A zippered pocket on a bag is something that is incredibly handy; this space is perfect for a cell phone, wallet, or other item that you need to have within easy reach, yet still be a safe place in your bag. There are several different ways to add a zipper pocket onto any bag, but this method is the best.
Learn a quick, easy to implement technique for sewing a zippered pocket!
First, you will need a piece of fabric that you would like to be the pocket. This fabric needs to be at least 1-1/2″ smaller in width (if not more) than the piece of the bag that you will be installing the pocket into, and the fabric should be double the size of the finished pocket.
I most commonly use 10″ x 20″ pockets in my bags (I make a lot of medium-large sized bags), and this can be adjusted for a small bag. For my examples, I will be using a 10″ x 20″ piece of pocket fabric.
Place the pocket piece, wrong side up, with the short 10″ edge at the top. Draw a horizontal line that is 10-1/2″ down from the top edge. If you are using a custom size of fabric, you will be measuring halfway down from the top edge, plus an extra 1/2″. I like to draw a little ‘T’ at the top of my pocket fabric, so that I don’t get mixed up later on.
Draw another horizontal line that is 1/2” down from the line that you drew in the previous step.
Draw a vertical line that is 1” in from both sides.
Finger press the pocket and the interfaced fabric piece that you will be installing the zippered pocket into, to find the center of each. Place the pocket directly on top of the bag fabric, right sides together, at that center crease.
The bottom of the pocket should be at least 1/2” higher than the bottom of the bag fabric (depending on where you want the pocket placed on the bag). Pin a few times to hold the layers in place.
Sew directly on top of the lines that you drew on the pocket; you will end up sewing a long, thin rectangular box.
Draw, then cut a slit in the center of the box (through all layers of fabric), starting and stopping approximately 1/4″ from the edges of the box. Draw and cut a small ‘v’ at each end, making sure not to cut into your stitching. It is helpful to use your seam ripper to get the cut started.
Push the pocket to the wrong side of the bag fabric and press.
With the right side of the bag fabric facing you, center the an appropriate-length zipper, right side facing you, underneath the opening and pin in place. Make sure that the pocket fabric is lying flat and away from the opening. You can either pin the zipper in place, or instead use a washable glue stick or wash away adhesive tape.
Make sure that the zipper pull is in the opening. Using the zipper foot, stitch along the opening, 1/8″ from the edge of the fabric. The pocket fabric should be spread open.
Fold your pocket in half, long edges together and right sides together; match up the corners. Sew along the side and bottom edges. Do not sew on top of the bag fabric by accident!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! What bag will you install a zippered pocket in next?
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Bluprint expert Callie Works-Leary takes you step by step through 3 zipper insertions so you can properly prepare the seam, place the zipper and stitch it for a professional appearance.