Art & Design DIY

DIY: Pocket Square Sewing Tutorial

So you think you can’t sew. I bet you can sew a pocket square. It’s one of the simplest things you can make. Then you can jazz it up by using fancy stitches. Everyone will wonder how you learned to sew so fast. Keep reading for this fun project. Check out all my other DIY posts and art resource page.

What you will need

  • fabric
  • needle and thread/sewing machine
  • sewing pins
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • dark colored pencil

Sewing Machine Used

Singer Heavy Duty 4423

Step 1: Select Your Pocket Square’s fabric and size

Do you want the pocket square to be two different fabrics or a single fabric? It’s up to you. If you decide to make it double-sided make sure both fabrics are of similar weight. It’s harder to sew two fabrics of very different weights together.


I prefer cotton fabrics for pocket squares. You can decide on a colored fabric or a pattern. I suggest simple patterns like small dots or simple florals. Don’t use fabric with a very in-your-face pattern, unless you know that is what the recipient will want.

What size do you want the pocket square to be? There are many different sizes. I like a 9″ x 9″ (22.86 cm x 22.86 cm) size myself, though it’s a personal choice. This means that you will need to cut 10″ x 10″ (25.4 cm x 25.4 cm) squares. There must always be room for you to sew the seam/edge.

Step 2: Cut your fabric to size and pin

Mark where you will cut. Then, cut your fabric to size. In this case, 10″ x 10″ (25.4 cm x 25.4 cm).

The easiest way to cut it is to flip the first square onto the second. Then cut around. Use a final cut to separate the two squares.

Pin the fabric squares together. Make sure that the good sides of the fabric (the sides that are more vibrant) are facing each other. If you do not have sewing pins, safety pins work. Just make sure you remove these as you sew each section.

Step 3A: Sewing Pocket Square by Hand

Thread the needle. There are needle threaders you can buy if this is difficult for you. If you don’t have one, licking the end of the thread helps sometimes too.

Once the thread is through, even it out so you have a double piece of thread. Tie a knot at the end.

Start the thread about 1 inch (2.54 cm) from the edge of the fabric. Pass the thread back and forth until you have reached 3 sides of the pocket square. Don’t be surprised if you have to add thread to your needle. You will run out. If you make a really long thread to avoid this, it will just get tangled. On the last side, you will only go 3/4 of the way.

Then reverse and go back the way you came, being sure to connect the stitches you so you have a complete line of thread going up the pocket square. You shouldn’t have any open space in your line of thread.

When you’re done, pass the needle through the fabric, then the needle through the fabric loop before pulling tight. Do this a couple of times. Then make a couple of normal knots at the end. This will lock your stitches.

Step 3B: Sewing Pocket Square with Machine

Thread your machine (follow your user manual). Set up your fabric under the presser foot (the piece that holds the fabric down) of the machine. Use the guides on the machine so that you are sewing about 1 inch (2.54 cm) from the edge. I like to use the edge of the presser foot as a guide.

Put a few stitches into the fabric, then hit the reverse button. This locks your stick and keeps it from unraveling. Continue sewing. There is no need to rush. Focus on using the machine’s guides to keep your stitch straight. Place one hand (gently) onto the fabric to slightly guide it along. Don’t tug.

When you reach a corner, keep the needle in the fabric and lift the presser foot. Rotate the fabric and continue.

Continue until you have reached 3 sides of the pocket square. On the last side, you will only go 3/4 of the way. Hit the reverse button again to lock your stitch.

Step 4: Finishing Up

Now that you have sewn most of the pocket square, it’s time to flip it right side out. First snip off all the tops of the corners (this prevents bulky corners). Then pop out the corners with your finger or a pencil.

Marvel at your work. Now is a good time to iron the pocket square.

You will need to fold your pocket square so that you have a closed edge. You’re basically tucking in the open corner so that it lays flat.

I suggest using no-sew iron tape to give it a clean finish. Insert this between the pieces of fabric and iron on to fuse the pieces together. You may need to use the tip of the iron and press hard to really get the hem tape to melt and bond.

Another option is to add a topstitch. This step is a great way to add an extra something special to your pocket square.

Step 5: Top Stitch with Machine (Optional)

With a machine, choose from the selection of decorative stitches on the machine. Sew the stitch on top of the pocket square.

You still want to use the guides on the machine so that you are sewing about 1 inch (2.54 cm) from the edge.

And that’s it. Whether you have a machine or not, you can sew a pocket square.

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