Sewing Techniques with Burda: Our Tips for Sewing a Simple Patch Pocket

Pockets, often seen as mere details, are actually incredibly important in the art of sewing. Not only are they practical, but they play a crucial role in how a garment looks. Among the various types of pockets, we distinguish patch pockets, discreet and practical, Italian pockets, found at the level of the side hip panels, slit pockets, piped pockets, flap pockets, welt pockets, zipper pockets, and many more. Each offers its own set of challenges and creative opportunities.

In this article, we share our tips for sewing simple patch pockets to perfection.

 TIP : Very large pockets can be given the required stiffness by reinforcing them with interfacing (e. g. Vlieseline G 785) or with a lightweight volume fleece (e. g. Vlieseline H 630).

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The Simple Patch Pocket

This type of pocket is used for garments made from lightweight fabric, for jeans and other garments constructed without a lining.

Pockets are cut out with seam allowances on all sides. A wider allowance, the facing, may be included on the pattern piece at the opening edge of the pocket. On larger pockets, lightweight fusible interfacing is ironed onto this facing.

How to prepare a simple patch pocket?

 1 . Neaten all pocket edges.

 2 . Fold the allowance or the facing of the pocket opening to the inside and baste.

 3 . Press the edges and topstitch if necessary.

 4 . Now fold the allowances of the other three edges to the inside and baste (1). Press. 

How to prepare a rounded patch pocket?

For pockets with curved edges, we have a trick for folding and pressing the allowances:

 1 .  Use a long stitch setting to stitch along the curves close to the fabric edge.

 2 . Cut a template of stiff but lightweight cardboard to fit the shape of the pocket.

 3 . Place the template at the seam line on the wrong side of the pocket. Pull the bobbin threads of the stitching until the seam allowances lie flat along the edge of the template.

 4 .  Distribute the width evenly (2). Press.

How to prepare a patch pocket with a wide facing?

 1.  If a wide facing has been integrated into the pocket opening, you can also reinforce the side edges of the pocket at the width of the facing. To do so, turn the facing outward and stitch the side edges to the facing. Cut off the corners of the allowances at an angle (3).

 2.   Turn the facing inward, baste the edges (4), and continue by folding and basting the remaining pocket edges to the inside. Press.


Stitching on the pocket

Once your patch pocket is prepared, it's time to move on to the next step: attaching your patch pocket to your garment. Here's how to proceed:

1 .   Pin the finished pocket to the garment.

2 .  Baste and sew by hand using invisible stitches (5) or a machine stitch.

3 .   To prevent the corners of the opening edge from tearing, reinforce them with small triangles by hand or stitch the triangles when attaching them.

And there you have it! You now know how to sew a patch pocket onto a garment like a sewing pro!