Sewing patch pockets can be a little bit intimidating, especially if you’re working with a knit fabric. You want your edges to be as clean and even as possible, which can be a little tricky, and you have to make sure that your pocket stays put once you’ve placed it. It can feel like you’re facing several challenges all at once.
Enter Wonder Tape- the answer to all your patch pocket problems. Wonder Tape is a 0.25” wide, double-sided transparent tape that functions as an alternative to pinning or basting. Wonder Tape allows you to press seams cleanly and easily, and adheres your pocket and garment together prior to sewing. Wonder Tape washes out the first time you launder your garment, leaving no residue. In this tutorial, we’ll be using Wonder Tape to sew the perfect Blackwood Cardigan pocket.
Once you’ve cut out all your pattern pieces, take a pocket top and fold it in half, with wrong sides facing and matching notches.
Sew the pocket top to the pocket bottom. Serge the seam if desired.
Press the seam towards the pocket bottom, then edgestitch the seam to the pocket using a small zig-zag stitch, 1/8” (0.3 cm) from the edge.
You might notice that when sewing this seam, you may get ‘wings’ on either end. This is because the fabric stretches as you sew. Simply trim these little ‘wings’ off to get a straight edge.
Now comes the fun part- using Wonder Tape!
On the wrong side of the fabric, place a strip of Wonder Tape on the bottom edge of the pocket, right up against the edge of the fabric. Gently peel off the paper backing, leaving behind the sticky tape.
Fold up 3/8″ (1 cm) and press.
Repeat this process with the side edges of the pocket.
Next, take your cardigan front and line up the pocket with the pocket markings. We used a Clover Chaco liner. Mark on the right side of your cardigan front where you will be placing your pocket.
Place a strip of Wonder Tape on the side edges and bottom edge of the pocket placement. Gently peel off the paper backing.
Next place the pocket on top of the Wonder Tape. Press to secure. Don’t worry if it looks a little wonky the first time- you can easily peel the pocket off and try again.
Your pocket will now be securely fastened to the cardigan front. Topstitch around the sides and bottom of the pocket, 1/8″ (0.3 cm) from the pocket edge, backstitching at the top corners. You may notice that the Wonder Tape also helps to stabilize your seams while sewing- another benefit.
Here’s our finished pocket- perfectly placed, with nice clean edges. No stress and no over-zealous pinning required.
If you take a close look at the topstitching here, you might notice that the stitches are a little closer together in areas where we sewed over the seam connecting the pocket top to the pocket bottom. This can happen when sewing over existing seams with knits- unless you’re using contrasting thread, it will hardly be noticeable. However, there are some ways to prevent this. Stitching slowly over existing seams definitely helps. Another great solution is a walking foot. A walking foot has a built-in fabric feeding system that moves and holds fabric between your sewing machine’s upper and lower feed dogs, which helps to control layers of fabric and prevents fabric shifting. This makes it perfect for sewing with knits, sewing multiple layers of fabric, sewing over seams, and pattern matching for stripes and plaids. I actually use one as my primary foot with my own machine at home.
Let us know in the comments section if you have any questions, or if you have any favourite uses for Wonder Tape.