottom where the sun is located. Repeat for the 2nd exterior panel.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

Press open seams. You should have two identical exterior fabric panels.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

 

Template Cutting:

Cut-out Cutting Template on PAGE 8. You will need your two finished EXTERIOR panels, two LINING fabrics on two FUSIBLE FLEECE fabrics.

Begin by folding the EXTERIOR panel in half along the center seam. Line-up the folded edge of the fabric with the red line on the paper template. Make sure the top edge of the finished EXTERIOR panel is lined-up with the top edge of the paper template. Cut fabric using the paper template as a guide. To keep the template from moving, either pin or use binding clips to hold it in place. Repeat for both LINING & FUSIBLE FLEECE. See diagram below.

 Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

 

Now is time to create the Rainbow Zipper Bag.

 

Step 1:

Iron Fusible Fleece to wrong sides of Exterior Fabric.

 

Step 2:

Sew all four zipper tape edges back at a 45° angle with a 1/8” seam allowance.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

Step 3:

Attach zipper to the exterior of fabric. Place zipper WRONG SIDE up along the RIGHT SIDE of one of the Exterior Fabrics. Center the zipper along the top edge of the fabric.

Pin to hold in place. With either your zipper foot or walking foot, sew on with a 1/4” seam allowance. Your will need to open or close zipper as you sew to allow your presser foot to pass.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog 

Place WRONG SIDE facing out lining fabric directly over the RIGHT SIDE of exterior fabric and sewn zipper making sure all sides of the lining fabric is lined up with the exterior fabric & sewn zipper.

Pin to hold in place. With either your zipper foot or walking foot, sew on with a 1/4” seam allowance. Your will need to open or close zipper as you sew to allow your presser foot to pass.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

 

Step 4:

Fold fabric back so that zipper is outside along top of bag and both exterior and interior fabric are facing outward (WRONG SIDES of exterior fabric and interior lining should be touching each other). Press to set seams.

Sew a 1/8” top-stitch seam along top edge of fabric making sure your sewing through both the exterior fabric and interior lining.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

 

Step 5:

Attach remaining exterior fabric & lining to the other side of zipper tape. With the Right Side of sewn exterior fabric up, lay the other exterior panel along unsewn edge of zipper tape (WRONG SIDE facing up).

Make sure exterior fabric is centered on zipper tape. With a 1/4” seam allowance, sew along top edge. You will need to open zipper as you sew.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

 

Step 6:

Flip over project so that the exterior fabric is on the bottom and the WRONG SIDE of lining fabric is facing out.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog 

Place unsewn lining fabric WRONG SIDE out centered on top of zipper tape. Pin to hold in place.

Sew with a 1/4” seam allowance along top edge of zipper tape, lining & exterior fabric.

See diagram in STEP 5 for sewing example.

 

Step 7:

Fold fabric back so that zipper is outside along top of bag and both exterior and interior fabric are facing outward (WRONG SIDES of exterior fabric and interior lining should be touching each other).

Press to set seams.

Sew a 1/8” top-stitch seam along top edge of fabric making sure your sewing through both the exterior fabric and interior lining. Backstitch at the beginning and end of seam to secure stitches.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

 

Step 8:

Unzip the zipper halfway.

Open up the fabric so that WRONG SIDES of exterior fabric and lining are facing outward. Line-up exterior fabric with exterior fabric & lining with lining and pin to hold in place. Zipper should be facing into the lining fabric.

Along the bottom edge of lining fabric, create a 4” gap in the pinning. This area will not be sewn.

Make sure to line-up the seams of the exterior fabric panels.

See diagram in STEP 9.

 

Step 9:

Sew along exterior of bag with a 1/4” seam allowance. DO NOT SEW any of the four 90° cut-outs and the 4” gap along bottom edge of lining fabric.  Backstitch at beginning and end of each seam to hold stitches in place.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

 

Step 10:

Press open 4” gap seams along the bottom of lining fabric.

 

Step 11: Create Box Corners

Pull the top and bottom layers of one corner apart, pinch together so that the top seam lines up with the bottom seam. Pin in place and sew across using a 1/4” seam allowance. Repeat with all remaining exterior and interior corners.

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

 

Step 12:

Turn the bag RIGHT SIDE out by pulling fabric through the 4” unsewn gap of lining fabric. Use a pointed tool to gently push-out the corners. Be careful to not push the pointing tool through the fabric.

 

Step 13:

Close the 4” gap in lining that was used to turn fabric by either hand sewing or machine sewing with an 1/8” seam allowance top stitch. Then tuck lining fabric into bag.

 

Congratulations! You’re Finished!

Rainbow Zipper Bag Tutorial | Free Bag Sewing Pattern | Little Fabric Shop Blog

We created this tutorial to be shared. Sewing is a passion for us, and we love to create projects for our sewing community. Please pass this tutorial on to your sewing friends. If there are any projects you need help with or would like to see a tutorial for, please let us know. It is a joy to work with our fellow sewists and create handmade fabric pieces.

If you make a Rainbow Zipper Bag, please tag us on Instagram @little.fabric.shop so we can see your work and we can share your creativity to inspire other makers. Happy Sewing!