Tuesday 15 May 2012

Pocket Bag...

A pocket bag is SO easy to make and requires very little fabric. The bag itself is made from an old jacket. Make it with a long strap to wear across the body, or shorten the strap to wear as a shoulder bag. Depending on the fabric you use, the pocket bag could be made for either an adult, a teenager or a child. Here's how I made it...

  • A jacket, pair of pants or jeans with a pocket.
  • Decide how large the bag will be and cut a rectangle that includes one of the pockets. Add extra for seams - bag front from old garment
  • Another rectangle the same size, but without a pocket - bag back from old garment
  • Two pieces the same size for the lining - contrast colour for the lining
  • 2 pieces 32 inches x 1.5 inches. This will depend on the length you want the strap to be - contrast colour for strap
  • 2 pieces 32 inches x 1.5 inches - interfacing for the strap
  • button

All seams are 3/8" (1cm), unless otherwise indicated.

The length of the strap will be determined by whether the bag is being worn across the body or over the shoulder and on the size of the person who will be wearing the bag.
  1. Place the two pieces of fabric for the strap right sides together.
  2. Place one piece of interfacing on the wrong side of one of the strap pieces.
  3. Sew the long edges together.
  4. Neaten seams with an overlocker, zig zag stitch or pinking shears.
  5. With a safety pin, turn the strap to the right side.
  6. Iron the strap.
  7. Topstitch 1/8inch (3mm) from the edge of the seams. I increase the stitch length a little to topstitch. I use a stitch length of 2.6

Outside of bag - sew front to back:
  • With right sides together, sew the side and bottom seams.
  • Cut off the bottom corners being careful not to cut the stitching.
  • Neaten seam edges.
  • Turn right side out.

Sewing the lining:
  1. Sew the two side seams.
  2. Sew the bottom seam, leaving a gap of 3 inches.
  3. Neaten seam edges.

Join the strap to the bag:
  1. Place each end of the strap over the seam on the outside of the bag.
  2. The right side of the handle should be next to the right side of the bag.
  3. Baste (hand sew) into place.
  4. Machine sew the handle to the bag. I go back and forth a few times for added strength.

Attach the lining to the outside of the bag:
  1. Place the bag inside the lining. ie: the right side of the bag is next to the right side of the lining.
  2. Line up the top edges of the lining and the outside.
  3. Tuck the strap between the outside and the lining.
  4. Baste (hand sew) the top edges of the lining and the outside.
  5. Sew a 6/8inch (1.5cm) seam to join the top edges of the lining and the outside of the bag.
  6. Reinforce where the strap joins the bag, by going back and forth a few times.
  7. Neaten the seam.

Turn the bag right side out:
  1. Put your fingers through the hole in the bottom of the lining.
  2. Gently pull the right side of the bag out through the lining.
  3. Topstitch the gap in the lining.

Finishing off:
  1. Push the lining back into the bag.
  2. Iron the top edge of the bag.
  3. Topstitch 1/8inch (3mm) from the edge, around the top of the bag.

This is the second bag I've made using pockets from the same jacket. The first one I made in February. The strap for the first bag was made from the belt of the jacket. Although originally made for a girl, the bag is now being used by the mother of the girl.

Optional extras:
  • For adults, a magnetic catch could be added.
  • For children, velcro could be added to close the bag.
  • Change the button to match the lining.
A quick and easy little project, using pre-loved clothes and costing very little.

Because of the long strap, this bag is not suitable for young children.

I'll be adding the Pocket Bag to our Ongoing Bags and Totes link party. At last count, there were 165 fabulous bags linked up... lots of ideas, tutorials and inspiration.

... Pam


  1. Neat bag Pam and another excuse to rifle through my husband's wardrobe!

  2. cute! Love the repurposing of a pocket!

  3. Love this! I'm going to make too! Will link to you when I'm done!

  4. Fantastic! Congratulations. It´s great.

  5. As a 'bagaholic', I think this is great. Must try it. Perfect for summer when it is hot and your don't want to carry around a heavy bag.

  6. Nice - I like this idea. It looks quick to make as well.

  7. Super cool shoulder bag. Good for travel. We like to use it for travel card or coins. Your tutorials are always so detail and clear for follow. Thanks for sharing

  8. Friends, do not know English very well. How do I translate this page?
    Denize - São Paulo - Brasil

    1. Hi Denize,
      - Go to Google
      - Up the top will be lots of Google applications
      - Choose 'Translate'... you may have to go to 'more' to find it
      - Type in the address of this page in the left hand box and click English http://threadingmyway.blogspot.com/2012/05/pocket-bag.html
      - In the right hand box click Portuguese or the language you would like
      - Click 'Translate'

  9. Too cute, and what a great tut!!

  10. This is a great re-use of a pocket Pam, who couldn't use one of these sweet bags?!

  11. My mom always carries a bag like this. She would love for me to make her one. Thanks for sharing the great tutorial.

  12. love the idea!!! I will be checking out the other bags too!!

  13. And now I'm sitting here wondering why I never thought of doing that! I like this idea! So cute and I'm sure I've got pockets on things that otherwise should be thrown out! :-)

  14. This is really cute - would be a great little present for girls!

  15. This is just too clever:) I love the fact you used a jacket. I am so jealous because my sewing skills are just not there:( Just dropping in to invite you to another week of Freedom Fridays:) So hoping to see you there!
    Sorry I haven't been here for a while. (I haven't made any new doll clothes to link up but I am working on something too cute and will be back soon)

  16. Very cute bag. I love that you repurposed something else to make it. I also love the second bag (the first one you made) no wonder the mother uses it - I would too!

  17. This would make a GREAT REmissionary project, since I have a huge box of old jeans people have given me for making stuff to sell for missions support. Now I gotta bookmark this so I can find it again. Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. NeaT... love it ,,,,, years ago i had a Dress with 2 pockets, when it fell apart, i sewed the 2 pockets to each other and had thus a 3 pocket purse, the 2 original ones and the one in the middle. A friend saw it and begged to have it.

  19. I love to recycle, this is a project I will like to do, thanks for the tutorial. A bright idea!!!

  20. Absolutely wonderful idea! Great to see an Aussie leading the upcycle push!

  21. Great idea Pam....I have several cargo pants with great pockets on them....they better watch out! LOLLL
    ChrisW Designs

  22. An Id window wallet will be a life saver when traveling. Thanks for sharing!


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