Hi! Aimee from The Little Bird Designs here today! When making bags or pouches, that turning spot never ever sits smooth, or it gets really stretched out. If I can find a way to hide that turning spot I will, and what better place to hide it than your zipper pocket!
This little hack will work for any bag that has a zipper pocket or you can add one to any design! (Use this tutorial here to add a pocket to any bag!). I’m going to use the Feature Me Everyday Tote for my example, you can find that pattern here if you haven’t gotten it already.
What you will need:
- Interior fabric pieces cut and prepped
- Sewing supplies
- Exterior of your bag finished
To make this tip go as smoothly as possible, you want your pocket piece to be in 2 pieces instead of 1 folded piece. For the Feature Me Everyday Tote, you will cut your piece in half so you end up with 2 that are 10″ x 7″ (25cm x 18cm).
Mark your zipper placement onto one of the pocket pieces and place it on your interior body piece. Stitch it down and install your zipper as well (steps 19 – 20 of the pattern and the first half of step 21).
Now open that zipper up all the way, trust me. Sure you could do it later on BUT doing it now means you won’t forget when your entire bag is assembled. Seam rippers are not invited to this party!
Flip your lining piece right side down so the pocket is on top. Lay the other pocket piece right side down. We want to stitch along the 3 sides, starting and stopping at the arrows. (The Feature Me Everyday Tote uses a 1/2″ (1.3cm) seam allowance for this part so be sure to follow your pattern directions!)
Make sure to leave that bottom edge open for turning!
Assemble the interior of your bag. You’ll be able to see now where that pocket hole is!
Now we can attach the interior of your bag to the finished exterior. Take a peek into that pocket, we’re going to squish the bag through that opening.
I like to squeeze the sides together rather than pull one corner at a time. Your bag can be ironed and pressed later but if you fuss too much forcing it out, you might break your zipper!
Now, give your bag a good press to smooth things out. Top stitch NOW instead of later. I do this in case I missed stitching somewhere and need to turn the bag again.
To close up the pocket, we will pull the whole pocket out of the bag. I find that occasionally, I need to re-press the interfacing because it has come free from the fabric during turning plus it helps lay the fabric flat and smooth for the next step.
Turn the raw edge under 1/4″ (0.6cm) and stitch across the bottom using a 1/8″ (0.3cm) seam allowance.
Stuff that pocket back in where it belongs and flatten it smooth. Give your bag a final press, step back and admire your hidden turning spot!
What do I love the most? It’s hidden away and if I ever need to fix a snap/strap or anything at all, I’m not ruining my bag to fix things!
You can find the pattern for the Feature Me Everyday Tote here.
The pattern for the Wonky Rainbow in the centre is a little free block that you can get here.
Will you be using this as your turning option from now on? Let us know in the comments below!