Saturday, April 24, 2010

This is how I do it - Bellows pocket

I just found out the expandable pockets I usually refer to are actually called Bellows pocket.

'A bellows pocket is patch pocket with an inset box pleat to allow the pocket to expand when filled. Bellows pockets are typical of cargo pants, safari jackets, and other utilitarian garments.'

 Searches on the net resulted in a couple of pages that provided tutorials on how to go about making these pockets. You can see them here and here

Thought I'd show my version and how I go about making them..
To me, making pockets seems mostly like just applying different folding techniques, and you might find ironning at every other stages helpful.

The finish completed bellows pocket in my Odekake bag.
First, cut your fabric depending on the number of pockets you were making. Here, I'm making two pockets, so I doubled my usual 18cm x 12cm plus 1cm seam allowance all around. You could add light iron-on fusible interface (learn more about fusible interface here)  to give the pockets a sturdier shape. However, I didn't fuse here *gulp* 
Next, turn and fold, I double fold the top, and fold once for the sides and bottom. You could serge all around to avoid fray, as you can see I don't serge *roll eyes*  
Sew the top part - I double stitch the top.
Next, fold the fabric in half and press, open and fold about 0.5cm on each sides of the centre line. Adjust the size depending on how deep you want your pockets to expand. (Note: I don't really take a ruler and measure, I just use common sense *yikes*)    
Do the same for the sides as well, now you have 4 folded edges creating 2 pockets. Sew along those edges, you will now have 4 crisp edges.  
If you need to add labels or any other embellishments, do them now. Next, position the pocket and pin all around.
Sew the centre line creating partition to the 2 pockets.
Sew the sides next and then the bottom part. And now you have a nice expandable pockets for your bag.
This is how my pocket sides look like.
Please go easy on me as I'm a newbie.. I would really love to hear your point of view, tips and suggestions on making bellows pockets in particular.
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Azaidris said...

thank you so much for sharing this tip with your readers. My cubaan buat bag stop sampai kat outer fabric je. Sangkut coz tak de idea cmne nak buat pocket yg boleh expand or as u bgtahu kat sini-bellow pockets.

Lg satu sangkut kat macamana nk sambung lining dgn outer fabric kat bhgn bag opening tu.. Maybe you can do a tutorial on that pulak ke *wink*

Can now sambung my bag project & wait for your next tutorial to complete it.


love fabrics said...

Sue, im a beginner in bag sewing..mna nk cari tutorial utk jht zip bag ye? uhh confius tul! klau Sue tau la...:)

Zura said...

now i know the name is bellow pocket! so far buat bag cuma guna patched pocket je, very flat and can't fill up much. thanks sue, very clear tute, i'm gonna try this pocket style soon! :)

Malaysia said...

you finally use the lingerie fabric, he..

My Botang said...

Ladies - hope to see your version of the bellows pocket soon :D Thx for your kind words!!

Ju from love fabrics - I have attaching zip tutorial as well, you can find it under tutorial under blog archive on the right hand column.

Malaysia - :D you noticed!! have been receiving lots of orders using that faby now that it's out of the closet.. not sure if i have enough..

Deanna said...

Great! I needed some help, you did a nice job giving directions!

MyBotanG said...

Deanna - Thanks for stopping over.. Glad to know the tutorial was helpful.. :D


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