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.

anti pickpocket bag

In any case, while we were in Finland, in supposedly one of the safest cities in the world, my teenage daughter was pick pocketed and lost her very, very expensive 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 a 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 acomplish.  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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179 Responses to Anti pickpocket bag: FREE pattern, tutorial, and video sew-along

  1. Judy says:

    I have been trying to download the antipickpocket bag for days. I sent it to the cart and then returned to look at something else and now I can’t get back to the cart. At this point I would pay someone to download this for me and mail it, I`m so frustrated

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Judy if you downloaded the pattern you will find it in your pattern library. If you can not get to your cart log out and sign back in.

  2. Anne Evans says:

    Great bag, thank you.

  3. Shilpa says:

    Hi Mayra,
    I’m a relatively new sewer so it’s taken me a while to get this bag done. I ended up making it bigger than the original pattern so it’s more useful for me.
    I LOVE the pattern on yours, but now that mine is finished I really don’t like the pattern any more! Are there any easy ways to change some of the look (for example I’m going to redo the handles with a slightly darker colour) without undoing everything?
    Sorry for the strange question and thanks for the lovely pattern

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI Shilpa, a picture, in this case, would help me a lot. You can load one with your phone. You can do any changes, but You need to keep the proportions in mind. Let me see yours and see what we can do with it. Kind Regards,

  4. Pauline says:

    I am confused about the lining. The pattern shows that the lining includes the rounded top of the back, but in looking at the photographs in the tutorial, it looks like the lining is just a rectangle. If so what are the dimensions of the rectangle?

  5. Charlene says:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful bag. When we were in Rome several years ago, the pick-pockets were terrible. We are planning a trip to Ireland and Scotland so this bag is perfect and perfect timing. Thank you again, I’m excited to try sewing it.

  6. Jonikka Raines says:

    Hi, Mayra , what is the name of the grey fabric you have on the table?

  7. Michelle C Faustermann says:

    I can’t find the link to the pattern.

  8. Sandra or Lynette says:

    Thank you so much for beautiful bag. I cant wait to give it a try.

  9. Mary Young says:

    it will not let me go to second page

  10. Diann says:

    I don’t see a link for the pattern. The “gallery for more fabrics” I don’t see also.
    Where can I download the pattern?

  11. Suzy Nash says:

    I like the look of this bag so I have just downloaded it. My favourite bag has started to look quite worn and shabby and I have been looking for something to take its place. This looks like it. Thank you very much for your generosity. Suzy.

  12. Evelyne says:

    Hi Mayra
    what is the fabric for this bag?
    Many thanks

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hello Evelyne, the fabric suggestions I give are cotton quilting or canvas, under the fourth picture there is a gallery for more fabrics.

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