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6/02/2012

TUTORIAL-- Fast and Easy "Twin" Pockets


I often get requests from my clients for a shirt with two pockets, like this one...


 At my studio we call them "Twin Pockets" if they are to be of identical shape...but getting them to actually be identical can be a challenge!


Here is the fast and easy method that I use to make 2 rounded pockets that are the exact size and shape--

 TIP-- this method is much easier to do if your pocket pattern seam allowance is 1/4". Make a copy of your pocket pattern and trim the seam allowances to 1/4" if needed.


 Start with a piece of fabric that is at least 3-4" longer than your pocket pattern and at least twice as wide. Then tear it to get one perfectly straight on-grain edge--



Then fold the torn edge 1" to the wrong side and press...


Then turn it again 1" to the wrong side and press. This gives a double-folded edge that will become the hem of both pockets.



Next take the fabric to your machine, and stitch the top as if you were hemming a pocket (which actually is what is being done :)   All  stitching shown here is in contrast thread so it can be seen more easily...click any of the photos to enlarge them.



So now we have a piece of fabric that has one straight edge that has been double folded and hemmed.  The next step it to fold it in half, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, matching the top "hemmed" edges exactly. You will know that you have folded it correctly when the smooth side (right side)  is inside the fold, and you can SEE the "lip" of the hem that was stitched (the wrong side).  All that is being done here is folding the piece in half  -RIGHT- sides together and making sure the "hemmed" edge is aligned along the top.



Now we need to make this hemmed piece of folded fabric into 2 pockets! 

 Position your pocket pattern on top of the folded fabric as shown below.  The fabric has already been hemmed, so the pocket is placed as shown...with the Hem allowance above the double folded (hem) edges Remember, because the fabric has already been hemmed...the hem allowance of the pattern is NO LONGER NEEDED....so that is why it extends above the fabric.

Now take a ordinary pencil, and trace all the way around the pocket pattern, as shown.



 This is what it will look like after the pocket has been traced--



 Now, carefully take your traced pocket to the sewing machine (you may place a pin or two to help keep the layers straight if you want to).  LOOSEN THE Top TENSION OF YOUR MACHINE. Then with a regular stitch length...stitch INSIDE the traced line the width of your pattern's seam allowance. As you can see from the previous photos of my pattern, my seam allowance is 1/4"..so it's easy to use the edge of my presser-foot as a guide.  (Please read the TIP about seam allowance at the start of this tutorial).





Next, remove the excess fabric around the pockets (remember, we are making 2 at the same time), by trimming along the PENCIL LINE. DO NOT cut the STITCHES!


After the excess has been trimmed, we now have two pockets that have been loosely stitched Right Sides Together.  The next step is to turn the unit right side out, and roll the seams between your fingers so that the seams are even along all the edges. 

Then firmly press the "joined" pockets.  As you are pressing, the seam allowances (now inside) are being perfectly and identically pressed...no guess work...no tedious templates.


After pressing, pull out the stitching that is holding the two pockets together.  This should be easy to do...but if not, use a seam ripper to help separate the pockets.

This what your pockets will look like from the WRONG side--


And this is what your pockets will look like from the right side...lovely and identical, already hemmed and ready to be sewn to your garment !


What do you think? Please add a comment by clicking here-->

63 Comments:

Blogger NancyDaQ said...

What a great technique! I need to try this!

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome tutorial.Thank you so much.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Katharina said...

How very, very clever!

12:44 PM  
Blogger Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

Thanks Nancy, and Katharina!

12:49 PM  
Blogger JanyceR said...

I love this! What a great way to do it! Thanks so much for sharing

1:02 PM  
Blogger Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

My pleasure, JanyceR

1:34 PM  
Anonymous SewOm said...

Love it! I just made pockets for a tnt shirtdress. The next time I make this dress, I will try this technique.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sneaky and clever. Love it. You should be charging $$$ for information and techniques like this. -Karla

2:29 PM  
Blogger AuntieAllyn said...

What do I think? You're a genius!!! What a fabulous way to create two identical pockets!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Andrea B said...

Bookmarking this tutorial right now! Thanks.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

fantastic.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Linda T said...

Wow! Such a great technique. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us!

4:17 PM  
Blogger Sewing Princess said...

You are a genius! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your precious knowledge! Can't wait to try it

5:51 PM  
Blogger Doobee said...

Brilliantly clever!!!

5:59 PM  
Blogger Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

Hi Karla, I have decided that I will be charging you...please look for my bill in the mail. LOL!

6:09 PM  
Blogger Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

Allyn, Andrea, Beth, Linda T, Princess, and Doobee...thanks for your generous comments.

I'm no genius...just happy to share some of the "Tricks of the Trade" every so often :)

6:13 PM  
Blogger BeaJay said...

This is SOOOO great! This is a tutorial that makes sense and looks so easy. I have never done one pocket - let alone identical ones but within the next month or so I want to tackle Burda 7328 which is a long coat with 2 pockets so I will be using your wonderful technique. Thank you so much for sharing.

6:24 PM  
Blogger BeaJay said...

In my excitiment over the pockets I forgot to add that the whole shirt looks great too.

6:28 PM  
OpenID dakotaessence said...

Pam THANK YOU for generously sharing this brilliant tip! Reading your blog these past few months has inspired me to return to apparel sewing.
~Jillian in North Dakota

6:29 PM  
Blogger badmomgoodmom said...

