New knock-off: J.Crew leather patch pocket pullover tutorial

This is a fun, dressier DIY clothing makeover/knock-off!

Inspired by the J.Crew Factory merino pocket tunic and the J.Crew merino leather pocket sweater (both from more than a year ago, I think), I put together this tutorial for a simple patch pocket detail on a plain sweater. Here are the originals...

J.Crew merino leather pocket sweater (sold out)
J.Crew Factory merino pocket tunic

And here's what you can make!


Leather Patch Pocket Sweater Tutorial


You will need:


  • Crewneck sweater or long sweatshirt
  • About 1/4 yard leather or faux leather (mine was super cheap fake leather, but since it won't bear much strain, that's fine)

Here's my "before" sweater and finished project.

(Note: this sweater had a funny balloon shape so I took in the sides majorly before using it for this tutorial--gave it an even more dramatic before/after, eh? See my method for taking in a lightweight sweater here!)

1. Try on the sweater;. TK

2. Cut approximate pocket pieces. You pick the proportions; this will depend on your size and the length of your sweater. Cut two identical. Mine ended up being about 7.5" wide by 10" long.

3. Fold over one corner for hand angle. Lay your hand on top of the piece, imagining 1/2" will be turned under on all sides. I did a right triangle, but it could be more steeply angled like the original.

4. Topstitch the top pocket edge. Start with a row of stitching just over 1/4" (typically the presser foot width) from the edge. (Remove pins before you reach them.)

Then sew a row less than 1/8" from the edge. If you can tell up close on the original, there are two rows of stitching which adds to the quality look.

5. Trim the excess pocket. Leave a small seam allowance outside your first row of top stitching. It's not like it will ravel!

6. Pin or clip under 1/2" all the way around. Leather and fake leather are difficult to pin, so you can also use sewing clips like these--very handy for thick projects, too.

7. Pin pocket in place. Approximately on top of the hand position you marked, pin the pocket down on one side. You'll probably be able to align it with the grain of the sweater to keep it vertical and straight.

8. Top stitch on the sweater. With about 1/8" of the folded seam allowance to the right of the needle, top stitch all the way around the pocket.

9. Match the other side. Fold the sweater in half lengthwise with the sewn pocket facing down and line up the second pocket's edges to put them in exactly opposite places. Pin carefully (repeat step 7) and top stitch (step 8).

Easy!
P.S. My suede flats are from Lands' End and I love them. Great price, real leather, even come in wide! And sparkle.

Try it at home!!

7 comments

  1. I don't understand why you'd ever use pins on something like leather or fake leather... Maybe you got lucky this time but the holes pins leave never disappear. Wonder tape, masking tape, paper clips or even pritt sticks all work far better...

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  2. Where is that green jacket from, please?

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  3. It's from J.Crew several years ago but I got it at Goodwill.

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  4. I didn't have clips, but paper clips is a good idea. The holes did disappear on this fake leather.

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  5. Thanks! Would you also know the type of fabric for the outer jacket? I'm interested in sewing a similar parka, but wasn't quite sure which fabrics to make it in.

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  6. It's unlined, 100% cotton densely woven fine gauge twill, I think.

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