This is a technique that you can use just about anywhere that doesn’t have a seam available to sew your zipper into, and is great for adding a pocket to a bag. This process is much easier than it looks at first. Just follow the steps and you’ll have a zippered pocket in no time!
Determine the size and location for your pocket. Reinforce the area on the back with fusible interfacing.
Draw a rectangle on the interfacing that’s the desired width of the pocket and ½” tall.
Cut the fabric for the inside of the pocket to a height of double the desired depth plus 1” and 1” wider than your drawn rectangle. In other words, if you want a pocket that is 6” deep and 4” wide, cut this piece 13” by 5”.
You’ll also need a zipper that’s at least 1” longer than the pocket is wide. I like to use one that’s at least a couple of inches longer and cut off the excess at the end.
Poke a pin into each corner of the rectangle. Flip over to the front, where the pins should be sticking out.
Using the pins as a guide, place the pocket face down with the upper edge and both sides ½” outside of the rectangle. Pin the pocket to hold.
Flip over to the back again. Remove the guide pins at the corners. Pin in place at the rectangle. Remove the pins from the front side.
Stitch along the drawn line.
Clip into the center of the rectangle. Cut down the center to about 3/8” from the end. From there, cut at an angle up to each corner, creating a Y shape. Cut as close to the corner as possible without clipping any stitches.
Repeat on the other end of the rectangle.
Flip over to the front. Push the pocket entirely through the hole until it lays flat against the back. If the corners try to wrinkle you need to cut a bit closer to the stitching.
Press well. Place the zipper face up behind the opening. Pin well.
Stitch around the opening, close to the edge, using a zipper foot.
Fold the pocket up, right sides together, with the edges even.
Pin together on the side facing the bag.
Still using the zipper foot, stitch around the edge of the pocket from the bag side, with a ¼” seam, folding the bag out of the way as necessary. You don’t need to stitch the folded side. If the pull gets in the way as you approach it when you’re stitching across the top, make sure your needle is down, life your presser foot, and unzip the zipper a few inches. Lower the presser foot and continue sewing.
Clip off the excess zipper beyond the edge of the pocket.
Your pocket is ready for whatever you’d like to keep safe!
I’ve been a maker for as long as I can remember. If there’s a technique I haven’t tried, it’s probably on my to-do list. At my blog, Crafty Staci, I create beginner-friendly craft and sewing tutorials, simple recipes, curate links to fun things I find elsewhere, and honestly share my attempts at expressing my own creativity. I find that people who haven’t tried it before are occasionally hesitant to take that first step into making things. My goal is to guide and inspire them to jump in and not be afraid to make mistakes along the way. I hope to encourage others to create and keep handmade alive and well.