Saturday, March 21, 2009

Patch Pockets

If you click on the photos they will open up larger

I have seen a number of methods for attaching a patch pocket, but I like the one I used on my coat the best, It is much sturdier than sewing them on by hand from the back. I found it in Roberta Carr's book, Couture the Art of Fine Sewing.
After years of overdue fines at the library I finally bought this one. The fashions are really heinous, but the techniques are fabulous with really good instructions.
I thought that I'd add a tutorial on how I constructed the pockets on my coat. This is probably more
time consuming than putting them on strictly by hand, but they are much sturdier, and you won't fear ripping them out when you put your hand in your pockets.

Make a template of your pocket without sas so that you can use it to press your pocket later.
Cut out your pocket, making sure that it is perfectly on grain.
Mark the fold line for your facing and interface the facing, leaving it out of the seam allowances. You can interface the whole pocket but don't include it in the seam allowances.

Cut out a piece of straight grain lining fabric larger than your pocket. Seam it at the top, leaving a 2" opening for turning. If you don't do this you won't be able to turn it later.
Now lay the pocket over a ham and steam press in the shape.

Pin the pocket to the lining and trim the lining to match. Open it out and trim 1/16 to 1/8" of the edge of the lining fading to nothing by the fold. This means that you will trim a bit of the facing too.

Now turn it right sides together and, pin at right angles to the edge and sew in a large basting stitch. Press as sewn and do not trim the sas yet.

Turn the pocket right side out and press the edge. Work carefully and patiently, to get it into shape. Don't press into the pocket so that you don't mark the seam sas that hasn't been trimmed yet. Use a damp press cloth and the tip of the iron. I was careful to use a double side wool and canvas press cloth with the wool side down to keep my nap from getting crushed.

Remove the basting stitches and open it so that it lies flat. The photo on the upper right shows the pocket open with the template in place. You can press it to a sharp crease now from either side. You'll need to shrink the curved bottom corners now. The template prevents the sas from showing or from shrinking the pocket itself.

Now is the time for topstitching or adding a buttonhole. If using topstitching, trim fashion fabric close to topstitching. Trim fashion fabric in sas, but not the lining allowances.

Place the pocket on the coat, making sure that it is not perfectly flat, but leaving a bit of slack to make sure that you can get your hand in the pocket. With the lining down in place on your jacket or coat, pin perpendicular to the edge. Using 16 stitches per inch or 8 per centimeter, sew along the fold for half an inch turn the corner for 1/2" to secure the corner and then edgestitch the rest of the lining on at a normal stitch length. Finish the second corner as you did the first. Tie off the thread. Now you can trim the sas on the lining. Fold down the pocket over the lining and pin in place. Slipstitch the pocket to the coat making sure that none of the lining will show.


  1. That is a great book. It gets a good workout around blogland! Thank you for the tute.

  2. Obviously I'm not much into sewing, but I read your post anyway. You are quite good at writing straightforward and concise directions!

  3. I'm glad you posted a tutorial, I was curious about how you did the pockets when you put up your first post. I love your coat, it's so classy!

  4. Hey MD! (Can that be Mommy dearest?) I love the pictures, if only because it reminds me of being at home and bugging you in your sewing studio. Awesome post, even if the technical mumbo is like Welsh to me. :-p Still fun to read.

  5. Thanks, Nancy. I'll definitely try this method.