Skip to main content

craft & maker

Build Your Own Tote Bag: Custom Exteriors

Lesson 5 of 7

Cargo Pocket with Tuck Catch

Betz White

Build Your Own Tote Bag: Custom Exteriors

Betz White

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

5. Cargo Pocket with Tuck Catch

Lesson Info

Cargo Pocket with Tuck Catch

Okay, now we're ready to do our first exterior pocket and we're going to start with this cargo pocket and it has pleats on the front and flap and then it has a tough catch or also called a thumb catch so it's a pretty cool closure you press a little button and uh slide it out of the ring and then pop it back in there so let's get started and we've got a flap already sewn and this was constructed similarly to the flap that we did for the twist lock on the smaller bag so we've got feasible fleece inside on the accent fabric and then in the lining I have um just a regular cotton interfacing and then we top stitch that and turn tio right side out through this opening so that's the beginning of our flap and then we're going to get out the tuck catch component way have four pieces here so this is the part that goes on the flap so it's the button mechanism and then these little prongs that hold it on and then these two pieces will actually be on the pocket itself it's the little ring that the...

button slides through with prongs and then this little washer piece that goes on the back so I'll put these two aside for now and we're gonna mark thie center of our flap so I'll full that to find the center and put a mark penn actually I'll mark with the marker cause we're gonna need to move that all right now this catch has um two layers to it and that slides over the edge of the flap so you want to make sure that we have that centered and then slide all the way up to the edge and then we're gonna take our marker and mark in this holes and then that's going to be where these prongs poke through so I'm gonna take this off and you know use the seam roberta get that little hole started and then all that kind of open it up a little bigger ok then I'll put some free for a check on there and I don't just keep those ends from brain okay? We'll slide this back on and line up the holes and now this is got sort of the washer built in you can see here on the back so this might take a little bit of financial ng t find the hole on the other side so you see, I've got that one through but this one is not finding it spot here so I'm gonna bend in that and a little bit ok, so those who go through I think I actually managed to poke a second hole here so I'm going to just get a little frayed check in from the side and then I'm gonna ben this prongs in towards the center let me give it one more little push from the other side just to make sure it's nice and all right so now we have half the component installed so they have the inner flap ok, now we're going to make the completed cargo pocket so I have a cotton linen canvas for the exterior and I've got that backed with interfacing and then extra little reinforcement area for the hardware and then I have another piece of um lining fabric in both these measure eight by ten and a half inches so we need to figure out how far down to put the other component and we want to do that first so that once we said the pocket together you don't see the components from the inside the washer and the prongs and everything will be between the layers. So first we'll find the center point and make a little mark and I've got this place about three inches down and see the center of our component is about three inches down not counting the seam allowance sums gonna put a little dot there for our approximate center and then the components we need are the I don't know what you call this the little the little loop or ring that the button slides through and then this little washer for the back so we will be placed actually from the other side so I'm going to mark that little center spot here and just going to double check because you know you really want to make sure that your components lineup when you're all done here so um if the if the top of this pocket was sewn we'd lose this quarter of an inch and then this flap is sewn right above the pocket so we'll give that a little space and then this is gonna slide right into here like that so I'm just gonna hold this here and pop this out and yes it's actually a tiny bit higher than way where I had marked so I'm just gonna leave this here I'm kind of reach under and mark where those two frogs are I want to show you a little lesson I learned a mistake um when I made this bag I use the blue end of this marker and you can see that the marks are still there because the blue end disappears with water and I made those marks and then I put the free check on it and it basically like sealed those marks there so even though I put water on it they didn't disappear so use the purple so if you're going to use for a check or you know make sure that you get rid of the marks before you he's free check is basically just kind of sealed them there okay so we're still on our little reinforcement we're going to cut two little slots and then took these through. Looks like they need to open them up a tiny bit okay and then I'll put free check on here because this purple marker is going to magically disappear with air in time all right there we go. All right then we'll take our washer piece and put that on there and then these get bent towards the center all right, that feels pretty secure. Okay, now we can can construct the rest of our pocket so we'll put thes right sides together the lining in the outer peace and then I'm gonna mark spot down here at the bottom give it a couple inches for turning so well so all the way around except for this little bottom space so we can turn the pocket right played out so well so that with the quarter inch steam alone's standing in the back stitch at these beginning and ending points then you can leave the needle down in the corner and turn the pocket and then keeps going up the other side okay so now well from these corners so when we turn it right side out we'll have a nice sharp corners and then you can use a chopstick or some other type of turning tooled uh work out those corners ok, now we need to give this a good press mary and then we have this seem allowance from from our opening that we just need to kind of work in across the bottom so just tuck that in so it's even with the stitch line ok, now we're going to dio a top stitch across the topic of the pocket and then we'll do our pleats so do this just about a quarter inch from the top edge care pocket is coming together we just want to give it a little bit of dimension so we're going tio pleat the sides in and we'll do that at let's see, we want to make marks at one and a quarter and two and a quarter from the edge okay, so we have that marked the first thing we want to do is we're going toe press the's pleats and make sure that they're making the pocket the right size um proportionally with the flap and then there's this little stitch line right here that just stitch is not the whole plea together because then it wouldn't really have its expansion properties, but just to keep that top edge of of the plead s o that'll be stitched down just about an inch, so let's fullback are pleats, so I got my first mark my second marks basically we're setting one and hub of the other and folding that back and I'm just gonna put a little pin in here for now I won't do this side okay, so before we go any further let's just kind of check are with here all right so you can see the pocket is narrower than the flap which is good um it could be the same with it could be a little narrow where you just you know don't really want the pocket to be wider than the flap so that looks pretty good and it looks like we have plenty of room for the closure so that's good so I am going to give this just a quick little press and then we're going to stitch um just on these uh this plate here to itself all right so we're gonna go stitched just on this little fold about inch down from the top and that'll be anyth of an inch from the edge all right so now we have our uh pleats figured out and the pocket is ready to so to the front of the bag so I have a bag front already sewn and I want to have this about um again the center and let's find the center she all market the topic in the bottom and we'll place our pocket about half inch up from the bottom and let's check this flab b actually I think the best the best move here I mean is that eyeball it like this but then also um so the pocket first and then connect your hardware together and then you can stitch the flap and you'll know that they'll line up perfectly so we'll start with that so we're going toe top stitch down the side and then across the bottom so we'll be stitching over these pleats and then also closing this little opening that we have left from turning the pocket so there's a lot of book down here so you want to take it really slow over those pleats and if you have a problem sowing over that sometimes it's hard to go from this direction where you're going from just a couple layers to a lot more than it might be easier to go from the center out so we'll try it and see what happens and then we might have to work one pocket side at a time some machines air definitely pickier than others as faras sewing through multiple layers and then you want to make sure that at the top of the pocket you back stitch really well because that's going to have a lot of strain on it from using the pocket I'm gonna put the table back on my machine just so I have a little more surface area and I'm gonna stitch about an eighth of an inch from the edge pivot this around go slow over this thick part and then you want to make sure you're um opening gets closed here so that's lined up ok great we have our pleaded pocket attached and we just need tio put the flap on and our cargo pocket will be all done all right, so I'm going to just snap the little tuck catch together, and that way, you know everything will be aligned. And it looks like we have about a half an inch between the flap and the top of the pocket, which is good. And then we have plenty of room up here for the seam allowance and, uh, handles and whatever the rest of your bags going. Tohave, actually open it this way. And, like the bottom of the pocket, the top of the flap has those seem allowances turned into, and you want to make sure that gets sewn shut. All right, so we'll just top stitch across here, and we're going to back stitch at the end for reinforcement. All right, so we have our first pocket done for our exterior and learned a lot of stuff. He learned how to do pleats and talk catch and a flap, and would look great on any bag.

