How to Add a Patch Pocket to a Skirt – Tutorial

Patch pocket sewn in place

I started making this skirt (Butterick B5756) in August (how time flies!) using this cotton voile, which I got at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. I’m making version C but a little longer (mid-calf length), which has gathered fabric below the yoke. But this version doesn’t have pockets so I decided to add one. I didn’t think side pockets would work because I’m using a lightweight fabric and I thought it would put too much strain on the side seams. Plus I didn’t know how it would look with the gathering. So I decided to add a patch pocket and see if I could line it up with the fabric design, which I haven’t done before. Here’s my brief tutorial on how to add a patch pocket to a skirt.

B5756

This fabric has a rather large repeat design so I decided to make a pocket that would line up with the pattern.

I needed to determine its size. So I thought about:

  • the purpose of the pocket, how I would use it
  • the weight of the fabric and how it would look.

When I’m at work, I often go to a cafe around the corner and I pay with my phone using an app called LevelUp. So I  wanted something that could fit my iPhone and building access card. However, my fabric is lightweight and because the skirt would be gathered, I didn’t want it to gape too much. This meant the pocket couldn’t be too wide.

Also, I knew I would be placing the pocket below the yoke but near the gathering because I didn’t want it to be too low on the skirt. Thus my pocket is narrow (X inches wide finished) – about the width of one “family” (yes, that is a family in the design!) – and wide enough to fit my hand. The height was determined by the fabric design. The family was about 8 1/2 inched tall. I added an inch to that measurement.

So I drafted a pattern with rounded corners, which seemed appropriate for the fabric design. I made it big enough to fit my hand.

Patch pocket pattern

I cut out the fabric.

Patch pocket cut from fabric

Then I ironed a strip of 3/8 inch double-sided fusible tape (I like “ultra soft double sided fusible” by Design Plus) to reinforce the fabric around the sides and bottom of the pocket and to make it easy to fold over. It’s paper-backed on one side so you iron over the paper strip, fusing the other side to the fabric, then remove the strip, fold over the fabric and iron. It’s tacky enough so the fold easily stays in place.

Patch pocket reinforced with double-sided fusible tape

I folded it over about 1/4 inch, ironed it and then folded it another 1/4 inch. Though I think I could have made a little narrower – 1/8 inch. I folded (and ironed) the top over 1/2 inch and then another 1/2 inch. Then I sewed the top fold down and checked how it would fit on the skirt front.

Patch pocket lined up

Then I pinned and basted the pocket in place (big enough for my iPhone!).

Baste patch pocket in place

Finally I was ready to sew!

Patch pocket sewn in place

And it matches!

Have you added pockets to anything? Have you ever lined up pockets to your fabric’s design?
 

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