Introduction: Make a Travel Pocket
This "pocket" is great to take anywhere - even if visiting friends. It is an easy way to keep scarfs, belts and small items tidy and out of the way. In hotels, you can hang your coat over the pocket with the small outer pocket to the back to conceal private papers, etc. when a safe isn't available.
My mother travels a lot and she will find this useful!
Step 1: Assemble the Materials
You will need:
- for the main pocket a piece of fabric approximately 18" by 20".
- a matching zipper 18" long or more
- a co-ordinating piece of fabric about 10" by 7"
- a second zipper for the outside pocket 10" long or more
- co-ordinating thread
- a coat-hanger ( with smooth shoulders is easiest)
I used some fabric and zips I had on hand. You can also use remnants. You will usually find these in a bin at the fabric store. They are the pieces too small to sell at full price so you can often pick them up for less than a dollar.
Step 2: Cut Out the Pocket.
Fold the larger piece of fabric right sides together, to make a rectangle 10" by 18".
Place a plastic coathanger on the folded fabric so that the "shoulders" of the hanger are about 1/2" below the folded edge of the fabric.
Using a fabric pencil draw your cutting lines following the slope of the hanger across the shoulders. When you reach the ends, draw a line down to the bottom of the folded fabric to make a pocket which will be about 9" deep when you are finished. Cut out both front and back together. Cut the two pieces apart at the top by cutting along the fold line.
Press under 1/4" on each long edge at the bottom. Place the long zipper right side up on the table, and position the two pieces of fabric either side, just letting the zipper teeth show. The start of the zipper tape should be even with the fabric on one side. Don't worry if it's too long and sticks out at the other end. Baste or pin. Stitch (using a zipper foot) about 1/8" from each folded edge.
If your zipper is too long, just cut it off even with the fabric after you have stitched it.
(I'm sorry this image is fuzzy - I didn't notice until after I finished the project - but it gives you the idea.
Step 3: Make the Outside Pocket
Cut the contrasting fabric into two pieces; 1 1/2" by 10" and 5 1/2" by 10".
You will be inserting the smaller zipper into this to make the outside pocket.
First, fold each long edge in 1/4" and press. Place the zipper right side up on the table, and position the two pieces of fabric either side, just letting the zipper teeth show. The start of the zipper tape should be even with the fabric on one side. Don't worry if it's too long and sticks out at the end. Baste or pin. Stitch (using a zipper foot) about 1/8" from each folded edge.
Now fold and press the shorter sides under. If your zipper is too long, just cut it off even with the unfolded fabric and fold under.
You will need to mitre the corners. Do this by marking 1/4" in from both sides at the corner. Where the markings intersect, fold the corner in diagonally. Then fold in the sides. This makes the corners neat with no odd pieces poking out.
Step 4: Attach the Outside Pocket
Place the outside pocket you have just made right side up on the right side of one of the main pockets. (Don't forget to unfold the larger piece) I did the placement by eye. Remember to keep your pocket edges at least 1/2" away from the sides to allow for the seams you will be making in the next step.
Pin or baste, then stitich around all four sides 1/4" from the edges.
Step 5: Stitch the Main Pocket
Fold under 1/2" from each top edge (where you cut through the fold) and stitch.
Right sides together, fold the pocket so all the edges match. Then stitch up the sides, and across shoulders. Don't forget to leave the top opening you have just seamed, open. Also, unzip the bottom zipper part-way to make it easier to turn the pocket right side out.
Now turn the pocket right side out. Trim away stray threads and insert the coathanger. You're done!
A simple, practical gift that you can turn out in an hour with things you probably already have on hand. My mother loves hers!