Anti Pickpocket Bag: FREE pattern, tutorial, and video sew-along

anti pickpocket bagThis is my take on an anti-pickpocket bag made of fabric with twisted handles.  I'm calling it Helsinki and here's the backstory to this design:

As many of our regular readers know, I was recently away on vacation with my family.  During the break, we managed to visit the Bernina factory in Switzerland, call in on what I'll argue is the finest fabric shop in the world in Italy, and as a final stop, we went in search of the famous design house, Marimekko, in Finland –all of which I'll be writing about in the near future.

My Bernina Sewing Machine Factory Tour In Switzerland

anti pickpocket bag

In search of Inspiration, a visit to Marimekko in Helsinki

In any case, while we were in Finland, in supposedly one of the safest cities in the world, my teenage daughter was pickpocketed and lost her very, very expensive new iPhone.  Needless-to-say, her father was none too happy about this.  The small handbag she was carrying was relatively open and the thieves just brushed up against her and it was gone.  Poof!  We were in a department store and the security cameras got it all on video, but it happened so fast and the perpetrators were gone by the time the tapes were reviewed.

anti pickpocket bag

It got me thinking that this can't be a rare occurrence and that I should design an anti-pickpocket bag with internal pockets, secure zippers, and strong straps to keep this thing from happening again.  I started designing and as soon as I got home, put this new bag together.  I think you'll find it an easy project to follow and the bag will not only be an attractive addition to your wardrobe but also super functional if you're traveling or spending time in crowded places.  The twisted fabric handles are relatively unique and very strong.  So Helsinki, this one is for you..

Skill Level: Advanced

If you have made a nag with lining and pockets, this project is easy for you to accomplish.  If you, however, have never done a bag before, you will find this difficult.

Key Features:

  • Secure main zipper with no gaps around the gusset making it is hard for a thief to access.
  • Zippered inner pockets for money and valuables.
  • Strong twisted fabric handles that will let you hold the bag securely.
  • Complete video tutorial and sew-along (links at the end of the article)
  • Dimensions 17″ by 11″

anti pickpocket bag

Materials for the Anti Pickpocket Bag

Recommended Fabric Options

Here are some suggestions for potential fabric options.

See the entire sewing tutorial series here:

Subscribe to the YouTube channel:
 

See next page for free pattern download.

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244 Responses to Anti Pickpocket Bag: FREE pattern, tutorial, and video sew-along

  1. Cynthia A Burns says:

    I was wanting to know, how difficult would it be to lengthen the handles to make this a cross-body bag? I DO NOT trust over-the-shoulder bags.

  2. Sarah says:

    I just finished sewing this bag and it came out great BUT I can’t find the grommets like you used and the plastic ones from Joann’s don’t seem to work with the thickness. When I click the link for the grommets I get a message that says “unable to connect as there are too many redirects. I don’t know what that means but I can’t get to site to purchase….Please Help!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Sarah, you must have a window blocker because I tested the link and it is working fine.

      • Sarah says:

        The link finally worked and took me to Amazon but the grommets there are not the same as the ones you had, require a tool to install and I assume are not removable and reusable. Are these the grommets you are suggesting we use?

        • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

          HI Sarah i do have a Kam tool, and all the fittings for many sizes of grommets. If you are going to make bags I suggest to use this type of grommets, the removable ones are much more expensive and hard to find.

    • Cynthia A Burns says:

      Have you tried Hobby Lobby?

  3. Danielle S says:

    That bag is lovely and so clever. Makes me realize I really do need something to keep my information safe. Unfortunately there is no way I would ever be able to make one. Definitely not anywhere near that level. Thank you for the wonderful idea though.

  4. Marla says:

    This bag is very pretty. I think you have incorporated features to make it anti-pickpocket. My cousin had a bag similar in style and the thieves used a blade to slit open the bottom and empty her bag while she rode the bus. Needless to say, this is not a good experience. Maybe your bag will be better at keeping them away.

What do you think?