Sunday, August 5, 2012

Patch Pocket Primer

This is the tutorial on how to make a patch pocket for the apron I posted about last week:

The pocket is self-lined and has a contrasting fabric binding at the top. 

              (1) 8 inch square pocket fabric
              (1) 8 inch square pocket lining fabric
              (1) strip of binding fabric, measuring 7 x 2 3/4 inches.
               Template (see below)

To make the template,  start with a piece of cardboard measuring 7 x 6 inches.  Mark a small dot at 3 inches down from each side.  Draw a curved line from the left side mark, to the center bottom and back up to the right side mark.  Or, use a saucer or dinner plate and trace a curve.

Place your 2 pocket fabrics right side together, with the template on top.  Trace around the template.  Cut out the pocket pieces on the line you traced,  and sew around the entire curved edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Leave the straight edge at the top unsewn.

Turn the pocket right sides out, and press.

To make the binding strip, start by pressing a 1/2 inch fold on the two short ends of the fabric strip, and then fold and press the strip along the long side:

Now you have the pocket and the binding strip prepared, but you can see that the binding strip is about 1/2 inch shorter than the width of the  pocket.  This is because I wanted create a little fullness in the pocket, to makes it more useful for holding something other than a flat recipe card.

Fullness is created by  gathering the top edge of the pocket.  The first step to gathering is to sew two rows of large (basting size) stitches along the top, close to the raw edge.

Gently tug on the bobbin threads in each row of stitches to create a gentle gather along the top edge of the pocket.

Gather enough fabric so that the length of the pocket is just slightly less than the binding strip.  Distribute the gathers as evenly as possible.

Place the binding strip onto the pocket, aligning the raw edges.  (If you are using a lining fabric that is different from the pocket fabric, pin to the lining fabric.)  Make sure the the binding extends beyond the pocket by about 1/16th of an inch. Pin.
Here is the other side.  See how the turqoise binding strip just peaks out at each edge?

Sew, using a generous 1/4 inch seam. Then gently press the binding strip away from the pocket.

Turn the pocket over to the right side, and fold the binding from the back over to the front, just enough to cover the row of gathering stitches. Pin.

Sew the binding to the front, using a narrow seam allowance. 

Now the pocket is ready to be sewn to the apron front.  Place the pocket into position on the apron front and pin.

Topstitch along the outer curved edge to attach the pocket and you are done.

I would love to hear from you if you use this tutorial, and would be happy to answer any questions about it.
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  1. Good timing Em. I have to make a couple of aprons and the patterns don't have pockets. Now I know how to add nice ones! Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. I've made pockets like this, but never with the gathers at the top - great idea!


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