How to Sew a Slip Pocket

A slip pocket is a simple style of pocket that you can add to any bag you are making to create some extra storage. It is the perfect way to stop things like pens and small notepads from getting lost in the depth of your bag and means you can grab them quickly when you need them.  See how I have incorporated it into my Barbour inspired bag in: Make It: Sew a Barbour Inspired Laptop Bag.

Cut the Fabric

  • Decide what size you would like finished pocket to be. For my Barbour Inspired laptop bag I wanted it to be 20 cm x 15 cm
  • Out of your bag lining fabric, cut a rectangle that is twice the size of your finished pocket. Make sure you add 1.5 cm to each edge to account for your seam allowances.
  • Cut a piece of medium weight fusible interfacing that is the same size as your finished pocket plus the seam allowance.
Sew a slip pocket - Pattern Pieces
A diagram to show the size of fabric required to make the slip pocket
  • For my Barbour inspired bag I cut a 23 cm x 33 cm rectangle out of the lining fabric and a 23 cm x 18 cm rectangle from the interfacing.

Construct the Slip Pocket

  • Apply the interfacing to the wrong side of half of the cut pocket piece
  • Fold the pocket in half, right sides together (RST). Sew around the open edges with a 1.5 cm SA, leaving a gap of about 3 inches at the bottom edge for turning. Trim the SA.
  • Before turning the pocket out, press back the seam allowances over the gap. This will make it easier to seal the gap neatly.
  • Clip the corners close to the stitching, but not through the stitching. This will reduce the bulk and help to get sharp corners. As you can see I missed this step out on my pocket so the corners are a bit rounded.
  • Turn out the pocket through the gap and press. Check that the corners are looking sharp and the seam is turned in at the gap.

    How to sew a slip pocket - turn out through the gap
    Turn out the pocket through the gap.

How to sew a slip pocket - turn out through the gap

  • Topstitch across the edge of your pocket which has the gap to seal it.  Sew about 6 mm from the fold.  I tried to replicate the effect of a twin needle by sewing a second row of stitches parallel to the first.This will become the top edge of your pocket.
How to sew a slip pocket - Topstitch
Top stitch across the edge of your pocket where the gap is to seal it

Add the Pocket to the Bags Lining

  • Place the pocket where you want it on your lining and pin to secure.
    Sew a slip pocket - pin pocket to bag
    Pin the pocket in place on your lining
    • Topstitch the pocket in place by sewing around the two sides and the bottom edge. To help me with this process I lined the edge of the fabric up with the central marker on my machine foot and the switched my needle position to the left. This allowed me to sew neatly and close to the edge.
    • Back stitch in the top two corners. This is important as it’s the area that will receive the most wear. I did this by setting my machine to a large zig zag stitch and setting my stitch length to 0. This meant that I got a series of zigzag stitches laying on top of each other.
    • If you are making a slip pocket that has different sections, mark a line to make the pockets the size you want. Sew over the marking from top to bottom with a straight line of stitches. I marked a compartment that was 4 cm wide so I could store pens. I have highlighted the row of stitches below as it was not very visible in the original photo.

    How to sew a slip pocket

    If you are making a slip pocket that has different sections, mark a line to make the pockets the size you want and then sew a straight line of stitches from top to bottom.