Saturday, 8 July 2017

Create patch pockets

Patch pockets look good and are so easy to make! You can choose the shape and size you want and from there it's just a few simple steps to make it happen.

In this particular case I was trying to recreate the Moji trousers by Seamwork, which have patch pockets that look like this:

The picture above suggests the Moji's pockets are double layered, made by mirroring the pocket pattern piece around the pocket opening line. Or at least by having quite a bit of facing there. I used a single layer and I also made a bigger pocket opening. This I did for two reasons:
1- My viscose is too flimsy for this to look good and I didn't want to interface it.
2- Doing a double layer obviously uses more fabric and wouldn't have left me with enough fabric to make something else, so by doing a single layer I do have enough 😃.
The bigger pocket opening is just a matter of preference.

The pattern I used to make my trousers is Burda Style 6938 which has in-seam pockets. I used them as a size and position guide for my patch pockets, but you can free hand that too! Skip steps 1&2, decide where the boundaries of your pockets will go and do step 3 based on that.

Here's how I made my pockets:
1- I placed the pocket pattern piece where it would go when sewing on top of the front leg patten piece.

2- I marked around the lowest and widest bits of the curve. See red arrows.

3- I drew the orange line parallel to the straight grain line and passing by the outermost point of the arc I marked there. Then drew the green line perpendicular to the orange and passing by the outermost point of the second arc I marked. These two lines define the outline boundaries of my pocket.

4- Next I measured the length of the original pocket opening (see red line), then used a ruler and my eyes to decide where to position the pocket opening line (see blue line).
The length of the blue line is equal to the length of the red line.

5- The last thing was to create the rounded corner. You can simply use a French curve for this of course instead. But I used a ruler here too 😃. I measured 3cm from the corner of the pocket along each line, then drew a perpendicular line from each of those points and completed the square (see red lines), then still using the ruler and starting from the inner corner of the square (the corner that doesn't fall on the original lines), I started marking dots 3 cm away from that corner, then pivoting the ruler a bit around the corner, then placing a new dot, pivot, dot, etc, until I had a few to join into a quarter of a circle by hand (see purple arrow).
Now if you have a compass (which I don't), it's just to open its legs to a 3cm distance, position the needle on this inner corner and draw an arc between the two corners on each side of it.

6- Now the patch pocket pattern piece was drawn, I transferred it onto some tracing paper.
Note! This does not include seam allowances.

Now it's time for sewing!
Cut out your fabric as instructed in the pattern, but instead of cutting four in-seam pocket pieces, you need to cut two patch pocket pieces (just remember they have to be mirror images of each other to have right and left pockets 😃)
At this point it's important to be clear on where your pocket opening and your pocket outline are and if any of the lines are disappearing into existing seams.

In my case (referring the picture above), the side edge coincides with the side seam, and the top edge coincides with the waistband seam, therefore I didn't need to finish these edges at this point. This will be taken care of automatically when I neaten the seams they coincide with later when sewing the trousers.

7- I neatened the pocket outline and pocket opening by overlocking the edges. And pressed the seam allowances of the pocket opening to wrong side.

Tip! To get as accurate a press line as possible easily, baste along the seam line you want to press at, the thread will be visible on the right side of the fabric and you can use this as a guide.

8- Now working from the right side, I topstitched the pocket opening in place about 0.5 cm from the edge, then pressed the seam allowances of the pocket outline to the wrong side and pined in place (flimsy fabric, you might not need that if yours is more solid).

9- I placed my patch pocket wrong side to right side of trouser leg front making sure to match pocket opening edge to the blue line I drew on the pattern in step 4, match the top edge to the front leg top line and the side edge to the side seam of the leg. Pinned good in place (loads of pins!).

10- I topstitched close to the edge to secure the pocket in place.

11- I also stitched top and side edges in place by stitching in the seam allowance. The picture below shows this for the side edge.

The patch pocket is done! Now it's just to sew the pants together 😄!
You can use this method (or a variation of it) to make any patch pockets in any shape or size.

Is any of the steps unclear? Do you have any questions? Are you wondering about anything else related to patch pockets? Leave me a question in the comments field below and I'll answer as soon as I can.

You can see more of my finished trousers soon under Made by Me! section.


  1. Love that colour! These pants look lovely and comfy. They are good for the hot weather.

    1. Indeed they are! Thank you Eli! More photos coming up soon :)