Back pockets! {Nappy Bag Sew Along}


Hi everyone,

It's time to start sewing our back pockets for our Nappy bag sew along!

But first....let's change things up a bit and do a pocket upgrade! I don't know about you, but I love extra pockets. Those big back and front slip pockets on the Nappy bag are crying out for more pockets I've added a couple of slip pockets.

This is for making one in the front slip pocket and one in the back slip pocket.

Optional exterior hidden slip pockets    
11" W x 12" H (28cm x 30cm)              

Cut 2 outer or lining (cottons are best)
Cut 2 medium weight interfacing

Fuse the interfacing to the cotton and then fold in half to form a 11" x 6" (28cm x 15cm) rectangle. Sew around all three edges leaving a turning gap in the bottom.

I usually stitch with a 2.5 stitch length, come to my turning gap and backstitch, then change my stitch length to 5 and carry on. At the end of the turning gap change back to a 2.5 stitch length, backstitch and continue to the end.

After that, trim your corners. I like to do a double trim as demonstrated by Sugar Tart Crafts. Then here's the tip, before you unpick that turning gap stitching, give it a good shot of steam with the iron and a little press. Now you can unpick the basting stitching and turn the pocket through.

The basting stitches will make it easier to find where to turn under the turning gap, and just make it neater overall. Once they're tucked into place, press the pocket well and then top stitch along the folded edge 1/8" (3mm) from the edge.

These can be popped to one side for now until we're ready to apply them.

Right, back pockets, let's get to business!

You'll start off with your back zipped pocket. This will be hidden by the back exterior pocket, but I've found mine to be infinitely useful!

I've linked to my zipped pocket tutorial in the pattern, you can find it here.
Step 14) of the pattern says to measure the teeth of the zip and that's the length to make your box. I usually measure from the other side of the metal end so that it shows through once complete. I like to know where that metal bit is when I'm sewing so that I don't catch my needle on it, and after all, what's a little bit of extra shiny?

As for my Manhattan bag, I'm using faux suede headliner for my Nappy bag, which can be a bit bulky in these welt zipped pockets. Once you've sewn the box and snipped through the lines you marked, it is a good idea to trim a bit of the headliner out of the box. Don't snip too close to the stitching, but you can lose a little of this foam to help it sit nicer.

Likewise, when you pull the zipped pocket through and you've pressed it well, it can help to pop a pin in just to hold it taut before sewing the zip in. I like to just pull it slightly so that a tiny sliver of exterior fabric can be seen on the wrong side and then pin it into place. It doesn't cure 'lining peek' (my own made up phrase), but it certainly can help.
 Once again, for stitching the zip into your back exterior piece, I'd always recommend an adjustable piping/zipper foot. It's so close and accurate that I rarely have to move my zip pull out of the way, and I find, the less fiddling with the zip the less wonky the finished zip.
 Just think of this zipped pocket as practice for the lining zipped pocket, it's ok if it's not perfect, it's ok if it's not quite straight. It's excellent that you had a go and have a functioning zipped pocket! (if it's not functioning let us know in the facebook groups and we'll try to help!)
 Now assuming that you made the extra slip pockets mentioned earlier, pull your zipped pocket up out of the way and pin it on the back.
 Then on the front of the exterior pocket, you can position the new slip pocket, side centred, 5/8" (15mm) from the bottom of the panel and pin into place.
 Stitch along the sides and bottom making sure to do some backstitches at the top sides ready for husbands who thrust things into pockets as though they're bottomless. (Mentioning no names...)
Repeat for the second slip pocket and the front exterior main piece.
 If you want to divide these up, now is the time to do so. I made one with a pen slot and the other I divided in half, perfect for my phone.

Excellent work, we're nearly done with our back pockets!

It's time to tackle the piping. If you don't want to use piping that's ok, but it does look really cute!

If you've bought pre-made piping then I would urge you to cut it slightly longer than your pocket and take it over to the ironing board. Press it with a good amount of steam. These pre-made pipings can shrink so easily as soon as any steam comes into contact and you want that shrinkage to occur before you've done your sewing, not after as it will pull out of shape.
 My seam allowance is 3/8" (1cm), but the tape on my piping is only 1/4" (6mm). So to line it up I draw a line 1/8" (3mm) from the top of my exterior back pocket piece. I used removable pen, but it won't be seen.  Next I added some Glue Pen to the tape on the piping and then stuck it into place lining up the tape with my line. This should mean that the cord of the piping hits in exactly the right place.
 Baste the piping into place and then once you've added your velcro to your lining piece, you're ready to stitch together.

Lay the lining piece face up and the exterior piece face down lining up side edges. Make sure you match the bottom curves as best you can.
Ignore the second pocket piece underneath, I made some mods! 
When you come to sew your lining and exterior together you can follow your line of basting to make sure you have a neat finish and none of your basting shows through the seam. 

Once sewn you can open it out and with it still open press the seam allowances to the outer side. Fold so that wrong sides are facing and press again to get a nice crisp finish at the piping. 
Finish off with two rows of top stitching for extra stability. One is nice, two is better!
 All that's left to do now is attach one short handle to the back pocket and it's ready to baste to the back main panel. To do this stitch up each side of the handle, along the top and back down the other side.
I like to do a cross in a box at the top of my handles to keep them extra secure and I've figured out a way to do this without stopping, in one go. If you'd like to learn how to do this too make sure to check in over the weekend when I'll be posting the tutorial for that.

I look forwards to seeing your pockets taking shape! Don't forget that there's still time to join the sew along, you can use the code SEWALONG15 to get your discount on the pattern, and please do join us in the facebook groups.

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