This post is written by Tara of Girl Like the Sea.
Hi Gnats readers! Tara here, from Girl Like The Sea, with an easy pattern hack today! This is really simple modification you can do to your favorite tee shirt or sweater pattern. All kids love stashing things in their pockets, and mine often instinctively reach towards their clothes to look for a pocket.
This has a different look than your average kangaroo style pocket, and gives you a fun way to play with contrasting fabrics where the facing peeks out.
The ultimate pocket // a pattern hack
Getting started, you will need:
- Pattern pieces for a tee/sweater
- Extra paper for pattern drafting
- Piece of string
- Measuring tape
- Ribbing fabric
- Contrast (or matching if you like) knit fabric for the facing
First, you will lay out the pattern piece for your shirt front.
On the side seam edge (NOT the fold edge) Place a mark above the level of your hem seam allowance, about 2″ or so from the bottom.
Measure up 4.5″ above that and place another mark (these measurements were made for a 3T sized shirt. If you feel like this pocket size is too big or small, just adjust to your liking!)
Now, find the center point between your marks and place another mark. Measure radiating out from that center point 2.5″ and place dots.
Play connect the dots and draw an arc.
Now, we’ll cut that half-circle piece out and let the kids rip it to shreds while they think they’re destroying something important. It’s ok. You don’t need it anymore. Suckas!
Now it’s time to draft a pocket facing. Get another piece of paper and place it under your shirt front piece, aligning the side edges.
Trace around the bottom and side edge, stopping about 1/2″ above the pocket hole. This will be the level on the shirt at which you’ll stitch the pocket facing on.
Mark a couple of guide lines on the paper, just so you have points to connect with your ruler when you take the shirt front piece off.
We can all just overlook my shoddy photoshop skillz. Lol. I should stick to just sewing all the things, and leave photoshop to the tech-smart.
Connect the markings at the top of your pocket facing piece to complete it. Mark the side where the fold goes, because you will be cutting this on the fold just like the shirt front.
Next, we draft the pattern piece for your pocket ribbing. The way I measure the edge is just using a string draped around the edge.
Mark the string where the pocket hole ends and measure to see how long it is. My pocket is 8″ long along the arc.
Cut out your pattern piece: 1.5″ high x the length of your pocket. 1.5″ x 8″ in this case. Your ribbing will be folded in half lengthwise. Should you like a thinner/thicker ribbing be sure to consider that, plus 1/4″ for seam allowance.
Now we get to the FUN part! Sewing!
Cut two pocket ribbing pieces and press in half lengthwise. I used a baby rib, but 1×1 or 2×2 ribbing would work fine too.
Without pinning, place your ribbing piece on top of the shirt front piece, raw edges aligned, right side of shirt facing up. You are going to stretch your ribbing slightly as you sew. This will give you a clean look, rather than a sad droopy looking pocket edge.
Sew your ribbing, stretching slightly as you go, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
You should have a tail of ribbing hanging off the edge of your shirt when you’re done, like pictured above.
Press the heck out of it to get it to lay nicely, and repeat the process on the other side .
Now, take your pocket facing piece (I used a french terry knit, which is more like sweat shirt weight) and place it wrong side up on top of your shirt front piece which is also wrong side up.
Align the bottom and side edges of the pattern pieces, and pin along the top. I pinned the bottom too just because knit curls and I wanted to make sure I had it all lined up well. Plus, my daughter wouldn’t stop handing me pins. Heh.
Sew along the top edge of your pocket facing with a stretch stitch.
Now it should look like this! Exciting, right? At this point you can baste the bottom edges of the shirt and pocket facing together if you want, just to keep it all neat while you assemble your shirt.
From here on, just proceed with the usual way you’d make the shirt/sweater. For my version, I wanted to keep it extra long so I left the bottom edge raw and just triple stitched along the bottom to close up the pocket. You can also add a ribbing band along the bottom, or just hem it as usual.
Boom! Now you have a big huge pocket for your kids to stash all sorts of junk – I mean – treasure ^_^
Before I show you more photos of the pocket shirt in action, I’ll tell you a short story. My three year old daughter is kind of an injury disaster. We spent all evening a few days ago in the emergency room so she could get some sewing of another sort done. Six stitches in her face.
It would have made sense to hold off on using her for photos until she’s well again, but I think she looks beautiful anyway. Stitches and all. So here you go:
In case you were wondering:
main fabric is hemp/organic cotton from Bolt PDX
ribbing is organic baby rib from fabric.com
pocket facing is organic french terry from fabric.com
reverse applique triangle is Kaufman laguna stretch knit from fabric.com
the tee pattern is the flashback skinny tee from made by rae
Thanks so much for reading!
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