Convertible Hip Pouch Hack - Foraging + Leaf Satchels

Sometimes, a hands-free way to carry the essentials makes life more convenient. But, so often, many of the hands-free bag options, like fanny packs, bum bags, and hip pouches, are too small or boring. Why not create your own, with a bit of whimsy and oh-so-much room for everything you need?

This Convertible Hip Pouch Hack will guide you through the process of creating straps that “swivel” to allow for easy use of your Foraging or Leaf Satchel both as a shoulder satchel, and as a comfortable, stylish hip pouch.


A finished beige Satchel with green Leaf flap is shown being worn two ways - long, across the body and as a hip pouch. The woman modelling it is wearing a blue tshirt, green pants, a brown sweater, and is surround by a backdrop of trees.



  •  Foraging or Leaf Satchel pattern pieces and recommended materials
  • 4 D-rings (to match chosen strap width)
  • Scraps of smooth, thick leather
  • Metal grommets
  • Recycled pop can tabs (optional, for additional reinforcement)
  • Glue suitable for leather (contact cement or similar is ideal)
  • Heavy duty snaps (optional, for thigh strap)



The required materials for the Convertible Hip Pouch hack are shown laid out together, including the cut satchel pieces in tan cotton ripstop material; a light green marled cotton leaf-shaped flap; a blue and green plaid lining upcycled from a suit coat; dark reddish-brown leather; 2 pop tabs; and bronze D-rings, grommets, and snaps.

Cutting instructions

Cut all pattern pieces for your desired style of Foraging or Leaf Satchel as indicated (I’ve cut mine using the Leaf Satchel in small portrait size, with the Contrast Flap hack described here).

Note: this hack is only recommend for the small Satchel sizes. The Large Satchels will be too big to comfortably wear on the waist.

Check that your chosen strap is long enough to go around your waist – it should be at least as long as your body measurement where you intend to wear it. The width of the bag itself will leave ample slack for adjustment.

Additionally, from smooth leather, cut:

  • 4 - 1.5" (3.5cm) circles
  • 2 - 2" (5cm) squares (round off corners, if desired)
  • 2 - 4-6" (10-15cm) long, thin leather strips


From exterior fabric, cut:

  • 2” strip of fabric long enough to encircle thigh + ¾" (2cm) (optional, use only if adding thigh strap - I’ve repurposed a cut-off seam for mine)

Cut pieces for this hack are shown, including the satchel pieces cut from tan cotton ripstop, green marled cotton, and blue and green plaid upcycled suit material; there are also 2 square leather patches with rounded corners, 4 leather circles, 2 leather strips, and a strip of a tan ripstop seam from a pair of pants.

Sewing instructions

Prepare straps

1. Assemble the Strap + Loop as described in the pattern tutorial through step 6. Do NOT baste to pouch sides.

The Strap and Loop from the Satchels are shown here sewn in tan ripstop material, as per pattern instructions.

2. If your fabric is prone to fraying, finish each end of your Loop piece with a serger or zig-zag stitch (optional - will help to reinforce the strap ends).

The tan ripstop Loop piece is shown with a zigzagged short edge.

3. Thread the Loop piece through 3 D-rings, and sew the ends right sides together.

The Loop piece is shown threaded through 3 bronze D-rings, with the two short ends sewn together to enclose them.

4. Turn Loop right side out inside the rings.

The loop piece is shown from the side, with the seam turned in towards the 3 D-rings.

5. Pull 2 of the D-rings to one side, and 1 to the opposite side. Finger press the seam open. The seam should be situated between the two sets of D-rings.

The Loop piece is shown laid flat - 2 D-rings are situated to the left side, 1 D-ring is situated to the left. The seam is between the 2 sets of D-rings.

6. Top-stitch on either side of the seam through all layers. This will sew the seam allowances down nicely, and split the Loop in half.

The Loop piece is shown in the same flat orientation as the previous step, with topstitching added down either side of the seam where it lays in the center.

7. Thread the raw end of the Strap piece into the remaining D-ring.

The raw end of the long Strap has been threaded through a bronze D-ring and is shown laid flat.

8. Turn the raw end over 3/8” (1cm), then ¾” (2cm). Edgestitch to secure the D-ring.

The raw end of the strap has been turned under and stitched down, to finish the edge and enclose the D-ring. The full length of the strap is shown laid in a zig-zag pattern.

Prepare satchel

9. Assemble Internal Pocket, Front Exterior, Front Lining, and Security Band as per pattern tutorial steps 9-31 to create your Satchel Front. If you are making the elastic version, don’t add your elastic yet – if you are making the non-elastic version, don’t sew your crease-lines yet.

10. On your Satchel Front, topstitch the square leather patches through both layers of the Sides, just below the security band. Ensure you leave 3/8” (1cm) available at the raw edge for later seams.

*Pro tip - Using glue stick on the back of the leather patch can help hold it in place while sewing.

The assembled Satchel Front is shown laid flat, with the security band at the top. Two dark leather square patches with rounded corners have been sewn onto the Sides, just below the security band. There is ample room left on either side for the later seams to be sewn.

11. Through the centre of the leather patches, punch or cut a hole through all 3 layers big enough for the grommets. Apply grommets in each hole as described in the package directions.

The Satchel Front is shown laid flat but from an angle, focused on where a bronze grommet has been installed through a whole in the leather patch + satchel side. You can see the other patch in the background with a grommet installed as well.

