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Machine embroidery using rayon thread makes for a very pretty make up case


Yesterday on QUILTsocial I showed you how to make a journal cover with thread painting using WonderFil  Rayon threads. All week I’ve been playing with these threads to do thread painting and machine embroidery. Today I’m sharing a tutorial for an easy zippered cosmetic bag.

There are times when we hunt for a little gift to give to a friend, so it’s always nice to find a quick and easy pattern to make yourself. These great little bags can be made any size and with any fabric to meet your needs. Make some ahead of time and you’ll be ready for any special occasion!

I used the samples that I machine embroidered with WonderFil’s rayon threads earlier in the week to sew these lovely bags.


WonderFil rayon threads are great for machine embroidery.
WonderFil rayon embroidery threads


Here are the supplies needed to make one bag:


  • Two fat quarters of coordinating fabrics
  • Zipper to match – 9″ (23cm) or longer
  • Thread to match
  • Low loft batting – I always save my batting scraps for projects just like this

Prepare the pattern

These bags can be made in any size for a wide variety of uses. I like this size the best because it will fit inside most purses and can still hold a lot of bits and pieces. Use the diagram below to draw out your own pattern.


Draw the zipper bag pattern
Zipper bag pattern


Using your pattern cut one front and one back from each of the following: main fabric for the bag, lining and batting. I like to use a bit of spray basting to hold the main fabric and the batting together. I can then treat the main fabric and batting as one piece.


Cut the one bag front and one bag back from the outer fabric, the batting and the lining.
Cut pattern pieces


Sewing the zipper

Sandwich the zipper tape between the top edges of the bag/batting and the lining fabrics of the front of the bag. Pin in place. Make sure the right side of the zipper faces the main fabric of the bag. Sew through all layers. A zipper foot really helps to get close to the zipper.


Sandwich the zipper tape between the bag layers.
Sandwich the zipper tape between the bag layers.


Fold the zipper tape towards the lining fabric and stitch a narrow zigzag or straight stitch along the fold line. This is called “understitching” and keeps the lining from getting caught in the zipper.


Understitch lining to zipper tape
Understitch lining to zipper tape


Repeat these steps with the pieces of the back of the bag.

Pull the zipper tab to the middle of the bag. Use a short zigzag stitch to secure the side of one end of the zipper tape together. Repeat with the other end of the zipper and trim even with the bag sides.

Stitch across the end of the zipper with a straight stitch or a zigzag and then trim even with the side of the bag.
Stitch across the end of the zipper


Sewing the side and bottom seams

Fold the bag with right sides facing and the bottom edges matching. One side (the back) will be longer than the other. Sew the bottom edges of front and back main bag together. I used the width of my sewing foot. Line up the bottom edges of the lining with right sides together and sew them together leaving an opening along the bottom edge of the lining fabric.


Sew across the bottom edges of the bag and the lining.
Sew across the bottom edges of the bag and the lining.


The top of the bag layers will naturally fold along one edge of the zipper when all of the bag layers are smoothed together. Stitch across the side of the bag through all layers from one edge of the zipper tape to the other.


Match the top edge of the bag and stitch across the end of the zipper.
Stitch across zipper


Sew the side seams of the outer bag and the lining separately, stopping at the end of the previous stitching.


Sew the side seams of the outer bag and the lining, stopping at the end of the previous stitching.
Sew the side seams


Clip the corners then turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining and press. Sew the opening in the lining closed with hand stitches or a straight stitch on your machine.


Clip the bottom corners of the outer bag and the lining before turning it right side out.
Clip the corners


Enjoy your little zippered bags or share them with your friends.


Little zipper bags embellished with machine embroidery stitched with WonderFil's rayon threads.
Little zipper bags


Thanks for joining me this week on QUILTsocial! I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with the rayon threads from WonderFil and hope that you’ve enjoyed the little projects that I’ve shared with you. Have fun stitching!


This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: How thread painting with rayon threads enhances an image on fabric



Allison has an Education degree from University of Winnipeg and many years’ experience teaching aquatics. Allison began teaching sewing and quilting while working at a sewing machine dealer in Calgary, Alberta. She also owned her own fabric store and sewing school for 6 years where she had the wonderful opportunity to teach a wide variety of classes to many sewers, young and old. She now has a studio and classroom in her home and does customer quilts and well as longarm machine rentals. She is a National Handi Quilter Educator. Allison teaches in her studio, locally and in North America. Allison has a very, very supportive husband, 2 daughters and granddaughter close by.

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