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Cat-Eye Zippered Pouch {free pattern & tutorial}

2015 March 9

I’m excited to finally share a pouch pattern and tutorial with you! I figure all good sewing blogs generally have a free pouch tutorial and here’s mine. It’s high time after 2 1/2 years! My sponsor Double Decker Fabric supplied the fabrics for this project. Aren’t they gorgeous?! They are listed below if you’d like to get some with the discount she’s graciously offering as well. (Find it below!)

This pouch has been in my “ideas” envelope for a good long time now. The front curves form a unique area that frames your favorite fussy-cut fabric. There are so many possiblities for it! My husband says the shape looks like a Cat’s Eye – and that’s how it got its name.

The finished pouch is 8″ wide and 5 1/2″ deep. Perfect for those miscellaneous things you need to carry around. Pretty things like nail polish, jewellery and makeup, or useful things for jotting down ideas on-the-go! It would be a unique entry for one of those handmade #pouchswaps I see all the time on Instagram too. We’ve used ours already to hold markers and paper for the kids on a trip out for dinner.

* Update: Don’t feel like sewing a pouch yourself? Buy one from a licensed Cat-Eye Zippered Pouch seller! Check out the sellers list. Are you a shop owner? You can buy a Cat-Eye Zippered Pouch seller’s license as an instant download. *

I love the little leather tassel. It adds a bit of extra oomph to the design, I think! It’s easy, and you can add it to any zipper you like – not just this pouch. I’ve included a little trick for how to get the thick leather through the itty-bitty hole in the zipper pull at the bottom of the tutorial!

Head on over to Double Decker Fabric and use the code” march10″ to get 10% off your purchase (including sale items!) for the entire month of March. Discount expires Tuesday, March 31, 2015.  

Double Decker Fabrics provided the following Art Gallery fabrics free of charge for use in this project. EMMY GRACE from Bari J: Painted Ladies Flutter, Budquette Dayspring, Knotty Rain (lining)  WINGED by Bonnie Christine: Aves Chatter Shine, Nesting Blooms Cool, Wingspan Melon (lining)



You can now purchase a 10 page instant PDF download of the Cat-Eye Zipper Pouch Pattern!

Cat-Eye Zipper Pouch Pattern Sample Page  This PDF includes:

  • Granny’s Sewing Basket – notes and tips to make sewing this pouch easier! (intro to Granny)
  • 7 tidy instruction pages with 41 high quality photos and 3 pattern pages
  • Check boxes for each instruction & the materials listing, for those of you who love lists!

Aside from these great features, purchasing this PDF supports Thread Riding Hood. Thank you very much! 

*NOTE: This link purchases the Cat-Eye Zippper Pouch PATTERN. If you are looking for the Seller’s License please find it in the shop.*


Add to Cart View Cart

Don’t feel like sewing a pouch yourself? Check out these Licensed Cat-Eye Zippered Pouch Sellers.


As usual, please feel free to use my patterns/tutorials for your personal projects and gifts and for charitable fundraising events. Please do not sell anything made with this pattern. If you are interested in making them for sale, please contact me and I will set up a license for it in the shop. * Update: The Cat-Eye Zippered Pouch Seller’s License is now available!