12. (Optional, if adding a thigh strap) Apply heavy-duty snap sockets through the Sides of the satchel, near the bottom corner.

The Satchel Front is shown with a bronze heavy-duty snap installed near the bottom corner of the Satchel side.

Prepare leather “swivels” + attach straps

13. Punch/cut a small hole in the centre of 2 leather circles. This hole should be just big enough for your leather strips to fit through twice, snugly.

Four dark leather circles are shown laid flat - the top two have had a small hole punched in the center.

One leather circle is shown with both ends of a thin leather strip threaded through it.

14. To determine the Strap and Loop placement, decide which hip you would like your Satchel to sit on most comfortably. I like to wear mine on the right hip, so I will attach the Loop to the left as worn, and the Strap to the right. This way, the Strap will thread through the D-rings and tighten in the centre front. (If you’d prefer to wear yours on the left hip, mirror the following instructions.)

The hip Satchel is worn by a woman with a bag centered over the right hip. The D-rings are then centered on the body.

15. Thread the leather strips to attach the Loop as follows:

  • Through the centre hole in a leather circle, from the less-smooth side
  • Through the grommet in the satchel left Side as worn, from the lining side
  • Through the single D-ring in the assembled Loop
  • Back through the grommet in the satchel Side, from the exterior
  • Back through the leather circle, from the smooth side
  • (optional) For additional strength, thread each end through the two sides of a pop tab

A hand is holding the edge of the Satchel Front towards the camera, for a clearer view of how the leather strip has been threaded through the leather circle, grommet, and Loop D-ring. There are orange arrows to indicate the path by which the leather strip was threaded - they point left through the leather circle, left through the Satchel Side grommet, around the Loop D-ring, right through the Satchel Side grommet, and right through the leather circle once again.

The threaded leather strip is shown from the end, looking at the back of the leather circle, and showing a soda can/pop tab that has had either end of the leather strip threaded through it. The ends of the leather strip are spread to show this.

16. Lengthen or shorten the leather strip to your desired length, leaving enough length for it to turn freely inside the grommet, and glue each end to the leather circle. Trim any excess.

The nearly-finished leather hardware is shown from the lining side of the Satchel Front. We can see the punched leather circle with leather strip through it, then through either side of the pop tab. Both ends of the leather strip have been glued down to the leather circle on either side of the pop tab, and the ends have been trimmed evenly with the edges of the leather circle.

17. Glue a leather circle that does not have a hole in the centre to the back, to hide the strip ends and finish the swivel. If desired, for additional durability, you may choose to punch holes and hand-stitch around the edge.

The nearly-finished leather hardware we are creating is shown, again, from the lining side of the Satchel Front. An unpunched leather circle is being glued to cover the pop tab and leather strip ends, creating a nice smooth back to the leather hardware.

18. Complete the same process to create a second swivel to attach the Strap, on the right side of the satchel as worn. I’ve shown the process here in video, so you can see it in action. Once the glue dries, try giving them a go! You’ll see they turn easily inside the grommet, while providing a strong attachment to your satchel. 


19. Your swivel-straps are done! Complete the rest of your satchel as indicated in the pattern tutorial, starting with sewing the crease lines or elastic, keeping your finished straps out of the way. (I'm making a  Leaf Satchel using the Contrast Flap hack here.)

The completed Satchel Front with attached straps is shown laid flat. Blue and green flower/vine embroidery has been added to the Strap, and a small bunch of leaves is laid next to it.

An in-progress Satchel is shown, with the assembled Satchel Front being pinned to a Leaf Satchel flap and back.

20. If you are adding a thigh strap, check the length of your cut piece by holding it up to the finished Satchel around the thigh as-worn. It should be ¾” (2cm) longer than your desired finished length. Ensure it has enough slack to account for contraction of the thigh muscles with walking and climbing as needed. Prepare it the same way as the Strap, except you will memory-crease both short ends and enclose them both. (I have upcycled a cut-off strip of a pants seam for mine instead.)

The Leaf Satchel is worn at the hip, as a strap is held behind the thigh and to either side against the snaps on the Satchel.

21. Add snap studs to both ends of your prepared thigh strap.

The finished ends of the thigh strap are shown with bronze snap caps installed, being held by a hand. There is a small bunch of greenery showing in the background.

Your Convertible Hip Pouch is now ready! Simply thread your Strap through the 2 D-rings in the Loop like a belt, and adjust as needed, tucking the free end into the belt. If you included a thigh strap as well, simply snap it to the sockets on the main satchel, around the thigh.

The finished Leaf Satchel is worn around the hips as a hands-free way to carry everything!

Alternative methods: 

There are lots of ways one could adapt this method and make it their own!

For an easy-on, easy-off pouch, include buckles on the Strap and Loop instead of two of the D-rings, and use a slider as indicated in-pattern to manage any extra length.

Prepare as directed with only one or two D-Rings on the Loop, and simply tie the Strap through one D-ring or the Loop to adjust.

Make a similar “swivel” using a button with large holes, and braided cord.

And more!

The finished convertible Leaf Satchel is worn crossways over the body. Blue and green vine embroidery is visible on the strap.

We’d love to see your finished projects using this hack – won’t you share them with us on social media? You can tag us @twigandtale on Instagram, or share them in our Twig + Tale Chat group on Facebook.


Happy sewing!

The T+T team