Hi, everyone! It’s Lakeisha from Sincerely, Shantelle and today I’ve got a super simple and easy blog for ya! I’m gonna show you step-by-step how I sew chest pockets. A few of our child patterns include them, and though the style and shape of them vary (some are rectangular, some have a triangular portion), you should find these steps suitable to get a neat result every time. So what do you need for this??
Pattern with a chest pocket
Sewing gauge or ruler
Iron with steam
Washaway wonder tape or pins
Washable fabric marker
Before beginning to sew, there is a little prep work, but I believe it is necessary for a great looking result. For fabric choices, I have found that more often than not, I struggle with my sewing machine to get neat, even stitches with thinner fabrics like brushed poly and rayon spandex. They often skip and it doesn’t cooperate, even with interfacing! My neatest and best pockets were always made with mid-weight cotton spandex or French Terry. It’s important to keep this in mind. I know many are inclined to skip interfacing, as I often see people asking if it’s necessary. I think it totally is, even with sturdy fabrics. It adds that tiny bit of extra structure to your fabric and also prevents it from stretching out while sewing. I’m a complete rebel and never use my walking foot for steps like this. I don’t think I’d fare so well if I weren’t using it.
For starters, I trim my interfacing slightly smaller than the pocket just so it’s not hanging over the edges. Next, I like to draw my press lines onto the fabric to ensure I’m being accurate in my folds. The side folds, in particular, will be helpful in getting that nice reinforced triangle at the top edges, so definitely take a few extra seconds to be precise here. I have denoted the hem line, as well as the 1/4” press lines on all sides, here. I then hem and press very well with steam to make the pocket as flat as possible. They are being held with clips temporarily, in the photo.
For placement, I like to actually cut the pocket out of the pattern piece! This allows me to place it exactly where it’s intended to go. To help apply chest pockets, I love to use washaway wonder tape. It’s adhesive double sided tape that’s intended for sewing and dissolves in the first wash. It’s sold in many places, though I’d be weary of buying it from a less reputable source, as I have purchased some from Amazon that caused my needle to get sticky and it wouldn’t sew. I prefer to purchase mine from Wawak or with coupons at JoAnn (never pay full price haha!). Tape the pocket in place, or use a coupe pins to keep it there while you sew.
Here’s the overview of the direction we are going to sew. In the following photos, I will give the step-by-step.
Because interfacing was used and a pocket is not required to be stretched, a straight stitch is adequate for attachment. I prefer a stitch length of 3-3.5, but experiment to see what you prefer. First step is to start at one of the sides of your pocket, directly on your hem stitch line, about 1/8” from the folded edge. Take your time, slowly lowering your needle into position. You do not need to backstitch here, as you will cross over this stitch later.
To ensure that your triangles are even, you’ll need to end up in the same spot at the top. Sew from the hem stitch to the edge of the seam allowance (the 1/4” that was pressed under). Go stitch by stitch, taking your time. Once you get there, with your needle down and presser foot up, pivot the pocket. You will now sew along the top side of it to the corner of the pocket. Keep all stitches throughout about 1/8” from the folded edges of the pocket.
Once you get to the corner, with the needle down and presser foot up, pivot the pocket so that you can now sew down the side seam. Sew down this side, bottom of pocket, and up the other side until you reach the top of the pocket again.
Once you have reached the top, put the needle down and presser foot up, pivot the pocket & sew across the top again until you have reached the edge of the seam allowance (the 1/4” that was pressed under). Needle down, presser foot up again, and pivot. You will now sew directly to the corner of the stitching where your hem and side stitches meet. Backstitch at the end of these stitches to secure.
Remove your work, trim excess threads, and admire that neat pocket! Continue on to complete your garment.
I hope these tips help you the next time you’re sewing on a chest pocket. Until next time, friends!
(Written by: Lakeisha Webb)