Make Customized Pockets for Your Essentials

comments (5) September 30th, 2008     

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CalPatch cal patch, contributor
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The pockets pleat and elastic keep my wallet safe and secure.
These are some of the things I grab repeatedly on a daily basis.
Measure the width and length of each object for which you are making a pocket.
The pockets pleat and elastic keep my wallet safe and secure.

The pocket's pleat and elastic keep my wallet safe and secure.

Photo: Cal Patch

Call me obsessed. I have spent far too many minutes of my life fishing around for the one elusive object that I need at that moment, which seems to defy being found at the bottom of my bag. Whether it's late at night on my Brooklyn doorstep, or with the less-than-patient bus driver staring me down as I search for my MetroCard, my frustration increases with every passing second. Every time this all-too-common scenario plays out, I promise myself that I'll make a tote that houses each of my daily essentials in its own custom pocket, and I'll never go fishing again!

I've attempted this before, with not entirely successful results. I made a nice, extradeep pocket for my wallet but forgot to make it wide enough for my hand to fit in. I made the perfect little lip gloss pocket, but the fit was so close, it worked like a push-up Popsicle. And since I had cleverly placed it near the top of my bag (for easy access), bye-bye lip gloss ... I learned a lot from that first, er, prototype. Now you can benefit from my trials.

1. Assess your items. Empty out your purse and figure out which ones warrant their own pocket (like your phone or wallet) and which can be grouped together (like, say, pens and crochet hooks). Make a list of the pockets you'll need.

These are some of the things I grab repeatedly from my bag on a daily basis.

2. Measure each object.

Measure the width and length of each item for which you are making a pocket.

For the width, be sure to measure the depth as well as the actual width by wrapping a tape measure fully around three sides. Add at least 1/2 inch to 1 inch extra for ease, depending on the size of the item. Also consider the slipperiness and variability of your possessions; my phone is slippery and always the same size, so it can fit pretty snugly in the pocket and still be accessed easily. My wallet, on the other hand, expands and contracts, and the leather is a little stickier, so I'm adding some extra space to this pocket. For all pockets, add 1 inch to the width for the seam allowance (1/2 inch each side) and 1-1/2 inches to the length (1 inch for the hem at top and a 1/2-inch seam allowance at the bottom). Write down the measurements you need for every pocket, and cut them out.

Be sure to measure the depth of nonflat items.


Draw the dimensions of each pocket then cut.

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posted in: handbag, tote, pockets

Comments (5)

Ravyn writes: I love this idea and will use it for some other items as well as my handbag. this idea can be used to make things like a Bingo Bag or diaper bag or to hold my crafting supplies. great job on the demo.

Posted: 11:16 am on January 23rd
LooseButtons writes: Thank you for submitting this idea. I was considering putting pockets "easy" pockets where special things you need to reach in a hurry will and can be found. I look forward to adding this to my bags of tricks. Check my blog out. Google: Thank you!
Posted: 2:02 pm on October 13th
soggs74 writes: I love this! If you make the pockets and attach them to a separate piece of fabric, you can switch them from one bag to another...

Posted: 7:12 am on October 4th
CalPatch writes: thanks! can't wait to see yours... post it in the gallery when you're finished!
Posted: 2:31 pm on October 3rd
ifthebirdsknew writes: Wow that's your fabric! I am gonna get cracking on that pocket RIGHT NOW! do you think you might wanna do a sling tutorial?
Posted: 7:57 am on October 2nd
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