Add a Laptop Pocket to any Tote Bag Pattern {free tutorial}


Is your favorite bag pattern missing a special pocket for your laptop? Let me show you how to add a special padded pocket to the next bag that you sew. Just about any tote bag can be modified to have a laptop sleeve inside.

Last week when I sewed up the Garden on the Go Bag. I decided to add a laptop pocket to the interior so I could bring my laptop along to the soccer field.

I used Pellon Flex Foam for my pocket and the bag itself to cushion my laptop against anything I might put in the rest of the bag.

It was easy! You can sew a laptop pocket into the next bag you make too.

Here is the finished pocket sewn to my bag lining. This method will work for sewing a laptop pocket into any tote bag that has a rectangular shape. If the pattern has darts or boxed corners, just place the pocket above them.


To make yours, decide how tall you want the pocket to be. Cut a piece of fabric that is the same width as your bag lining, and twice as tall as your desired pocket, plus 1 inch.

Also cut a piece of Flex Foam (or other thick fusible stabilizer) the width of the bag X the desired pocket height.

Fold the pocket fabric in half, wrong sides together and press.

Then fuse the Flex Foam or other stabilizer to the wrong side of the fabric along the center fold. There should be 1/2” of fabric showing at the edge as seen on the left side in the picture above. That’s for the seam allowance.

Fold the fabric right sides together (opposite of the way that you pressed it) and stitch the long edge with a 1/2” seam allowance. It should look like a long tube with the stabilizer fused to the outside on one side.

Turn the tube right side out (with the stabilizer on the inside now) and press. Topstitch along the top edge.

Place the pocket on top of the bag lining and stitch along the bottom edge. If the pattern has a separate piece for the bag bottom, then you may align the bottom of the pocket with the bottom of the lining piece.

But since this pattern has a boxed bottom, meaning that the bottom of the bag is formed from the lower part of the sides, I placed my pocket 1/2” above the boxed corners. This is similar to the interior/exterior pocket that I showed you in my Japanese Knock Off Tote Tutorial.

At this point, I suggest sewing vertical lines to divide the pocket and make one section the right size for your laptop. I did not do that and really wished I had later because the pocket was too big and did not hold the laptop securely.

I ended up sewing dividing lines after the bag was finished. It was an awkward job and the lines are visible on the tote exterior. But I don’t really mind because I’d rather have a nice secure pocket for my laptop.

This is my favorite new bag… What do you think?

Happy Sewing!

Full disclosure: Craftsy provided the kit to me in exchange for a review. I wouldn’t accept the kit if I didn’t really want to make it. 🙂

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