Ramp up the cute factor on dresses, tops and trousers with our step-by-step guide to adding a patch pocket.
Patch pockets are a great way to add a splash of colour or extra interest to handmade wardrobe. They’re quick to sew and an easy technique to build your confidence if you’re new to dressmaking. Plus they’re a practical addition which adds a functional benefit to your garment.
How to sew a patch pocket
You will need:
- Fabric for the pocket (varied size depending on the pocket size)
- Contrast fabric for the facing
- Tailor’s chalk or pencil
- Tracing paper
- Basic sewing kit
- For this pocket, we’ve used Kirsty Hartley’s tunic dress project from issue 8. Download our tunic dress sewing pattern for free here.
- There are no seam allowances included in the pattern pieces so you will need to add a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance when you cut out.
- This tutorial shows you how to sew a patch pocket at the front of your dress but you can easily adapt it to create any pocket size, shape or position to suit your project.
Cutting out your fabric
Step one: Trace and cut out the pattern piece for the pocket.
Making the facing
Step one: To make the pocket facing pattern, cut a strip of tracing paper to the length of the top of the pocket and 5cm (2in) wide.
Step two: Pin the traced pattern for the pocket facing into place following the cutting layout. Using tailor’s chalk or a washable marker, mark a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance all the way around the top and sides of the facing, and cut it out. The bottom edge of the facing will be machine finished, so this do not need a seam allowance.
Preparing and adding the pocket
Step one: Place the pocket and pocket facing right sides (RS) together along the top edge and stitch. Press the seam open.
Step two: Machine finish the edges of the pocket and facing. Press the side and bottom edges of the pocket towards the wrong side (WS) by 1cm (3⁄8in).
Step three: Press the facing over to the WS of the pocket so the seam is at the top. Sew the facing into place along the finished edge of the facing, ensuring your stitching is neat as this will show on the front of the pocket (see Fig 2. below).
Step four: Pin the pocket into position on the front tunic piece, using the marked dots from the pattern piece as a guide.
Step five: Sew the pocket into place down the sides and across the bottom 5mm (1⁄4in) from the edge, taking care to backstitch at the top corners of the pocket to secure, and press.