How to Sew A Slip Pocket For Your Bag - A Tutorial

2/01/2012 08:06:00 PM

How about a slip pocket in that bag you are making?  Try one of these super easy slip pockets. They are so handy for your mobile phone, your keys, your cards or even your favourite lipstick.  They are quick to make and look fab!  You can't create a bag without pockets!

Slip pockets can be any size you like, you just need to alter the width and length of your fabric to adjust the size.  In the teardrop bag (coming soon), I want very big pockets so I can slide in something big, such as flip-flops or sun block so I make the large double pocket shown in the instructions below.
A double pocket has two openings.

A rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
1 - 5” x 10” for a single pocket
1 - 10 x 10” for a double pocket
1 - 16 x 16” for a large double pocket
OR use your own measurements
depending on what size you require

NOTE: If you are using quilters weight cotton or poplin, I highly recommend some light-medium weight interfacing on the back of half of a square cut as above, if not the whole thing.

Let’s get started:

1)  For a large double pocket, cut a square of fabric 16” x 16”, OR use scraps & cut two strips that are approx 16” x 8.5”. 

A single pocket.
For a single pocket that holds a cell phone nicely, cut a 5” x 10” piece (this will make a square pocket). OR use scraps & cut two squares that are approx 5.5” x 5.5”.

If using 16x16 or 5x10 piece of fabric: fold in half with right sides together, press, sew  raw edges, leaving a 3” gap for turning at bottom. Use a ¼ or 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance.

If using two pieces: place them right sides together, sew around all sides, leaving a 3” gap for turning at bottom. Again, use a ¼ or 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance.

TIP #1Always leave your needle down (in the fabric) when turning corners or when you turn your pocket inside right, you will have puckering.
TIP #2:  Before turning right side out, press the seam allowance on the 3” in opening open. Do this by first pressing one side back, then flipping over and pressing back the other. 

2)  Clip corners, turn, press pocket. 

3)  Top-stitch across long edge (without opening) about ¼” to ½” from edge. (This will be the top.) 

4)  Center pocket on lining exactly you would like it to be. Make sure it’s straight!  Pin around pocket.

5)  If you are making a double pocket, mark a center line to divide pockets. 

6) Sewing 1/8” - 1/4” from the edge, sew down one side, across bottom to the half-way point, up the middle line and back down the center 1/8” to the side of the stitching line. Go the rest of the way across the bottom and up the other side and stop. I like to do a double row of stitching about 1//8” apart and bar tack the stop/starts so that they are very sturdy. Press pocket after stitching.

Voila!  An easy and impressive slip pocket don’t you think? Try different sizes for different bags and uses. Dividers sewn in for pens are pretty handy too!

Thank you for looking,

Sew many options!
If you have found this tutorial helpful in the slightest way, please follow my blog by either GFC, Blog-lovin, Email or signing up for my Newsletter on the right side bar.   And... please share your finished bags with me in the Emmaline Bags Flickr Group.  I love to see your finished Emmaline inspired projects!

You Might Also Like


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi I love your website, your tutorials are great. Thanks for inviting me to come see your website. I really enjoy seeing other websites on bag making. I'll add you to my links of blogs to follow.

  3. Thank you so much, Natalie. I'll be adding some patterns and more tutorials as I go. I love fabric and bags so much that it's just nice to see what others are making too! Janelle

  4. Great tutorial! Have used it to add pockets to purse-pattern with no pockets. Turned out great ;) Thanks!

    1. Thank you Mari! That is so good to hear! Janelle

  5. Thank you, great instructions, just what I was looking for.

    1. Glad I could be of help, Crystal! Janelle

  6. Love the idea!! You have other ideas without doing sewing. I don't have a swing machine.

  7. Good job. In tip #1 it says need and I believe you mean needle.

    Just a heads up


I LOVE your comments! I like to reply via email, so please make sure your email address is set up in your Blogger preferences. However, if you are a '' commenter, check back here for your reply, Thank you!! Janelle

Your Instagram: #emmalinebags

A Note

The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author. If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to Emmaline Bags & Patterns. A notification email would be greatly appreciated too! Please do not ever republish an entire post, any tutorials, or post photos of my family. Thank you, Janelle

Our Instagram: @emmalinebags