The Secrets to Sewing Perfect Patch Pockets

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Patch pockets can add a decorative and practical touch to any garment. While they're easy to sew, a few simple tricks can make yours even sharper.

Creating identical patch pockets

First, you'll cut, hem and turn under the edges on the pockets. If you're making more than one, getting them to be the same size and shape is easier said than done. Try this method for picture-perfect pockets.

This tutorial shows angled patch pockets, but the same method would work on rounded or rectangular pockets as well.

Step 1:

Cut the pocket pieces using your pattern.

Step 2:

Press and stitch the hem the top of each pocket first. When you do this step first, the backstitching will be hidden, resulting in a cleaner-looking pocket.

Step 3:

Align the pockets right sides together, matching the topstitching and raw edges. Pin in place.

If you have an angled pocket, mark the middle so you know exactly where to pivot your stitches at the point. You can do this on the other corners as well.

Step 4:

Use a long stitch or a loose tension on your machine to baste the two pockets together, maintaining an accurate seam allowance as indicated by your pattern. Do not backstitch. Trim your seam allowances if necessary to reduce bulk. For rectangular or angular pockets, measure your seams to make sure the sides are even.

Step 5:

Turn the pocket right side out and pull out your corners into sharp points. If your pocket does not have corners, smooth out the rounded edge.

Press well. This presses the edges of both pockets evenly at the same time, so you don’t have to hem each pocket separately. All the measuring was done for you when you used your machine to baste the pockets together.

Step 6:

Now unpick or pull out the basting stitches. The pressed edges will stay intact.

Give them another quick press, so they maintain their shape.

Step 7:

It's always a good idea to reinforce the corners of your patch pockets, which makes them more secure.

Mark where you would like your stitch lines to go. This example starts ¼" in from the sides at the hemline, reducing to a point at the top corner. The opposite orientation is common as well, with the wider end of the triangle at the top, tapering toward the edge at the hemline.

Draw the line with a water-soluble marking tool.

Step 8:

Mark all other pivots around the corners of the pockets.

Step 9:

The pockets are now ready to topstitch onto your garment. Align them based on the markings on your pattern, or choose your desired placement.

Secure the pockets in place using pins, double-sided tape or fabric glue. It helps to secure all the sides plus the top to keep the pocket from gaping at the top. This way it will be sewn flat.

Step 10:

To sew the reinforced corner, start by sewing up toward the opening. Follow your stitch line and stitch to the corner. Be sure to sew a discreet backstitch at the start.

Pivot at the top corner, turning the entire pocket around so you are ready to sew down the pocket.

Step 11:

Sew down to the next corner, pivoting by following your marks, turning the fabric to sew along the bottom.

Sew to the pivot at the center bottom. Again, follow your marks and pivot to sew the other half of the bottom.

Pivot at the next corner, turning the fabric again so you can now sew up toward the top of the pocket.

When you reach the other top edge of the pocket, follow your marks and pivot so you can sew down the reinforced corner mark.

Turn the fabric and follow the markings to sew down to the original topstitching line. As you did at the start, be sure to backstitch.

Step 12:

Trim off all the threads, give the pocket a press, and it’s all done! As a point of reference, below is the order in a handy image that might help clearly understand what we just did.

scalloped edges on fabric

The Details Make the Difference

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The Secrets to Sewing Perfect Patch Pockets