Tutorial: Presto Pockets!

I did NOT invent this method: Peter over at Male Pattern Boldness mentioned this during his Men's Shirt Sew-Along, and honestly, this is the best thing since sliced bread! It makes the most neat and beautiful pockets!!

Basically, what you're doing is making a light cardboard or tag board template of the pocket without the seam allowances: in other words, exactly the size of the FINISHED pocket.  If you write the pattern number and size on it, you can store it with your pattern pieces to use again!

Then, you're pressing the pocket pieces around the template, then removing the template for sewing.

Here I've put the templates on the pocket piece, making sure that I have left enough room at the top for the hem. If you like to finish all your pocket edges first, do that before you get started with this part.


Using a lot of steam, press the pocket up around the template. I actually like to spritz mine with water.

I fold and press the pocket top hem first, before doing the sides. I'll still need to sew it, of course, but the pressed crease will still be there.

Iron the other side, too, to make sure it's nice and flat.

I set these aside to cool and dry. (I do my interfacing for whatever I'm sewing while I wait). After a few minutes, take the cardboard out.

Look how pretty! Sew the hem, pin in place, and sew down! Presto!!

Thanks, Peter for such a marvelous idea. I never make pockets without at template any more! To think, I used to gather the bottom edges of rounded pockets! Never again!

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