OMG, this is brilliant! Thanks for the tutorial. Where is your paypal link to send you our thanks?

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Leah said...

Thank you so much!

6:58 PM  
Blogger Dilliander said...

Your tutorials are the best Pam, many thanks!

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who loves double pockets, this tip is great! Normaly. I do square/rectangle pockets but I'm going to have to try these. And thank you for the tut.

Theresa in Tucson

7:30 PM  
Blogger Nancy K said...

This is a wonderful tip. Thank you for being so generous with your expertise.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Cactusneedle said...

Thanks for this amazing tip! It seems so obvious now that you shared it! lol So when is your book coming out?

7:56 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

This is awsome! I'm working on a shirt right now so this is very timely. Thank you.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Shayla Sharp said...

Well, this is a great tip! And one that will make my dad very happy when I finally make him a shirt as his two biggest pet peeves are 1) the pattern not lining up across the shirt (especially ones in Hawaiian shirts) and 2) non-identical pockets when they should match.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Bunny said...

Love this idea. We use similar in making Madeira hems in heirloom sewing but I never thought of using this to get matching pockets. Positively brilliant.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Genius!

10:51 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Awesome! Great idea. Even better instructions. Now i need to make a shirt ASAP so I can remember this!

12:15 AM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Utter genius! I can't wait to try this on my next shirt. Your tutorials are great!

9:28 AM  
Blogger Gorgeous Things said...

Fabulous!!! I will definitely bookmark this one. Thanks Pam!

9:58 AM  
Anonymous nowaks nähkästchen said...

So awesome!

(Second thought: Don't they fray inside?)

10:20 AM  
Blogger Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

Hi Nowaks, these pockets do not fray after they are separated and edge-stitched onto the shirt...certainly no more than if they were made one at a time.

If you are using a fabric that frays easily, the seams may be treated with a product like "Fray Check" before (or after) the stitching is removed...before they are stitched onto the garment.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Claire (aka Seemane) said...

Cool tutorial Pam - thanks again for sharing your knowledge with us :)

4:11 PM  
Blogger Eileen said...

What a simple remedy to this problem! Not only does it make 2 identical pockets, but the edges are easily turned under. Thank you!

6:25 PM  
Blogger immerBeginner said...

excellent! Not only is the info helpful, the presentation is done really well and 'easy to follow' - the logic and the process. Thanks very much!

5:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How wonderful!! Great on the littles dresses for girls! Thank you!!!

10:21 AM  
Blogger Phyllis said...

*Thud* Pam - you are a GENIOUS!

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great tutorial. Living in Honolulu, I make many of my husbands Aloha shirts for work. I take a great deal of time to match the pocket to the backgroud. Would I just cut out two matching pieces of fabric and then proceed as your tutorial says?

2:07 AM  
Blogger Melody Maj said...

I love this pam, I have had the problem before of mis-matched pockets- very fustrating, and I love the turned in seam allowance. I will definatley be doing this method next time

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

CTA

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks!
Any chance you'll sell a book of your ideas and tips sometime? or teach a Craftsy class? Anyway, I appreciate you blog and all that you share!
Miriam

8:11 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

This is brilliant!!!!

8:46 AM  
Blogger JustGail said...

I think I'm going to have to print this out (along with a few others) and put it in my copy of Shirtmaking. Great idea!

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Fran Giacobbe said...

Very slick!

4:34 PM  
Anonymous nowaks nähkästchen said...

Thank you, Pam!

Meanwhile I managed to find a shirt of DH with breast pocket (most of his office shirts don't have pockets there for a good reason....) and indeed, they were not secured and did not fray.

For myself I don't make breast pockets on shirts because that... is the wrong place for pockets on my body. :o So my experience here is really not much.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous EasilyAmewsed said...

Holy crap! That's remarkable. Must do try this. Love this blog.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Joan said...

Love this idea. Thanks so much for the directions, clear, as always.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Judy Phelps said...

GENIUS!!

How simple and wonderful! I just printed this out and can't wait to try it!
If you have a book or will write a book, I would buy it in a minute!
Thank you!
Judy

11:09 AM  
Blogger Susan Fogel said...

This is elegant, genius, wonderful!
And it can be used for patch pockets on a jacket or anywhere that "twins" are used.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Thank you for posting this great tip. It will be a sanity-saver in the future!

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

Well, that's just brilliant!!

7:49 PM  
Blogger Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

Honolulu asked, "Would I just cut out two matching pieces of fabric and then proceed as your tutorial says?"

Yes :)

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Heidi said...

Wow! Love it!

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

brilliant- first time I've come across your blog but will be a regular visitor now. I'm trying to do some lateral thinking about what else this technique could be used for.

3:43 AM  
Anonymous Louise said...

So smart!!I just found your blog today, so many brillant tips!!

9:29 AM  
Blogger Little Hunting Creek said...

Thank you, this is brilliant and so easy.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pam, you are an amazing and clever woman! Thank you for this demo.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual you are an extraordinary teacher. I love your tutorials. I´m learning a lot with you. Thanks from Spain. Teresa

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the idea, but I don't like the raw side edges at the top of the pocket. I'll work it out. Great idea, though. Thank you, KathyDe

11:16 PM  
Blogger elliesue said...

Thank you for this Tutorial, will come in very handy.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

What a great tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing. I always enjoy your blog.

7:05 AM  

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