Welcome to the Serendipity Hip Sew Along, with Ellen! I have to admit this little bag is one of my favourites and so handy to grab for a day outing!


FEATURES: The Serendipity Hip may not be big in size but it makes up for that by being big in style! Simply perfect for a day out when you don’t need to cart the kitchen sink!

It sports an adjustable strap and a cute curved top which gives you that bit of extra room to get into your bag.

The main zippered compartment is roomy, providing 2 card pockets, a slip pocket and a zippered pocket.

The front of the bag has a zippered pocket, a slip pocket and a phone pocket so you are sure to be able to take all your essentials and stay organised while you are at it!

Approx. size: W 20cm X H 25cm X D 4.5cm. (W 8″ X H 10″ X D 1¾”)

Over to you Ellen:


Well … Its Serendipity Hip time….. Hello all you lovely sewing fanatics.  Time for the next Sew Along.

The Serendipity Hip is such a cute bag, great for a day out on your own or with the girls. Although small in size, it’s certainly big on personality. Now the measurements are 8” width x 10” height x 1 3/4” Depth. So if you want something a little bigger you could print it out enlarged at 110%. Now, I’ve never used this method to enlarge a bag before, but there are some girls that have in the Facebook group. Maybe you could ask their advice. Please remember that this tutorial is to be used in conjunction with your pattern.

So hardware is one thing I wanted to talk about before you cut out, sorry if I’m too late for some of you. But the strap as is… is quite skinny width wise and whilst that is fine for most, some of you may wish to change the width of the strap and tab. The pattern is for ¾” slider, D rings and hooks. You could also use 1” or 1 ¼” as well on this size bag, anything bigger might look too big on this smaller bag.

Now, because of the hardware I have in stock, (or the lack of) I’ve used 1” Drings but I’ve used 1 ¼” Slide and Hooks. So the preparation and constructing of the strap and tabs will be the same as the original. The difference will be in the cutting size. If you’re going to use 1” strap and tabs then you will need to cut them 4 x the width…. so both straps and tabs will be cut 4” wide. For 1 ¼” hardware, you will need to cut your straps and tabs at 5” wide. You will need to adjust the interfacing as well.

Ellen's Fabric choices


Go ahead and cut out and then fuse as per pattern. It’s a good idea to label your pieces, saves confusion later.

STRAPS AND TABS:  After fusing, do any prep work, fold and iron the straps and tabs as per instructions. Top Stitch both tabs and strap, and insert D rings onto the tabs and secure. Then assemble slider and hooks onto the straps as per pattern and secure.

While on the same colour thread, I Did the Phone Slip pocket, I do my slip pockets a little different. In short, instead of leaving a small opening, I leave one complete end open and close it when attaching the pocket to the lining. I forgot to take better pictures of this, however I’ve made extra slip pockets with better pics and instructions further along. So I suggest you read the whole blog write up first.



CARD POCKETS:  It’s important here to snip the card pocket pieces as indicated on the pattern pieces, this will help get the orientation correct.  Folding pockets 1 and 2 in half so the snips meet. Then press and Top stitch the pressed edge.  Retrieve pocket 3 that has the interface and line up pocket 2 along the bottom edges. Measure up 1 ¼” and do a seam line. Then line up pocket 1 along the bottom edge and baste the two sides and bottom. Now turn down the seam allowance and press on both pockets 3’s along the top edge. Sandwich both pocket 3’s together lining up the top pressed edges, right side together. The sides and bottom should all meet evenly. When you’re happy with that, then seam the sides and bottom, leaving the top open. Trim, Turn, poking out the corners, press. Finish by seaming the opening with 1 or 2 rows of Top stitch across the top. Press again and put aside.

Card Slots

EXTERIOR FRONT ZIP POCKET: Retrieve one of your 10” zips, resize it to 8 ¾” making sure you secure both ends and that the zipper pull is in the middle  and not cut off (hands up all those that have done that, oh you can’t see it, but my hand is UP..lol). Follow the instructions and put your zip tabs on the zipper, that’s one on the front and one on the back, at both ends. Now we’re going to make a sandwich. Lol   Retrieve your Exterior Front Zipper pocket, using the outer piece, laying it down right side up and place zipper evenly and centred across the top with the right side down. Then you need to lay the lining on top with the right side also down. Making sure you have the zipper pull at the end you want it to be when wearing the bag. You can follow the pattern and use double sided tape for this or pins if you wish. I am a freehand person, so I just place the zip on and machine baste and then place the lining and seam at ¼”. Press both fabrics to correct side and press and top stitch. Then repeat this with the Top Band pieces, only DON’T top stitch yet.

