Easy Patch Pockets

on June 11 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 94 Comments

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.

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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

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Right sides facing, use your pattern and cut out two squares. (Here is the Small Patch Pocket Pattern PDF & the Big Patch Pocket Pattern PDF.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Pocket #2 ~ Patchwork Curved Corner Pocket

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This is perfect for even tiny scraps. I grabbed a few scraps out of my large pile of scraps and sewed them together.

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After I stitched them I carefully pressed them and then did a little topstitching to give it a nice detail

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Pocket #3 ~ Bias Cut Binding on a Curved Pocket

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Just slowly stretch the binding a tiny bit as you sew around the curves. Take your time.

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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:

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Then fold over the top edge twice and top stitch. The tiny fold at the corners should keep the edge from showing.

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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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94 Responses to Easy Patch Pockets

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  2. Deanna says:

    Loved your cute pocket ideas, especially the ribbon.
    Here’s a tip for working with the bias binding. Before doing any sewing, shape the bias at your ironing board, using steam, to the approximate shape of your piece. This helps it to lay flat, voiding the puckers.

  3. kmckenzie says:

    very cute!

  4. jane says:

    Thanks for the pocket instructions. Never like to put on pockets, but I’ll try again.

  5. Jenny says:

    How cute are those patchwork ones!

  6. Kelli says:

    Now I have the know-how to add some pockets to something. I have put pockets on before and I know it isn’t hard, but I always get nervous about adding something that the pattern doesn’t explain. I know, silly. But now I’ll have written directions in front of me to boost my confidence into doing it! THANKS!!

  7. debe says:

    Thank you so much for this tute, I am a pocket person, and when I upcycle clothing I always want to add a pocket or two, and my scrap pile thanks you too!

  8. Jessica says:

    I love this! I have a love hate relationship with making pockets but have vowed to make more things with techniques I am not as comfortable with. I also think I need that tool for binding as I don’t do much with it either!

  9. Linda says:

    I enjoyed looking at your pocket tutes. I am attempting to sew for my Grandaughter and your tutes will come in handy…thanks.

  10. Margie Bennett says:

    Super cute pockets!!

  11. Trish says:

    What a great way to use up scraps!

  12. danna says:

    I love this! Thanks for the tutorial. :D

  13. Erica says:

    My daughter loves pocket on everything! I might have to add some to the clothing that doesn’t have any. :)

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Great tutorial! Thanks!

  15. Leah says:

    Those are great pocket ideas. I’m going to be dressing up my pockets now. Thanks!

  16. alisha says:

    So cute. My favorite is the bias binding on a curved pocket.

  17. liz says:

    love the bias tape pocket! will try that soon.

  18. Jennifer says:

    Adorable!!! So simple, but really adds a nice touch!

  19. ~Helena~ says:

    Thanks, pockets are so cute. My kids love them too.

  20. Trish B. says:

    Wow, every one you made is so cute!

  21. I love pockets! These look like really easy pockets and fun pockets to make. Thanks for the inpiration!

  22. Kelli says:

    I can not say enough nice things about that ribbon pocket!

  23. Joke says:

    That’s the way I make them! Now I want to try with the bias tape :)

  24. sariah says:

    Thanks for the creative pocket ideas! I can especially use your idea of cutting the middle part of the pattern out to make a window. Very helpful!

  25. renee says:

    Very nice. I make my pockets the sameway to stay neat. I really like the good idea for patchwork pockes and embellishing. Very nice.

  26. katevet says:

    Thank you! I’ll use this one soon!

  27. Colleen Butler says:

    Thank you for such a great tutorial. I am putting on pockets this weekend.

  28. Gray says:

    This is a wonderful idea- I like the left over scrap idea. Thankyou!

  29. Mama Lusco says:

    I like the ribbon trim!

  30. Stacey C. says:

    Thanks for this post–it’s a great reminder that pockets can add a nice embellishment to just about anything!

  31. 4vs1 says:

    I love the pocket with the ribbon! I have never put a pocket on anything. Something to try!

  32. Rochelle says:

    I love those variations.

  33. Mindy says:

    I’ll be going through the closet looking for things to add pockets to.

  34. great tips and ideas – thanks!

  35. DebbieKL says:

    I’ve been trying all week to get bias tape around a corner. You make it look so easy!

  36. Marcia W. says:

    Cute pocket ideas

  37. Becky says:

    It changes the look of any garment, and you can be so creative with different types. Great tutorials. Great ideas!

  38. Ginger says:

    what a nice tutorial!

  39. Joy says:

    I love that ribbon pocket idea!

