How to Sew Place and Sew Patch Pockets

Sewing on pockets is a relatively easy task, you just need to see the steps in the right order. 

Getting a patch pocket on straight isn't the easiest process in the beginning. Its one thing if its being sewn on a flat front of a shirt, but what happens when you have a princess seam that it needs to be placed over, or a bust dart? That's where it gets a little tricky- when the bodice is three dimensional, making sure that the pocket aligns to the proper place takes more work.

In this written and video lesson, lets go through it step by step. I'll show you how to prepare the pocket and how to smooth the bodice so that your pocket ends up where it was intended.

Read the written tutorial below, and for those of you who learn better by watching videos and pausing to practice the steps, click here to get access the video lesson. It will be sent to your inbox so you can learn and practice again and again!

1. Transfer Pattern Markings and Prepare the Pocket

Your pattern will have a small dot on the shirt front that shows you where the pocket belongs. Transfer those markings. 

Next, serge or zigzag, or pink the edges of the pocket to prevent the fabric from unraveling. Most pockets will have an inch fold at the top. Fold and sew the top down, and then press all 3 sides of the pocket to prepare it for placement. 

2. Pin pocket to the pattern markings

You will begin by pinning the upper corners of the pocket to align it to the pattern markings. Secure the corners first, tucking the edges of the pocket under the fold and pinning.

3. Check the alignment of the pocket by making sure the edge of the pocket is parallel to the edge of the placket.

First make sure the pocket is parallel to the placket. That part needs to be straight or the pocket will look really crooked. 

Next, pin all the way around and secure the pocket to the front of the shirt.

3. Try the garment on!

Make sure to stop, and go put the shirt on so that you can check the pocket placement. You might not like where the pocket is intended on the pattern, in fact, I change this a lot when I am sewing. Test it, make sure you like where the pockets land and if you don't, pin them where it flatters you most. 

5. Sew pocket down creating a skinny triangle at the top.

You are going to start at the sewn line at the top of the pocket. Line the needle up with those stitches and bring it down.

Sew a slight diagonal line towards the top of the pocket creating the first side of the triangle.

Sew the top of the triangle towards the corner of the pocket.

Pivot, and then sew a straight line towards the bottom corner. 

To create a sharp square corner, pivot with the needle down.

Sew all the way to the top corner. Pivot, and sew 1/4 an inch to create the short triangle side. Pivot again and sew to the point where the top line of the pocket. 

Backstitch 2 or 3 stitches and you are done!

Do you dream of sewing your own clothing?

I have been teaching sewing for over 6 years now, and finally have made my most popular class, Beginner's Sewing, available as an online video course. You can now learn at home, at your own pace, with my comprehensive class for beginner sewists. Get started sewing today, and soon, you will be making your own clothes too!!

I'm always looking for fun tutorials to show you and my students. Let me know how I can help you, and you might just see it pop up as a tutorial soon :)

Thanks and happy sewing!

Andrea