Monday, February 29, 2016

Harry Potter Concealed Carry Rosie by Swoon

I'm still not 100% sure how I got into making concealed carry purses, but as long as I get to use fun fabrics, I don't mind!

Here's another one I just finished, based on the Rosie purse by Swoon. (this might be an affiliated link, if I did it right...)  This is much smaller than the others I have made, so I was worried a gun wouldn't fit in, but it does, as long as it's a small gun!

Back with discrete pockets
Zipper pocket was moved to the front, under the flap
The exterior fabric is a Spoonflower print on Kona cotton.  Strap and gusset is some black tone on tone I found at Joann's, not the softest, but I hope sturdy!  The interior is some of my scraps from the Lombard Street purse I made for myself a while ago...  Adventures by RJR fabric, so pretty and so hard to find now!

The entire back panel is the concealed pocket, and it is accessible from both sides.  Once again some magic happened in the process, but I did try to capture pictures of that magic!
My career as a hand model has begun!
Changes to the pattern: moved the back horizontal zipper pocket to the front piece, under the flap.  Cut 2 exra side pieces (for concealed pocket), 2 extra interfacing, flex foam for the exterior pieces (I LOVE the new 1-sided fusible!!)

Here's my magical guide to adding the pocket:

Additional supplies:
pocket lining fabric (1/4 yard is plenty)

2 zippers at least 9" (for double sided entry) I used these from Emmaline bags.

Fusible flex foam for the entire outside (I used it on the main front and back pieces, plus the gusset, trimmed so that it was just outside the seam allowance, non fusible needs to be caught in the seam allowance, so don't trim it as much)

Wash away zipper tape - makes it SOOO much easier!

Cut 2 extra pieces the same size as the back out of your pocket lining material, and 2 extra pieces of shape flex 101.  Fuse the SF101 to the pocket pieces, and the flex foam to the back piece and gusset.
Black fabric will be my pocket, the Always fabric is my back piece
I elected to move the original back zipper pocket from the pattern to under the front flap, but you could eliminate it completely.

For the zippers, I love the longer pull ones from Emmaline bags
If you are using zipper tape, cut a piece that is not quite the entire length of your zipper and stick it close to the edge on the top left side of the front of the zipper.  Place the zipper face down on the outside back piece.  Clip or pin the zipper so that the teeth are outside the seam allowance.  Notice in the picture above that the zipper isn't lined up with the edge of the fabric.  I also moved the metal stop above the edge of the fabric so I wouldn't have to worry about sewing it.  Angle the top of the zipper toward the edge so that it will be hidden in the top seam allowance.

Go past the curve of the bag so you have a large enough opening to get your hand inside.  Leave enough hanging off the edge so that the zipper pull won't be in the way when you sew.
If the zipper is fighting you, make tiny 1/8" deep clips into the zipper tape part to help it lay flatter. (When you finish, coat the cut parts of the zipper in fray check to prevent it from unraveling) Put zipper tape on the back of the zipper, and place the lining piece face down on top of the zipper and line up the edges of the fabrics.  If you aren't using zipper tape, you may want to baste the zipper in place before you add the lining.  I should really do a tutorial on zipper tape, it's amazing.

Starting 1/2" down from the top, sew the lining and backing together using the seam allowance and stopping just past the curve.
Don't be fooled by my starting thread tail, that's not sewn all the way to the top.
Flip it right right side out and make sure the zipper isn't going to catch on the fabric.

Repeat the same steps for the zipper on the other side, using the same pocket piece.

Make sure to leave the bottom open

Flip the pocket piece right side out and double check both of your zippers still open.

Take the gusset piece and line up the top edges with the top edges of the back piece, right sides together.
Make sure you've already attached your handle connectors, or you may hate your life later.  
Close the zipper and clip it to the gusset piece so that everything lines up.  Don't forget to move it in so that the teeth are just outside the seam allowance and to angle the tape into the seam allowance at the top.

If you aren't using zipper tape, you may want to open it up and baste in place
Now comes the tricky part.  Take the other pocket piece and place it face down on top of the other side, but clip it to the gusset, NOT the back piece at all.
Don't worry about gaping at the bottom, it's all going to come out in the wash
If you unzip it at this point, this is what you should see:

Those are the inside pieces of your pocket
You will want to sew it like this, but be careful NOT to go past the bottom end of the zipper or your zipper pull will be on the wrong part of the zipper.  Start 1/2" down from the top and sew the seam allowance down to just past the curve.  Your bottom will be unsewn, like this:
The unsewn part of the gusset and back.
Now flip everything right sides out, so your gusset and back panel are facing out and your pocket is inside, right sides together.  Test your zipper to make sure that it opens and closes nicely, You can topstitch along the zipper now, just make sure that you start just a little over 1/2" from the top of the pieces, and don't go past the sewn part of the zipper.  Trim as much of the foam out of your seams as possible, otherwise you'll be breaking needles left and right later.  (ask me how I know...)

To finish up the back, flip the gusset forward so that it is right side together with the back piece. Make sure the zipper is closed, but that the zipper pull is at least 1/2" below the top.  Pin or clip the gusset to the back piece, and make sure the 2 pocket pieces will be caught in the bottom seam.  Sew the top edges together (only about 1/2", but make sure to backstitch and secure it)  Sew from one zipper to the other on the bottom, using the seam allowance.  Once you are happy with how it looks and that the zippers open nicely, trim the zipper ends.
Stitching on the back, above the zipper
At this point, go back to the instructions and finish up the purse.  The only other change I did was to turn it through the inside pocket instead of through the lining.  I saw this tip on the Swoon FaceBook group, and it is a lifesaver!

I hope that was helpful for anyone wanting to make their own concealed carry Rosie, and if not, I'll try to answer any questions!  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Thanks so much for the tutorial, Rachel! This is definitely a concept I want to try and experiment with on a messenger style bag. I'm going to be coming back and studying it to try and gain better understanding of how you did it.


    1. Thanks for reading, I hope it makes sense! I'm always happy to answer questions if you need help later!

  2. Thanks so much for your generosity in sharing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    2. I am back again - I have just reread this posting and the Laney posting with the concealed pocket. I would really like to do this with Bonnie [not for the purpose of concealing a gun], but for having a secret pocket for money. Have you done a Bonnie yet? Thanks so much.

    3. I haven't done a Bonnie yet, but I think it could be done with some minor modifications! I'll have to see if I can mock something up in my spare feel free to remind me about it if I space it out!

  3. I love this purse!!! I get the pleasure of calling it mine and have gotten several comments on it in the short time I've had it. Love having a soft, sided purse that conceals my gun! Thank you Tiger!

    1. I'm so glad it's working out for you! I had a hard time letting go of that fabric, you picked a great one :D

  4. I'm not at all good at sewing but this purse is really, really cute!

    1. Thanks! I hope you keep practicing at sewing, it's a skill that takes time to improve! I look back at my stuff from even 5 years ago and I'm amazed at how much better I've gotten! I'm always learning new skills and improving every time I sew, someday maybe I'll be an expert. ;)

  5. Thanks so much for the tutorial, Rachel! This is definitely a concept I want to try and experiment with on a messenger style bag. I'm going to be coming back and studying it to try and gain better understanding of how you did it.


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