Tutorial by Rae: Western-style Flap Pockets

Yesterday I showed you my favorite way to recycle a men’s button-down shirt into a boy’s shirt.  Today we’ll add pockets!  I really like the retro/western look that flapped pockets add, but real flaps always seem like too much work for a boy’s shirt.  This tutorial will show you how to make easy faux-flap pockets for a boy’s shirt.

You can put them up high:

Or down low (this shirt was blogged here last fall):

Let’s get started!

T U T O R I A L : 
Boy’s Western-style Flap Pocket
 Hey! Don’t take text or images from this tutorial without permission!  Thanks.

Step 1: Print out the pocket pattern.  There are two sizes provided, the 1-2T (which I used for the fish shirt shown above) and the 3-4T (which I used for the plaid shirt), but you could easily enlarge this for any size shirt.  Click on the image below to download the pattern PDF.

Step 2: For each pocket you want, cut two pocket pieces from your desired fabric.  I wanted two pockets, so I cut four pieces total.

Step 3: Take two of the pocket pieces and place their right sides together.  With a 3/8″ seam allowance (included in the pattern, it’s indicated by the dashed line), sew all the way around the pocket, leaving about 2″ open on one of the long sides of the pocket.

Step 4: Press pocket, clip corners, and turn pocket right-side-out.  Tuck the raw edges into turning hole and press again.

Step 5:  Fold pocket over to create a flap (use your judgement here; some people like the pocket a little taller, some like it shorter), and press down.  Now PIN the flap down to the pocket so it won’t slide around while you’re topstitching it in place.  Then topstitch around the edge of the flap. I usually do a double row of topstitching, at about 1/8″ and 1/4″ from the edge.

Step 6:  Place pocket(s) on shirt in desired location, pin in place, and topstitch around sides and bottom of pocket to secure, backstitching at the beginning and end of your stitching.  I usually do a double row of stitches here as well.  Stand back and admire!  Then go put your pictures in the Celebrate the Boy! Flickr Photo Pool.

I happen to think these pockets also look great in contrasting colors or with a little pearl snap or button sewn on for extra embellishment.  And of course, you needn’t limit yourself to just boy’s shirts for this sort of pocket…I’m sure I will be amazed and astounded by all the great ways you readers think of to utilize these!

Be sure to check out Dana’s GIVEAWAY today over at MADE! And if you haven’t yet seen her fantastic tutorial for the 90 minute shirt yet, you’d better head on over!

8 thoughts on “Tutorial by Rae: Western-style Flap Pockets

  1. hi Rae, you and dana are really great. i love the idea on the pockets i always wondered how those are made.
    Can you show us how to make a boys underwear from a T-SHIRT ;0)?

  2. You are so smart! I need some little ones to dress again. When my 20-year-old son was little, I did sew for him but only up through toddler years, shorts and john-johns and rompers. I'm going to keep a file of all these great blog ideas, and one day, in about 10 years or so, I may have little ones to sew for again. — michele

  3. Oh man, I've been wanting to make pockets like that for a while and now I don't have to figure it out! I'm so glad you're IN on this with me 🙂

  4. Oooh…I bet I could use this tute to go slap some pockets on some of Siu Jeun's shirts! SA-WEET. 🙂

  5. These are awesome. I love sewing for my toddler and I'm going to put the flap pocket on a plain tshirt. Thanks!

Comments are closed.