Patch Pockets

Guide C-225

Susan Wright, Extension Clothing and Textiles Specialist

College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences New Mexico State University. (Print Friendly PDF)

This publication is scheduled to be updated and reissued 3/06. 

Patch pockets may be used for decoration or function on blouses, shirts, and jackets.

To prepare the pockets, cut the pocket as directed by the pattern. Patch pockets are generally cut on the lengthwise grain; however, a bias-cut pocket may be used on plaid or striped fabric to avoid having to match the fabric design.

An interfacing will help preserve the shape of the pocket. If a fusible interfacing is used, cut it to the finished pocket size and fuse in place. If a sew-in interfacing is used, cut it by the pocket pattern, staystitched in place, then trim it close to the staystitching. The hem of the pocket does not need to be interfaced.

Square Pocket

1. Apply interfacing.

2. Finish edge hem. Fold the hem to right side of pocket and stitch around pocket on 5/8" line. Stitch from top to bottom on each side, then stitch from side to side across the bottom (fig. 1).

3. Trim seam allowance of hem close to stitching (fig. 1). Turn hem right side out. Press pocket seam allowance along 5/8" stitching line.

4. To miter corners of pocket, fold bottom corners diagonally to line up stitching lines and press (fig. 2).  Trim points to 1/4" seam allowance. Turn side seam allowance up and press to form mitered corners (fig. 3).

5. Pin pocket in position on garment. Topstitch in place beginning at center of bottom and stitch to top of pocket on each side.

6. Secure and reinforce top of pocket by sewing a bar tack or triangle in each corner (fig. 4).

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4
Rounded Patch Pockets

1. Applying interfacing.

2. Finish edge of hem. Fold to right side of pocket and stitch around pocket on 5/8" seamline. To avoid stretching pocket, stitch from center bottom to top on each side (fig. 5).

3. Trim the seam allowance of hem close to stitching. Turn hem right side out and press.

4. Sew a row of gathering stitches on the 3/8" line around bottom of pocket (fig. 6).

5. Trim seam allowances of rounded edges close to gathering stitches (fig. 7).

6. Pull up the gathering stitches around the curves just enough to shape the pocket curve along the 5/8" stitching (See fig. 8).

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

Fig. 7

Fig. 8
7. Trim and notch seam allowance if necessary to reduce puckers (See fig. 9).

8. Press pockets to form even, matching curves on each side of pocket(See fig. 10).

9. Pin pocket in position. Topstitch in place beginning at the bottom center and sew toward the top pocket on each side.

10. Secure and reinforce the top of pocket by backstitching or sewing a triangle in each corner (See fig. 4).

  Fig. 9

Fig. 10

Tip: A pocket template can be cut from cardboard and used as a guide when pressing pockets into the correct shape. Lay template over the wrong side of the pocket and press the seam allowance in place over the template.

New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.

Reprinted March 2001
Electronic Distribution August 2001