Class Description

Don’t let your fear of zipper installation or inexperience with pocket construction and hardware closures stop you from ornamenting your tote!

Join Betz White for Build Your Own Tote Bag: Custom Exteriors and learn tricks and techniques for getting professional-looking results. 

You'll learn how to:

  • Add custom details to make your bag look more polished
  • Experiment with a variety of exterior pockets
  • Work with hardware closures and zippers

Betz will give you step-by-step instructions for making a bellows pocket, a pocket with corner darts, and a pocket flap. She’ll also show you the best way to construct concealed zipper closures and add metal base feet.

If you want to advance your sewing skills and make a more polished bag, join Betz White in Build Your Own Tote Bag:  Custom Exteriors.

Learn how to add a pop of color with two-sided handles or create a leather strap in Betz's tutorials on the CreativeLive blog 

And be sure to check out Betz's other class "Build Your Own Tote Bag: Custom Interiors".

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Custom Exteriors Resource List

Custom Exteriors Tool Kit and Materials List

Custom Exteriors Pocket and Flap Templates

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Chrys Elrod

This was an amazing class! I wish I had Betz in my sewing room with me on every project I sew. Her patterns are wonderful and easy to understand. Thank you Betz!!! I appreciate this so much....the tips and tricks you showed are sure to make my bags even more impressive! I love having the videos to watch.

Christine See

Most excellent course. This class explains, in detail how to add multiple different exterior pocket to take your bags up a notch. Also shows different types of closure techniques including zippers, snaps, press lock, etc. Great close up shots to see how everything is put together.

Liz Hanes

Thank you, thanks you and thank you! Your instructions on how to do dimensional pockets and piping were so clear and informative! I have had difficulty with both of these things in the past and now I feel that I should just go cut some fabric right now and make a tote!