Sewing Blog

The Secrets to Sewing Perfect Patch Pockets

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.

Twin Pockets on Button Down Shirt

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:

Twin Pockets Cut from Pattern

Cut the pocket pieces using your pattern.

Step 2:

Twin Patch Pockets Hemmed

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:

Twin Pockets Sewn Together

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

Twin Pocket Center Mark

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:

Twin Pockets Basted Together

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:

Twin Pockets Turned and PRessed

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:

Twin Pockets Seam Ripped Apart After Basted

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

Press Pocket Edges After Picking Them Apart

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.

draw sewing line

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 pivots

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.

pin pocket in place

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:

sew up to corner

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.

sew down the side

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

Step 11:

pivot at bottom corner

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

pivot at center bottom

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

sew up other side

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

pivot at top corner

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

sew down corner

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:

finished pocket

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.

sewing order
scalloped edges on fabric

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10 Comments

Anne Babcock

Very clever!

Reply
Jessica Johnson-Gammon

I can see this being useful even if you only have one pocket just to keep from blistering fingers trying to turn under 1/4″!

Reply
Rebecca

I love the idea of sewing the pockets together!

Reply
Kerry

You know what I love about this? I’ve been sewing for over 45 years and thought I knew where this was going when I started watching. Well, wait….what?? I never thought of this! Thanks for teaching me a new technique today!

Reply
Laura S.

Best tutorial I’ve seen for accurate matching pockets.

Reply
Andrea LaVergne

The only thing I would add is stitch the 2 pockets together with a bobbin filled with washaway thead. When you iron the thread dissolves and you don’t have to pick out all of the thread!

Reply
Billye Watson

Even easier would be to use water soluble thread for the sewing together. After ironing to give a crisp edge, use spray starch to dissolve the threads…no picking apart!

Reply
Laura Altes

I’ve been sewing for 50 years and this is a wonderful tip. I would never have thought of basting the pockets together like that! Thanks

Reply
Paula

I always line the pocket using the same method. Sewing the pocket is easier and the pocket stays in shape after extended use.
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Reply

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