Pattern Matching Patch Pockets etc – My latest Carolyn Pajamas

I’ve sewn another pair of Carolyn Pyjamas by Closet Case Patterns! It’s been years since sewing my last pair and they finally gave up the ghost. I’ve sewn a few knitwear PJs lately (see here) but I really wanted another classic, more tailored, set. The Carolyns are a more involved sew which satisfies my itch to get deeper into a project; time that I know will be repaid in a garment that should survive years of repeated wash and wear!

(And yes, I really wished I’d cut out in the opposite direction! It really bothered whilst I was sewing them up – thankfully though, it bothers me not a jot in the wearing ‘cos at least the books are faced so I can ‘read’ them when looking down at my bottoms!)

My first two iterations of this pattern were sewn from the easier of the three Views (View A). This time around I wanted the full works – cuffs and piping! I chose this book print broadcloth fabric, or rather it chose me, as at the end of every day, I’ll declare “I’m off to bed to read!” Given the ‘busyness’ of the print, I wasn’t particularly bothered about pattern matching generally, however I did want to match the breast pocket, which is both cuffed and piped, so it wouldn’t look ‘off’.

I thought I’d share with you how I pattern match trickier pieces like this – taking photos of each step of the process to clarify how straightforward it really is – ‘strap yourself in’ though as there’s a few of them as I also thought I’d illustrate a closer look at how the cuffed pocket is constructed at the same time! In reality, the doing is a quick process, promise!

Piping and a pattern matched breast pocket

Before attempting to pattern match smaller areas like a breast pocket, I always reach for my roll of Patterntrace / Swedish Tracing Paper – it’s proved to be one of the most useful purchases this year! It’s so much more than just tracing paper; I can only describe it as a cross between tissue paper and a woven fabric; it can actually be sewn together as I show here but, before I get into that …

… knowing how much it would feature in this Post, I contacted Patterntrace to enquire whether they could offer a discount to you lovely Readers.

Happily, they saif yes, offering a discount of 10% on their entire store using code SEWSARAHSMITH at checkout.

Right, onto the steps I took to pattern match that pocket!

The pattern pieces for the cuffed pocket of the Carolyn PJs look like this…

I find it hard to visualise from the pieces themselves how best to place them onto patterned fabric in order to accurately pattern match them – both to each other and to the shirt front! Even reading the instructions for sewing them together might not make it immediately obvious either. Trust me, I had the flu at the time of making these and my brain certainly wasn’t capable!

To do my fevered brain a favour, I traced out the paper pieces using the Patterntrace . I’m going to fully construct and sew these pockets using this ‘paper’, starting with adding the piping. I used a ready-made polyester flanged piping which was really flexible – it measures approximately 4/8″ so needs to be offset 1/8″ from the raw edge. It’s pretty easy to visualise but I do love my seam gauge for this. (If your budget allows, buy a little more piping than you think you need!)

Once your piping is sewn on to the lower pocket (J1) – preferably using thread that matches the colour of your piping in the top spool – place the cuff piece (J2) right sights together with the lower pocket (for the purposes of this tutorial, that’s the side I’ve written on!) and stitch them together using a standard zipper foot at the top seam. I’m sticking with a 5/8″ seam allowance here and ignoring the dotted line.

You can already see that your final fabric will need to be placed and cut out in opposite directions!

Next, press the bottom 4/8″ of the pocket cuff (J2) to the wrong side.

Then fold and press the pocket cuff right sides together at the centre notches. The hem edge you folded first should sit flush just above the piping when pressed down flat.

Now you want to machine baste around the sides and bottom of the pocket so that the folded edges are stitched down.

Then, turn the pocket cuff right side out. On your final pocket you will need to trim the top corners of your pocket cuff before doing so, at this stage just fold the corners in the best you can before turning out, we’re not after perfect sewing here! Press in the side and bottom seam. Should look like this :

Now the fun bit! Place your template pocket over the pocket placement markings on your shirt front.

Sketch around the pattern of your fabric at all relevant points on both the top cuff and lower pocket…I’ve used a pen so you can see clearly, you might want to chose a pencil you can rub out later.

This is what mine looked like…

Now turn your cuff piece back out again and unpick your basting stitches. As I say, Patterntrace is good stuff and can easily withstand this kind of treatment!

Once it’s unpicked, you can iron out your pattern pieces…they’ll be as good as new, I promise! Apart from the fact you’ve scribbled all over them, obvs!

See, restored to their former pristine selves!

You can now use your pocket pieces as full pattern templates! Place them over your fabric, matching your sketched outlines to the print underneath and cut out. As I mentioned earlier, it will be obvious that the two pieces will need to be placed in opposite directions.

Or, if you’re more confident about pattern matching generally and want to circumnavigate sewing up a quick template, here’s a quick visual reference as to how the two pieces ‘marry’. You’ll want to match the inside seam line at the point of the side notches of J2 to your shirt front top pocket placement dots.

I use WonderTape (a double-sided sticky tape that washes away) to hold the pocket to the shirt front, rather than pinning it in place, to avoid the pocket shifting whilst topstitching it on.

I pretty much guarantee your final pocket will match perfectly! I use a version of this method for a lot of not-quite-obvious pattern matching and I’m always really happy with the results.

And there you have it – hope that was useful?

If you’re looking for further visual references as to how the collar and lapels of the Carolyn PJ’s are constructed, I wrote a blog post about that ages ago – see HERE.

And a huge thank-you for reading, as always x

Full Disclaimer : I was given the Book Print broadcloth fabric in exchange for a review / as part of my allowance as an occasional Minerva Blogger (you can read the full post for them on their Blogger Network HERE). All other notions and supplies were purchased by me. All words and opinions expressed are my own, honest and considered opinion. Some of the links given are Affiliate links – if you choose to purchase via an Affiliate link, you will not be charged any extra however I may receive a small commission x).

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