Sewing an Internal Pocket

I am in the middle of making my Tote Style Handbag which you will get to see very soon.  Here is a sneak preview just for you!

Tote Style Handbag (21)

But back on track, I better get to the all important internal zip pocket.  I love internal zip pockets in handbags.  You need that secure little hiding place for so many things!  And after looking at the length of the tutorial for just the Internal Pocket I thought I better post it separate from the Tote Style Handbag!

Sewing an Internal Pocket (20)

What you will need,

  • Fabric – You will need your bag lining piece and a rectangle for the pocket.
  • Zip – mine is 18cm (roughly 7”) but you can use any size you like.

Step 1 – Cut your Fabric

Use your bag pattern for the size of your lining piece(s).  My pocket fabric piece 25cm (10”) by 41cm (16”), but this is completely dependant on the size of your bag and the pocket you want to put in it.  As long as the short side of your fabric is about 7cm (2 3/4”) longer than the zip.  I make the pocket piece a rectangle so that it folds over at the bottom, that way you don’t sew the bottom seam and it is less likely to get a hole in it!

Step 2 – Pin Pocket in Place and Draw Zip Opening

Decide where you want the pocket to go and pin onto the lining piece with both right sides facing and laying folded out flat.

Sewing an Internal Pocket (5)

Draw your zip opening using a ruler with tailors chalk or wash out marker.  The opening needs to be 1cm (3/8”) wide (wider if you have a wide zip) and 1cm (3/8”) longer than your zip.  Mine is 1cm (3/8”) by 19cm (7 1/2”).  Note the triangles drawn at the ends.

Step 3 – Sew Opening

Sewing an Internal Pocket (6)

Use a few extra pins to keep the rest of the pocket out of the way and sew around the outside of your zip opening.  You will need to follow your marked lines carefully.

Sewing an Internal Pocket (7)

Step 4 – Cut Opening

Using a rotary cutter (or as I don’t have one I used a paper cutting blade) to make the start.

Sewing an Internal Pocket (8)

Then move to your scissors to do the ends and triangles.

Sewing an Internal Pocket (9)

Be CAREFUL not to cut over the sewn line!!!

Step 5 – Turn Right Way Around

Sewing an Internal Pocket (10)

Feed the pocket piece through this new opening.

Sewing an Internal Pocket (11)

This is what the inside will look like, and below is the right side.

Sewing an Internal Pocket (12)

Get out the trusty iron (I have a new one YAY!) and press so that the internals of the pocket are not visible on the outside.

Sewing an Internal Pocket (13)

I did this by pressing on the above side (pocket piece) and pulling on it gently as I pressed.

Sewing an Internal Pocket (14)

Here is the right side, pretty neat right!

Step 6 – Pin Zip in Place

Sewing an Internal Pocket (16)

A quick tip: Pin your remaining pocket piece flat so you don’t risk it getting caught in the seam, will save unpicking it all and starting over!

Sewing an Internal Pocket (18)

Change to your zipper foot and sew all the way around your zipper, nice and close to the edge of the fabric.

Sewing an Internal Pocket (17)

Leave the needle in the fabric and lift the presser foot to turn the corners.

Sewing an Internal Pocket (19)

There it is all sewn in, you can see I left my thread tails on for now…I’ll get to that in a minute!

Sewing an Internal Pocket (20)

And a little closer up.  I could’ve of used matching thread but hey it’s on the inside and I quite like the contrast.  Another upside it’s easier for you to see!

Sewing an Internal Pocket (21)

Now those tails, feed them through using a needle to the inside of the bag  and tie off with the bottom threads.  This gives a bit of extra security and neatness too!

Step 7 – Sew Pocket Together

Note: For this step you are only sewing the pocket piece, not right through to the lining!

Sewing an Internal Pocket (22)Sewing an Internal Pocket (23)

Fold and pin the pocket into place.  Starting at one bottom corner sew around the top and sides in one go using a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.  Remember to reverse a few stitches at the start and end, you don’t want it coming undone.  All those little items will end up in between the lining and outer fabric of your handbag!

Sewing an Internal Pocket (24)

I like to overlock the pocket for extra lost item protection.  You can just as easily zigzag it.  This will also help prevent fraying, which is quite important for me as it will probably need washing regularly.

Sewing an Internal Pocket (25)Sewing an Internal Pocket (26)

Step 8 – Carry On!

Sewing an Internal Pocket (29)

Carry on with the rest of the handbag that is!  I will add the link for this Tote Style Handbag as soon as I have it finished!

Have you made your own handbag?  I would love to see it, please add a link in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Sewing an Internal Pocket

Comments are closed.