Easy Patch Pockets
Mo from lime gardenias is a fabric designer with her latest Party Dress fabric collection coming out soon! The patch pockets in Mo’s tutorial all feature fabric from the Party Dress collection… Mo has joined us before for this beautiful Hanging Vase Tutorial, and today she does it again with this easy Patch Pockets 101 Tutorial. Now you can add one of three different styles of cute patch pockets to any piece of clothing! Be sure to stop by lime gardenias for your chance to win some Party Dress fabric today.
Patch pockets are a great way to add a nice little touch to any sort of garment. They are great for aprons, skirts, shirts– You name it. They are easy to make, practical and a great way to use up scraps.
I have put together a pattern for a simple square and a rounded corner pocket in two sizes. You can download and print the Small Patch Pocket Pattern PDF and/or the Big Patch Pocket Pattern PDF. Personally, I really don’t much care for raw edges and I like things neat and tidy; the way I go about this sort of pocket is to cut two pieces, sew all the way around wrong sides facing (leaving an opening for turning), turning, pressing and top stitching. While in heavier fabrics this can make things a tiny bit bulky, most fabrics will look great. It keeps the inside tidy and it also helps keep a nice edge and shape especially on the curved corners. Another great thing about this is that you can embellish in a million different ways– Add a button or two, put a ruffle or rick rack on the top edge, etc. Once I got started making these I just kept thinking of different ways to personalize them. For now though, here are three examples:
Pocket #1 ~ Basic Square, with Ribbon
If you were going to do a plain pocket, here is where you would sew all the way around, turn and press. But to back up, I wanted to add a little velvet tie.
First, measure down to where you want your tie to be. Mark with a pen (you will cover this mark up so don’t worry). Measure down on both sides as you will be putting two separate pieces of ribbon on.
Pin your ribbon down and sew. For this thin velvet I used one stitch line down the middle. Wider ribbon I would stitch on top and bottom edges. Sew both pieces of ribbon on, back tack your ends and leave about a half inch between them to have room to tie the bow.
After the ribbon is tied on, put the ribbons nicely in the middle, place the back face down and pin for sewing. Keeping your ribbons nicely in the center keeps you from sewing them into the side seams.
You are going to sew all the way around leaving a one inch hole in the center top of the pocket. Don’t forget to clip your corners so you get a nice crisp edge.
Turn, using a chopstick for the corners to carefully push them out. Press carefully, making sure the space you left for turning at the top edge is turned in and pressed. When you are done pressing, topstitch just the top to close the hole. Important: Be mindful of the content of your ribbon when pressing. Don’t use your cotton setting on the ribbon unless you are sure it is cotton. There are lots of pretty synthetic ribbons out there so be careful not to melt!
Now, pin the pocket to your garment and stitch carefully around, close to the edge. Take your time and tie a nice bow. You can tack the center of the bow with a tiny stitch (by hand) if it is slippery ribbon. All done!
You could also use just really pretty ribbon and put one piece of it across the top without the bow if you like.
Pocket #2 ~ Patchwork Curved Corner Pocket
This is perfect for even tiny scraps. I grabbed a few scraps out of my large pile of scraps and sewed them together.
After I stitched them I carefully pressed them and then did a little topstitching to give it a nice detail
I then cut out the printed pattern and cut the center of the pattern out, leaving the seam allowance frame. Very handy for laying down to see how I liked the pocket best… This is a handy trick for when you might want to get just the right bit of a print as the focus for your pocket.
Flip and clip. Don’t forget to clip nice corners because it will be noticeable if they don’t lay nice and flat and curvy.
Backtack! Always make sure to backtack a couple of times past the top edge so that hands going in and out and the weight of whatever is in your pocket has a little insurance against pulling the pocket loose at the top.
Pocket #3 ~ Bias Cut Binding on a Curved Pocket
I love the idea of this though my execution could have been better! I am going to work on this but I thought it was a fun one to share quirks and all. Cut a 2 inch wide binding strip on the bias. Measure around your pocket to see how long to make your strip. (I made one about a foot long for the small pocket) You will need this bias cut and not straight cut because it will hug your curves better.
I use this great Clover binding maker all the time. It’s a fun tool and it allows you to make binding out of any fabric. It’s super easy too.
Note: I used the pattern without the seam allowance for this pocket. I wanted it smaller so I just cut the pattern out without the seam allowance and used that. When sewing this binding on, it seemed a lot easier to not pin. I put my machine speed down a notch so I couldn’t go crazy and just took it nice and slow. Try to get your stitching close to the edge but make sure you are getting the bottom edge of the binding as well.
Just slowly stretch the binding a tiny bit as you sew around the curves. Take your time.
After you have the binding on, press nice and flat. Then, take the top two corners and just press them over a hair like this:
Then fold over the top edge twice and top stitch. The tiny fold at the corners should keep the edge from showing.
Pin in place and stitch around. Remember to back tack!
I hope this inspires you to go and put some pockets on a few things!
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