My original intent was to document my entire bag making process from start to finish, but truth is that I ran into so many snags along the way that it wasn’t feasible to keep up. However, like I mentioned in the main post about this bag (DIY Yoga Bag), the most challenging part of making this bag was figuring out the pocket. (Note: Challenging for a beginner sewer like me. I’m sure for the more experienced, this is probably a walk in the park) So if this is helpful to anyone, here’s what I did.
I wanted to make an outer zippered pocket with a different lining from the main yoga bag lining (I love pockets with fun interior designs). The process is similar to making a simple lined zipper bag, which I learned to do here, but there’s no reversing of the lining.
First, here’s a layout of the exterior panels and back lining of the pocket. Be sure to calculate in the seam allowances on the middle panels so when you attach the middle panel to the pocket, it results in a middle panel that is the same length as the two side panels.
I don’t have a picture of the actual pocket panels I used, but here are the dimensions:
- From the exterior fabric: one 11″ x 5″ panel and one 11″ x 3″ panel.
- From the pocket lining fabric: one 11″ x 5″ panel and one 11″ x 3″ panel
NOTE: I originally cut 11″ x 2″ panels, which you see in the pictures, but it resulted in the middle assembled piece being too short, so I took out the 11″ x 2″ pieces and replaced them with the 11″ x 3″ ones. Hence, my suggestion earlier to make sure you double check your seam allowances, which I obviously did not.
To assemble the pocket, attach a zipper foot and sew your exterior fabric to the zipper, with right sides facing together (right side of the fabric to the outside of the zipper). The fabric I used had a little bit of stretch to it, so I used a pin to line up the fabric to the zipper. Sew close as close to the zipper as you can. I lined up the edge of my foot along the edge of the zipper which made a nice straight line. The straighter this line is, the easier it will be later.
Here’s a view from the end with both exterior pieces attached.
And another view with the fabric opened up, but unpressed.
Next, attach the interior lining of the pocket to the backside of the zipper by lining up the right side of the lining to the back side of the zipper. Be sure to line up the 3″ panel to the 3″ size, and the 5″ panel to the 5″ side. Try to sew along the same line you just made with the exterior fabric.
Here’s what it should look like with all pieces sewed on and opened up. The wrong sides of the fabric should be facing each other.
Give it a good, neat press.
Top stitch down the edge of the exterior fabric. If you A) sewed a straight line earlier, B) sewed the lining fabric along the same line as your exterior fabric, and C) did a neat pressing job, you’ll notice that when you top stitch the outside, it will result in a clean top stitch on the other side as well. Mine was 95% clean… In the end, it doesn’t really matter what it looks like on the flip side since it will be on the inside of the pocket anyway. It only satisfies my OCD itch to have it look nice.
Now, lay your pocket piece on top of the backside of your pocket lining (right sides of the lining facing each other) with the bottom edges flush.
Attach the pocket pieces to the middle panel of the exterior fabric. Stack the fabric in the following order: pocket back (right side up), assembled pocket (lining side down), exterior fabric (right side down). Then sew/serge down the long edge of the pocket. See picture below. In the picture the pocket rotated 180 degrees, so the 5″ panel is actually the top section, and the 3″ panel is at the bottom (and is cut off by the picture).
Here’s the pocket attached to the middle panel. It was here when I realized the middle panel was too short, compared to the side panels. Next, attach the panels together to make one big piece.