Tutorial: Add front pockets to Cate

Jenny Greene was kind enough to let me post her tutorial here on the Swoon blog! It was originally posted here and you can find her bags for sale here. Thanks Jenny!!


First things first, do you have the Cate pattern from Swoon Patterns?  If not, head over here to buy it!  This tutorial is adding on to the Cate pattern, so you will need that first!  Also, join in the Swoon Patterns Group on Facebook to join in with all the sew-a-longs, swaps, and to get answers to any questions you might have! It’s an awesome group of ladies always willing to help out!

This is actually the first time I have made Cate, and I am in LOVE!  I see many more of these in my future!  This particular bag I made for a bag swap hosted in the Swoon Patterns Facebook group.  The challenge was to make a bag all about you…the first thing all about me, I absolutely have to have pockets on the outside of my bag for my phone and keys!  So I brainstormed this little idea up and now I’m sharing it with all of you. Enjoy 🙂

Materials needed (in addition to what is already listed in the pattern):
• 1/2 yard contrasting pocket lining fabric (or two fat quarters if you want them different)
• 1/2 yard mid-weight fusible interfacing (I used Pellon Shape-flex SF101)
• Fat Quarter Fusible Fleece
• About 20″ of piping

First, print your pattern pieces, cut them out, and tape together as instructed in the pattern.  Cut out all fabric pieces as indicated in the pattern with the exception of the exterior pieces.  Follow the directions below for the exterior instructions. Now, you’ll need to create one extra pattern piece.

Trace around the exterior main panel piece.  I traced mine onto freezer paper.  You could also just print out another set of these two pieces, and tape them together.

Next, on the new pattern piece you are creating, measure in 2 inches from the right (fold) side and make a mark and measure 7.5 inches up from the bottom along the left side and make a mark.  Then line up something round with those marks and trace around it.  I used a large dinner plate.

Cut the new piece out, cutting on the curve that you just created.  I have listed on the image below what you will need to cut from each piece.

Below, you can see all fabric pieces cut out.  They are labeled.

Below you can see all of the interfacing/fusible fleece pieces that are needed. Fuse all of the interfacing and fleece to the corresponding fabric pieces per the manufacturers instructions.

Place the exterior front panel right side up in front of you.  Pin the piping along the curves matching the raw edges.  Sew the piping in place using your zipper foot and stitching as close to the piping as possible.

Next, place the curved lining pieces over the front exterior panel matching the raw edges.  Pin along the curves only.  The piping is sandwiched in between the two layers.  Flip over and sew along the same stitching lines from attaching the piping.  Trim the seam allowance.

Flip the pocket lining fabric to the back along the curve.  Be sure to iron this part so it is nice an smooth.  Topstitch 1/8″ away from the piping.

You should now have a piece that looks like this:

The back of the front panel looks like this right now:

On to this, you will place your pocket lining pieces that do not have the curves cut out.  Right sides should be facing each other.  Line up the bottom, sides, and the raw edges that run down the center.  Pin along the center edges.

Make sure you are only pinning the pocket lining pieces together.

Sew the pocket lining pieces together using a 1/4″ seam allowance along the center edges.

Flip the whole panel over, and this is what you have:

Now, lift up your front exterior panel.  Trim the pocket lining pieces 2 1/4″ up from the bottom.  DO NOT CUT THE FRONT EXTERIOR PANEL!

Sew along the bottom of the pocket lining pieces using a 1/4″ seam.  You are not sewing through the front exterior panel, only sewing together the bottoms of the two pocket lining pieces. This is the view from the back.

Baste along the top center and down the sides using a 1/4″ seam to hold everything in place.

Yay!!  Now head back over to your Cate pattern and follow the rest of the assembly instructions 🙂

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