Purses need pockets. Lots of them. Zippered pockets, slip pockets, we need them all.
A zippered pocket is very easy to make and looks really sharp on the outside (or inside) of a purse. (I put one of these in my hobo bag from years ago and I’m still using it!)
Here’s how to do it!
ZIPPERED POCKET INSTRUCTIONS
for a pocket measuring 10″w x 8″d
with a 9″ zipper opening
must be constructed before the purse pieces are sewn together!
1. Cut a rectangle of fabric measuring 10″ wide by 16″ long.
I used the fabulous new BEKKO home dec line (Michael Miller) coming out THIS MONTH! It’s 100% cotton sateen, comes in a handful of beautiful, modern prints in coral, navy, aqua, slate, mango, brown, kiwi, grass, black, orchid, tangerine, and coral. I want them all!
2. ON THE WRONG SIDE Mark a line 1″ from the edge of one of the short ends of the pocket fabric.
3. Draw another line 1 3/8″ from the edge of the short end of the fabric or 3/8″ further into the fabric from the first line you drew.
4. Make a long skinny rectangle by drawing two short lines 7/8″ in from the long edges on both sides.
CHECK: You should have a rectangle centered on your fabric 1″ from the top and measuring 3/8″ x 8 1/4″
5. Press the pocket piece in half (hot dog style) AND the purse piece you’ll be sewing the pocket onto.
6. Mark a line 1 1/2″ from the top edge of the purse piece.
7. Lay the pocket piece down on top of the purse piece (RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER), matching the top edge of the pocket piece to the line you drew in step#6 AND matching the center creases you pressed into both pieces.
Pin in place
CHECK: The pocket piece should be centered to the purse piece and 1 1/2″ below the top purse piece edge.
8. Sew right on top of the rectangle lines, decreasing stitch length to 1 before getting to the short end. Keep the stitch length short all the way until turning the second corner. Increase stitch length to normal (2.5) until you come to the other short end and repeat.
9. Draw another line right down the center of the rectangle (lengthwise).
10. Draw two more short lines 1/2″ in from either end of the rectangle.
11. Cut along that center line.
When you reach the little short line you drew in step#10, cut into the corner of the rectangle on both sides getting as close as possible without cutting the stitches.
CHECK: After cutting you should have little triangle pieces on the ends of the rectangle.
12. Press the pocket away from the purse, creating sharp creases where the seam is.
13. Push the pocket fabric through the slit to the wrong side of the purse piece and press. You shouldn’t be able to see the pocket fabric from the front.
This is what it should look like from the back, now with WRONG sides together.
14. Lay your work down on the table with the purse piece facing up. Flip one side of the purse piece over to expose the pocket behind and that little triangle of fabric from cutting the slit.
Sew the triangle down to the pocket fabric as close to the purse (or the wide base of the triangle) as possible. Use a zipper foot. Repeat on opposite side.
15. Lay a 9″ zipper underneath the purse/pocket and center it in the slit. Position so the zipper pull is a little underneath the fabric in case the fabric stretches as you sew.
16. Using a zipper foot, sew right along the edge of the purse. Begin sewing on the same side of the zipper for both sides – I start at the bottom of the zipper and sew toward the pull.
Sew the two long edges and then go back and sew the short edges.
Finished front view
Finished back view
17. Fold the pocket up, right sides together.
18. Sew three edges together with a 1/4″ seam (the fourth edge of the pocket is a fold).
Be sure to keep the purse fabric free from the pocket fabric. Only sew the pocket closed, DO NOT sew the pocket to the purse.
The pocket is finished! I tried to break it down into very small steps to be as clear as possible so even though this tutorial was long and boring, making the pocket will be a snap!
Finish constructing the purse as per the pattern instructions and enjoy your zippered pocket!