Nancy Zieman How to Sew a Smart Zippered Pocket that Converts to a Sleeve for Sliding Over Luggage Handle



Here’s one of my favorite bag techniques, the “Smart Pocket!”

Smart Pocket

As a Frequent Flyer, I find it a challenge to gracefully travel with my assortment of bags, totes, or luggage—or a combination thereof! A while back, I admired how a flight attendant neatly stacked her suitcase, tote, and handbag together. Never mind that she had three pieces of carry-on luggage, not the normal two!

What impressed me the most was that her handbag didn’t fall from the top of her suitcase. Upon studying her stack of bags more carefully— this wasn’t easy to do without being obviously nosey—I saw out of the corner of my eye that a pocket on the back of the bag converted to a flap, which fit over the suitcase handle. Genius! We can create that—the Smart Pocket.



Nancy Zieman How to Sew a Smart Zippered Pocket that Converts to a Sleeve for Sliding Over Luggage Handle







The Trace ‘n Create Bag Template—Florida Tote Collection from Clover served as the perfect palette for this first class upgrade. Here are the steps to create your Smart Pocket:

1.         Cut out the fabric pieces as listed on the Trace ‘n Create Bag Template—Florida Tote Collection instructions. Before stitching the pocket and pocket lining along the lower edge, trim off 1″. Then, stitch the lower seam; turn the pocket right side out.

2.         Select a 12″ zipper (or shorten a longer zipper to 12″) and also cut two lengths of grosgrain ribbon the same size. Overlap the ribbon on both sides of the zipper; edgestitch.

3.         Attach double-sided basting tape to the wrong side of one long edge of the trimmed zipper.

4.         Overlap the trim on the right side of the pocket. (The second photo shows how the zipper teeth will extend below the finished pocket.) Edgestitch the top of the trimmed zipper to the pocket.

5.         Position the pocket on the tote as detailed in the instructions. Edgestitch the lower portion of the trimmed zipper to the tote.

6.         Finish the tote as detailed in the instructions.

When you carry the tote, keep the zipper closed. When traveling, unzip the zipper and slip the tote over the handle of your suitcase—how smart. What a terrific upgrade! I only wish it were that easy to get a real first-class upgrade.


Nancy Zieman How to Sew a Smart Zippered Pocket that Converts to a Sleeve for Sliding Over Luggage Handle





Nancy Zieman How to Sew a Smart Zippered Pocket that Converts to a Sleeve for Sliding Over Luggage Handle







Bye for now,

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