Exterior Front Zip pocket

Baste all the way around your pocket piece. Now whip out the Exterior Zipper Pocket Backing pieces and place them wrong sides together and baste the top edge. Place your zipper pocket on the work bench in front of you and place the backing pieces on top aligning the top edges and seam together along the top only. Fold over to the other side where they will become the backing for the pocket. Grade the seam to reduce bulk and press and top stitch. Now you can top stitch the edge of the zip, through all layers.  Also baste along the bottom edge.  Now here is where I came unstuck. Try the zip pocket assembly onto the Exterior Front Body

Exterior Front Zipper Pocket

If you look at the picture you’ll notice that the front zip pocket comes up too high at the sides compared to the placement picture in the pattern. Because of the pattern matching, I cut the top band just before I needed it and cut it too wide, coupled with a smaller seam than required on both sides of the zip. I’ve ended up with my Zipper pocket too high. So I’ve had to unpick and take a bigger seam at the top, it means the band is only 1.5 cm wide but I can live with that as long as the pattern matches….lol … yes that’s better.

Exterior Front Zipper Pocket

EXTERIOR FRONT BODY ASSEMBLY: So now with my Zipper pocket positioned on the Exterior Front Body in the correct place, baste across the bottom only. Put some pins or clips in the sides to hold in place for now. Gather the Bottom Band and place on top, right sides together, with the bottom edges even. Seam, Press the seam allowance towards the bottom and top stitch on the bottom side. Retrieve the Back Exterior Body and the other Bottom Band and seam together as you have just done with the front, press and top stitch.

Body Assembly

PHONE POCKET: Make your Smart Phone Pocket or retrieve it if you’ve already made it. With the Bag Front Exterior in front of you, fold down the zipper pocket and decide on placement of your phone pocket. If you’re doing it vertical, make sure you fold up the zipper pocket to make sure it’s not showing at the top. I made my pocket a little bigger so it has to go horizontal.  Make sure it’s centred and seam it down on the sides and bottom, reinforcing at the corners. Now fold up the zip pocket and baste the sides of the pocket in place. Set aside for now.

Phone Pocket

INTERIOR ZIP POCKET: I think most of you know that I love zipper pockets… lol.  Grab your other 10” zip and resize to make it 8” with the zipper pull in the middle section, secure ends. With your Interior Zipper Pocket in front of you, wrong side up. Following the measurements in the pattern, draw out your zipper box, make sure your box is in the centre. Then centre the zipper pocket on the body lining, right sides together and following the placement in the pattern. Sew around your box.

Interior Zipper Pocket

Now before you cut the box, I recommend finger pressing around all the seams and then flip over and do the other side. Now cut your box.

Interior Zipper Pockets

Pull the zip pocket through to the other side and pin in place, give it a good press with a pressing cloth. Use whatever method you like now to position your zip and top stitch around the edge to secure. Whoops I forgot to change to my zipper foot…my bad.

Interior Zipper Pockets

Now flip over and bring up the pocket and making sure it’s lined up, seam across the top close to the pocket and then seam the sides. Trim the excess and corners.

Interior Zipper Pocket

ATTACH CARD POCKET: Retrieve your Card Pocket assembly or make it now. Position it on the Body Lining below the zip, as per the measurements in the pattern. Seam the sides and bottom and I like to secure all pockets with a triangle corner. 

EXTRA SLIP POCKETS: So I decided to do 2 Extra slip pockets. I cut 2 pieces 8” x 9.5” or smaller, any bigger will be too big. Pop on some thin interfacing.

This is how I make my Slip Pockets: At the ironing board I use a manila folder or thin cardboard. I fold in the seam allowance along one of the shorter edges. Folding it over the cardboard to give me an even and straight edge, press with a dry iron on wool setting.

Extra Slip Pockets

Fold in half with the right sides together and the pressed edge matching.

Extra Slip Pockets

Before seaming, check size on the body linings. I’m putting one on the plain body lining and one on the zip side which will partially cover the card slots.


After checking size, I decided to make them slightly smaller and the one on the card slots slightly smaller again. So I took a bigger seam and then trimmed it off later. Now seam across the bottom and up the side. You can also do the same way if there is two pieces of fabric, just means an extra seam on the other side.


Turn out your pockets, trying to make the corners square. Press them both with a cloth, the open side will be seamed closed when attaching to the body lining. Now, Top Stitch 1 or 2 rows across the pressed edge which will become the top of the pocket.


Now position on the relevant body linings. OH NO!!!! I flipped my card slot body piece over to check something and found this:


I forgot to flip up the zip pocket when I seamed my card slots on…. had to unpick it and do it again….. La la la laaa la Minus 10 points for not checking.

