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Sewing rounded patch pockets

KaiserRoo | Posted in General Sewing Info on

KaiserRoo here again,

Todays question is how do I sew a rounded (patch) pocket. My wife has had questions about folding the edges and then sewing them before they are attatched to the rest of the pattern. In particular how can you get the seem/stitch parrallel on a curve? 

I have told her to try this web site but she hasn’t as of yet so if you can help me to get the answers I can give them to her and look like her hero.

So thanks in advance for your help KaiserRoo

PS Happy Veterans Day

Edited 11/11/2009 8:39 pm ET by KaiserRoo


  1. jjgg | | #1

    the best way is to cut a cardboard template the shape of the pocket, fold the edges under and press using the cardboard template so they are the same shape. Sewing a line consistently parallel with the edge of the pocket is a skill she will need to develop. I don't know what machine she has, but usually you can line up the edge of the presser foot with the edge of the fabric, if she can move the position of the needle to get it closer to the edge, then do that.Personally, I would hand baste the pockets in place before sewing on the machine. pins just don't hold them in place correctly

    1. marymary | | #2

      Run a row of stitching inside the seam allowance before you press over the cardboard template, as jjgg advised, and it will be easier to turn under.  You also might need to clip the SA a little to get a neat edge.  Be careful not to clip too far.  A lot depends upon what fabric is being used.  An edge stitch foot is very handy for this type of application.  I ditto the basting the pocket to the garment.

  2. Josefly | | #3

    Stitching around a curve does require some practice, as the other posters have noted. One thing to do is to shorten the stitch length before sewing the curve - it makes it easier to keep the curved seam smooth, instead of having a series of pointy turns. Reset the stitch length back to normal for your fabric when the seam-line straightens back out. Also, I sew very slowly, sometimes one stitch at time, maybe lifting the presser foot - needle down! - after every other stitch and turning the fabric ever-so-slightly, then lowering and stitching another couple of stitches. A short, sharp curve is more difficult and requires more of this kind of minute pivoting than a longer, smoother curve.

  3. byf | | #4

    Easing the fabric by placing one finger on the fabric firmly behind the presser foot while stay stitching the curved part will make it easier to turn under the seam allowance. Another hint is layering a larger piece of tissue paper under the pocket and template. The tissue is then pulled up around and over the edges of the pocket and template before pressing.

  4. woodruff | | #5

    I use a manila template a lot of the time to help shape the pocket, but here is what I do in addition:With contrasting thread, I machine baste right on the seamline down one long side of the pocket, across the bottom, and up the other side. This is good practice for stitching around those curves, where the technique, when you're just starting the actual curve, is to take only one or two stitches, leave the needle down, lift the foot, pivot the pocket just slightly, making sure the raw edge is on the 5/8" seamline, take another one or two stitches, leave the needle down,pivot the pocket just a little, and so on until you are actually back on the straight again. The curved stitching line will look pretty good with this gradual approach.Next, after basting along the seamline, I also run a line of contrast gathering stitches close to the raw edge of the fabric on the lower part of the pocket, from just above the first bottom curve all the way around to above the second curve. Cut the thread ends long, so you can pull on them later.Then I press the edges to the wrong side of the pocket ALONG THE SEAMLINE, keeping the iron as much as possible right on the contrast thread marking the seamline. The fabric will kind of "want" to turn on this stitched line, which you can feel with your fingertips as you work (no chalk lines to worry about setting with heat). This is sort of precise work, and you have to be careful not to burn your fingers.As you do this, you will note that the raw edges on the curved portions of the pocket bottom will be too full to fold in nicely. That is where the gathering stitches out there come in handy. Grab one of the long gathering threads and pull on it slightly. You will see the raw edge of the pocket begin to gather up a bit. It doesn't take much, and you will soon see that the gathered edge of the seam allowance will become small enough to fold down fairly neatly when you steam press it in place, using the contrast thread seamline of the curved edge of the pocket as a guide. You can adjust the amount of gathering, and if you use a steam/press/lift motion, along with some finger-patting, the backside of the pocket in that region should be fairly smooth and tidy-looking. When the pocket is all neat and finished, I gently remove the visible contrast thread and press the pocket flat again if necessary. I hold it in place for stitching with little strips of "Steam-A-Seam 2," a nifty fusible web.

    Edited 11/12/2009 4:57 pm by woodruff

    1. KaiserRoo | | #6

      Thanks to all for the advice I will have my wife check it out. She has a Janome DC3050.


      1. meg | | #7

        Does the machine have an edge-stitching foot, or can you acquire one? This foot will have a guide which you place at the edge of the pocket (in your case); it helps a great deal with keeping the stitching line the same distance from the edge. And I would suggest practicing on scraps to get the feel of doing this skill.

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