  • 1 fat quarter outer fabric
  • large scraps of fabric for pleat & lining
  • 9″ zipper
  • medium weight fusible interfacing
  • scraps of 1/4″ ribbon or about 3″ x 1/2″ of leather for zipper pull (if desired)
  • PATTERN PIECES: Free download, click here.
Printing the Pattern:
  • Download the Pattern Pieces using the link in the Materials listing. Print out all 3 pages of the pdf on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size. Once you have printed the pages, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size.
  1. Pre-wash and press your fabric if desired.
  2. Cut all fabric and interfacing (except the Front-Inside Pleat) according to the pattern piece instructions.
  3. Fussy Cutting the Front-Inside Pleat:
    • Fold the fussy cutting template in half along the dashed line. Cut out the marked area.
    • Unfold the template and place it over the fabric as desired. 
    • Use the Front-Inside Pleat pattern piece to ensure the entire pattern piece will fit.
    • Trace around the template and mark the centre fold from the template as well.
    • Use the centre line to fold the fabric in half.
    • Cut according to the Font-Inside Pleat pattern piece, lining it up against the fold line from the Fussy Cut Template.
    • Leave the side lines marked on the fabric – you will need these to fold the pleat later.
  • Trim and discard 3/8″ from the bottom of the Zipper Side INTERFACING (NOT the fabric!), to reduce bulk in the seam allowance. Fuse to each Zipper Side.
  • Adhere 1 piece of Outer Back interfacing to wrong side of the Outer Back fabric. Set second interfacing piece aside.
Helpful Notes:
  • If a more structured pouch is desired, you can add interfacing to the Front Inside Pleat, Lining and Outer Sides . Be sure to trim ALL SEAM ALLOWANCES (3/8″) off the interfacing before adhering. The added thickness makes it hard to stitch and the front does not lie flat where the layers come together.
  • Note that you can top stitch both outer and lining together along the zipper side, but the top corners of the pouch will not lie as flat. I have made one pouch each way. I like only top-stitching the lining to the zipper tape best – it is cleaner and has nicer corners. This is what I have instructed in this tutorial.
  • There is a 3/8″ seam allowance allowed throughout unless otherwise noted.

Here we sew!

Pouch Front:

  1. Place Front-Inside Pleat right side up. Match outer curve of both Outer Front Sides right sides together (RST) with the Pleat fabric. Stitch curves with a 3/8″ seam.
  2. Trim/clip seam allowance along the curve.
  3. Turn, press well & top stitch starting about 3/4″ from the ends of the curves. I like to leave a little bit of the Pleat fabric showing along the curve edge. It acts a bit like faux piping.
  4. Fold the Pleat fabric RST along the two marked lines. These were the side markings from the fussy-cut template. 
  5. Lay the  front sides and pleat over the Outer Back interfacing piece you set aside. With the Pleat folded, match the Outer Front Sides to the shape of the interfacing.
  6. Fuse interfacing as per manufacturer’s instructions. Press well.
  7. Cross the Pleat ends as desired (see photograph). Baste into place with a 1/4″ seam.
Finish Pouch Front/Back:
  1. Match bottom (un-interfaced) edge of  a Zipper Side to the top edge of the Front Pleat & Sides RST. Match the edge of the second Zipper Side to the top edge of the Outer Back RST. 
  2.  Stitch with a 3/8″ seam. Press seam towards Zipper Side. Top stitch as shown.
  3. These pieces are now called BACK and FRONT.
Zipper Ends:
  1. Fold Zipper End in half. Top stitch the folded edge. Cut it in half to make 2 pieces that are 1″ square.
  2. Lay the zipper along the top of the Front or Back for easy measuring. Glue (use this trick!) or baste one Zipper End at each end of the zipper according to the length of the outer.
Install the Zipper:
  1. Lay the Front right side up, align the zipper along the top edge. Make sure the zipper pull is down and on the left. Match the Lining RST with the Front and Zipper along the top edge.
  2. Stitch with a 1/4″ seam.
  3. Press the lining open. Top stitch the edge of the zipper to the lining ONLY.
  4. Open the Front so it is wrong sides together (WST) with the lining.
  5. Match second edge of the zipper to the top of the BACK Lining. The zipper pull is up and to the left. Match the Back Outer RST with the Back Lining. (The Front & Front Lining will be sandwiched in between the two.) Stitch with a 1/4″ seam.
  6. Press the lining open. Top stitch the edge of the zipper to the lining ONLY.
  7. Open the Back so it is WST with the lining.
    • Important! Open the zipper 1/2 way! If you forget this step it will be hard to turn the pouch later.
Stitch the Pouch:
  1. Fold the pouch pieces in half temporarily along the zipper edge. The Outer pieces should be RST. Match the Zipper Side edges and pin to prepare to sew the pouch sides.
  2. Unfold, refold and pin all edges so the Outers are RST and the Lining pieces are RST. The pins from the last step should hold the zipper teeth down on the lining side.
  3. Stitch the outer edges of the pouch with a 3/8″ seam, leaving a 4″ opening along the bottom of the lining. Take extra care and stitch slowly through the zipper tape and teeth. Once I am sure my stitching is straight I like to double-stitch over this area to make sure it is held securely.
  4. Clip or Trim the curved corners of the Outer and Lining with pinking shears. Grade or Trim the excess zipper length. Use Fray Check on the zipper tape if desired. Press the lining seam allowance up to prepare for turning.
  5. Turn the pouch inside out through the opening. Push out all corners/edges and press.
  6. Match the edges of the Lining opening. Stitch across close to the edge or slip-stitch by hand to close.
  7. Push the lining into the pouch.
Attach the Tassel: 
  1. Cut a 3″ long piece of leather into 1/8″ strips, or gather two 3″ long pieces of 1/8″ ribbon.
  2. Thread an extra 6″ excess piece of ribbon or string through the hole in the zipper pull.
  3. Place the leather or ribbon strips through the loop in the excess ribbon.
  4. Gently tug and wiggle the leather/ribbon through the hole in the zipper pull using the excess ribbon.
  5. Remove the excess ribbon and thread the ends of the leather/ribbon through the loop on the right side of the pull. Tug the ends of the leather/ribbon until they are tight against the zipper pull.

