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How to make patch pockets perfectly – every time!

 | How to make patch pockets perfectly EVERY time! |

One of the tricks I learnt after first leaving college (when I was still just a lowly Design Room assistant) was how to make patch pockets perfectly EVERY time – even when they have curved bottoms! I worked with some great sample machinists, who showed me this little trick. Of course, they let me do it wrong a few times before revealing the easiest way in the world.

If you have downloaded The Maria Wrap Apron PDF pattern, or the as-yet-soon-to-be-released Wendy Artisan Smock Pattern (exciting…more to be revealed later!) you will already have seen the pattern piece labelled POCKET FORMER with the instruction to cut in card only – this is the same shape as your patch pocket pattern piece but WITHOUT THE SEAM ALLOWANCE and ladies that is the trick – just press your pocket AROUND a piece of card cut to the correct shape!

If you are using a pattern from another designer and don’t have a pocket former pattern piece – fear not! Just trace off your patch pocket pattern piece (or print an extra – oh, the joys of PDF patterns) and cut off ALL the seam allowances to follow along, but do remember to keep the original pocket pattern.

A MRS MAVEN TOP TIP: This is the same method that I used to ‘card’ my design patterns ready to send off to the factories for mass production. So feel free to card the whole pattern if it’s one you use a lot, it’ll last forever!! 


If you are looking for a little help to make and stitch your pockets on The Maria Apron or The Wendy Smock, we have another patch pocket tutorial here.

To make a pocket former template in card you will need:

  • One patch pocket FORMER pattern piece (or a pattern WITHOUT seam allowances)
  • A piece of card bigger than the pattern piece, a cereal box is good.
  • Stapler ( and a stapler extractor is useful)
  • Ruler, paper scissors and pencil

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven PatternsTake your POCKET FORMER PATTERN PIECE and fold in half. Take your piece of card and fold in half scoring the fold flat – I use the handle of my scissors.

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven Patterns

Place together, make sure the folded edges of both are aligning or your card template will be the wrong size later! Staple to hold in place.

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven Patterns

Use the ruler and trace around the outside edge, taking care that you make a right angle at that centre fold line or you’ll get an odd pointy shape in the centre when you cut out the template.Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven PatternsCut out carefully. Because you are cutting it out while folded you know both side are going to be symmetrical.

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven Patterns

Un-staple and remember to write which pattern it belongs to!

So now what do you do with it?

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven Patterns

Lay your card pocket former template on your pocket and press the seam allowance all the way around. You’ll get a smooth matching curve on EVERY pocket you make.

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven Patterns

Oh Look they match…how delightful!! Now all you need to do is stitch them on!

Need a little help bagging out your pocket corner, or doing the reinforcement stitch? Check out our other PATCH POCKET TUTORIAL here.

Happy Sewing!

Mrs M x

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The How to Understitch Tutorial

The How to Understitch Tutorial.

I thought I’d do a little tutorial on UNDERSTITCHING, I’m sure most people know all about, but it’s something I love to do, so it will be appearing quite a bit in the instructions of Maven Patterns.

“But why Mrs M?” I hear you ask, “why such love of understitching?”

Well for a start, I feel a little sorry for it, understitching is an often neglected little process because when you’re rushing to finish a garment for yourself in between tea time and the next domestic disaster, it’s an easy thing to skip and do you know why I don’t skip it …because I’m lazy! This secretive, functional little stitch is the easiest way to make your facings, bindings and under collars (or under straps if you are making the Maria Wrap Apron) sit to the inside where they should be, without them rolling to the front.  Once you get the hang of it you’ll understitch everywhere!

Here’s how…



1. First, sew your seam. Make sure you take the right seam allowance, MAVEN PATTERNS will only have a 6mm seam allowance for bagging out facings and collars, if you have a bigger seam allowance you may need to trim it down a bit if you are stitching on a curved edge. Press all the seam allowance towards the facing.


2. With the right side of the garment up, edgestitch ON THE FACING through ALL the layers, take care not to stretch the garment as you stitch. If you are stitching on an under collar or into a shoulder, just stitch as far as you can with your machine and then stop.


3.  This is what the reverse side looks like, all the seam allowances are held flat to the facing with that edgestitch.


4. Now press it so the facing lays flat on the inside of the garment, it will naturally want to roll into place.


5. On the right side of the get a nice sharp edge and a flat facing that stays put!

There you see, so easy!