Should your rucksack or backpack be missing just the pocket you need.
I know additional pockets are for sale in stores but why pay for something you can make yourself? Here’s a recipe for a simple MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying equipment) compatible extra pocket which can also double as a belt pocket.
These instructions are almost infinitely adaptable, too!
You can choose a bigger sized pocket or replace the zipper with buttons. I suggest you choose a sturdy fabric (my choice was Cordura 500).
You can also use recycled hiking pants to create yours. If you have a backpack or a satchel you’re not using anymore, remove the straps, Velcro, D-rings and locks and re-use them!
What you need for the pocket:
- 20 cm long large-cogged zipper
- Fabric for the pouch 22 cm x 30 cm
- 22 cm long piece of MOLLE band
- Two 12,5 cm long pieces of MOLLE band as straps
- Two 4 cm long pieces of sewable Velcro
- Fabric for top 22 cm x 22 cm
In addition to these, you need thread, scissors, pins, a tape measure, a lighter/matches.
- Make attachment straps:
- Burn and melt the other end with a flame so they don’t tear
- Hem the straps with 0,5 cm seam. Sew the “hook ends” of the Velcro to the straps.
- Attack the pieces, straps and zipper:
- Titivate the top and pouches with a zig-zag pattern.
- Sew in a narrow zig-zag about 3 cm away from the top so that the middle of the strap is in the middle of the pouch piece. Sew gain in a narrow zig-zag from the middle to both directions in 4 cm and 8 cm.
- Sew the soft ends of the Velcro underneath the MOLLE strap with the middle seam on both sides.
- Attach the zipper to the long edge of the top piece by sewing the right sides together.
- Attach the zipper to the long edge of the pouch piece by sewing the right sides together. Keep in mind that the zipper will be at the bottom of the pouch piece.
- Sew the piece as a pocket:
- Close the pocket, attach the strap ends between the seams with pins. Sew the the bottom seam from the reverse end. Make a triple stitch where the Velcro is.
- Fold the pocket in a way that the seam you just sewed is right where the zipper is. Open the zipper half-way. Attach the pieces together with pins. Fold the zipper so it overlaps. Sew the seams on the sides.
- Sew the depth of the pocket:
- Make a mark in each corner 3 cm away and fold them so the side seam meets the imaginary top/bottom seam. Sew them so they form a triangle. Cut the triangle off and leave 1 cm reserve. Zig-zag that reserve.
- Add final touches:
- Turn the pocket right way around, straighten the corners, thread the straps through the MOLLE and attach the Velcro.
Attach the pocket to your rucksack or backpack or belt and you’re done!
- Don’t use Velcro with an adhesive surface. Trust me. The sewing machine needle will get stuck.
- Don’t sew over the burned strap. Trust me. The needle will break off or the melted fabric goes in the machine and…yeah.
- When sewing over the zipper you can move the needle with the “crank rewind” should it prove to be too thick.
- If you forgot to open the zipper half-way, you won’t be able to turn it right side up. Trust me. Redo, should this happen.