Press the pouch again neatly and VOILA, You are finished, Enjoy!

I’d love to see your creations! You can share your projects on Twitter and Instagram @sherrisylvester with the hashtag #alongforthreadride or #threadridinghood, or post them on the Thread Riding Hood Facebook page.

Thanks for reading! Follow along to get more great tutorials and posts:

As usual, please feel free to use my patterns/tutorials for your personal projects and gifts and for charitable fundraising events. Please do not sell anything made with this pattern. Thanks! 

Don’t feel like sewing a pouch yourself? Check out these Licensed Cat-Eye Zippered Pouch Sellers.

Are you a seller that would like to buy a Licence to Sew and Sell the Cat-Eye Zippered Pouch? You can buy a license in the shop and receive an instant pdf download! 

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Double Decker Fabrics. They are also a Thread Riding Hood sponsor, I always share my honest opinion. Thanks for reading!
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82 Responses leave one →
  1. March 10, 2015

    Wonderful! I’ve been on a big “zippered pouch” kit since finally getting to set up my sewing machine (I moved here two months ago!) and I really like this take on it!
    I have just the fabric: fussy cut and frame Paddington Bear, possibly with the Paddington fabric repeated on the outer back.

    • March 10, 2015

      Hooray Claudia! I’m so glad you like it! The Paddington fabric would be so cute here :) I’m so glad you’ve got your machine out. It’s nice when things start feeling more normal after moving!

  2. Seams Sew Laura permalink
    March 10, 2015

    Stunning! And the photos are amazing!

    • March 10, 2015

      Thanks so much Laura! Taking photos is so much fun! Hopefully I can keep this style up in the future. I really like it!

  3. March 10, 2015

    I can’t wait to make one of these. They are so darling. Thank you for sharing the pattern with us!

  4. Janette permalink
    March 10, 2015

    Ooo! These are great! And the size seems really good too – not too big or too small!

    • March 11, 2015

      Thanks Janette! Who knows – you might “acquire” one sometime! :)

  5. March 10, 2015

    Again a great tutorial. I hope I ever get the time to sew one of these ;)

    • March 11, 2015

      Thanks so much Mirjam! I hope so too! You’ve been doing tons of crochet though. It looks amazing!

  6. Jennifer permalink
    March 10, 2015

    You had me at the Fussy Cut Guide! You think of everything. Looks great.

  7. March 11, 2015

    Love that cat-eye window! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later this morning that links to your tutorial:

    • March 11, 2015

      Oh, Hooray Anne! Thank you so much. As usual you are much, much appreciated! Have a wonderful day.

  8. Ann ( no e ) permalink
    March 11, 2015

    Love, love, love the bag pattern and the fabrics ;) This pattern is definitely going on my sew bucket list. No, my bucket list doesn’t include walking the Great Wall in China or a month in France. I would give my soul up for just 1 week of sewing ;) Quilt tops, 5 & 10 jacket, girlie girl twirly skirt dress all waiting patiently for me in my sewing room. Alas tax season is here once again so quick snatches in the sewing room will have to do until May.
    Thanks so much for the pattern, take care.

    • March 16, 2015

      Thanks SO much Ann! I agree with your one week of sewing – that would be amazing! I hope you can get sewing soon :)

  9. bekki permalink
    March 12, 2015

    Fantastic design! I love it, ill have to bookmark it for future use. I have to get some zips first.

