Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cargo Pocket Bag

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My daughter, Alexis and I saw this great tutorial here on noodleheads and I loved the idea. Since we have 3 boys who love cargo pants, we had plenty of supplies.

We tried it this weekend, without looking back at the tutorial. Our bags didn't turn out quite like hers, but we like them a lot. This bag will be a birthday gift for one of Lexi's friends. I will post Lexi's bag tomorrow.

Since we didn't bother to look back at the tutorial, we kind of made ours up as we went along, they really weren't difficult. Lexi (age 11) did most of her own sewing.

You will need to get your pants ready by cutting them open on the inseam. This will open up the legs so you can decide where it will be best to cut the pieces for your bag.

I cut the piece for the messenger bag "flap" with the cargo pocket first. I just cut it out in as large of a rectangle as possible, I figured that I would cut it out completely once I knew how big of a bag I could make.

Next, I cut out rectangles for the front and back of my bag. After I had the rough shapes cut out, I pressed them as well as I could before cutting the pieces. You will want the front and back pieces of your bag to match. Since I was using kids' pants my bag isn't as big as I would like. If only my husband liked cargo pants...then I could have a large bag.

I didn't cut out the front pocket section until after I sewed the basic bag together.

The next step is to sew the basic bag together. I used 1/4" seam allowances. With the right sides of your pieces together, sew down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side.

You will need to "box the corners" of your bag. I don't know if that is actually a sewing term or not, I have just always said it. This is hard to explain, but hopefully you can figure it out. Match the bottom seam together with the side seam, it will form a triangle, and then sew across it.

This step allows you to have a bottom for your bag. If you skip it, you will have more of a pouch, which would work, but is not as finished looking. Do this to both sides of the bottom.

Turn your bag right side out.

Press all seams open, and press the corners and edges of the bottom of the bag.

Now we get to do the "fun" stuff. Using the size of your bag as a guide, you need to cut out a flap with the cargo pocket centered on it. I rounded the corners and cut it out with the pocket at the bottom of the flap. Since the flap will actually be sewn onto the back of the bag and go up and over the bag, I knew that I didn't want my pocket to end up on the top of my bag.

Cut a piece of cute fabric the same shape as the "flap". This will line your pocket flap. You will need some type of bias tape to sew these pieces together.

Purchased bias tape would give you a nice edge, but there aren't as many options as making your own. I chose to use 1" wide grosgrain ribbon to coordinate with the strap on my bag. The corners don't look as good as if I had used bias tape, but I do like the texture of the ribbon.

With wrong sides together, sew the bias tape around the side, bottom and side edges of the pocket flap.

This is what the inside of the flap looks like with the lining fabric sewn in. Press your flap well.

The next step is to sew the flap onto the back section of the bag. Just put right sides together and sew straight.

Our bag was starting to take shape. You could skip this next step if you don't want to line your bag, but I like the way it finishes everything off.

You will make another bag to go inside. This one will be "inside out" so the finished edge is showing. Cut a large rectangle approximately double the size of your bag. You could cut two and sew them together just like the khaki fabric, but I chose to just cut it twice as long and fold it up. It saved a step.

Then sew up both sides of the lining bag.

Box your corners just like before.

Don't turn your lining right side out. Just slip it inside your khaki bag.

Once the lining is inside, you will need to attach your strap. I forgot to take pictures of this part. I made a tube of fabric to match my lining, and sewed the same grosgrain ribbon down the middle of it for my strap.

Pin ends of the strap on both sides of the bag, slip them between the bag and the lining.

Fold the edges of the bag and the lining in 1/4" inch and sew around the top edge of the bag. I sewed all around the bag with my machine, but missed a little section of the lining on the back, so I went back and sewed the section where the flap meets the bag by hand. I think it worked better.

Your bag should be finished. Enjoy.

I would love to see any bag that you might decide to make.

I am linking to: 


  1. That is SO DANG CUTE!! I love it, especially the fabric you used on the lining! Where did you get the lining fabric? Love it (in a singing voice!!)

  2. So Cute!! I love it. I am going to have to make one for Megan.

  3. Wow! this is amazing! Wished my son wore cargo pants....
    Lucky friend!

  4. Thanks for entering my giveaway and following.. 100 follower!!! I'm doing the happy dance...

    Since you were my 100 follower I have a surprise for you. Just email me your address and I'll send it when I send out my giveaway. It's nothing big, but I always said if i ever get to 100 followers. The person that was 100 would get a little something. i will announce it next Thursday as well. email

    Love the purse. Your daughter can sew better than me. I can't sew a thing. My mom does, but I just never "got it" I made a "C" in home ec.LOL

  5. Too cute... oh, how I wish I could sew.