Making neatly curved patch pockets with interfacing instead of lining: a tutorial

There are lots of ways you can sew and attach patch pockets to garments. When I sewed this little wool tunic recently, I encountered a small problem when I set about to putting lace, patch pockets on it. I felt the cotton voile lace was a little too delicate to withstand the daily force of small hands, but I didn’t really want to line it, and I definitely didn’t want to lose the pretty upper lace edge.

As always, I failed to take photos when making these pockets, so I’ve recreated the tutorial with some yellow, cotton scraps. Basically, all I did was to interface the pockets instead of lining them. The best way I can describe what I did is with photos.  

1. Cut a piece of interfacing to the same size as the pocket

2. Here they are lined up side by side. The fabric is yellow. The interfacing is white.

3. In this example, I folded over the top of the pocket towards the wrong side and stitched it down. In my lace pockets, I left the pretty edge raw.

4. Measure on the interfacing where you would like it to end on the underside.

5. Cut off the excess interfacing

6. This is where it gets interesting. Pin the interfacing (lining up the bottom raw edges) with the outer side (non-glue side) facing the right side of the fabric.

7. Stitch

8. Trim. Some people notch a curved edge. I find I get a smoother curve if I trim very close instead.

9. Turn the pocket in the right way. The glue side of the interfacing is now facing towards the wrong side of the pocket. Press. This will fuse the pocket fabric to the lining so it will be as one.

10. Look at your perfectly round and strong patch pocket, all ready to be sewn onto your garment. Obviously, yours will look better than mine. I tend to rush things.

11. This is the underside. You’ve turned in all the curved edges without any fiddling and it is perfectly secure and ready to be attached neatly. For an even better result, trim the edges of the interfacing/lining by 1-2mm before you start, and then continue on with all the steps from the beginning, lining all the edges up perfectly as you go. This will make the outer fabric roll inwards towards the underside so that there will be no chance of the lining peeking through at the sides.

8 thoughts on “Making neatly curved patch pockets with interfacing instead of lining: a tutorial

  1. Nice one Debbie. This is the same technique that I use to finish the edge of facings too – I don’t have an overlocker and this creates a beautiful clean edge for facings. I’m also with you on trimming closely rather than notching. I remember reading something that Jen from grainline had written that RTW is never notched, just trimmed and so that’s how I’ve done it ever since. Sometimes you can see notching through the layers. The only other thing I should do but never remember is to grade the seams before ironing it all together.

    1. Oh that is so clever – I just pictured what you are saying. I was thinking something different when I first read this comment. I am definitely going to do that next time. I’ve seen interfacing used as a facing before too which made for a beautiful finish – however I only saw this applied to pattern pieces as an example rather than a whole garment – I’m assuming it was a neckline – I never seem to remember to try this out though.

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