How to Make a Storage Bag With Pockets is the 3rd in a series of posts I’m writing about easy storage ideas you can make yourself.
All of these projects I have made using fabric I had already, so as well as being useful, they didn’t cost anything to make and my fabric pile has gone down a little bit!
If you haven’t already, you might like to take a look at the 2 earlier posts in this series.
I have been using the new storage I’ve made to house new toys the boys got for Christmas. This storage bag with pockets I made specifically for Boy 2’s electronics kit.
To make the storage bag, I used my standard shopping bag tutorial. The bag is lined because I wanted to add 2 pockets on the inside. One is a standard pocket, for his instruction booklet, and the other is an elasticated number for all his bits of wire.
You can change up the size and pockets, inside or outside, depending on what your bag will be storing!
How to Make a Storage Bag With Pockets
You will need: fabric for outer, lining, pockets and handles, interfacing (optional), elastic, safety pin, usual sewing supplies.
1. If you are making the storage bag for something in particular, be guided by its size. Make sure you allow enough for the sides and bottom of the bag as well. Remember it’s much easier to make something smaller than to make it bigger!
From your main fabric, cut either a long rectangle, which will be folded in half widthways with the fold at the bottom, or cut 2 rectangles and sew them together. You will need to cut 2 rectangles if you are using fabric with a directional print. Allow enough for seams and hemming at the top.
Do the same with your lining. I made my lining a couple of cm shorter so that I could hem the top by folding the outer over to make it less fiddly!
3. Make the boxed corners. To do this, you will need to squash each corner flat so that the side and bottom seams are together. Measure up from the bottom corner (I measured 5 cm, but it will depend on the depth of the thing you are making the bag for) and pin. Sew at right angles to the seam. Cut the corner off. If you would like more detailed instructions for how to do this, you’ll find this tutorial useful. Put the outer to one side.
4. Grab your lining rectangle and decide where you want to put the pockets and what kind you need them to be.
Decide how large you need the pocket to be. Cut a piece of fabric twice the size and fold it in half OR cut 2 rectangles of fabric the size you need for the pocket. With the right sides together, sew the top and side seams. Trim the seams and turn it out. Tuck the raw edges inside and pin.
An elasticated pocket will have less width but more depth.
With the right sides together, sew around the sides and the bottom. Trim the seams and turn out.
Fold the top of the outer rectangle over and tuck the raw edge underneath. Pin then sew. Along the bottom, sew 2 rows of long stitches. Knot the threads at one end and pull the other ends to gather. Tie the threads together. Cut a piece of elastic about half the width of the pocket. Using the safety pin, thread it through the casing. Pin the elastic at each end. Position the pocket on the right side of the lining and pin in place. Sew around the sides and the bottom. When sewing over the casing, tuck the ends of the elastic underneath before sewing over them.
5. Sew the sides of the lining together.
7. Pop the lining inside the outer so that the wrong sides are together. Push the corners of the lining into the corners of the outer. You might like to pin them to hold them while you sort out the top.
9. To make the handles, cut 2 pieces of fabric 15 cm x 9 cm. If you need longer handles, then cut the rectangles longer.
If you have some fusible interfacing, it will make the handles firmer, especially if you are using a lightweight cotton, but it doesn’t matter too much if you don’t. If you are using interfacing, cut 2 rectangles the same size as the handle pieces and fuse to the wrong side.
10. Take one of the rectangles and fold it in half lengthways. Open it out, then fold the raw edges in towards the middle. Fold in half again and pin. Sew along the open edges. I like to sew along the folded edge to so that the handles look symmetrical.
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