    • March 16, 2015

      Hooray Bekki! Thanks so much :) I hope you can get your zips and get to it soon!

  10. Pauline Cook permalink
    March 22, 2015

    I love this bag! Thank you for the tutorial and pattern. I can’t wait to get started.

    • March 25, 2015

      So glad you like it Pauline! And, thank you :) I’d love to see a photo if you make one!

  11. Dee Hamlin permalink
    May 23, 2015

    I’m going to use clear vinyl on the “eye” side so I can see what’s in the pouch! I’m going on a cruise and will be in a hurry. Making some of various sizes. Thank you for the idea!

    • May 25, 2015

      That is an amazing idea Dee! I’d love to see a photo when you are finished :)

  12. Shirley in Canada permalink
    June 25, 2015

    these just might be this years Christmas gifts!! thanks for sharing!

  13. June 25, 2015

    I love this! So unique with that “cat’s eye” view. I’m going to make it soon. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  14. Amy Vining permalink
    June 25, 2015

    Thank you for all the wonderful tutorials. I really like your zipper pouch tutorial with the cat eye fussy cut. I have a question: How do you determine what size zipper to use if you want to make the pouch bigger? Also…if a different pouch pattern were to have a zipper opening that curved from the bottom of one side to the bottom of the other side how would you adjust for zipper size if you made the pouch bigger. I have a pouch pattern like that and want to increase the size as well, but don’t know how many inches to add to the zipper length. Thank you for any help you give and again Thank you for all your wonderful tutorials.

    • June 28, 2015

      Thank you so much Amy! I’m glad you like it. For both of your zipper questions I would print out the pattern piece at it’s new size and use a measuring tape to measure the length of the zipper area – around the curve of the one, or across the top of the other. Then you can get a zipper to match. Even a slightly longer zipper would be fine, and you can shorten it. Hope that helps!

  15. Nancy permalink
    June 25, 2015

    Lovely! Thanks you so much!

  16. Shirley of Philippines permalink
    July 16, 2015

    Hi! Thanks for sharing! Lovely purses, can’t wait to make one!

  17. Michelle permalink
    July 16, 2015

    Hi Sherri, love this idea! I’m currently trying to create one but having a little trouble understanding the step where I am to fold marked lines to make the pleats. How are your folds staying folded? Mine want to open and it’s making the next step (applying the interfacing) difficult. How much are they folded? Can you give me some direction on this please? Also, I’m not a very experienced sewer so maybe this is the problem, lol

    • Michelle permalink
      July 16, 2015

      I figured it out!

      • July 16, 2015

        I’m so glad Michelle! I was just about to reply back :) Glad it worked out!

  18. suzanne permalink
    August 2, 2015

    I have begun to make this and I’m not sure what I”ve done wrong however the cats eye isn’t matching up!! any advice would be helpful. I might have to start again

    • August 4, 2015

      Thanks for asking Suzanne – can you reply to this or email me and let me know what the problem is? I’m not sure I understand. I’d love to help!

  19. Ali permalink
    August 7, 2015

    Ohhh great little bag, I have handpainted material from Indonesia and can’t wait to make one and send you the picture. Thank you for the great tutorial and the pattern.

    • August 12, 2015

      I’m so glad you love it! WOW! Hand-painted would be beautiful. I can’t wait!

      • Ali van den Berge permalink
        August 27, 2015

        Hi Sherri, the indonesian material is at home ( I’m on vacation) but I could not wait to make the pouch… How lovely this turn out. I would love to send you a picture but can not find where to send it.

        Greetings from Luxemburg.

  20. September 11, 2015

    Super cute pouch and great tutorial. Total #CreativeGoodness


  21. Donna Debling permalink
    December 7, 2015

    Hi Sherri:

    What a great site. I have just found you through the Janome blog, but I can safely say although this is my first visit, it won’t be my last.

    • December 8, 2015

      Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know Donna! I’m so glad you like reading it :) Yay!

  22. Kerstin permalink
    January 23, 2016

    Thank you for this wonderful pattern! Greeting from Austria!
    ;) Kerstin

  23. SoozeM permalink
    January 26, 2016

    Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial, I absolutely love it and can’t wait to make one! The way the pleat folds is so clever, I would never have thought of doing it that way, so a huge thumbs up from me! I love learning new ways to do things!

