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Pocket sewing techniques from Tilly Walnes

How to sew side seam pockets and patch pockets

This is an excerpt from Love At First Stitch by Tilly Walnes, from Tilly and The Buttons blog, published by Quadrille Craft.  You can read my review of the book here. 

PATCH POCKET

Add a patch pocket to your Margot PJs for stashing sweeties or simply warming your hand. Make it in a matching or contrast fabric – it’s up to you. Once you’ve grasped the principle, you can add these pockets to skirts and dresses, too. Sew the pocket on before making up the PJs.

How to sew patch pockets


1) Cut out a square of fabric measuring 15 x 15cm (6 x 6in). Finish all four sides by zigzagging or overlocking the raw edges. Fold the top edge over by 1.5cm (5.⁄8in), right sides together, press and pin. Sew down the sides of the folded edge only, using a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance.

How to sew patch pockets

 

2) Clip or fold the corners and turn the fold right side out, easing out the corners into right angles with a pin. Fold the other edges under by 1.5cm (5⁄8in) and press.

 

Guide to sewing patch pockets

 

3) Pin the pocket to one back leg of the pyjamas, the wrong side of the pocket against the right side of the pyjamas. Rather than pinning it perfectly flat, leave a little bit of space so you can get your hand in. Sew around three sides, backtacking at the ends and pivoting at the corners, leaving the top edge unstitched. Sew some extra stitches at the top of the sides to secure the pocket, in a small triangle shape if you can.

How to sew a side seam pocket

 

SIDE-SEAM POCKETS

Adding pockets to the Celmence skirt will make it oh so practical. You could even make your pockets in a contrast fabric, just to mix things up a little. Attach the pockets before you sew the skirt side seams together. To make things easier, we’re going to leave out the French seams this time and use another kind of seam finish.

 

Guide to sewing side seam pockets by Tilly Walnes


1) Cut four of the pocket pattern pieces (Note from The Sewing Directory - there's a post here on drafting pocket patterns). Cut four strips of iron-on interfacing 2cm (3/4in) wide and 2cm longer than the mouth of the pocket (the straight edge). Apply the interfacing to the skirt side seams, with the top of the strip 5cm (2in) down from the top of the skirt. This will help reinforce the pocket openings. Finish the skirt side seams using zigzag stitch or an overlocker. Finish the edges of all four pocket pieces in the same way.

How to sew a side seam pockets

 

2) Pin the mouth of one pocket piece to each skirt side seam, right sides together, placing the top of the pocket 6cm (2.in) down from the top edge of the skirt. Using a 1cm (3.⁄8in) seam allowance, sew the pocket mouth to the skirt side seam. Fold the pocket away from the skirt so it’s sticking out at the side and press along the seam line.

 

How to sew reinforced pockets

 

3) Place the skirt front piece against the skirt back pieces, right sides together, matching pockets and side seams. Pin and then sew the side seams and pockets. Start at the top of the skirt, sew until the needle reaches the first small circle marking, pivot and sew around the edge of the pocket to the second small circle, then pivot and sew down the rest of the skirt side seam. Repeat on the other side seam.

How to sew an in seam pocket

 

4) Press the pockets and seams towards the front of the skirt.

Make the rest of the skirt, and put your hands in your pockets! Lovely stuff!

REINFORCED POCKETS

I like to reinforce the points where the pockets meet the side seams with a few extra stitches to avoid holes forming.

 To buy Love at First Stitch or find out more about it please click on the image below.


Love At First Stitch sewing book from Tilly Walnes


LOVE AT FIRST STITCH by TILLY WALNES published by Quadrille (£20)

Photos ©ELLIE SMITH & ARIELLE GAMBLE