Mini Tutorial: How To Sew An Unlined Square Patch Pocket
While sewing an unlined, square edge patch pocket is perhaps the most simple of all pocket applications, there are a few elements that may pose a bit of a challenge, especially if you are a sewing beginner. Here is the full process of sewing this style patch pocket when no sewing patterns are provided:
1. Determine the desired pocket size. Add 1/2" seam allowance along the bottom and side edges and an extra 2"-2.5" inches to the top edge to form an self0facing extension. This extension will be folded to clean finish the pocket opening edge. Draw the rectangular shape of the pocket piece using these final measurements directly in the fabric using a fabric pencil or tailors chalk. Cut the pocket piece along the marked lines.
2. Double fold the top raw edge of the pocket piece toward the wrong side of the pocket, iron and insert ins perpendicular to secure. It helps to fold and iron each fold at a time. Stitch the double fold from the wrong side, using the open/inner folded edge as a guide.
3. Fold the built-in extension toward the pockets right side as insert pins perpendicularly at each end to secure the layers together. In this tutorial, the full extension is 2.5" tall. Since 1/2" was taken up by the double fold used to clean finish the extension's raw edge, the remainder extension to be folded is 2" as shown above.
4. Machine stitch the extension on each side, backstitching at the beginning and end of the stitch.
5. To minimize unnecessary thickness and bulk, trim the excess seam allowance diagonally at each corner (as shown above). Doing so will ensure well-defined, smooth corners along the pockets finished edge.
6. Turn the extension on its right side (toward the pocket's wrong side) and iron the resulting finished edges and corners.
7. For best results, clean finish the square bottom pocket corners using mitering. To start the mitering process, fold the corner seam allowance diagonally toward the wrong side of the pocket and iron this fold to crease. The finished corner point should fall directly on this folded edge. Repeat on both pocket corners.
8. Fold the fabric corner with fabric face sides touching such that the pockets bottom edge aligns with the vertical side edge and the two portions of the diagonal crease overlap. Insert a pin perpendicularly to secure the corner fold in this position.
9. Machine stitch the corner directly in the diagonal crease line applied in Step 7 above. Start at the raw edges and move toward the finished pocket corner (folded edge) and backstitch (if possible) at each end of the stitch for extra durability.
10. Trim the excess seam allowance at the corners at about 1/4" from the stitch line as shown.
11. Clip into the corner seam allowance and iron the layers open to flatten and smooth out the corners.
12. Turn the mitered corners on their face side and iron the folded patch pocket edges at the designated seam allowance as shown. The corners should look even, lay flat and well defined, with the diagonal seam located on the wrong side of the application.
13. Mark the exact location of the pocket on the garment surface. In this case, the pocket location is marked with a hand basting stitch. You can use tailor's chalk or a quilting pencil as long as it can be easily removed once the patch pocket is complete.
14. Align the patch pocket within the marked lines and insert pins perpendicularly along all edges except the top opening.
It may be helpful to hand baste the patch pocket in place for extra security and comfort during the topstitching process to follow. Hand basting is a great way to keep the pocket layer from shifting askew as the fabric layers feed under the presser foot in the machine stitching process.
15. Starting at one corner of pocket opening, backstitch then topstitch down next to the pocket's folded edge, pivoting along the bottom and the other pocket edge until you arrive at the opposite pocket opening corner. Backstitch at this location to secure.
Once topstitched, remove any hand basting with a seam ripper as it is no longer needed.
16. Last but not least it is important to reinforce each pocket corner with your choice of hand-applied tack or a whipstitch as shown above. This extra measure will extend the pocket's life span providing much-needed durability at the pocket opening.
The finished unlined patch pocket should be topstitched evenly along all edges. Due to the extension self-facing used in this tutorial. no topstitching is visible along the pocket's opening edge.