Kids love hidden things and secrets. So it was no surprise that my daughter went crazy over her new cinch drawstring bag with a hidden pocket. These are great little bags to take to the pool or beach. In the pocket you can keep sunglasses, sunblock or little snacks. This size is for about a 2-4 year old. You can adjust the size to make one larger.
I went to my cousin’s house this Memorial Day weekend and she blows my sewing skills out of the water. This is actually her brainchild not mine.
3 fat quarters – I used Riley Blake Verona Collection:
Damask Gray, Leaves Rouge, and Dots Teal
sewing machine/coordinating thread
rotary cutter and mat
Casing fabric: 14” x 4”
Main/Middle Fabric: 14” x 8.5” and 14” x 2.5”
Accent fabric: 14” x 3” and 14” x 4”
Liner fabric: 10.5” x 14”
Cotton Cording 43” (2 of them)
**Please note we will be using a combination of 1/2” and 1/4” seam allowances**
1. Sew bottom accent piece along the 14” side to the main piece with right sides together, iron seams open (in picture below it is the middle and bottom piece). Repeat for back of bag pieces.
2. Take drawstring casing pieces and fold in short edged sides in 1/4” and another 1/4” and sew down, repeat for back piece.
3. Now take both casing pieces and fold them in half long ways wrong sides together. Set aside.
4. Now to insert the hidden zippered pocket take the pocket pieces and apply fusible interfacing to both pieces.
5. Measure up 2 3/4” up from the bottom of the main piece and and mark a large rectangle 1/2” wide by 12” long. In the very center of this rectangle draw a line from end to end, stopping just 1/4” from each end and mark a little “V”. See picture.
6. Sew around this outer rectangle onto the front of your main panel.
8. Next for the awkward part, push this entire pocket liner piece through the rectangular hole to the wrong side and iron really well so that it lays flat on the other side.
9. It looks like you must be doing it wrong but just focus on ironing each side and it will work out and look nice and crisp like the pic below
10. Once it’s all ironed and crisp looking, take your zipper and line it up under the opening and pin it in place making sure it’s centered nicely and sew as close to the edge of the fabric as possible.
11. Now flip over the main piece and take the other pocket liner piece and pin them together, right sides facing but make sure to pin only the pocket pieces, do not pin the pocket pieces to the main piece!
12. Next, take your zipper cover piece and fold right sides together and sew 1/4” along the long edge. Turn right side out and place seam to the center back and iron.
13. Now line up the bottom of this zipper cover with the seam of the main and accent piece and sew a line across the very top of this cover hiding the zipper and creating the “secret” pocket. Sneaky, sneaky .
14. Phew, that was the toughest part! The remainder of the bag is a breeze, I promise. Next grab your liner pieces and sew right sides together along the 2 sides and bottom pieces, leaving a 3” hole for turning using 1/2” seam allowance. Repeat with the main bag pieces, except you don’t need to leave a 3 in hole.
13. Now take the cord casing pieces we set aside in step 3 and line up the raw edges of the casing with the raw edges of the main bag and baste it in place, sewing close to the edge. Turn bag inside out.
14. Take liner piece and turn right side out and stick it inside the main bag piece with right sides together, lining up all the raw edges along the top and sew around edge using a 1/2” seam allowance.
15. Pull liner piece up out of the bag and turn bag right side out by pulling bag through the 3 in hole. Now you should have a bag that is lined.
16. Cut 2 cord pieces 43 inches long and thread one end through the right side until you end up back where you started and thread the second cord through the other side the same way. You should have 2 strands coming out of both sides.
17. Seam rip the bottom side seam of the bag )on both sides) with enough room to place the cording into the bag. Turn the bag inside out and sew the side seams closed with the cording in it. Turn it right side out and then sew you opening closed.
If you want to skip the hidden pocket to make it easier here is a boy cinch backpack embellished with the boy’s name instead. This one is made from the Riley Blake Stars & Stripes Collection: Floral Cream, Plaid Cream, Solid Navy
Disclosure: Riley Blake sent me the fabric to use for this project.