Patch pockets can be made by cutting a single square (or other shape), turning the raw edges under by ¼ inch and topstitching to the garment. Unfortunately, this method is fiddly and leaves raw edges inside the pocket. Turning the raw edges twice gives a clean finish inside, but can make the edge bulky and difficult to sew.
A neat solution is to line the pocket. This involves cutting two squares, sewing around 3 edges right-sides together and turning out, just as if you were making a simple bag. This produces a square of fabric that is finished on both sides, and can be easily topstitched to the garment.
For a bit of extra pizazz, fiddling with the measurements of the lining square will result in a pocket with a contrasting strip across the top.
How To Cut Out the Patch Pocket
Choose the dimensions of your patch pocket. This method works for square and rectangular pockets. Add ¼ inch or desired seam allowance to each edge, and cut out the shape from your fashion fabric.
To cut out the lining, decide how wide you want your contrast strip and double this; add seam allowances; add that measurement to the height of the pocket lining.
For instance, if your pocket is 4 inches tall (including seam allowances) and you want a half-inch contrast strip along the top, mentally add one and a half inches to the height of the patch pocket and cut the pocket lining 5 1/2 inches high. The width will be the same as the fashion fabric.
Sewing and Pressing the Patch Pocket
Pin the lining to the patch pocket, right sides together, so the top and bottom edges are aligned. The longer piece of fabric will “bulge” in the middle like a croquet hoop – don’t let it make you nervous! Sew the top and bottom edges together with a straight stitch.
With an iron, first set the seams by ironing flat over the top and bottom seams; then use the iron to push the excess fabric up to the top of the pocket and press it down. The fabric will now be flat, with a strip of the lining fabric folded over to the other side.
With a straight stitch, sew up one side of the pocket and half the other side. Trim seams, clip corners. Turn the pocket right-side out. Press the pocket flat, making sure the raw edges are neatly tucked inside.
Once you have the basic method down, you can jazz things up a bit. Sandwich lace or rickrack between the fabric and lining so it shows up beneath the contrast band. Add a line of skinny ribbon to the contrast band, or sew a few buttons or bows across the top. You could even decide to put the contrast strip at the side or bottom of the pocket. Experiment with different fabric lengths to have half-and-half pockets, or pockets with the tiniest strip of white visible at the edge.