Friday, June 20, 2008

Techniques: Perfect Curved Patch Pockets

Pressing the curves on a curved patch pocket can be a pain and since I like doing things the easy way, here's what I do.

1. Use the pocket pattern to cut 1 piece of lightweight fusible interfacing per pocket. I used Palmer/Pletch's Sheer.

2. Measure the top turn-down allowance of the pocket and trim this from the interfacing. My turn-down is 1", so I trimmed 1" from the top of the interfacing.

3. Overcast/serge the top of the pocket.

4. Pin the interfacing to the pocket with the fusible side OUT.

5. Sewing the two together, starting and ending the same distance from the top of the interfacing as the top turn-down allowance. My turn-down is 1", so I started and finished 1" from the top of the interfacing (the interfacing, not the pocket). The red dots in the photo below show my starting and ending points.

6. Fold the interfacing down and out of the way. Fold the top edge of the pocket right sides together. Stitch as shown by the red lines below, being careful not to catch the interfacing.

This is what the pocket looks like at this point.

7. Trim seam allowances close to stitching, with pinking shears. Using pinking shears will notch the curves in the same step as trimming the seam allowances.

8. Turn the pocket right side out. Use a point turner to turn out the top corners and use your fingers to "wiggle" the seams open and shape the pocket around the curves.

9. Once you are happy with the shape, press the pocket from the front (fabric) side. Remember, it will be permanent since you will be fusible the interfacing in place, so make sure you have it shaped the way you want it to be.

10. I fuse a strip of Steam-a-Seam under the top edge of the pocket to keep it from bagging out, especially helpful for this stretch woven. This step is optional.

11. Admire your perfect curved patch pocket, topstitch the top edge in place (not shown here), and then attach the pocket to your garment.

(Obviously, this will work for non-curved pockets too.)


  1. Thanks for this; your instructions are very clear! I've learned a similar method with interfacing to finish the non-enclosed edges of facings. Doing this for pockets is a great idea.

  2. Thanks for an excellent tutorial. Unfortunately, my memory is shot and I hope I can remember it when I need it.

  3. CherylStillSews7:23 PM, June 20, 2008

    Another thanks! I avoid patch pockets like the plague as I'm never happy with the result - I always have "lumps" showing through no matter how much care I take - this may make a convert out of me.

  4. Brilliant tutorial! Thank you for posting it.

  5. You're a genius. I heart you.


  6. Great tutorial Debbie! I'll be using that for sure!

  7. That's so clever, using the fusible interfacing like that! I've got to try it... Thanks so much for documenting this!


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