Double Compartment Cross Body Bag – Free Sewing Pattern!

lots-of-pockets.jpgSew a cross body bag with 2 main pockets, a slim third pocket, plus a zipper pocket on the back!

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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!


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)

  • 2 d-rings, 1/2’’ opening

  • 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

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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.

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IMG_5021 copy.jpg

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.

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Click to enlarge.

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.

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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.

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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)!

Happy sewing,


p.s. This free pattern is included in my Ultimate List of Fast and Easy Tote Bags to Sew and Fast & Easy Cross Body Bag Patterns. Check them out!

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. 🙂

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  1. Can’t wait to make this! When and wheredo I put snaps on the body part?

  2. Hi, thanks for this great tutorial. I’m wondering about what look like snaps on the front flap. Did I miss something in the tutorial? This will be awesome to make!

  3. Leah Swanson says:

    How can this one be adapted to include the card slots of the cell phone pouch? The 2 pouches combined would make the perfect bag!!!!

    Thank you,

  4. Fabulous tutorial. I love the materials of the pouch on the right-hand side of the photo, the one with the bold flowers and stripe flap. Would you be able to share the material make and name? I’m in the UK and would love to source this. Thank you.

  5. Kim E Warner says:

    Hi! Thank you, so very much, Caroline! Truly you are an extraordinary designer and seamstress!! I purchased on of your fat quarter bundles and a throw quilt kit with your fabric line. I believe ‘Sweet Caroline’ is in the top five of the prettiest fabric lines out there. And to be honest, I don’t want to cut it!! The bundle is so beautiful, it sits on my shelf to admire! I have so many projects I want to make with it but I don’t want to break it up and cut it! This is a perfect bag! Thank you for all you do to make me look good, I appreciate all of your hard work, have a lovely day! Oh, and I live in Palm Bay as well!

    1. Hi Kim!
      You made my day with this sweet comment. Thanks so much! Can’t wait to see what you make with the fabric – make sure you post to Instagram and tag me. 🙂


  6. Rani Self says:

    So cute! I’m going to try to find the time to make some for Christmas gifts!

  7. You are genius! I just finished what I am sure will be the first of several of these cross body bags. The instructions are easy to follow. The purse goes together very nicely. I could have never figured out the how to without you though! The bag is roomy,well made – just love it! Thanks so much!

  8. You are a genius! I sewed one with your excellent instructions and still not sure how it came out so well. It was easy and fun. Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  9. Linda Brown says:

    Love, Love this pattern. I have made a lot of cross body purses. My advise to future sewers, read each step very carefully. If you do that you will have total success. When I got to the pouch part I had to read that a few times, but the light bulb suddenly lit. The only change I made was I used the fusible foam to give it more body. That always makes it a little thicker to sew, but I managed. I do volunteer work and this is perfect to take my few pieces of id and my phone that I need

  10. I have made 2 of these bags so far. They are such fun to sew and use!

  11. Linda Fekete says:

    I purchased the membership and can’t find this pattern on the available list.

  12. Carol Raabe says:

    Just about finished with the bag and love it. Will wear it beneath a cardigan on the plane so it doesn’t count as a carry-on. I apologize to rules followers. The process was genuis! Glad I started reading the directions shortly into the project. This is the 2nd of your patterns I have made (the first was a pad for under/over a sewing machine with a small paper pieced hummingbird (yours was a butterfly). THANK you for your skill and your willingness to share.

  13. I absolutely LOVE this bag! I made one for myself out of bright summer fabric and then increased the size and made one for my daughter to carry her drawing tablet. I will definitely be making more of these as Christmas gifts. So easy and pretty! As a beginner to sewing, I love your site as the instructions (and images) are so clear and easy to follow! Thanks so much!

  14. I LOVE it!! Haven’t made it but looks fabulous! just what I need instead of my HUGE purse =) Can I sell these? I think they’d be a HUGE hit with my teenagers and their friends!

  15. Annette S. says:

    Love this! So easy to make! I’ve made one so far! Now my daughter wants one! Thank you for posting!

  16. Susie Loeffler says:

    could this be made with the zzipper pocket on front and a clear vinyl touch screen on back

  17. Donna Mcgowan says:

    Hi Caroline, great tutorial. It seems the fabric is of quilting cotton. Would a light denim or twill be too heavy for this? I am working diligently to clear some of my fabric stash & have some of the above fabrics to try this bag.
    Thank you

  18. The clarity of your instructions and clear images made this a very gratifying sewing project! Thank you for making it avaliable online.

  19. Rosemary B says:

    as always, you are a doll, Caroline
    Thank you for much for the encouragement and joy to bring to my inbox
    Love, Rosemary

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