  24. Kristin permalink
    February 2, 2016

    I have made a million zippy patches and I cannot wait to try this version! It is super cute!

  25. Cynthia permalink
    March 16, 2016

    This is some serious cuteness :) Can’t wait to make one, or two, or . . . . THANK YOU !

  26. Hope permalink
    May 1, 2016

    I love it!! Making this tonight!! I’m thinking I’ll be back to purchase the seller’s license too! I love that you made a license for it!! So nice of you! :)

  27. Shelle permalink
    June 2, 2016

    Thank you for the pattern! I added a strap to one side and made it a wristlet for venues that limit bag size. Perfect for a phone, keys, and small wallet. I plan on making more as gifts. Thanks again!

    • June 8, 2016

      Hooray Shelle! So glad you like it :) Great idea to add the strap. It would be super useful!

  28. Lindsey Mechenbier permalink
    September 11, 2016

    I made one of these for my makeup items in my purse and LOVED it so much that I made one for my sister too!! I just am so impressed with your tutorials and love your ideas. Working my way through your very extensive list to choose from!! Thank you so much for sharing them :)

    • September 13, 2016

      I’m so glad Lindsey! Hooray! Thank you so much for your kind words about the tutorials – I’m so happy that you like them! :)

  29. Barb permalink
    October 16, 2016

    I LOVE this pattern and have some beautiful silk to use. I have followed your directions but am stuck on step 5. I just can’t figure out how to lay the pieces. I laid the outer front pieces on the interfacing then the front and inside pleat but when I try to fold over the cats eye the front pieces are on top. I don’t know why this is so hard for me. Please help.

    • October 16, 2016

      Hi Barb! No worries – we will figure it out! I’m not sure I understand exactly what the problem is without a photo of it – but here’s a try: The piece you lay on the “outer back shaped” interfacing should be the front sides/pleat you sewed together, turned and top-stitched in the previous steps. There should not be another “outer front” piece laid on top of it. I hope that helps! If not, please email me a photo ( or DM me on Facebook ( so we can talk it through :) Sherri

  30. Karen Currier permalink
    December 27, 2016

    Sweet little pattern. I’m going to use this to make some Christmas 2017 gifts for my knitting buddies. It will be perfect for holding knitting notions, and I’m starting early this time. Thank you for your generosity.

    • December 30, 2016

      Thank you so much Karen! I’m so impressed that you are planning ahead already. I wish I could do that!

  31. Karen Vail permalink
    February 2, 2017

    Just wanted to say…I found this pattern from you a year ago and have made many very appreciated gifts from it. I adore it. Great design, great tutorial. Thank you so much ❤️❤️

    • February 4, 2017

      Thank you so much Karen! I’m so glad you like it. You’ve made my day! :)

  32. March 10, 2017

    Hello Sherri,

    i love this Pattern. Engraving points 3 was funny.
    “Turn” … with the piece of cloth in the hand it went then :)
    Refined design … thanks for that.

    Greetings from Germany

    P.S. have a nice weekend

  33. Carissa permalink
    August 28, 2017

    Thank you very much for this pattern and tutorial! This was my first project involving a zipper. I’m a beginner, but I followed the instructions and it turned out lovely! I made a second pouch and it took half as much time as the first.

  34. Jeanne Phillips permalink
    March 24, 2019

    I made 2 of these using cork fabric and they are gorgeous!!!

    • March 28, 2019

      Hooray! I haven’t tried cork yet – but I am excited to hopefully do that soon!

  35. June 19, 2019

    thank you for sharing, this is one of new knowledge for me, i hope i can do it sometime

  36. Dubbia permalink
    February 28, 2021

    Thanks for the pattern and tutorial. Enjoyed bringing your vision to life. Your pattern is inspiring and your instructions were easy to follow.

  37. April 23, 2021

    I found this when looking for a zipper pouch pattern to make something for my mom for her birthday. I am newish to sewing, made some masks and a small craft apron, this was so far my most challenging project and was not without my mistakes, but I am very pleased with the outcome! My friend now wants me to make her one.
    Thanks for this tutorial!

    • April 26, 2021

      Hi Kristy, I’m so glad you love your pouch! They are so fun to personalise :)

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