I love pockets. And secret pockets? Even cooler. While the Presidio Purse already has two interior pockets and a bonus tutorial for how to add a patch pocket to the front, I wanted to add one more tutorial for secret hidden pockets. So, follow this tutorial if you want to turn the front insets into functional hidden zipper pockets.
You will need (in addition to the standard purse front and inset): 14″ or longer zipper and 2 plain insets cut from lining fabric. I’m showing this tutorial on a plain purse inset because it is easier than a gathered inset. If you really want a gathered purse inset, start by gathering the top of your purse inset so that at 1/2″ in (the seamline), it is 14″ across the top. Even if your purse inset is gathered, your pocket insets will still be plain.
Sew a zipper to the top of the purse inset, right sides together, at 1/2″ seam allowance. Have the top zipper stop (thats the little crimp at the top of the zipper) start 1/2″ in from the side. The zipper should extend to the end of the seam (mine’s a little short in this picture, so ignore that).
Sew one of the lining pieces to the zipper, right side of fabric to wrong side of zipper, stitching 1/8″ inside of the previous seam line so that you don’t catch the lining on the zipper when you zip and unzip the pocket.
Notch the seam (notching into the zipper tape a bit is probably helpful, just don’t notch too far) and press the inset and lining fabrics away from the center.
Sew the other side of the zipper to the purse front, again with the top zipper stop 1/2″ in from the side of the bag and the seam with 1/2″ seam allowance.
Sew the second lining piece to the body, right side of fabric to the wrong side of zipper, again bringing the seam in 1/8″. Notch the seam, extending into the zipper tape a bit, and press.
And there you have it! A hidden pocket! You’ll note that in this picture it’s not super hidden because you can see the zipper teeth. If you use an invisible zipper, it will be more hidden. Alternatively, as I did in my demo purse, you can use piping (following the sewalong instructions for how to add piping) and it will hide the zipper.