Ok re-did that and have sewn down my slip pockets, sent Lego man inside that slip pocket and the card slots and he said it’s good to go. If you look close…he’s waving.lol…

In hind sight though I wish I had put a line of stitching on the side with just the slip pocket to make it two smaller pockets.  Whoops.


TOP ZIP CLOSURE: So the End is getting closer. Retrieve the 12” zip and reduce the size to 10 1/4”, with the zip runner in the centre, before cutting off the excess and securing the ends.  Following the directions add you tabs to the zip. One on the back and one on the front of both ends.  As the zip is to be fitted to a curve, it helps to put some snips in the edges of the zip, but before doing that I like to sew 1 or 2 rows of stay stitch along the zipper tape, and then clip up to, but not through the stay stitching.

Following the measurements and markings you should have already made, position the strap tabs in place and baste.

Strap Tabs

We’re going to insert this top zip the same way as the first pocket zip, the only difference is that it’s on a curve.  As it turns out, I like flat zips but not so much the curved ones. I made a few mistakes (too cocky) and had to unpick and redo it a few times. So it pays to follow the instructions to the letter. Make sure you pin the strap tabs and D-rings out of the way. Go ahead and position the zip on your exterior body, making sure you have the zipper pull at the right end.  Go ahead seam it on and then match the lining. Then repeat on the other side. Keeping in mind, you need ¼” of the zip tab extending past the edge of the corner of the body piece, and the lining is a little smaller on purpose so you will need to ease it out. It might help to fan out the zipper tape a little to fit, but be careful around the clipped parts.  Also be careful where your zipper pull is and use a zipper foot.


After you have done the front, give it a press with a cloth and Top Stitch. Then move onto the other side. This side is a little trickier construct and to press, using a pressing ham helps, but do your best and then top stitch.

Top Zip Closure

BODY ASSEMBLY: Lay the bag on your work space and fold out flat with the exterior right sides together and the lining right sides together. Look closely at the picture in the pattern to see how the join is at the end of the zips. Then pin the sides, all the way from the exterior side, through to the bottom of the lining, matching the bottom band join. Seam through, starting on the exterior side. When done carefully reduce the bulk where the zip joins the outside to the inside. Press seams open if you can. Move onto the bottom exterior seam, pin and stitch, then press open. Now the lining bottom seam, do the same except leave a section open for turning and press it open.

Body Assembly

Body Assembly

Funny…. I was just about to turn the bag and realized I hadn’t boxed the corners…Silly me. Pinch the corners together, matching the seam lines, pin and then seam at ¼”. If you want the bag a little wider at the bottom, you could take a bigger seam. I double sew the box corners and trim a little of the seam allowance off.

Body Assembly

FINISHING:  So now I can turn the bag, Oh it’s pretty… push the lining down into the bag and check to see that it fits and all sits nicely. If it’s all good then you can pull the lining back out and close the bottom seam. Then push it back into the bag. All that’s left now is a good press and rivets and attach the strap.

WOOHOO!!! Here is my finished bag:

Ellen's Serendipity Hip!

Serendipity Hip

Side view

Serendipitiy's Interior!

Serendipity Hip Interior

Thank you Christine for having me here again, I hope I can help at least one person to make a beautiful bag… That would be awesome. Bye now and Its Hooroo from Australia.



LOVE this Ellen! Your bag looks STUNNING! Thank you for all your hard work!

If you don’t have it already, you can grab the pattern for the Serendipity Hip HERE.

If you LOVE the Serendipity Hip but don’t sew?…Just pop along to our new Buy and Sell Facebook group where you can find plenty of awesome people who do! 🙂 Sellers, you are most welcome to join us there too!

Until next time, happy sewing!


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  1. What a coikydink! I was looking for a new bag to sew and forgotten that I purchased this pattern quite awhile ago…just got done reading through the pattern and thought, am I up for this, seems complicated…so I sat down to google the pattern again to get some ideas for fabric and to find the link again for the the full instructions and found – A Sew Along!! What timing…now I can see how someone else is doing it…much more a visual person anyway…thanks Ellen.

  2. Thanks Peg.. Christine’s patterns are awesome. I hope my little write up can give you a little extra help and confidence.

  3. Ah, now I know why I missed your sew along Ellen! It was when we were on vacation, thanks for the slip pocket tip!

  4. Your welcome Pat.. I really enjoyed seeing all your holiday pics you put up too. Looks like you had a grand time!!

  5. Hi, just wondering if the Serendipity sew along is still available. I am a little confused on some of the steps.

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