  40. Tina L. says:

    Cute ideas to jazz up a garment.

  41. Munaiba says:

    What great ideas. These pockets are really cute!

  42. Deb Cameron says:

    Love that last pocket! Thanks for sharing :-)

  43. Kadybug says:

    Ohhh I so have to try these out! Thank you!

  44. Ramona says:

    I love the pocket with the three fabrics together. Thanks!

  45. Valerie says:

    Darling! Gave me some ideas for my daughter’s skirts. Thanks!

  46. Christine says:

    I think all clothes should have pockets. Good tutorial.

  47. Laurel says:

    Very cute!

  48. Kelly says:

    Great post Mo thanks for the inspiration!

  49. Molly says:

    You read my mind! I have been wanting to try pockets!

  50. Alice says:

    Thanks for sharing all these ideas!

  51. Laree says:

    I love the idea of doing a double layer pocket so there are no raw edges. Brillaint!

  52. HPENNIE says:

    ooooh, I just wanna put pockets on EVERYTHING right now!

  53. Maureen says:

    The multifabric pocket will look nice on a bag.

  54. Maureen says:

    Great pocket ideas. Will use one on a tote bag.

  55. Rebecca says:

    So cute. I love the bias tape idea around the pocket.

  56. christi Jensen says:

    Love the clover binder! I think I need to get one…love the fun ideas!

  57. Meg says:

    Cute pockets! I will definitely try one!

  58. Ruth says:

    i never would have thought to piece together a pocket. I just LOVE that idea. Thanks.

  59. Charity says:

    Lovely!

  60. sy says:

    the pockets are so cute :D i love how the bias binding looks.

  61. Andi says:

    These are all great ideas! I definitely want to try the one with the bias tape and I love the idea of making them out of scraps too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  62. Amber F. says:

    Great fabrics & I love the one used for the bias binding…Thanks for the great pocket tutorial!

  63. Leisel says:

    Love it! Too cute

  64. Leah says:

    What great pocket ideas! I have a little girl who would love any of these on a skirt or dress.

  65. Tabitha says:

    Cute pockets – love the fabrics. My favorite pocket is the one with the bow. I will definitley be using that one on something soon!

  66. gill says:

    Brilliant!!!
    Thanks
    Gill

  67. Natalie says:

    A clover binder… who knew binding could be that easy! I’ve been looking for different ways to spice up the pockets on the aprons I’ve been making.

  68. Lark says:

    Thanks for all the great info and fun variations!

  69. Alexis says:

    Great pocket patterns- I love pockets, they are especially great for kids clothes- thanks for the ideas!

  70. JJ says:

    Very informative!

  71. Tammy says:

    Those are cute!

  72. Tina C. says:

    i love pockets on everything. thanks for this.

  73. Caroline says:

    What cute pockets!

  74. Great ideas! Great to add to bags.

  75. Doris says:

    Great post…who doesn’t love a pocket!?

  76. Latrilla says:

    You made pocket applications look so easy! :)

  77. great idea for reusable bags! (which is all I have time to sew these days . . . )

  78. Judi B says:

    Great post. I really need to put this inspiration to use!

  79. Faith says:

    Those are so cute!!

  80. qsogirl says:

    cute pockets! (and those candy pops look amazing!)

  81. Corvus says:

    Very cute (and useful)! I’ll have to give these a try.

  82. Jennifer S. says:

    That’s stinkin’ cute. My son is currently obsessed with a book about a little mouse named Chrysanthemum, and she wears a jumper with 7 pockets and I can see how much he’d love a set of overalls with multiple pockets, now I think I’m up to the task.

  83. Georgi P. says:

    Thanks for the great ideas, so simple!

  84. Llamabean says:

    The ribbon is such a cute touch, thanks for the lovely tutorial!

  85. Cat says:

    i love pockets!

  86. Heidi C says:

    yay pockets! I put pockets on everything :)
    These are so adorable! I love the ribbon & great idea for seeing how the patchwork will look with the cutout window!

  87. Lauree Myler says:

    these are amazing. thanks for the tute and i love the fabric!

  88. Beth says:

    Great ideas for changing up pockets – love the details and the tips!

  89. Kimberly says:

    This is a great page to bookmark. Thanks for such handy tips.

  90. Rebecca says:

    great ideas.

  91. Daphne says:

    wonderful tute. thanks so much. I love the details. The rounded bias pocket is definitely my favorite. thanks so much for sharing.

  92. Michele says:

    Fabulous!

  93. Krystina says:

    Best post ever!

  94. Tong Yu says:

    Cute! I love the one with the ribbon!

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