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Topic: 4 step, EASY zippered pocket tutorial  (Read 87028 times)
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« on: July 31, 2007 09:05:27 PM »

Zippered pockets inside of a purse are a wonderful thing, but if you're anything like me you probably dread that step in the bag creation process.  Zippers can be difficult pains in the teeth, and to be honest I try and avoid them as much as I can.  I've got good news, though!  After hours and hours of sewing bags, I recently came up with a really simple technique to make two interior pockets that sit side by side; one zippered and one open topped.  I love all the great information to be found here, so I thought I would see if anyone would find it useful.  I really think this is a technique that anyone can do!

The finished result looks something like this:

Okay, kiddies, gather your supplies.  You'll need:

-Fabric for the lining of your bag
   >size will vary for your particular bag

-Fabric for your pockets
      >One rectangle of fabric as wide as your lining and twice as tall as  
         the pocket you want to make (plus a little for seam allowance)
       > Two rectangles of fabric as wide as your lining and each
            as tall as the final pocket height
                (Plus a little for seam allowance)  
         Sew these on the width side to make one piece.  
         This way you can have a different fabric inside and out.

-Two strips of fabric, bias tape, or ribbon
      > the first one should be as long as the lining is wide, and the
               second should be a couple of inches longer than the
               pocket will be tall.
         (I usually make my own "bias tape" for this from the fabrics
            I'm using, although I don't actually cut them on the bias.
        Just cut a strip of fabric and iron the rough edges to the back)

-A zipper

Now let's put it together!
Step one: Attach zipper to pocket piece

Fold and press the raw edges of the pocket fabric in toward each other and sandwich one side of the zipper tape between them.

Stitch through your sandwich and all the way across the pocket.
You may want to pin the zipper into place.  You can see in the photo above that I'm not using a zipper foot for this.  I use the side of the regular foot to keep a space between the fabric and the zipper teeth.  

Remember which side you started stitching on.  It's a good idea whenever you are sewing zippers to sew both sides of the zipper in the same direction.  This will help your zipper to lay flat.

Set the pocket piece into place on the lining fabric.  Assuming it is the same width as the lining, just match up the raw edges and secure it with a few pins.

Step 2: Sew down first strip

Take your shorter bias strip and fold under one end.  Line the folded end up with the bottom of the pocket and let the other end extend up to the top of the zipper. It should cover the end of the zipper tape.   (It's ok if it goes over the top, you can clip it down to the right size when it's sewn down.)

Sew from the bottom of the strip up to the top on each side, stopping just at the top of the zipper.

Step 3:  Attach the second strip

Lay the longer strip across the top of the zipper and all the way across the lining.  Stitch this into place on the top and bottom, going in the same direction as you sewed the zipper into the pocket sandwich.

Step four: Sew bottom of pocket

Sew a line across the bottom of the pocket.  make it as straight and as close to the edge as you can.  You may wish to sew two lines across the bottom for extra strength.  Again, sew in the same direction as the zipper and top strip of fabric for best results.

Your pockets are complete.  Finish sewing the rest of the bag making sure that your raw edges on the sides get sewn in with the lining fabric.

A few extra notes:

> If you want a smaller pocket, card slots, or decorative items on the front of the pocket, add them before you begin step one.

>Different effects can be made by choosing the material for the pockets and strips.

By using the lining fabric for both strips, the pockets stand out on their own.

For this bag I attached the pockets on the front of a messenger bag.  I used two different fabrics so that the inside of the pocket would match the main lining of the bag.  I used some pretty vintage ribbon for both the strips.

I left out the open top pocket on this one and centered the pocket in the bag.  I stitched down the sides and across the bottom to hold it in place.

I used the same zipper sandwich technique to make this pocket for the front of this clutch, but left out the top strip.  I sewed the zipper in place with two rows of stitching instead.

Thanks for taking a look at this tutorial.  I hope that someone out there will be able to use this technique themselves.  Feel free to contact me if anything is unclear or if you have any questions.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2018 10:49:31 AM by kittykill » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2007 09:12:08 PM »

that was great! and your bags are really fun too!
Rowdy Vamp Raquel
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2007 09:28:27 PM »

Thanks so much for posting this. I can guarantee you I'll be using this in the near future!

« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2007 09:49:40 PM »

That's great! 
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2007 10:16:27 PM »

Wow!  Thanks so much for posting this!  You made it seem so easy... I can't wait to try it out. 

« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2007 10:23:57 PM »

This is great! and your seams are so nice and straight! Thanks for posting this!

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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2007 12:18:06 AM »

Thank you so much for your tutorial!! I have no doubt I'll be putting it to use at some point in the near future Smiley I love the result on your bags, it looks so neat
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2007 01:50:31 AM »

thanks for this, i've bookmarked it for future use Smiley
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2007 04:30:01 AM »

Thank you very much!!!!!!! after reading your tutorial I will not be afraid of zippers anymore!!! Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2007 04:53:14 AM »

This is perfect!  I was recently asked if I could do a diaper bag for a friend and I wanted to put some nicer-looking pockets in it.  This is exactly the kind of thing I needed!

Wait, where did those come from?  I swear I didn't go to the craft store, honest!

Let the baby crafting commence!  Cheesy
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