In Bags & Accessories, Sew-along, Sewing Pattern


Now that we have everything prepped, let’s get to the sewing part of the Sew-along! In this post we’ll show how to create the interior pockets.


Slip Pocket

This pocket is lightly padded with fusible fleece, so it’s great for stashing an e-reader or tablet. Since making your own bag offers you a chance to customize, you can vary the measurements to fit whatever type of device you own.


Field Study Tote Sew-along


Place the slip pocket pieces right sides together and sew around the perimeter with a 1/4″, leaving a 3″ opening for turning. Before you turn the pocket right sides out, be sure to clip the seam allowances at the 4 corners as shown above. This will give you nice crisp corners!


Field Study Tote Sew-along


Turn the pocket right sides out, using a chopstick or another tool to work out the corners. Press the pocket, folding the seam allowances in at the bottom opening and pin, above. Topstitch the top edge of the pocket then center one side of your velcro strip right beneath it. Topstitch the velcro 1/8″ from the edge.


Field Study Tote Sew-along


Next you’ll place the slip pocket, velcro side down, onto the right side of the Back Lining. It should be 7″ down from the top of the Back Lining and centered side to side. The reason this pocket is placed this low, is to enable the top of the bag to fold over easily without the pocket, and it’s contents, getting in the way.

Now flip back the top edge of the pocket and mark where the velcro touches it with a disappearing ink marker. Set the pocket aside. Pin the other side of the Velcro strip here and topstitch to the Back Lining piece.


Field Study Tote Sew-along


Reposition the pocket, aligning the Velcro, and pin to the lining. Sew the bottom and side edges of the pocket at 1/8″, backstitching at the top edges of the pocket for reinforcement. (When sewing across the bottom edge, you’ll be closing the 3″ gap left open previously.) Slip Pocket, done!


Zippered Pocket

I love a zippered interior pocket to secure smaller items in my bags. There are many ways to install a zipper and this is my go-to technique.


Field Study Tote SAL


Start by centering the Zippered Pocket piece side to side, 6” down from the top of the Front Lining piece, right sides together. With a disappearing ink marker, draw a line 9” long (the length of your zipper), 1 1/2” from the top and side edges of the Zippered Pocket piece. Mark a rectangle below the line, about 1/4” wide. Pin the Zippered Pocket piece to the Front lining around the marked rectangle.


Field Study Tote SAL


Next you’ll stitch along the marked lines, pivoting at each corner. Using a ruler, mark the inside of the rectangle with a line across the center with 2 angled lines at each end as shown above. 


Field Study Tote SAL


With a sharp pair of small shears, cut along the center and angled lines through both layers. Snip into the corners but don’t cut your stitch line.


Field Study Tote SAL


Push the Zippered Pocket piece though the cut opening to the back of the Front Lining, wrong sides together. Finger press the opening, working out the seam, then press with the iron. You may have a few crinkles in the corners. You can either try to snip a little closer to your stitched line or live with it, knowing that most of it will be hidden!


Field Study Tote SAL


Now let’s prep our zipper. You’ll see that I took a few hand stitches there at the top through the zipper tape edges. This helps keep the tape straight and it tends to behave better when it’s time to stitch.

The next thing I do is apply Wondertape to the right sides of the zipper tape. Wondertape is a double stick tape that helps sort of baste the zipper into place instead of using pins. Lay the zipper onto your work surface, then place the sewn Front Lining and Zippered Pocket on top, right side up.


Field Study Tote SAL


The zipper should fit in the “window” of the lining. Finger press into place. Install the zipper foot on your machine, then straight stitch 1/8” from the edge of the opening. Sew along the sides and across the ends of the window, taking care not to sew over the metal stop at the end of the zipper.


Field Study Tote SAL


Turn the Front Lining over and fold up the bottom edge of the Zippered Pocket, right sides together, aligning the sides and ends. The bottom edge will be the fold. Lift and pin the sides and top edges of the pocket together then sew with a 1/4” seam allowance, just through the pocket layers. Do not sew to the Front Lining.

Zippered Pocket, done!


Next week we’ll tackle the exterior pocket and learn to install a magnetic snap.

See the rest of the Sew-along posts here:
Schedule and Prizes
Day 1

We’d love to see your progress! Show us your photos in the Facebook Group. You can also share photos on Facebook and Instagram tagged #fieldstudysewalong

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt