Sewing pockets on tricky fabrics can be difficult. Here are some tips:
Stripes or Plaids
Changing direction when using stripes or plaids can add an exciting design element to the garment. When turning the direction of the grainline, consider how this element affects the look of the garment and whether the cost of the additional fabric needed is justified when using bias. Bias pockets made from stripes or plaids require stabilizing; changing the lengthwise grainline to the crosswise grainline may produce some stretching. Stabilize the entire pocket, or use stay tape at the upper edge to prevent stretching.
Sheer fabrics fall into two categories: firmly woven, such as organdy or softer sheer, such as chiffon. When working with these fabrics, extra care must be taken in cutting and sewing. For greater accuracy in cutting and sewing, use tissue paper over and under the fabric.
Purchase a package of multicolored gift tissue and use a color that is similar to the fabric you are using, whether it is a solid or a print. The tissue tears away easily, but if tiny bits are left within the seam allowance, it will be less noticeable than white tissue paper.
A detail such as a pocket that is functional needs to be underlined. Pockets in sheer fabrics such as georgette or batiste can be underlined using another firm sheer fabric such as silk organza for support.
A decorative pocket such as a gathered pocket made from chiffon can be self-lined.
Always match the fabric to the use. A fabric can be made to work in a way for which it was not intended as a design statement. In order for it to look well made, it must complement and enhance the design, as well as be impeccably constructed.
Lace, Beaded, Velvet, and Satin Fabrics
These very special-care fabrics that require particular attention to careful handling can all be stitched as in-seam pockets. Because of the potential bulkiness of velvet and lace, a facing pocket paired with lining will reduce the bulk and produce a smooth, flat pocket. When using beaded fabrics for in-seam pockets, all of the beading should be removed from the surface of the pocket fabric before stitching. Satin fabrics will often show ridging on the surface of the garment if serging is used to finish seams; finish the seam edges of the pocket with sheer seams for the flattest, smoothest finish.
Any type of pocket could conceivably be made in knit fabric, but the success of the pocket style depends on the weight and stretch of the knit. For example, you would not put a tailored, welt pocket into slinky knit. The stretch of the knit would completely prevent the finished pocket from interacting with the drape of the knit. Patch pockets are often found on stable knit garments that are heavier weight. In-seam pockets are most often used on skirts, dresses, and pants made from knit fabric.
All styles of pockets are fabulous in denim. Sample the style of pocket you want to use before placing it onto or into the garment.
Any style of pocket that can be made in fabric can also be made in leather. Lighter weight skins of leather have some give and require stabilizing (only use low-temperature fusible) to prevent stretching. Test several weights and types of interfacing on sample pieces of leather to obtain a perfect match. Use stabilizer tape at the top edge of leather pockets to prevent the pocket opening from stretching. Use craft glue to position patch pockets on the surface of a leather garment.