Mini Tutorial: How To Sew a curved patch pocket
If you the patch pocket pattern is provided in your pattern set, cut the pocket piece as indicated by your pattern. If you don't have patterns, you can draft your own patterns or draw the pocket piece outline directly on the fabric and cut it out. In this tutorial, the pocket's top opening edge (horizontal) will be finished with a self-facing which is built into the pocket pieces as a 1/5" extension at the top. The "fold line" indicate don the pattern correspond's to the pocket's finished top edge.
1. Let start with clean finishing the top edge first: apply a serging or zigzag stitch to the pocket's top raw edge. Turn the edge toward the wrong side of the pocket at 1/2", iron, pin and topstitch the folded edge from the wrong side of the application as shown above. Use the serging/zigzag stitch as a guide in the stitching process.
2. Fold the the top extension over the top edge toward the pocket's face side and insert pins on both ends to secure. Stitch the two ends at the designated seam allowance. In this case, the seam allowance, and naturally the patch pocket folded edge seam allowance, is 1/2".
3. To minimize bulk, trim the top corner seam allowance diagonally as shown above.
4. Turn the folded edge to its face side, exposing the clean finished corners, and iron the folded edge evenly throughout to smooth and flatten it.
5. Switch your machine to a longer stitch or a basting stitch (longest stitch available on your machine) and apply a stitch along the curved bottom edge of the pocket piece. This is called easestitching and will help you fold the curved edge much easier in the application process.
6. Pull one of the stitch threads to create some tension and direct the curved seam allowance toward the wrong side of the pocket. You'll find that the easestitching is able to naturally direct this otherwise difficult-to-manage curved edge much easier providing much needed stability.
7. Iron the folded edge toward the wrong side of the pocket, with the easestitching showing on the fold's wrong side. In the finshed application, the easestitching should not be visible on the pocket's face side.
8. Trace an outline of the patch pocket on the garment surface using either tailor's chalk or hand basting as shown above and align the patch pocket within these marked lines. Pin the patch pocket to the garment layer underneath, inserting the pins perpendicular to the edge as shown. This pin placement will provide a lot more stability and comfort in the topstitching process.
For extra stability, especially if working with flimsy slippery fabrics, replace the pins with a hand basting stitch.
9. Starting at one end/corner of the pocket opening, topstitch next to the pocket's folded edge moving down then back up until arriving at the other pocket opening corner/end. It is important to backstitch at both beginning and end of the stitch.
10. Last but not least, remove the hand basting (if any) with a seam ripper, iron the finished patch pocket to smooth out and flatten the topstitching application, and reinforce each opening edge corner either using a whipstitch or a bar tack. These two corners suistain a lot of pressure and pulling during the pocket's lifespan thus reinforcing them with extra stitching will provide much needed strength and durability.