Sew a cross body bag with 2 main pockets, a slim third pocket, plus a zipper pocket on the back!
This free sewing pattern is a lot easier than it looks - thanks to some fabric folding we’ll be doing to sew the parts together - I call it sewing origami!
In addition to the blog post, this quilt pattern has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here.
The result is a bag that looks like this - isn’t that amazing???
There is a pocket for everything you like to carry. I especially like that slim in-between pocket for holding my sunglasses. They fit perfectly and are cushioned from everything else I might put in my bag.
And don’t forget about the easy exterior zipper pocket. This pocket is optional, so you can leave it out if you want, but I always love having an extra pocket!
Another optional touch is the gold chain that I’m using on this bag instead of a strap. I decided to try it when I found 3 chain straps for less than $10 on Amazon.
Using matching gold D-rings too gives this bag some glam, don’t you think?
If you don’t want to try a metal chain strap, you can always sew your own adjustable strap like I did for the bag I sewed before this one. Here’s my Adjustable Bag Strap Tutorial.
Let’s sew it!
Lots of Pockets Cross Body Bag - Free Sewing Pattern
You will need:
1 FQ (or 1/4 yard) of fabric for the bag exterior
a 5’’ x 11” piece of fabric for the flap (or cut from the same FQ as the exterior)
1 FQ (or 1/4 yard) of fabric for the bag lining
1/2 yard fusible fleece interfacing (such as HeatnBond, 20’’ wide)
1 zipper 6’’ or longer between the stoppers (for the optional back zipper pocket)
purchased chain strap or fabric and hardware to make an adjustable strap
fabric marking pen (such as a Frixion pen)
From the bag exterior fabric, cut:
4 rectangles 8’’ x 6’’
1 tab strip 2’’ x 4’’ (makes 2 tabs)
From the flap fabric (or the same fabric as the bag exterior), cut:
2 rectangles 5’’ x 5 1/2’’
From the bag lining fabric, cut:
4 rectangles 8’’ x 6’’
1 back pocket lining 12’’ x 6’’ (optional)
From the fusible fleece cut:
4 rectangles 8’’ x 6’’
2 rectangles 5’’ x 5 1/2’’
1. Press to fuse the fusible fleece interfacing to the back side of the 4 exterior fabric rectangles and the 2 flap rectangles.
Note: you will have 2 exterior pieces that are completely visible (I chose the ones with little white crosses at the top) and 2 that won’t show very much - I call those two the ‘center exterior pieces.’
Add a Zipper Pocket to the Back Exterior (Optional)
Skip this section if you do not want a zipper pocket on the back.
1. Cut 1 1/2’’ off of the top of the back exterior piece. You will then have one piece that is 1 1/2’’ x 6’’ (the upper panel) and one piece that is 6 1/2’’ x 6’’ (the lower panel).
2. Sandwich the zipper between the top edge of the lower panel and the pocket lining piece as follows:
place the 6 1/2’’ (tall) x 6’’ (wide) lower panel on your table face up
place the zipper face down (right sides together) against the panel, along the top edge
lay the pocket lining piece on top, right side down, with the top 6’’ edge aligned with the zipper and lower panel
pin or clip together at the top.
3. Sew along the top edge with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.
4. Gently press the lower panel and the pocket lining away from the zipper (they will be wrong sides together). Topstitch on the lower panel 1/8’’ away from the zipper.
5. Pin or clip the upper panel piece to the top edge of the zipper, right sides together. Stitch with a 1/4’’ seam allowance (do not attach the pocket lining piece in this seam).
6. On the back, fold the pocket lining up and align the bottom edge with the top edge of the zipper.
From the front, pin just above the zipper, catching the edge of the pocket lining piece at the same time.
7. Topstitch on the upper panel, 1/8’’ away from the zipper. Check to make sure your stitching caught the edge of the pocket lining.
8. Move the zipper slider to the middle of the pocket. Baste the sides together 1/8’’ from the edge. Sew all the way up and over the zipper to create new zipper stoppers. Cut off the extra zipper tapes flush with the side edges.
This will now be referred to the ‘back exterior piece’ - it is sewn into the bag the same whether there is a zipper pocket or not.
Make the Bag Flap
1. Place the two 5’’ (tall) x 5 1/2’’ (wide) flap pieces right sides together. Place a couple pins in the center to hold them together.
To round the two bottom corners, use a spool of thread with a 1 1/2’’ diameter to mark a curve. Then trim along the line.
2. Cut off the corners of the top edges of the flat by centering a ruler on the corner and marking a 1’’ line.
Cut along the line. Repeat on the other top corner.
3. Sew around the flap with a 1/4’’ seam allowance, leaving the top edge open. Pivot at the top corners and sew slowly and evenly around the curves.
4. Clip the top corners and cut notches into the bottom curved corners (I used pinking shears to cut notches).
Topstitch around the sewn edges, 1/8’’ from the edge.
5. Place the flap face down against the right side of the back exterior piece. Center the flap against the top edge. Baste or sew in place 1/8’’ from the edge.
Set the back exterior piece aside.
