I've got ruffles on the brain, but a messenger bag in the making. I'm eager to begin posting tutes, but I really need to finish said messenger bag. So, in order to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, I've decided that my first tute will be the cell pocket I added to the outside of the messenger bag. This was originally meant to be a simple patch pocket designed to hold an android-sized cell phone. However, as often happens with my projects, a simple patch pocket wouldn't be enough to satisfy me! First, I decided to add a magnetic clasp to hold the opening closed. (One does not want one's cell to fall of one's pocket, right?) But then I thought a flap would be much more secure, and there would be no need to add a last minute zipper! I hope you enjoy this little tute, and please give me some feedback!
Making a pattern, well sorta. . .
This pic shows how I planned the dimensions of this pocket. I wanted the end product to be 4" across and 5" deep. So I cut a piece of fabric (green corduroy, to be specific!) 11" x 5". This gives me a 1/2" seam allowance.
Adding something to reinforce the clasp. . .
I folded the 11" x 5" piece in half, wrong sides together and pressed the fold (1). This crease/fold will be the top of my pocket. Then, I open the fabric and place it wrong side up (2). I used my pinking shears to cut two squares of light-weight fusible interfacing (3). Then, I fused the interfacing, one piece on top of the other, centered and next to the fold (4). The magnetic clasp needs to be attached to reinforced fabric so it will not tear or damage the corduroy. The sizes of the squares just need to be larger than the magnetic clasp. I make a large and small size and use the pinking shears so the edges of the interfacing are not so visible on the right side of the fabric.
Prepping the area to add the clasp. . .
Rather than getting out my ruler, I usually fold the fabric in half and press a short crease in order to find the center (A). I got out my gel pen (cause that was what was handy!) and drew a line, marking the center and the place I want to put my clasp (B). I used my seam ripper to poke some holes on either side of the mark (C). If my seam ripper wasn't so dull, I would rip out a tiny slit in the fabric. But, I work with what I have and end up using the tiny scissors from a grooming kit to make the slits (D). The size of the slits needs to be slightly smaller than the prongs on the back of the clasp. [Thinking ahead, I know I want to top-stitch all the edges of this pocket. With that in mind, I want to position the clasp far enough away from the fold so I can run my presser foot right by the clasp without screwing up my nice straight line of top-stitching.]
Adding the clasp. . .
Now here is where you get to make a design decision. Originally, I was going to attach the female side of the clasp to the bag itself because that side is heavier, and the bag is made of a sturdier fabric (duck canvas, fyi.). So, these instructions show me adding the male side of the clasp to the pocket. It's up to you to decide whether the pocket or the flap gets the male side. [But you should think about it a minute and make that decision now.] I took the prongs of the clasp and pushed them through the slits I cut (1 & 2). I slipped the little metal plate thingy (that a tech term!) over the prongs and bent the prongs with needle nose pliers (3 & 4). I have always bent the prongs inward, but I saw them bent outwards in another tute somewhere so that's how I showed it done here. Some people add some glue between the metal plate thingy and fabric, I don't.
Pin and stitch. . .
Yay! One side of the clasp is attached (a)! Then, I folded the fabric in half, right sides together, and pinned it (b). Just because I always forget to leave an opening to turn the pocket, I double my pins on either side of the opening to give me a strong visual reminder. Using 1/2" seam allowance, I stitched along all the edges, leaving a smallish opening (c & d).
Clip, turn, press, and top-stitch. . .
If I remember to leave the opening, I often forget to trim the corners so they don't look all wonky and bulky when I turn it right side out. So, don't you forget to trim the corners (1)! I have a little wooden dowel with a tapered end that I used to poke out my corners (2). I know there are special turning tools made for this purpose, but I'm pretty cheap and the dowel came from a bag of batting I had. After I got it reasonably turned, I pressed it nice and flat (3) and ran a top-stitch along the edge (4). The clasp was positioned far enough from the edge so as not to interfere with my presser foot as I stitched near it. Pocket is done! Phew!
Making a flap pattern. . .
To make the flap I free-handed a mock one with a scrap piece of fusible interfacing (A). I traced it twice onto a page in my handy-dandy . . . notebook!!! (If you don't have young kids, you won't get that reference to Blue's Clues!) I left a small gap between the traced shaped because I knew I would need a little extra room to put a nice strong stitch across the top of the pocket when I attached it to the bag (B). I drew a 1/2" seam allowance around the sides and cut it out (C). With my handy gel pen, I traced the pattern shape onto my corduroy (D) and cut it out.
Adding the other half of the clasp. . .
To find the center (also the top edge of the flap) I folded the fabric in half, wrong sides together, and pressed a real good crease in it (1 & 2). I fused on the original piece of interfacing I used to make the pattern (3) and added two more squares of interfacing to support the other side of the clasp. Then, following the same instructions I used for the pocket's clasp, I added the other side of the clasp (4).
Pin, clip, press, and top-stitch again. . .
You're a pro by now, right? I folded it in half, right sides together, and pinned (a). Don't forget to leave an opening for turning! You can cut out little triangles along the curved edge, or just use pinking shears like I did (b) to make it nice and purdy when it's turned. I pressed (c) and top-stitched the edges (d). Flap is done!
Pin and stitch and pin and stitch. . .
I pinned the flap to my bag (1) and made a nice sturdy stitch along the top (2). Then, making sure the clasps were lined up properly, I pinned on the pocket (3) and stitched it to the bag (4). That's it!
The End. . . ;-)
Like I said, I made the pocket to fit an android-sized smart phone. However, my DH is working nights and is currently sleeping where the smart phone is located. So, here is my much smaller and less cool phone I am using as a stand-in (A & B). I'll be sure to post pics of the completed messenger bag. Thanks for checking out my blog! I appreciate any comments or suggestions!