Double Mag Pouch, w/ flap, USGI style bottom folds

Another pouch making technique from Diz. This time he is demonstrating making a double mag pouch with an integrated flap and sewn corners.

Here’s Diz’s Tutorial…

OK recently I have decided to re-investigate the classic, top flap, 2-mag pouch design. Again this is “A” way of doing it, as I am experimenting with different prototypes to see which one I like the best. I selected this one for a tutorial because it shows a different bottom closure technique that I think you would find interesting if you’re not familar with it.

It’s basically a take-off on the classic USGI 3-mag pouch, from the ALICE issue days. It has been modifed to take the side flaps off the top flap and cut down to 2-mag size. The basic dimensions are:
overall length: 22 1/2″
length at bottom of pouch side: 7 3/8″
width: 8″
width at 1st step: 5 1/2″
length at 1st step: 8″
width of top flap/back: 3 3/16″

Of course you could square off the top flap as well. I rounded it because this lends itself well to being edge taped, which is the preferred method of making this style ofpouch, although I suppose you could double wall it.

The next step is to roll over the top pouch edge. I used 3/8″. Notice it is rolled to the outside so the mags won’t catch when extracted.

Next you sear the raw edges. Pay particular attention to the corner indicated by the hemos. It is important to sear this point well because it butts up against the binding tape later. Failure to do so will leave an area subject to fraying and possible pouch failure.

Here is another step that will save you time and bullshit later. Go ahead and sew these over, 3/8″.

Now we are ready to bind. I’m using a common bolt-on 1″ tape binding attachment. To start, fold the tape under and butt up right into the pouch notch. Start sewing. Keep gentle constant pressure on the material to keep the tape snug.

When you get to the radius, slowly and carefully stitch your way around it, keeping gentle pressure on the material and constantly moving the material in an arcing motion. Avoid stopping, lifting the presser foot to re-position as this leaves “kinks” in the stitch pattern.

When you get to the end, fold the pouch over so you can stitch right up to the pouch side. Cut off tape several inches past this point.

OK now we’re going to finish the binding. Start with the ending side. Mark off approx 1/4″. Cut and fold it under, position it up in the notch as far up as it will go. Now stich it closed. I use a short “Z” stitch to start, then overlap stitch down into the binding at least 1 1/2″. Do the same thing to your start side.

Now we’re going to add a web stiffener, running the entire length of the pouch. This is a good alternative to double layer pouches, as the webbing gives you strength and a chaffing strip, but keeps all the thickness out of the closing seams. I am using a 2″ wide webbing strip. Of course you can use any width you want. I’m going with 2″ cuz I’m going to fold it over and use it to mount the closure velcro and create a tunnel for shock cord. Start at the top of the pouch, leaving plenty of length to fold over, and sew down to within 3″ of the top flap. We are going to leave this portion open to add hook velcro later.

Now sew on hook velcro. I’m using an approx 2″ square piece. You will notice I am setting it back a little bit from the edge. A couple of reasons for this. On curved flaps, the edge tape makes it hard to sew webbing and velcro down flat on it, so it’s easier to set this back a ways so you don’t end up with a wrinkled mess in this area. Also, it was suggested that I use a “set back” like this to allow a little extra area for your fingers to grip when opening the flap.

Now we are going to fold the pouch together and test fit the mags. This is the unique feature about this pouch so I will show it again when we stitch it closed. But for now, here’s the first fold.

Now the second fold pulls the pouch straight down, aligning the previously sewn edge with the new folded edge.

Now, holding that all together, fold the side of the pouch in to and clamp. You may have to practice this a few times.

Now we are going to test fit the mags. Mark on the back the top edge of the mags.

Mark on the front the point where the top flap ends. Notice I have left a little webbing loop past the top of the pouch. This is for a pull tab to re-insert mags.

Now sew on the loop velcro for top flap closure.

Fold the webbing over and sew into place, leaving tunnel for shock cord.

Now lay out your PALS grid on the back. I am going to use two web straps with snaps. Of course you could leave these off and use MLAICE clips.

Sew on straps. Start Box “X” at the top or where the most strain will be. Triple stitch.

Now add hardware. The 2″ webbing strip also acts as a nice doubler for hardware.

OK, now down to the nitty gritty. Here’s how to stich down the bottom corners. First fold.

Second fold.

Now first stitch line. Make sure you keep this line perpendicular (90 deg) to the side of the pouch.

Second stitch line. Make sure this stays parallel to the pouch side.

Thrid stitch line. This is a 45 deg angle. Stich until you’re approx 1/16″ away from the edge of the pouch. You have to feel for it underneath.

Fourth stitch line. Lay it in parallel to the pouch edge. Try to keep lined up with the edge tape stitching.

Now overstitch you start and then stitch it again (3 passes).

Repeat on the other side. Make sure you keep the two sew patterns as even as possible.

I know this looks kinda complex but with a little practice becomes second nature. The advantage to doing it this way is there is no simple raw edges to fray or fail; it is a much stronger joint than you typical bottom seam. And the folded material (along with the 2″ webbing) gives you additional layers on the bottom, again without doubling. So it’s not the only way to do it, but it’s a valuable tool in your tool box.

Now, to close, you simply fold the pouch up.

Align the edge tape in the corner and clamp.

Now stitch sides close. Notice “zipper” presser foot which makes this job much easier by focusing more pressure directly over the seam.

And finally the finished pouch. Front view.

Back view.

And bottom view. Note corner stitch patterns.

Forum discussion on this tutorial is here.

About the author: Mike Rinaldi
Founder of In My Workshop. Serial maker and DIYer. Trying to build a virtual home for people like me.

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