Sew Alongs

The Hedgerow Sew Along Day 2: Cut Out Pattern Pieces and Assemble Exterior Pocket

Now that we have our supplies, we are ready to start sewing our Hedgerow Book Bags!

First, mark and label pattern pieces on the fabric according to the layout diagrams on your Hedgerow Book Bag pattern. Cut out the pattern pieces. A rotary cutter can be very helpful for cutting neat, straight lines. 

Once the pieces are ready, mark and cut a 2”x2” square out of the bottom of the following pieces: both Outer Bodies (A) and both Lining Bodies (D), like so: 

Now we are going to assemble the exterior pocket. I should note that you can customize your pocket to fit your preferences- simply increase or decrease the height of the Outer Pocket and the Pocket Lining, making sure that the Outer Pocket is always 1" shorter than the Pocket Lining. Here is our video that demonstrates our technique for making fully lined pockets:

And here are the instructions:

Place the Outer Pocket (B) and Pocket Lining (E) right sides together with top edges (long edges) aligned and sew. Repeat for the bottom edge to create a tube. Press or crease both seam allowances open. Note: when sewing waxed canvas and lining fabric together, it is helpful to sew with the waxed canvas on top, since the lining fabric has a tendency to stretch. Sewing with the waxed canvas on top will help everything feed evenly through your machine. You may also wish to use a walking foot. 

Turn the tube right side out and press or crease the pocket into a rectangle measuring 14”w x 5 1/4”h, with 1/4” of Outer Pocket (B) wrapping around to the back side of the pocket on both the top and bottom edge. Checkout the photo below to see what the pocket will look like from the back once this step is complete. Topstitch 1/8" away from the top of pocket.

Place the pocket onto one Outer Body (A) piece as shown, with the top edge of the pocket 4” from the top edge and 5 1/2” from the bottom edge of Outer Body (A). Clip, pin, or baste pocket in place.

Mark the stitching line on the pocket as shown to create a divided pocket. Alternatively, you can choose to omit the division for a bigger pocket, or create more divisions for smaller pockets. 

Starting at the bottom edge of the pocket, sew along the stitching line mark.

There is your pocket! Now you are ready to assemble your outer bag. 

Note: As you can see from the pictures, my waxed canvas has lots of marks on it. That is the nature of working with waxed canvas- it will mark up a lot at first, and then over time the marks will fade and the fabric will become softer and more worn-in looking. I do have a pretty big crease across my pocket that I will probably try to get rid of. You can "heal" marks in waxed canvas by applying gentle heat with an iron. Always protect your other fabrics, your work surface, and your iron by using a press cloth. For more, check out our post on Healing Waxed Canvas.