How to Sew a Patch Pocket

6 Materials
$20
1 Hour
Easy

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to put a patch pocket on the inside of a jacket. You can use this technique to put a patch pocket on just about anything that’s flat and doesn’t have a bunch of layers to it. You’re probably wondering what a patch pocket is. A patch pocket is a pocket that’s on the outside of a garment, it’s sewn down on three sides, and one side is left open to put all of your goodies into.

How to add pockets

Tools and materials:

  • Ruler
  • Rotary cutter/scissors
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Chalk
  • Fabric - I’m using 6x8 inches (~15x20 cm) although you can make it any size you want. You need to leave room for seam allowances so you need to leave half an inch (~1 cm) on the sides, half an inch on the bottom, and an inch and a quarter (~3 cm) on the top. Add these seam allowances to any shape that you’re creating. These seam allowances are going to make my rectangle 7x9¼ (~18x23 cm) inches tall.
Add pockets to a dress

Measure and cut the fabric

Lay your fabric good side down so that you can measure and mark the back side of the fabric. The first thing you need to do is draw a 90-degree angle. Next, measure up 9¼ inches (or whichever measurement you’ll be using). Drawing a 90-degree angle on the fabric ensures that your corners end up with clean straight angles and you don’t have crooked pockets.

Using a rotary cutter or scissors, go over the lines that you just marked and cut the material out.

Add pockets to a skirt

Iron the sides

Fold down the side that will be the top of your pocket, then iron it a quarter of an inch down. After you have it ironed down a quarter of an inch, you’re going to go ahead and fold it another inch. 

Next, you’re going to iron some creases so that you can create beautifully mitered corners on the ends of your pocket at the bottom. A mitered corner is an excellent neat way to finish a right angle because it means that you’re not going to have any bulky overlapping fabric that wants to pop out of the other end. You’re going to take it and fold it almost to the inside, creating a little diagonal seam at the corner.

Now you’re going to iron all of your edges a half-inch because that’s what we left for our seam allowance. You’ll be able to see the creases in the fabric from folding each side in a half-inch. 

Next, you need to take a bottom corner and fold it right where the two half-inch marks intersect. Iron that little triangle down and do the same thing on the other side. This is in order to create your mitered corners.

How to add pockets to a skirt

Sew the pocket

Take your fold at the 1 inch that you created here and fold it back on itself. So you’re placing the right sides together. When you fold this down, you want to make sure that the quarter-inch that you folded is still face up because you want this to be a nice finished edge when you flip it right side out. Go ahead and pin this side down. (If you’re a bit lost, then just follow my video from 6:42).

Now that you have it folded at that inch, and you still have the quarter-inch folded up. You can go ahead and sew but only sew on this once inch flat. (See 7:25 for more details about exactly where to sew). Tip: When sewing, always remember to backstitch first.

You are now ready to clip your corners so that when you flip it right side out, it’s going to be nice and smooth at the point. Clip about an eighth of an inch away from the very top of your stitch (really close to it but not on it) and angle it out to the bottom. Do that on the other side as well. 

Next, you’re going to take your flap and flip it right side out. You want to make sure that you go ahead and poke out the corners. And now you can see on the inside of your pocket; you still have a quarter-inch flap. So what we need to do is tuck that under and then go ahead and pin it down. Now that you have your flap pinned down, you need to give it an edge stitch, so you want to stitch on the very edge. This is going to provide you with a nice clean finish to the top of your pocket. So you’re going to go ahead and stitch on the edge an eighth of an inch away.

Add pockets to a top

Sew the mitered corners

All of those fancy little folds that you put in with the iron are going to get put to use right now.

Take the diagonal fold and fold your fabric right sides together and make sure that your edges are lined up. Now sew down that diagonal line that you made with the iron. Chop off the little extra piece of fabric, leaving about an eighth of an inch seam allowance. Once you chop that off, you can take it and flip it right side out. You now have a nice beautiful point. Do the same to the other side of the pocket. All you need to do is iron that down, and you’re ready to sew it on the jacket.

Add pockets to a shirt

Sew the pocket onto the jacket

Now you have all of the edges and the corners finished, and you are ready to sew it onto the jacket lining. (At least I’ll be showing you how to sew it onto a jacket lining, but you could sew yours onto another item of clothing if you so choose).

First, you need to remove the lining from your coat and lay it out flat on the table. It is necessary to remove the lining from the coat because if you sew down your patch pocket without removing the lining, then you’ll see your stitches on the outside of your coat (whoops!) 

Position your pocket to where you would like it to be and then proceed to pin it down. You need to pin the three edges of your pocket; you can leave open the opening because you don’t want to sew that shut. 

Now that you have all three edges pinned, go ahead and sew the pocket down an eighth of an inch from the edge. You can also do another stitch a quarter inch away from the edge if you would like your pocket to be extra durable.

DIY pocket tutorial

You did it! You now have a patch pocket. I love that this pocket is big enough to fit my phone or a little notebook, and I can put my whole hand in it. Remember, if you want, you could always add a decorative stitch all the way around the edge of your pocket. There are lots of options for creating your design and making it original. You could put a buttonhole at the top of the pocket and a button on the underside and have your pocket button shut, or you could even do some velcro or a snap. The possibilities are endless with patch pockets. You can customize them to your liking and give them your own flare!

Suggested materials:

  • Ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Pins
See all materials

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