MN2303 Briar / Sewalongs

Briar Sewalong: Sewing a curved patch pocket

Sewing curved patch pocket

Today I’m going to share with you how to sew the curved patch pocket on the Briar. I really love this little pocket. It’s delicate enough not to take too much attention from the other details of the top – but also adds some needed visual interest when using a plain knit with no texture or print. I know it can seem a little daunting to sew a pocket on stretch fabric – but I promise you can do it! If you need a little refresher on how to sew with stretchy fabrics, see here.

Ready to read on?

Before we start I just have to say: wow my ironing board cover is looking pretty manky right now!! Please ignore all the icky scorch marks etc – this baby gets used pretty intensively hehe.

First things first – fold down 1/2″ at the top edge and topstitch. I’ve used a twin needle in this example, but you could also use a zig-zag stitch or any stitch that maintains the stretch of the fabric.

Next up, stay stitch 1/4″ around the curved edge. I’ve used a zig-zag stitch here to maintain the stretch of the fabric. Please don’t skip this step – the most important trick to getting this pocket right is staystitching around the curved edge, it will help prevent warping the pocket and will also help you to keep that curve looking awesome.

This is the next most important part. Press the seam allowance around the curve inwards towards the inside of the pocket/wrong side of the fabric. Use your staystitching lines as a guide.

The easiest way to add a pocket (to pretty much anything) is first before you do any construction. Since the fabric is laying flat at this point and is untouched, it’s easiest to match it up with any markings on the pattern and also ensure everything is straight and in line. In this example, I’ve already sewn the shoulder seams and the neck binding, which is also fine as the front is still laying very flat and open – but if you’re at all nervous/worried, add the pocket first thing as stated in the instruction booklet.

For the Briar, we have provided a suggested pocket placement in the form of guidelines on the pattern. You can use these lines to line up the top edge and sides of the pocket – however, you can also choose your own pocket placement based on your own preferences. One of my favourite tricks for getting pockets nice and lined up is to use the old fashion ruler :) Make sure the fabric is laying even and flat, and not stretched or warped – then line up a ruler with the same point on either edge of the garment. You could also trace along this line with chalk now if you prefer, but I like having the ruler to butt up against. Now you have a nice straight line you can line your pockets up with – this is especially helpful when adding 2 pockets.

Pin your pocket in place, or baste. I find that the more pins you use the easier it is to make sure the pocket doesn’t move or stretch out of place.

Now topstitch around the curved edge. I used a twin needle – but you may also use a zig-zag stitch or any other stitch which maintains the stretch of the fabric. The important part here is just to go slowly.

The very last detail is pressing. I know a lot of people don’t realise this – but it’s still very very important to press your sewing when you are using stretchy fabrics. Above you’ll see a comparison of the pocket before and after pressing. The pocket before is a tad puckery and doesn’t quite look perfect yet – the pocket after pressing has been neatened up and looks much nicer.

Good luck my dears! I hope that helps! Any questions??


Don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNbriar and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Don’t have the pattern yet?

Briar & Briar Curve

Order Briar today in sizes 0-20 and Curve sizes 14-30

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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11 years ago

looks so cool! i cannot wait to start on my pattern (which i know i got for xmas cause i signed for the package) and will be sending you an email about something related to that! awesome easy to follow tutorial :D


emily marie
11 years ago

It looks so great! Sometimes I just forgo details like this (for so many reasons), but this really makes me want to give little pockets & embellishments more thought. Not to mention, I just got a coverstitch machine and am looking for fun things to do with it!

11 years ago

Love the round pocket. And you’re really impressing my with your ironing skills! I am not great at ironing, and think some of my wonky-ish projects would probably look a zillion times better with some good steam:)


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