Shirtmaking: Pocket and Pocket Flap Templates

Here’s a quick post on sewing the pockets, including making pocket templates, for the Granville Shirt! This is the fabric I chose:

granville fabric - printed voile

It’s a beachy, summery printed cotton voile. It’s from Spool of Thread, bought last summer, with the intention to make a shirt for the summer. At least I’m ready for this summer instead! I made this shirt a little while back, around the release of the Granville pattern.

Since I skipped the pockets back when I made my Liberty Granville Shirt, I thought I’d talk about the pockets on this version. I plan to make many of these shirts, so I spent a little extra time making pocket templates for this pattern.

Here’s how to make pocket templates

First, trace off the pocket piece on a piece of card stock. I like to use old file folders, they’re a good weight, plus I like to reuse things around here. Draw in the seam allowances.

pocket template 1

Cut out the template along the seam allowance lines.

pocket template 2

Here’s how to use them

Now, what is this for? It’s a great tool for pressing your pocket. Wrap the edges around the template and press. This will also ensure that both pockets are exactly the same!

pocket template 3

What I liked was the chance to get the bottom corner in the right spot, with the seam allowances tucked evenly on both sides of the point. Normally I’d press one side of the bottom edge, then the other. Try this on your pockets to see what I mean – the template helps!

pocket template 5

Nice, square pockets.

pocket template 4

Ok, what else can you use a template for? Make one for the pocket flap!

pocket template 6

Same as the pocket template, trace off the pattern piece and remove the seam allowances. For the pocket flap, leave the seam allowances along the top edge.

I used this template to trace the stitching line on the pocket flap. This ensures that the pocket flap is the right size, and also ensures that the left and right flaps are identical. I find this more accurate than sewing a 5/8″ (1.5cm) seam allowance because what if the cutting isn’t perfect? This makes the finished flap exactly the right dimensions.

pocket template 7

This is especially helpful on my Bernina without any seam guides. (I did add a seam guide later.)

pocket template 8

Here is the finished pocket!

pocket template 9

And here are a few quick shots of the finished shirt.

pastel voile granville shirt

Close-up of the finished pockets:

pastel voile granville shirt-2

Looks pretty even!
pastel voile granville shirt-3

What do you think: is it worth the time making a pocket template? I’d say it is most useful if you plan to use the same pattern several times, if you need to make two identical pockets, or if the pocket is unusually shaped.

ps. Check out all our posts on shirtmaking here!

, , , , ,

15 Responses to Shirtmaking: Pocket and Pocket Flap Templates

  1. Sonia June 29, 2015 at 7:27 am #

    Love that! I think that would be quicker once the template is made, not to mention neater. I’ve made a white oakridge, and have made the same alterations to the Granville shirt pattern, but not quite brave enough to tackle making the collar yet. But those pockets are really nice…(and the fabrics lovely)

  2. Violeta June 29, 2015 at 8:06 am #

    A great tip! I just finished making a Granville shirt, but I decided not to put a pocket on this one because the fabric is so thin (silk). I thought maybe the pockets may pull the fabric down. I’ll choose a different kind of fabric next time and will add pockets!

  3. Donna June 29, 2015 at 10:28 am #

    I agree and I forgot all about this technique! You can also make templates for jean pockets, flaps, flap for a double welt pocket.. etc this is endless thanks for the great reminder!

  4. Design Rewind Fashions on Etsy June 29, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    Fantastic idea! I have marked out the fold line before but I like the template idea so much more. Thank you for sharing! The shirt looks amazing!

  5. Susan June 29, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Great idea, I too had ‘forgotten’ about this simple, clever way to make pockets! Thank you!

  6. Hazel June 29, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    Neither of the two Granville shirts I’ve made have pockets, only because I have a full bust and don’t need to attract extra attention to the area, but the templates are a great idea. I’m sure I can use templates elsewhere in my sewing.

  7. Annette June 29, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    Really liking the tip! Many thanks, and your fabric and the shirt iteself, beauitful! TFS, Annette

  8. autumn June 29, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    i LOVE this version of this top – so gorgous, and it’s making me want a top with two pockets, LOL!

  9. Lauren June 29, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    Such a great tip! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Elle C June 30, 2015 at 5:07 am #

    I use a template also, but I use freezer paper which I iron onto the fabric. Of course that means you need to cut one for each pocket,but there is no shifting and the pockets are perfection.

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

      I have never used freezer paper but I like the idea of it sticking in place and not shifting around – great idea!

  11. Jane July 9, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

    I’m making a shirt dress right now and I am kicking myself for not basing it on your Granville shirt pattern. I’m going to buy the Granville pattern and make some gorgeous liberty fabric I have into a shirt dress. I have sewn quite a few of your patterns but liked a McCalls shirt dress pattern and I had forgotten how BAD the big 4 pattern instructions are :(

    So, my question. From looking at this, the inside edges of the pocket are raw. Is that correct? Is there any way to finish the inside edges so they don’t fray? Or is this just the standard method of doing a pocket.

    I’ve wasted so much time doing a placket and pockets with the horrible McCalls instructions. BOO.

    • Tasia July 13, 2015 at 8:58 am #

      I’ve always left the inside edges of pockets raw, since they’re not rubbing up on anything and are unlikely to fray too badly. I’ve never had a problem with fraying inside the pocket.
      I think serging makes them bumpy and the serge marks can show through when you press the pocket, so even though that would finish the edges I wouldn’t recommend it. The only thing I can think of if you’re really concerned about fraying is to edgestitch and topstitch your pocket, for two rows of stitching. The extra row of stitching holds the seam allowance in place, and since it’s on top and decorative, it won’t look strange if you press it, like internal seam finishing would look.
      Hope this helps!

  12. Lori January 5, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    Hi there. I’m adding a pocket to a t shirt and love your idea. Can you give me the measurements of the pocket template? Are they half inch seam allowances? Thanks so much. Lori


  1. Two More Pairs of Comfy Pants | fox threads - August 21, 2015

    […] point even was tricky (it’s clearly not even!). I’ve since learned a trick to make a template for the flap – will have to try this next […]