Cosmetic Bag Tutorial August 11, 2010 – Posted in: Sewing, Tutorials

The humble cosmetic bag. So versatile, so easy to create. I’ve made tons of these over the years, always in this same manner. I’ve given away several, too, here on the blog. And today I wanted to share how I make my cosmetic bags so everyone can make their own! I create my own laminate fabric for the lining in these instructions, and will share with you how I do it!

Sew Like My Mom | Cosmetic Bag tutorial

Are you ready to make one of your own? This cosmetic bag is quick to sew up and makes a wonderful gift for the women in your life. You can easily customize them with an applique or special fabric.

The finished size of this cosmetic bag is 9″ long, 5″ tall and 5″ wide.

To make you own cosmetic bag, you’ll need:

-Fabric. I used 2 fat quarters and cut them to 14″ by 21″. You don’t have to use fat quarters, just cut 2 pieces of fabric to 14″ by 21″.
-One 14″ zipper
-One piece 14″ by 21″ fusible vinyl**
-One scrap piece of fabric 1.5″ by 3″ for zipper tab

**I found my fusible vinyl at Hancock Fabrics. It was only 17″ wide and was somewhere around $5/yard. Definitely using my 40% coupon next time! It was on the bolt with interfacings.

Apply vinyl according to manufacturer’s instructions. I was a little intimidated at first, but this was actually an easy process!

Take your zipper and lay it right side down on the right side of your outside fabric. Pin and sew. I prefer not to use my zipper foot when installing zippers. I know, I’m such a rebel.

Lay your inside fabric right side down, with the edge lined up on the zipper and sew. I usually do these 2 steps as 1, but the vinyl made the fabric slippery and it was easier to do them one at a time.

Open your fabrics to reveal the zipper. Turn the outside fabric back, fold along the edge of the zipper, and iron. **Make sure your iron doesn’t touch the lining fabric with the vinyl. It will melt the vinyl!!

Turn over and fold the lining down.

Iron with a piece of paper between the fabric and iron.

Top stitch along the zipper. You’ll need to go slow and help the fabric through because the vinyl will be a little sticky against your machine.

So now 1 side of the zipper is done!

Take the bottom of the outside fabric and fold it back up on itself, lining it up with the top of the zipper.

Pin and sew just like you did above. Then flip it over, take the bottom of the lining, and line it up with the edge of the zipper. Pin and sew.

Now open your zipper and turn the bag with the right sides out. **Leave zipper open for the remainder of construction!

Carefully iron down the outside along the edge of the fabric. the lining will be ironed at the same time, so make sure it’s not sticking out funny. You don’t want to melt your vinyl!

Then flip it over and iron the vinyl side. Don’t forget your paper!

Top stitch down this side, too.

Take your zipper tab, fold right sides together length-wise, and sew at 1/4″.

Use a safety pin to turn right side out. Iron flat with your seam in the middle of the inside. I then like to top stitch down either side.

Turn the bag inside out and lay flat with the zipper in the middle. Fold the tab in half, with the seam on the inside, and pin to the open end of the zipper.

Sew both ends shut using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Mark all 4 corners of the bag at 2.5″ from each edge. (Truthfully, if you understand bag construction, you should mark 2.5″ from one edge, and 2.25″ from the other to account for the seam allowance)

Cut out the corners.

Open each corner, and line the seam up in the middle of the flat edge. Sew across. Repeat on all 4 sides.

It will look something like this.

And for really nice results, when you sew the corners, make sure you sew your middle seam pointing down on both sides. I also like to clip my edges with pinking shears!

That’s it! Turn right side out, poke your corners so they’re nice and straight, and enjoy!