Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tutorial - How to add an inside zipper pocket to a purse/handbag

This is my first tutorial, and as such, I'm hoping this turns out okay.
A lot of handbags I make have basic pockets, where if you need to hide something from everyone's sight it is kind of hard.  So I went in search of patterns to make an inside zipper pocket.  What I got out of that was pretty much nothing.  But I found a couple patterns for wallets that had zippers inside.  So with the help of a McCall's pattern and these other tutorials this is what I have come up with.

First you will need your fabric for your lining, mine is cut for a new style of bag I am trying out and is 17 1/4" x 19" and the pocket fabric which is 10" x 15".
zipper (whatever length you want to make your pocket, remember the zipper should be about 1 1/2" - 2" longer than your pocket.
rotary cutter (optional, makes life so much easier though)
cutting board (optional)
marking pencil/chalk
iron and ironing board

I am using an outdoor fabric so I used no interfacing, if your fabric is light-medium weight you should use a light-medium weight interfacing.

First, you take you handbag lining, fold wrong sides (the sides not going to show inside the bag) together to find the center and mark with your chalk

I am using a 7" zipper so I am making my opening 6 1/2" long and 1/2" wide.  about 3" down from top I need to find the center of my opening which is 3 1/4", I then draw a line that is 6 1/2" long.
All polyester zippers should use a 1/2" wide opening, if you are using a larger zipper adjust your opening accordingly.

I then draw a parallel line 1/2" down from the original line and connect the edges.

after drawing your lines, flip the lining fabric over and place your pocket fabric right sides together and pin together, about 2" down from top of bag.

flip the fabric back over and sew around the rectangle you drew using a basting stitch.

this is what it should look like on the reverse side.

using your ruler and rotary blade, cut 1/4" down from top sewn line and 1/2" or so in from the edges

This is what it should look like

using scissors trim from edge to each corner of rectangle, creating a triangle like so...

pull the fabric through the hole... this is kind of tricky, it sometimes doesn't want to pull through very easily, and depending on what your fabric is it could bunch up. but in the end it should look something like this

using the iron, flatten down, making sure the edges of the rectangle are crisp and the fabrics have clean edges

you are now ready to add the zipper.  pin the zipper in place carefully, I'm sorry for the puckering...

edge stitch around zipper using a small stitch length.

now fold bottom of pocket up so that top edges match and pin, making sure to pin only the pocket, not the lining and pocket.

stitch around 3 edges of pocket, using 1/2" seam allowance and small stitch length

this is how it should look, you should be able to move the pocket freely from the lining

you are now finished installing your zipper pocket!

now just sew the lining into your handbag like you normally would.
if you are pulling through an edge opening I would add a little extra room to be able to pull the bulk and zipper through the opening.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial, if you have any questions, ask away.  As I said before, this is the first tutorial that I have made, and I hope it lives up to the others found online.

So, this is CollarCraze signing out!
Peace, Love, and Grapefruit!!


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