Sewing an easy cardigan pocket

July 4, 2019 2 Comments

Sewing an easy cardigan pocket

July 4, 2019 2 Comments

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!

A simple way to add pockets to cardigan.

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.

A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine

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.

A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine

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.

A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine
The machine set-up for blind hem stitch
A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine
A very invisible seam
A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine

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.

A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine
A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine
The pocket is now attached into the side seams.
A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine

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.

A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine
A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine

7. Fold the hem seam allowance inwards

Notice how I also folded the the seam allowance of the side seam inwards.

A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine

8. Stitch the hem

Again I’m using the blind hem stitch, because it is fantastic for hemming cardigan and sweaters.

A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine
A simple way to add pockets to cardigan. Can be done using a sewing machine

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!

By the way, I used the same method to add pockets on this cardigan and this one as well.

Sewing pocket on cardigan. This step-by-step sewing tutorial shows how to add a pocket to a jacket or cardigan. And it can all be done on a regular sewing machine.
Johanna Lundström

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2 Comments

  • Rebecca July 5, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    This is a great tutorial – thanks so much for providing it to all of us. I have bookmarked it for later use (it is too hot right now to think of sewing a cardi – but I will want to use this in the cooler months!).

    • Johanna Lundström July 9, 2019 at 7:39 pm

      Thank you, Rebecca! Once you have started doing these pockets, it’s hard to stop. And they are roomy enough fit both a wallet and a cellphone!

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