I've become a big fan of mesh pockets in my totes and purses. I like them because I can see the contents of the pocket; oh, and they are really easy to make!
All you need is some mesh. I checked out JoAnn Fabrics and found some tulle. I don't particularly care for it, so I've stuck with my go-to: laundry bags! I purchased pop-up hampers from Big Lots and recently discovered these from Target. I like the ones from Target because they are big (36" x 24"), so they work perfectly for my bigger sewing projects.
Here's what you need to do:
1. Cut your pocket to the correct size. My pocket sides and bottom are sewn into the seams, so think about that. You might have to put the binding all the way around.
2. Cut and make binding. I have a tutorial if you've never made it. I prefer my method because one side is wider than the other. This should be the length of your pocket (or whatever won't be sewn into the seams).
3. Place the narrow side of the binding on top of the mesh as shown. Line up along the edges. This will be the back of the pocket.
4. Sew in the fold. I use a walking foot - it feeds more evenly.
I don't pin. I just go slowly, making sure that the edges stay lined up.
If you need to, sew binding where it's needed. This pocket is on the inside of a big tote (it's part of the side panel/gusset). You'll see the binding at the bottom of the pocket. I didn't want a pocket that was too deep. I made this pocket about 2" wider than the side panel and created a pleat in the bottom. UPDATE: Here's how to create a Pleated Mesh Pocket.
5. Flip over and wrap binding over to the other side (this will be the front.)
6. Sew the binding to the mesh as shown.
7. Attach the pocket. Sew dividers as desired!
You could make this zippered if you wanted!
Here it is!
You can purchase the pattern for this purse insert on Craftsy and Etsy.