- Paper for your pattern & a pencil
- Fabric scraps for your patchwork front (for each pocket, I selected six different reproduction cottons or homespun)
- Sturdy cotton or linen for the back (although, if you would like the back of your pocket to be patchwork as well, go for it!)
- Cotton or light-weight linen for the lining and bias binding, if you choose to make your own
- Basic sewing supplies: sewing machine and/or needle & matching thread, sharp scissors
Creating a pocket pattern
First, determine how large you want your finished pocket to be, and then add a half an inch seam allowance all around. I chose to make my pockets 9" wide by 13" inches tall (seam allowance included).
At this time, you may also want to mark your pocket slit. Draw a straight line along the center crease from the top edge of the pattern piece to the length you choose. Then, add 1/8" allowance on each side. The pocket slit should be large enough for your hand to fit, but not too large that your items fall out. (I chose to make my pocket slits 5 1/2" in length).
Assembling a patchwork pocket
Step one: Assemble the patchwork.
Patchwork or "pieced work" is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design. The larger design is usually based on repeat patterns built up with different fabric shapes, which can be different colors. These shapes are carefully measured and cut, basic geometric shapes making them easy to piece together.
Step two: Cut out all of the pieces.
Using your custom-made pocket pattern, pin and cut out the pocket front from your patchwork rectangle, the back from your sturdy cotton or linen, and two more from the lining fabric. Don't cut the pocket slit yet! You should have four separate pieces.
Step three: Stitch the pocket fronts and lining together.
Rather than having to fiddle around with a lining later, flat line (treat the outer fabric and lining as one) the pocket for a simpler and neater finish. Match the pocket front with the front lining, and the back with the back lining, wrong sides together. Run a narrow row of stitches by hand or machine around the entire edge of each. You should have two separate sides or pieces.
Step four: Cut & bind the pocket slit.
Mark the pocket slit from your pattern piece on the lining of the front piece (remember this is the one with the pretty patchwork!). Cut this opening through both layers of the front pieces with sharp scissors (dressmaker's sheers or embroidery scissors work well here).
|Outside of pocket slit.|
|Inside of pocket slit.|
Step five: Stitch the pocket together.
Now, pin your front piece to the back piece, linings together. Stitch, either by hand or machine, a quarter inch seam around the entire pocket. (I stitched around the entire pocket twice.) Make sure to reinforce the bottom edge and top near the pocket opening, perhaps with another row or two of stitches. You now should have a working pocket!
Step six: Bind the outer edges.
Cover the raw edges (and machine stitching) by applying your bias tape along the sides and across the bottom edge.
Finally, apply bias tape (remember to fold in a little extra tape at each end for a clean finish) across the top edge. To wear around your waist, stitch on cotton ties (twill tape works really well for this).
And, ta-da, you have a finished patchwork pocket
to fill with your period and modern items, show off & enjoy!
So, what do you think? Let me know if you make your own pockets by adding a link below (I want to see pictures!). Happy patchwork-ing!