Sewing Patch Pockets

This pattern has patch pockets and I thought it would be a good opportunity to show you how I sew them.

Hi everyone

I’ve been dressmaking this week using fabric from my stash. I’ve made this hooded top in a fine knit. I’m not sure what the fabric is, but it’s soft and drapey so maybe it has some viscose in it. The pattern is the Everyday Luxe Hoodie by Ottobre and you’ll find it in magazine 5/2014. As you already probably know, I love Ottobre patterns, both the womenswear and the kids.

Of course there’s never just one way to do anything, you might have your own favourite methods, but this is how I did these…

I cut the pocket pieces and overlocked all four edges, then turned a hem on the top edge according to the pattern markings. To be honest, for this project the size of the pocket isn’t crucial, what matters is that the pockets are the same as each other. I make both pockets at the same time, checking them constantly to make sure they are the same size.

After pinning the hem, I straight stitch it in place being careful not to stretch the fabric.

Next, I press in the sides of the pocket (not the bottom edge). Again, I’m being careful to keep the turnings the same so the two pockets match.

Following the pattern markings, I place the pockets on the garment front, right sides together and pin in place. I double check that they are evenly placed and that both pockets match.

Next I sew that seam, again being careful not to stretch the fabric.

Next, it’s time to flip the pockets up so the wrong side of the pocket faces the right side of the garment. Pin in place.

The pocket sides need to be top-stitched in place and this can be where you run into problems with the fabric stretching and distorting. To stop this happening, place a piece of thin tissue paper on top of your work.

Sew through the tissue and top stitch those pocket edges. You might be able to see through your tissue if it’s quite thin, but if not, you can feel the edge of the pocket with your finger to work out where you are. Lift and peep underneath to check that your stitching is in the right place.

If you have trouble sewing the bottom edge of the pocket to the garment front, you can also use tissue for that step, but I find my machine copes OK with that, it’s just these extra layers when going through the whole pocket that can be tricky.

When you’re done, carefully tear away the tissue. If any tiny bits remain in the stitches just rub them out with your nail, or pick them with tweezers.

I find that using the tissue means there’s no drag or distortion when stitching through all the layers. I use this method for sweater knits, sweatshirt fabrics and jersey. I hope you’ll find it works for you too.

This pattern calls for a little reinforcing stitching at the top corners of the pockets, so I back and forth a little bar tack type stitching there for the final step and the pockets are done.

Patch pockets are one of the easiest pockets to add to a garment, but because they’re there on the front, there’s nowhere to hide! Taking time to press the pockets so they are exactly the same, positioning them accurately, and then using the tissue to sew them so there’s no distortion should mean you get perfect results every time.

Happy sewing everyone!
Love Laura

Visit Frances's Shop