This post is part of the series
We love bags with many pockets. Is there something better than a bag with many pockets? YES, a bag with many EXTERIOR pockets! I love to easily find what I need, without opening the bag.
Sometimes the pockets are part of the design and they are not only functional.
No matter how many pockets I have on the front of the bag, I like to sew a zippered pocket on the back of my bags – for important things that I want to safely keep and that I use frequently.
Here is how to add a zippered pocket to the back panel of a bag.You have to do this before you assemble the front and back of the bag together.
First, some math!
- Decide the width of the pocket – let’s say you want a 7” pocket. You need then a zipper at least 7” long.
- Decide how deep the pocket should be. Let’s say 6”.
- For the lining of the pocket you need a piece 3” wider than the pocket width (7”+3”=10”).
- To find out the length of the lining, double the desired depth of the pocket (6”x2) and add 3”. The length of the lining will be 6”x2+3”= 15”.
Play with the numbers/size of the pocket as you want.
Turn the lining of the pocket wrong side up.
At 1.5″ from the top edge, mark a rectangle (centered width-wise) that is 7” long (the desired width of the pocket) and ½’’ wide (see the black lines).
A permanent marker is fine, mark with thin lines.
Mark the yellow lines too, as shown.
Pin the pocket lining to the bag back, 1½’’ away from the top edge, right sides together.
Stitch through all the layers along all sides of the black rectangle. Backstitch when you reach the corners, this will strengthen the corners.
Carefully cut down the center of the rectangle (cut on the yellow lines in the previous image) then clip toward the corners as close as you can without clipping the stitching.
Pull the lining though the hole to the wrong side of the back panel.
Use pins to keep the opening flat. Press with steam.
The lining fabric must be hidden when viewed from the front side.
This is how it looks from the right side…
…and from the wrong side of the bag back.
Position the zipper behind the opening. Baste in place. Then stitch all along the opening to secure the zipper in place (a zipper foot is helpful).
Here is the back.
If your zipper is longer, trim off the excess.
Fold the lining in half lengthwise, right sides together and stitch along the three sides- only through the lining.
The zippered pocket is done.
It is easier to sew and you will achieve better results if you fuse interfacing to the back of the lining and if the piece you want to add the pocket to is firm.
A quilted panel or a fabric interfaced with heavyweight interfacing are great.
Do you want more secure space in your bag ? Add a zippered pocket to the inside of the bag, on the lining!