Sewing the perfect pocket consists of two parts: 1) Making the pocket and 2) Topstitching the pocket onto your project. Both of these steps require the knowledge of pivoting. This pocket is perfect because there is no hemming of the top edge and no turning of the other edges.
Now that you have mastered the straight stitch seam it is time to learn to pivot.
Sewing Practice Paper
Draw a line along 3 edges of a sheet of paper 4/8" from the edge with a C-Thru Ruler and a blue pencil.
Sewing Your First Pivot
"Walk" the machine when you are coming close to the corner. You want to stop exactly at 4/8" from the edge. My Bernina has a marking at 5/8" etched across the lines. One stitch past that would be about 4/8". If not sure where you are, stop short and test as described below.
If not, pivot back, put presser foot down and stitch one or two more stitches and test again.
If at 4/8", put presser foot down and continue sewing to next corner.
Repeat pivot at the following corner. Continue to sew until you have reached the next edge and backtack.
Now that you have completed the practice for pivoting seams, you are ready to practice pivoting topstitching. Topstitching can be intimidating at first because you have only sewn along a seam guide until now. Topstitching is usually done when the seam guide is not visible. In this case the practice is for sewing on a pocket.
Begin at the upper right corner. Position the paper so that the needle is slightly to the left of the line. Find a position on the toes of the foot to be your guide. On my machine, the inside edge of the right toe is a good guide.
Backtack and sew along the line until you almost reach the corner.
Now that you have learned to pivot, you are ready for:
Sewing the Perfect Pocket
This can be done by drawing a pattern onto tissue paper with the proper dimensions. Pin onto fabric and cut with scissors. This is recommended for children learning to sew.
Cut the fabric using a rotary mat, cutter and ruler. This method is for adults only.
Fold the fabric so that it makes a square with the right sides together (the pretty sides together). Pin or use Wonder Clips (shown and available HERE) to hold edges of fabric together. You will sew using a 4/8" seam allowance like the practice paper. The only difference is that you will leave a 3" opening at the bottom of the pocket.
I like to use pins in an X formation as stopping and starting indicators. I tell the children that this is like a skull and crossbones. I means danger—stop—something has to happen here.
Put your fingers through the opening and turn the pocket right side out. Use your Point Turner to poke out all 4 corners. Press pocket flat. Press opening straight with the seam allowance, tucking the edges into the pocket.
You may now add a pocket to any project like the aprons above. Find apron post and pattern HERE.
This is part of a series of instructions on how to teach your children to sew in the form of a camp. This series can also be used to teach yourself to sew. Click on the button below for the entire series.