In this post, I’m going to go through the execution of sewing a welt pocket with oversized welt. I’ve noticed that there are a lot of welt pocket tutorials, but none really address this style of pocket. The example I’m using is from a raincoat project, where pinholes and hand sewing are not really options for the textile. The instructions for this pattern are vague, not to mention in Spanish. So I’ll start with some amplifying information on the treatment of the pattern pieces for the project.
The specifications for this project are:
- approx. 1.5 inch wide pocket welt, with 5/8″ pocket opening.
- The pattern does not come with seam allowances. I used a 1/4″ seam allowance on the outer (rounded) edge of the pocket piece, and a 5/8″ seam allowance on the pocket opening. For the piece which aligns to the upper edge of the opening, I added an additional 5/8″. The welts have 1/4″ seam allowances all arund.
- The pattern indicates that one set of pocket pieces be cut from lining, and one set from fashion fabric. I cut both sets from the fashion fabric (which was waterproof, it didn’t make sense for the pocket to only be partially waterproof).
- Interfacing applied to welts and to inside of jacket where pocket will be formed.
- Stitch length was set to 3 on my Bernina machine. This is my usual length for leather and vinyl to prevent weakening and tearing of the fabrics
Trace the pocket opening on the interfaced section of the jacket/coat. Reduce upper edge of pocket opening by approx. 1/8″ on each side (forming more of a trapezoidal opening than a rectangle). You need to do this because the welt will be topstitched in place in the final step and you will want to ensure that the opening of the pocket does not extend out beyond the edges of the welt.
Note: for fabrics with a tendency to fray, stay-stitch this pocket opening along all marked lines. Omit this step for leather, vinyl and waterproof fabrics. Too many needle holes in stress areas will weaken and lead to tearing.
Sew upper pocket edge. In this step, you will place the pocket right sides together and align the pocket edge to the upper opening of the pocket, as marked on your fabric. Use the piece with the additional seam allowance. Orientation can be observed from the photo: you need the seam allowance to lie in the opening area, and the pocket bag flipped upward so that it lays in the proper orientation when pulled to the inside. Mark beginning and ending stitch points, as marked on the fabric, and sew into place – beginning and ending with backstitches.
Sew the welt and place on jacket. Now, sew each end of the welt pocket, turn out, and press. This welt will have a 1/4″ seam allowance, while the pocket openings had 5/8″ seam allowance. You are going to use the edge of the previously attached pocket bag as your guide. On this piece, mark off 1/4″ from the seam edge and trim. Use this edge to align the raw edge of the welt. The ends of the welts should match up to your marked pocket opening. Pin or baste into place.
Attach the lower pocket bag. Align the upper edge of the lower pocket bag to the previously sewn upper pocket opening edge. There should be a 5/8″ opening width, so the seam is conveniently your alignment guide for placement. Now sew this edge, through all thicknesses, from marked corner to corner – beginning and ending with backstitches. The wrong side of your garment should now have two exactly parallel seams.
Slash the pocket opening and pull pocket bag through. Cutting through all thicknesses, create a slash which starts and stops about 1/2″ to 3/4″ short of the length of the opening. From each end, cut diagonally up to the ends of the stitched lines, being very careful to not cut through the stitching (or stay-stitching if you did this step). Your slash should look like the one pictured.
Now pull the pocket bag through, leaving the welt on the right side of the garment. Carefully press all stitched seams so that the pocket bags now hang downward on the garment and the welt flap is flipped upwards over your opening.
Sew remaining pocket opening edges. This part is a little tricky to describe, but you are going to locate the little triangle on each end of the pocket opening and sew it to the pocket bag along the marked stitching line. The photo demonstrates this best.
Sew the pocket bags together. Carefully align each pocket bag and stitch all remaining edges together.
Topstitch welt in place. The final step! Since this welt is oversized, it is best finished by precision topstitching. I used a needle position two stops from center (using a Bernina wide foot, approx. 3 mm), beginning and ending with exactly two backstitches.