Tutorial: Add pockets to the Violet Blouse (with free pocket template)
Whether it’s a snazzy style statement or a place to stash your pen collection, adding pockets to the Violet blouse (or any other blouse) is a fun and easy way to switch things up.
Below are the instructions for adding a basic rectangular pocket. At the end of the post is a free pattern download for the pocket featured. Alternatively, you can measure and cut a rectangle that is 5.75″ wide and 6.25″ tall.
(And just a reminder – the Violet Blouse is the Pattern of the Month, meaning it’s 20% off in the shop through the end of January. Use code VIOLETMONTH at checkout.)
How to add a basic pocket
1) Cut out one or two pocket pieces depending on how many pockets you’d like to add. From notch to notch, baste around the sides and bottom of the pocket at a scant 5/8″ seam allowance, pivoting at the lower corners.
2) Press the upper edge of the pocket 1/2″ towards the wrong side.
3) At the notch, fold the top pressed edge towards the right side and pin. (This fold should measure 1″.)
4) Stitch in place on each side at 5/8″, making sure your first pressed edge stays folded.
5) Turn top of pocket right side out, using a point turner to make the corners crisp.
6) Pin the pressed edge in place and edge stitch along it.
7) Fold the raw edges to the wrong side and press, rolling the basting stitches to the back as you do so you can’t see them from the front. Clip the corners at a right angle about 1/4″ away from the basting stitches.
8) Sew the dart in your front piece. Hold it up and decide where you’d like the pocket. Keep in mind that the center front edge of the shirt will lose 5/8″ when the facing is attached. Pin the pocket in place, making sure it’s parallel with the center front edge.
9) Since the bust dart adds a rounded shape to the fabric, place it over a pressing ham or other curved surface while pinning the edges of the pocket.
10) Topstitch around the sides and bottom of the pocket 1/8″ from the edge, pivoting at the corners and backstitching at the beginning and end. For added strength, stitch a triangle at each upper corner as shown.
A pocket takes barely any fabric, so it’s the perfect opportunity for some experimentation! Here are some ideas:
- Change the shape. Cut off the bottom corners to make a six sided pocket.
- Add a trim. Stitch a piece of lace, bias tape or other trim to the top of the pocket, incorporating the ends into the stitching when you fold the top edge towards the right side. Similarly, use a decorative stitch on your machine to hem the pocket instead of a straight stitch.
- Change the size. Make a mini pocket! Or, change the proportions to make it shorter and wider or taller and narrower.
- Make it curved. Curve the bottom corners of the pocket. To help when you press the edges, sew a basting stitch in the seam allowance of the curves and use it to gather the excess fabric.
- Add a button. Stitch a buttonhole in the hem of the pocket before attaching, then sew a button to the shirt.
- Make it a shape. Go crazy and make heart shaped (or any other shape) pockets. Cut two pieces per pocket, stitch them right sides together almost all the way around, notch curves and turn right side out, press and topstitch around the edge.
If you have any other pocket brainstorms you’d like to share, please comment below!
Click here to download the pocket template (or draw one yourself).