Posted by: Jocelyn | January 31, 2008

Tutorial: A lined pouch

 Penny, over at Back valley Seasons was asking about a method of constructing a lined pouch where it is all sewn together at once, rather than sewing the lining and pouch separately and then joining them together; and perhaps this is what she was wanting.  I used this method when I made my evening purse, so here is a tutorial for the method. I am VERY new at writing tutorials, so if anything is not clear, please let me know and I shall endeavour to explain it better.


Of course, you can make the pouch any size you want to, but I have given instructions for a pouch 5inches x 7 inches to make it easier to work out where to make the folds. The italicised text below refers to the example. Just a note on my stitching – I used super big stitches in black, just so you could see them <grin>


OK, let’s get started


Cut one piece of lining fabric 1.5cm or ½ inch wider than the finished purse will be. The length will be twice the height of the finished pouch, plus the length of the flap, plus ½“.

 For instance if your finished pouch is to be 5 inches wide and 7 inches deep, with the flap folding over 3 inches, your lining fabric will be 5½ x 17½”. 

Now the outside fabric. You need two pieces; one will be the same width as the lining but only twice the length plus ½”. In our example, it will be 5½ x 14½”. The second piece is for the flap, so it will be the same width, and the length will be the length of the flap, plus ½”.  In our example, 5½ x 3½”.

The ½” each time allows for 2 seam allowances.

Now comes the only tricky part – folding the fabric.

I think it will be easiest to understand my instructions if you rule lines where the folds will be (on the wrong side of the fabric, of course J)

Lining fabric
Line A: Measuring from the bottom, rule a line across the fabric, the length of the pouch plus one seam allowance (7¼” from the bottom).
Line B. Rule another twice the length of the pouch plus one seam allowance (14¼”) from the bottom.
Clip the seam allowances at Line B.
Outer fabric
Line C: Fold the fabric in half and rule a line at that point. (in the example, it will be 7¼” from the bottom) 

Take the lining fabric and fold it, right sides together, at Line A. Turn it over so the folded up part is face down, and fold down the flap at Line B. The clips should be on this fold.

Take the outside fabric and fold it right sides together at Line C.

Now fold down the seam allowance on one of the raw edges (the wrong sides of the fabric will be together at this folded seam allowance.


Place the outside fabric on top of the lining, matching up the 2 folded edges at the bottom, and the 2 raw edges at the top, and pin it all together.

Phew, the tricky part is over. It’s all plain sailing from here!

Now we sew up a side seam, starting from the matched folded edges, but being careful not to catch the flap into the stitching. You can fold it out of the way using the clips you made earlier.  You are stitching through 4 layers of fabric.

Watch for when you get to the clips and folded over seam allowance, a fraction beyond that point there are only 2 layers of fabric – one lining and one outer. At this point we turn and stitch across the top. Now you are stitching through 2 layers of fabric.

At the other side, turn again, and stitch the other side seam, again through 4 layers and being careful not to catch the flap.

Woo hoo. The sewing is done (except for a little hand sewing at the end.


Turning out the pouch
Now comes the fun part, where the pouch is revealed.

You are going to turn your stitched piece inside out, from the 2 folded edges. Trust me. Just do it. Then you will the beginning of the pouch shape, but you will see the wrong side of the outer fabric!  That’s ok, it’s as it should be.


Now take the free edge of the outer fabric and turn it right sides out.

Bingo – you can see the pouch, although the flap is still only the lining so far.


Finishing the Flap

You will see that the clips you made in the lining earlier are now at the top edge of the pouch – place the outer fabric flap piece, suitably embellished, onto the lining, right sides together, and stitch from one clip right around the top to the other clip.

Turn the flap right side out, and tuck the raw edge under the folded down edge that is now at the base of the flap at the back. Slip stitch the folded edge to close the gap securely, being careful to just attach it to the outer fabric, don’t go all the way through the lining.


All Finished. You may like to add a handle. I used a piece of cord, and just tacked the ends inside the purse along the side seams.

Here is the evening purse I made using this technique although I also used some thin batting sandwiched between the lining and outer fabrics. I embellished the flap first!



  1. Wow this is good, not exactly what I was looking for but I like this method. thanks a lot.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial!

  3. Jocelyn, That was great, the pouch looks easy and the tutorial was simple steps. Well now for February. Haven’t posted much, have been working on several projects at the same time. burning the candle at both ends. (grins) all you get for that is burnt fingers! Rene

  4. great tutorial – easy to follow (well the read anyway) – when it comes to following instructions when im sewing thats another matter! – I’ll have a go at this soon. thanks

  5. Thank you so much for this – I needed to make a purse for my daughter to carry medical equipment in, but was stumped how to avoid all visible seams. Your tutorial was easy to follow and the finished item is exactly what is needed.


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