How to Sew a Cargo Pocket

Cargo pockets are utilitarian, solid-looking pockets. There are a whole range of variations that can be achieved but this one uses a pleated pocket with a flap. It is generally a good idea to make the flap about 6mm wider than the pocket, so that the flap will sit neatly over the pocket and the pocket will not be visible along the sides of the flap.

I drafted my own pattern, this one measures 31cm (width) & 24cm (length) with cut out square corners (2.5cm square). Draw a line down the centre (CF) and mark a line either side of this 5cm from the CF as the fold line. The size of the actual pocket will be 13.5cm (width) x 16.5cm (length).

The pocket flap is 16cm (width) x 9.3cm (at the centre front, longest point). The sides are 3cm smaller than the centre front. You will need to cut 2 pocket flaps, one is the lining, this is a chance to use a contrast fabric for the pocket flap lining.

Create a box pleat down the centre of the pocket piece . Finish the pleat by sewing a small distance along the pleat fold line at the top and bottom of the pleat. Press the pleat flat.

Fold under 1cm across the top edge of the pocket, then fold the top edge under again along the fold line, this creates the pocket facing. Topstitch along the bottom of the facing to secure it in place.

Press under the seam allowance of 1cm along the three remaining sides of the pocket. This will act as a guide later. Fold the pocket with the right sides together to pinch together the bottom corners. Sew across the corners. Trim off the excess fabric from the corners and turn the right way round.

Fold the seam allowance under the sides and base of the pocket and press in place to create a crease that runs around the front of the pocket. Edge stitch along each of these creases, stopping at the corners and starting again once the corner has been turned.

Mark out the pocket placement lines on your garment/ project and place the top of the pocket at the top placement line, line up the base of the pocket at the bottom points, and win pin in place. Make sure that the four corners of the pocket base are directly under the four corners of the front of the pocket. Edge stitch around the pocket base, pivoting at each corner before continuing.

A small rectangle or triangle can be sewn at the top corners of the pocket to reinforce the pocket opening.

Apply interfacing to wrong side of the pocket flap lining- the contrast fabric piece. The pocket flap lining should be just a fraction smaller than the pocket flap so trim it by a 1mm. This allows the lining to be eased onto the flap and ensures that the pocket flap has to roll under very slightly, keeping the lining hidden.

Pin the flap and the lining right sides together. Ease the lining so that it will fit the flap and all the raw edges are sitting flush. Sew around the the side and bottom edges of the flap, pivoting at the corners to keep them nice and sharp. Clip the excess fabric off the corners and turn the flap right side out. Poke out the corners and press flat, making sure that the lining is not visible from the right side. Topstitch around the sides and point of the flap.

Tack the open edge together through all the layers.

Place the pocket flap right side down on the right side of the garment along the placement line.

Stitch in place along the placement line and trim the seam allowance back by 6mm

Fold the pocket flap back down, press in place and topstitch the pocket flap down, enclosing the trimmed seam allowance.

How to Sew a Circular Patch Pocket

Patch pockets are traditionally square-ish or rectangular in shape, but that doesn’t have to be so!

You can make a real feature of a pocket by making it circular.

Where you want to place your pocket will determine the size you want to make it. It could look very sweet as a small top pocket on a blouse or larger as a proper hand-sized pocket if you wanted to add your own twist to the Viola Skirt.

This is how we made ours:

We wanted a hand sized pocket so used a side plate as a template. You could use anything circular as your own template or even a pair of compasses (from your old school geometry set).

Draw around the template on some paper to create your pattern. To find the grain line just fold the circle in half, and the crease will be your grain line. You can then decide the angle you would like for the faux flap and draw that in too.

Make sure the interfacing extend over the fold line for the faux flap.

Cut out a pair of circles using the template and also a small piece of interfacing the size of the faux flap but just extended past the fold line slightly. This will help to support the folded over flap when you sew on the button later.

Attach the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the circles over the flap area. And then pin the two circles with the right sides together.

Remember to leave a gap at the bottom!

Sew around the circles starting and finishing at the bottom, but remember to leave a gap so you can turn the pocket through to the right side.

The closer the V shapes the better curve you’ll get

Snip out small V shapes all around the seam allowance. Leave the seam allowance  un-snipped across the gap to make sure the snips don’t go too far.

You’ll sew the gap closed when you sew around the pocket on the garment.

Turn the pocket through to the right side and carefully press out the circle shape. Tucking in the seam allowance across the gap.

Fold over the faux flap and attach a button as decoration.

Edge stitch the pocket in place onto your garment making sure to secure the top corners.

This would look great as a hack on the Viola Skirt or Kate Dress.

Have a look at our Pinterest Board for some more Patch Pocket Inspiration.