Make the D-Ring Tabs
1. Fold the 2’’ x 4’’ tab strip in half lengthwise, press. Open and press the raw edges to the center. Fold in half again to make a 1/2’’ x 4’’ folded strip. Topstitch along both long edges, 1/8’’ from the edge.
2. Cut the strip in half to make 2 pieces, each 2’’ long. Wrap one piece through a d-ring and sew the ends together (1/8’’ from the end).
Repeat to make 2 d-ring tabs.
Mark Stitching Lines on a Center Exterior Piece and Attach D-ring Tabs
1. Choose one of the exterior pieces to be a ‘center exterior piece.’
Using a fabric marking pen, draw 3 lines 1’’ away from the sides and bottom on the wrong side (the fusible fleece).
The square ‘U’ shape is your stitching line.
2. Flip the piece over to the right side. Use the fabric marking pen (I used chalk because the fabric was too dark for my pen) to draw a horizontal line 1’’ from the top edge. Then draw short intersecting vertical lines 1 1/4’’ away from the side edges.
3. Pin the d-ring tabs against the corner of the intersecting lines. The top edges of the tabs should be against the horizontal line, and the ends of the tabs should be against the vertical lines.
4. Stitch the tabs to the center exterior piece, sewing along the stitching that you made to hold the tab ends together.
Assemble the Bag
1. Pin a lining piece and a bag exterior piece right sides together along the top edge. Repeat for all 4 bag exterior peices (including the piece with d-rings attached and the back piece with a flap sandwiched in between).
Stitch all 4 top edges with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.
You should now have 4 pieces that look like this.
2. Open all of the pieces and press flat. Place the exterior and lining wrong sides together and press the top edge.
Topstitch along all 4 top edges, 1/8’’ from the edge. Open the flap out of the way so it doesn’t get caught in the topstitching.
3. Open all of the pieces so that the linings are away from the exterior pieces.
Now you will attach the two ‘center exterior pieces.’ Place them right sides together with the piece that has marked lines on top. Pin along the marked lines.
4. Stitch along the marked lines in a ‘U’ shape (do not sew all the way across the 3 lines - just in a ‘U’ shape 1’’ away from the edges). Be sure to backstitch at the top in both places.
4. Here comes the fabric origami!
Fold and pin the two bottom corners of the piece on top (it doesn’t matter which one, they are both the same). Fold and pin them toward the center as much as you can so they will be out of the way of the next seam.
Then fold and pin the d-ring tabs and the side edges of the piece on top toward the center and out of the way. It is very important that the d-ring tabs are secure away from the side edges so they won’t pop loose and break your needle!
Fold up the top lining completely (rolling it toward the exterior pieces) and pin it out of the way.
Now all of the edges of the piece on top should be secured out of the way of the side seams.
5. Place the piece that is the front of the bag on top. First match the center seams and pin in place. Then work your way around the linings and exteriors, pinning all of the sides together except the top edge of the lining (which will be the bottom of the lining eventually).
You should only be pinning 2 layers together because the other bag center piece is pinned out of the way
6. The next step is to sew around three sides with a 1/4’’ seam allowance, leaving the unpinned edge at the top of the lining open.
So that my seams don’t shift, I like to start sewing on the seam between the linings and exteriors and then sew around the exteriors and over the lining to the edge.
Then I go back and sew the other sides of the linings together.
Your piece should now look like a long sack with the top edge open. Clip the bottom corners.
Reach inside the ‘sack’ and carefully remove all the pins.
7. Turn the bag right side out by first folding the lining down over the exterior, and then pulling the exterior out.
Reach down through the lining and push the corners out using a chopstick or turning tool.
8. Now pin out of the way the entire ‘compartment’ and lining that you just sewed.
As before, lift up and pin away the corners toward the center. Then fold the d-ring tabs toward the center and pin them and the side edges of the ‘compartment’ on top out of the way as much as you can. Make sure the d-rings are securely pinned away from the seams.
9. Place the remaining piece (the back panel with it’s flap and lining) on top. Pin all the way around except the top edge which will be left open.
10. Sew the pieces together with a 1/4’’ seam allowance as before, leaving the top edge open.
11. Carefully turn the bag right side out again, pushing the corners out.
Turn the raw edges of the lining opening to the inside by 1/4’’, press.
12. Sew close to the edge to close the lining. Repeat for the second lining
Stuff both linings down inside their respective compartments.
Attach the Bag Snaps and Strap
1. Mark the placement for snaps on the front of the flap.
I placed my snaps 3/4’’ away from the side and bottom edge, as seen above.
Install the male end of 2 snaps using the manufacturer’s instructions. These are Kam Snaps.
Then close the flap and mark the spots where the opposite pieces should be. Use a hand press to install the female ends of the snaps.
2. Attach your strap and you are done!
Tip: When I made my blue bag, I cut two strips 2’’ x 40’’ and sewed them together. Then I used this long strip to make an adjustable fabric strap using the techniques in my Adjustable Bag Strap Tutorial.
I’d love to see the Double Origami Cross Body Bags you make! Be sure to tag me on Instagram @sewcanshe and show me your photos!
Love pockets? See 20 more fun things to make with pockets (all free)!