Unlined patch pocket tutorial – how to make the perfect pocket

unlined patch pocket tutorial

We are going to be learning how to sew an unlined patch pocket or “applied pocket” as they are professionally known.  This is the third tutorial in our pockets series.

As I have mentioned before, pockets are classified into three categories: inseam, slashed, and applied pockets and of course, there are variations and combinations of them all so it can be confusing.  This series of tutorials is designed to help.

We have seen an example of a slashed pocket in the two previous tutorials.  The links are below.

The double welt pocket by the 5 lines method and the double welt pocket with a piped flapped by the butterfly method.

A patch pocket, as the name implies, is a separate piece of fabric that is applied to the right side of the fabric.  Done properly it will give your garment a look of professionalism and of course practicality. The patch pocket is also an excellent way to separate your design from the rest.  Have a look at the picture below for just a few examples of patch pockets variations.

unlined patch pocket tutorial

Where to use a patch pocket

unlined patch pocket tutorial

The first or most common use, of course, would have to be on a man's shirt.  From the geeky-looking dude to almost every office worker in the country, a man's shirt feels incomplete without a pocket on the shirt.  And, yet the patch pocket is only noticed when it is missing or when it is badly made.

unlined patch pocket tutorial

unlined patch pocket tutorial

The unlined patch pocket is also found on man's pajamas and aprons.  (Although I can understand the apron, I really do not get why men's pajamas have pockets..)Our preferred place for unlined patch pockets is, of course, the back of denim jeans

In this tutorial, I will be showing you the most basic of the applied pockets.  The following tutorial is for cotton fabric, linen, canvas, and denim or a combination of them.  This type of pocket is not for loosely woven fabrics because the pocket will gape at the opening.

Download the free template

Download the free patch pocket template from over on our sister site at sewing4free.com.  While you're there, don't forget to sign up for the email list!

Print the pocket pattern using Adobe Reader in a Landscape setting.

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Download the Free Template

You can download the free template for this Patch Pocket tutorial from our sister site at sewing4free.com.

For help downloading and printing PDF patterns, please CLICK HERE.

How to make an unlined patch pocket tutorial with a template

The seam allowance for this template is 1/2″.  This seam allowance can change depending on the pattern, but the following instructions are the same for any shape patched pocket.

unlined patch pocket tutorial

Trace the template on a piece of cardboard or thick paper.

unlined patch pocket tutorial

Cut the pocket using the pattern.

unlined patch pocket tutorial

Fold the top 1/4″ to the wrong side of the fabric and iron.  

unlined patch pocket tutorial

Fold the top 3/8″ back to the right side of the fabric.

unlined patch pocket tutorial

unlined patch pocket tutorial

Sew the sides of the pocket at 1/2″.  Stop after the fold.  In this case and when using this pattern, I only have to stitch about 3/8″.Fold the top back around and iron.

unlined patch pocket tutorial

unlined patch pocket tutorial

unlined patch pocket tutorial

Working on the wrong side of the pocket, place the cardboard pattern inside the folded top. And using an iron fold the edges using the cardboard. Remove the cardboard and iron the front of the pocket.

unlined patch pocket tutorial

We will make a double stitch on the top.   Sew the top of the pocket at 3/8″ from the edge.  Then again at 1/8.

unlined patch pocket tutorial

There are two things you can decide to do now.  If you have a twin needle, you can sew the patch pocket straight to the garment you are making.   Or, sew around the pocket at 3/8″ and then sew the pocket to the garment. 

As you can see, making an unlined patch pocket can be both simple and complicated.  Feel free to experiment with the design of the template for your different creations.

I hope you have found this short tutorial useful.  As always, I really welcome your questions and comments in the comment section below.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!

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21 Responses to Unlined patch pocket tutorial – how to make the perfect pocket

  1. Kathryn Porterfield says:

    I would like to add pockets to my pants/jeans along the side seam for my cell phone. Most of women’s pants do not have pockets that are big enough to hold a phone without it falling out when in the bathroom or bending over to pick up something. Drives me crazy. Women need a big pocket as much as men. Don’t like using back pocket of jeans too easy to have it stolen. Thanks

  2. Lesa Brahm says:

    My 20-something sons LOVE the PJ pants I made for them because they have a pocket near the thigh big enough to hold their phone. 🙂

  3. Guilaine says:

    I have a rounded pocket to sew. I’m going to use a stiff cardboard, pass a thread through the seam allowance, pull on the thread until the fabric has the shape of the pocket (like to make puckers), iron it. I hope it will work …

  4. Doreen says:

    Maybe the men’s pocket is used for a handkerchief or tissue. That is what my dad and husband used theirs for.

  5. Gerde says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial, as a novice this will make future sewing projects easier.

  6. Biscuit says:

    I just love you so much. You’re truly a gifted and talented person. The tutorials you create are so easy to understand, even for us novices. I can’t thank you enough for doing what you do so extremely well. Excellent sewist and teacher. Have a Blessed Day.

  7. Margaret says:

    Great tutorial and pictures on the patch pocket. How do I find the first two pocket tutorials?

  8. Marie says:

    Maybe the men’s pocket is use for the tv remote

  9. Patty P says:

    Forgot to say that men’s pajamas may have had a pocket, at least in the 1940’s and 50’s for a pack of cigarettes. I remember seeing a men in old black and white movies with cigarettes in the chest pocket of jammies. I decided to Google. Apparently, men use the pocket for glasses, tissues, medications, and um… prophalactics.

  10. Patty P says:

    Great tutorial! You reminded me of a few things I’d forgotten.

  11. Christine says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I am busy making a simple velvet top and wanted to add a pocket… and then I received this email! Thank you, thank you!

  12. Yvette says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial on patch pockets. I just made a denim skirt and wanted to add pockets, but I was a little unsure of how. Love all of your tutorials.
    Many thanks.

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