So here’s my bag before I got started:
It has a large main pocket, with another one at the front and one at the back. I cut out the main pocket, leaving a couple of centimetres of the lining at the top where it was sewn in. Once this was done, I did the same with the other pockets.
You’ll need to cut out the pockets that you need to replace – don’t throw them away just yet, because you’ll need to use them as templates. I unpicked the old pockets so that I had flat pieces to work with. Lay out your new fabric and place the pieces on top, cutting around them leaving a little excess around each edge. I used this fab Amy Butler fabric from the Hapi collection.
This first piece had a zip pocket in – you don’t have to put one in if you don’t want to though! First, I measured where the zip should go based on the template piece. I marked where it should go with a dressmaking pencil.
Then I used a seam ripper to open it up, and cut diagonally at the either side of the opening to be able to fold back and press to create a rectangular opening.
I stitched the zip in on my machine, and then began attaching a pocket on the back. I made this using a rectangular piece of fabric, which I folded (right sides together) so that the top was a couple of centimetres higher than the bottom. Then the pocket can be made by machine stitching down each side.
To attach the pocket, I stitched the bottom to the bottom zip tape, and then repeated this with the top.
With the other half of the large main pocket, I made a simple side pocket by stitching some bias tape over the top of a rectangle of fabric. Then I stitched this onto the side piece, making two pockets out of it by stitching a line slightly off centre.
My bag also had a long strip of fabric to create the bottom of the main pocket, so I pinned it and then stitched it all together.
Next I made the final two pockets, which were far easier in comparison to the first! I cut out rectangles using the old pockets as templates, pressed about 1cm back on both top edges and stitched down the side edges with right sides together. As with the previous pocket, one side of each pocket was higher than the other to be able to attach them to the bag.
The next step was to pin the pockets to the bag. I started with the smaller pockets because they had to be stitched in before the main one. I used a small running stitch and pink thread to attach the top of the pocket to the original fabric I left attached in the bag.
Once attached, it looked like this:
I repeated this with the other pockets, making sure I didn’t sew right through to the front of the bag. Ta-dah!
If you’re wanting to have a go at this, you might need to adjust some of the steps depending on the size and shape of your bag. I bought 1 metre of fabric for this project and that was plenty – the zip was 7″ long. Although it seems like a tricky project, as long as you use your old pockets as a template you should be fine. It’s a great way of updating a bag that may otherwise be thrown away because of a damaged lining. Yay!