Tutorial: Two Decorative Pocket Styles

The Market Place Bag OnceUponaSewingMachineIn September we participated in a Fab Folds Challenge. The challenge was to create a project using pin tucks, pleats, or smocking. We created our Market Place bag. In that bag we included both a smocked and pleated pocket. Here is how we did it. (If you want to learn more about how we constructed the base of the bag check out our tutorial on envelope bottom bags HERE)

Machine Smocking

There are many variations of smocking. A quick search will have you overwhelmed! Much of it is done by hand. I like to do as much sewing on the machine as possible when I work on any project.

I decided to for this project I would smock a smaller piece, since we are beginners, so chose a pocket. I cut my pocket 3 times wide than the finished size I desired. Do this because you are going to gather your pocket.


I smocked the top third of the pocket.

To begin use as long straight stitch. Sew 4 lines of stitching across the top of the pocket 1/4 inch apart. The bobbin stitches are then pulled tight to get your pocket to its desired width.This is similar to how we created a ruffle HERE.

I chose a decorative embroidery stitch to sew in the spaces between my straight stitches. It’s will secure your smocking so it does not let loose as well as add a decorative look.


Give extra stability by fusing a lightweight interfacing to the wrong side of
your smocking.

smocked pocket

Inverted Pleat Pocket

For the pleat we did a twist on a standard pleated pocket by adding some accent fabric.

inverted pleat

This style of pocket is really simple to create. I chose two fabrics, my base and accent. Then create a three panel piece like this.

inverted pleatThe size of your pieces will vary depending on your pocket size, and how much accent fabric you would like to see.

Next your going to create the look of a large pleat.

inverted pleatFold over both sides and press. It will look something like this.

inverted pleat

Now you’re going to finish your edges. I encased the top edge of our bag’s pocket in a contrasting band. You can simply turn that edge over and hem it as well.

Once your top edge is finished turn and press the remaining three edges, and sew onto your bag or garment!

There is still time to pop over and vote for your favorite Fab Folds project. There are some really neat techniques being used. Click on the image to pop over!


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