Cardigan pockets are a nice feature, but oftentimes sewing patterns lacks them. Luckily, they are quite easy to add, and if the cardigan has a split seam in the front, it’s even easier. You basically insert the pocket piece in the seams, so no need for topstitching, it’s all attached in the side seams and in the hem.
So let me show you how it’s made!
1. Cut a pocket piece that has the same width as the front bodice piece you’ll add it to
Just add allowance for the opening, because it will be folded. You can overcast upper edge for a neater look, but it’s not necessary on knit fabrics.
2. Fold and press the pocket opening
Press the seam allowance towards the back and press with an iron. This will prepare for the stitching.
3. Stitch the pocket opening
You have a lot of options for this; straight stitch, zigzag stitch, twin-needle, coverstitch, etc. But my favorite for more stable knits is to use the sewing machine blind hem stitch, since it will look invisible from the outside, which is a style I love.
4. Attach the pocket to the front bodice piece
I like to machine baste the pocket to the bodice piece, since it will keep in place during the entire sewing process.
5. Sew together the side seams
The pocket should be sandwiched between the bodice pieces. Sew both side seams to enclose the pocket.
Tip: If your jacket or cardigan lacks a front seam, you can fold and topstitch one side. The seams will still be very discreet.
6. Overcast or serge the hem
This step is optional when sewing knits, but again it provides a neat edge. Here I used a 3-thread wide overlock.
In this case the front seam attached the rectangular full length collar piece. I did not hem the collar, since it is sewn as double layer, I just stitched together the lower edge and folded it outwards. This explains the context for the next step.
7. Fold the hem seam allowance inwards
Notice how I also folded the the seam allowance of the side seam inwards.
8. Stitch the hem
Again I’m using the blind hem stitch, because it is fantastic for hemming cardigan and sweaters.
9. Hand stitch the extended seam allowance
This is only necessary if you are sewing a cardigan or jacket with a full length collar piece like mine. I use slip stitches for this step.
The finished pocket
Almost invisible, yet immensely functional. This is one of my favorite ways to add pockets to cardigans. And if your pattern lacks a split front, you can easily add that seam, or just topstitch the front side of the pocket.
Yay for pockets! I never regret adding this extra step, and it’s actually a very easy method to do!