Friday, May 25, 2012

#3 Blouse and Elasticized Pocket Tutorial

I find on-line tutorials useful for all sorts of things, but I’ve never actually written one, so here goes with my first attempt. 

This tutorial is for an elasticized pocket that is good for children’s clothing.  The elastic allows for extra carrying room, and the give of the elastic and a reinforcing technique from my mother help reduce the risk of the pocket’s ripping at the corners.  It’s also kind of cute!

First of all, decide how big you want to make your pocket and draw it on a piece of paper or pattern fabric.  I decided on a 4 inch pocket.  You will notice that the pattern I drew is 4 inches wide and 4 inches tall.  The pocket that I drew is the square in the middle of this pattern:


Using a ruler, make a diagonal line from the bottom corner of the pocket to one inch outside your original pocket at the top.  Add a 1 inch allowance all the way across, squaring the end to be even with the diagonal.


Grab something round—I used a thread cone—and curve the bottom corners.



Pin the pattern to your fabric (2 layers of fabric), and cut 1/4 inch outside the outer line.  Omit the 1/4” across the top.



With right sides together, stitch across the top of the pocket, 3/8 “ from the top edge.  Press the seam to the lining side of the pocket and understitch 1/8” from the edge.



Fold the pocket with right sides together again, and stitch a 1/4” seam around the pocket, beginning and ending 5/8” from the top edge seam.  Leave an opening of an inch or so at the bottom of the pocket so that you can turn it right side out.  Clip the seam allowance on the curves so that they will turn smoothly.




Turn the pocket right side out through the opening.  Pay particular attention to the curves, Be sure that the raw edges of the casing openings at the top of the pocket are still folded properly inside.  Pin if necessary.  Pin the bottom turning opening closed with edges tucked in, and steam press everything.




Stitch across the top of the pocket 5/8” from the top edge to form a casing for the elastic.



Cut a piece of 1/4” elastic that is the same width as your desired pocket, in this case 4 inches.  Using a safety pin, run the elastic through the casing.  Carefully tweak the ends so that the ends of the elastic are inside the pocket edges.  Sew one row of stitching across each end, about 3/8” from the edge, catching the elastic and sewing the casing shut.  I know this is not adequate security for an elastic end, but we are not through.




Pin the pocket in the desired place on the garment.  To get it straight, use the bottom, rather than the sides as a measuring point.  (The chicken leg matchup above is totally accidental.)  Pay careful attention to the turning slot at the bottom to make sure it is pinned nicely.


Now for the reinforcement:  Cut two 1-inch squares of your fabric and fold them in half.



Place a folded square underneath each pocket top corner, on the wrong side of the fabric and pin.  Then, working from the top, edge stitch around your pocket, stitching a triangle at both top corners.  It is hard to see the triangle on the front.  The triangle should go through the casing, the elastic, and the little squares (now rectangles) of fabric on the back.  Here is a back picture, and you can see the triangle.



If this garment is your project for the County Fair, you may not want to do this, but the extra reinforcement decreases the tendency of the pockets to tear at the corners when they are stuffed, as children’s pockets often are.


Here is the finished pocket from the front:



And here is the finished blouse:


Oliver + S Class Picnic Blouse, size 10. 


Robin said...

Great tutorial and such a cute blouse. Love the fabric!

Deborah said...

That is a really cute blouse! Thanks for the tutorial. I think I will try it on a purse. Those chicken legs are so cute, too.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love the Oliverands patterns. Your top is so cute. Will you share the name of the fabric you used. Perfect fabric for for an outing to the county fair.

Panhandle Jane said...

The fabric is Tossed Roosters in Yellow by Fabric Traditions. I ordered it online from