February 13, 2014

How to: Sew & Attach a Patch Pocket

I know, I know. It's been a seriously long space of time since I did a tutorial. I love tutorials and at one moment in time, I felt I had a lot to give in that arena. Thing is, things have been so busy. Something you've heard from me for a bit. The great part is though, I've got help now! Oh my gosh! You guys, you're going to start meeting some of my staff here and I'm going to coax them into writing a few bloggy blog posts. They are all so creative. Can I just say, its super fun being around creative sorts and its so much fun to see the light in their eyes when they talk sewing. Anyway, anyway today, as a finish to the week, I thought I would get back to a little tutorial writing. Today's topic is sewing and attaching a patch pocket.

Lest you think this might be a yawn, I'm here to say that patch pockets can definitely turn a handmade project into homemade at a moment's notice. The kind where people are like, "Hmmm...did you make that?" And in their head they're like, "cuz it looks like it." Oh the shame, the shame! So let me give you some of my tips, eh?
I'll be showing you how I attached the patch pocket to my pink jacket - the Kaisla, in case you're interested - which is the same method I used to attach the patch pocket to my green jacket and well, hopefully it all makes sense. Leave questions if in doubt.

Step one - I'll assume you've cut out your pockets and are ready to go. Start with your lining. Trim about 1/8" off the sides and bottom.

Step two - Pin the top edge of your pocket lining to your pocket, right sides together. Notice how each side edge of the lining is slightly smaller than the pocket (meaning the floral fabric is smaller than the pink fabric). We'll talk more about the why in just a sec, but that's what you want. You'll be doing a bit of easing the pocket lining into the pocket. This means that the pocket will end up bubbling just a bit when you pin it together.

Step three - Stitch the top edge together now. Here's a good rule of thumb when you have a bit of easing to do on a sewing project. Put the shorter side face up - facing you - and the longer side facing down in the bed of the machine. The feed dogs of a sewing machine will naturally feed the fabric faster than the foot and then you won't have to do too much work except guide the fabric through the machine.

Step four - Stitch the sides and bottom of the lining to the pocket, right sides together. Again this will require a bit of easing. Leave an opening somewhere in there so you can turn the pocket. I usually leave mine in the bottom edge and its about 2 -3 inches wide.

Step five - Trim down your edges if you need, clip your curves and turn your pocket right side out. For my favorite ways of getting sharp little points have a look at Tilly's method or this lovely method from Pam, which will require a little more forethought. Both give excellent results!

Step six - Now give your pocket a press and behold, you're lining will naturally favor the inner part of the pocket. Wanna talk favoring for a minute? Let's. Favoring is when you have a seam and you want it to favor one side of the garment. It's the reason why you understitch, like for example on a waistband. You understitch the faced section of the waistband so that it favors the inside of the garment. It's a finishing touch that is really nice. Now on a patch pocket, you want that same idea, but since you can't really understitch, you have to cut down your lining so that it ends up being a bit smaller than your pocket and it will favor the inside of the pocket. The thing of that is, you want this to happen because when it doesn't and you use a fun and cute little lining, you can see that lining peeking out from the pocket on all sides when you are wearing the jacket. It's not a good look. Trust me. Been there, done that. I have a t-shirt.

Step seven - Now its time to attach the pocket to the jacket. Because you're not a square or a rectangle, but because human bodies have curves, you want your pocket to have a certain puff when it is attached to the jacket. This way, when you wear your jacket or skirt or what have you, the pocket is not pulling or distorting the piece its attached to in a rather unattractive way - which by the way, gives your handmade garment the wrong kind of attention. To get the desired look, pin your pocket to the garment section when its laid on a tailor's ham - or something else that mimics curves.

Step eight - Stitch your pocket to the garment with an edgestitching foot. This is my favorite foot of all time. Oh my gosh - I could marry this thing. I love it so! A most prized possession. It gets so close to that edge and looks so professional. Now, don't forget that you'll want to give your pocket a little triangle up at the top sides as your attaching. Meaning you'll stitch a triangle shape in that area. It will end up giving the pocket more strength especially as hands and such get shoved in and out of it.

Et voila. Finis! I have to say that I'm a serious, serious patch pocket lover. A good patch pocket is just sooooo charming. Like, so charming. They add just the right touch to a garment. Don't you think? What do you say to patch pockets? Ever tried some of these techniques before?

Enjoy friends!

PS ~ Happy V-day! A little sewing tutorial gift from me to you!
© A Fashionable Stitch. All rights reserved.