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Three Options for Modifying Pockets | Pattern Hack

Design ideas for changing up a classic patch style
Threads #205, Oct./Nov. 2019
Using a simple patch pocket pattern, you can create many pocket styles, like the pleated version shown.

Pockets are places to put your hands and your possessions, and they provide an opportunity for design exploration. Pocket construction requires a range of skills and attention to detail, but with clear instructions, interesting and stylish versions are possible for sewers of all experience levels. The three designs below are a good place to start in modifying pockets.

These three styles are based on the same patch pocket pattern piece and become something different. In addition to the changes shown, you can add piping, change the flap width, or double the number of pleats. One-of-a-kind pockets are a great way to add flair to a garment.


foldover flap pocket

Add a foldover flap

The flap on this pocket style is integrated into the pocket itself, so it’s easier to draft, sew, and attach than a separate flap. The 2-1/2-inch-deep flap is flipped toward the outside of the pocket.

1.  Draft the pattern pieces

To make the pocket and lining pattern, cut away the opening edge’s facing. Add a 5/8-inch-wide seam allowance to this edge, the pocket top. For the flap, draft a rectangle 6-1/4 inches high by the pocket pattern’s width. That creates a piece that is twice the finished 2-1/2-inch depth plus two 5/8-inch-wide seam allowances.

modifying pockets pattern

2. Cut out the pattern pieces

Cut the pocket piece from fashion fabric and lining fabric. The flap piece should be cut from fashion fabric, too. Fold the flap piece in half widthwise, and mark the foldline with small snips at each end.

3. Connect the pieces

With right sides together, stitch one long edge of the flap piece to the top of the pocket piece, and stitch the other long edge of the flap piece to the top of the lining piece. Open the pieces and press the seam allowances toward the…

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Previous: Sew Side-Seam and Quarter-Cut Pockets | Video Next: Sewing Zippers 101


  1. User avater
    tulafitz | | #1

    Had fun trying each of these, keep up the good work!

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