A pocket for a handbag might be easy enough to make, you say? Yes, I agree, there are numerous ways of making pockets that are quite OK, but I have worked out one that really works for me, and the people I have made bags for are very happy with this design too. The advantage is that you make the pocket on its own, and add it to the bag as you stitch the bag and lining together, the pocket hanging freely inside the bag with easy access to cell phone, keys and whatever you want to keep in the pocket. I was looking for my notes while making a new bag, and that's when I realized that I should have it all in my blog. And if anybody else can find it useful to, why not!
So, here goes:
You need :
three pieces of fabric:
- A: 3 1/2" x 4",
- B: 8 x 4" and
- C: 8 x 24".
- a 4" zipper,
- a 3" piece of grosgrain ribbon,
Seam allowance: I generally use a standard seam allowance, aligning the right edge of the sewing machine foot with the edge of the fabric (that should be about 5/8" I think).
Fold piece A in half lenghtwise and press. Fold the edges towards centre fold, press and fold along centre fold. Stitch a narrow seam along edge of the strip along both sides and cut the stitched strip into 4 tabs. Next, you fold pieces B and C in half. The 8" folded edges will be placed alongside the zipper as shown in the picture above, using the tabs (placed behind the large fabric pieces) to separate the pieces. The tabs at the edges should be placed about 5/8" in from the edges. The ribbon will be stitched onto the back of the fold to strengthen the opening of the cell phone pocket. To do this, begin with the folded C piece, stitch the zipper along the edge, adding one tab at each end, the ribbon on the back and the third tab on the far right. Stitch another seam along the edge about 5/8" from the first, stabilizing the tabs and catching the lower edge of the ribbon on the back. It should look something like this when you're done. Ideally one should use a matching ribbon, but I used what I had and I'm not too bothered, as it wont really show.
Now you have all the pieces stitched together, with the zipper attatched and the opening for the cell phone pocket next to it. Now fold the long C piece in half, right sides together, bringing raw edges of pieces B and C together (4 layers) at the top.
That's it, your pocket is done and ready to be stitched to the edge of your lining so that the upper edge can be caught in the seam when you stich bag and lining together.
Now this pocket consists of four layers of fabric, making it very sturdy. I like that, and also the fact that I see the front of the fabric inside the pockets. However, you could make the pocket from a fabric like canvas or linen that is sturdy enough in itself, and looks the same on both sides. You would only need to cut pieces B and C at half the length, and just hem the edges you stitch to the zipper.