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Tips & Techniques > Welt Pockets

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Posted by: KarmenG

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MA United States
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Posted on: 7/31/05 0:12 AM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 7 people   
5 Line Method – Welt Pockets.

Materials Required: Fashion Fabric approx 3” X 8” for welt strips
Organdy approx 3” X 8” – pressed and starched to be crisp
Interfacing for wrong side of garment; behind pocket placement 3” X 8”
Pocket Bag lining – 2 pieces approx 8”X 16”

I learned this method from a former sewing teacher, Judy James in Swansea Mass; and also from Claire Schaeffer’s book – Sew Any Inset Pocket.

Keys for success: Measure twice at every step to be sure lines are straight, and Ό” or ½” apart as described below. Also make at least one sample if not two to gain confidence that you can do this! This was very long so I edited to trim and eliminate excess wording – please write to me if you need more explanation. WS = Wrong Side RS = Right Side

Step 1: Fuse interfacing to WS of garment, centered over pocket placement

Step 2: On organdy draw 5 lines with sharp pencil and a c-thru ruler, as explained below. Extend lines to edges of organdy, to help with sewing later.
Draw one line in the middle, the length of the organdy – call this the Center Line.
Draw two lines – one Ό” above and below the center line. You now have 3 lines.
Next mark the pocket ends to designate finished pocket length, usually total 6” – 7”; be sure this is centered on the organdy.
You can see you’ve now got a mid-section I refer to as the The Box.
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It’s a rectangle that will become the pocket opening which totals ½”. (to be filled with the fabric welts, each being Ό” deep). This Box should have a length of your finished pocket length (6-7”) and be ½” tall.

Next draw two more lines - Ό” above and below The Box. This step designates your welts which will eventually fill the pocket opening. For heavier fabrics you might make these a scant more than Ό” to account for turn-of-the-cloth and create welts that will truly fill the pocket opening (which is ½” total).
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Step 3: Center organdy on WS of the garment over pocket placement lines. The center line you drew should fall exactly over the pocket placement line of the garment. Hand or Machine baste this line – basting the entire length of the organdy.
Next, machine stitch through the organdy and the garment around the ½” Box using small stitches. This reinforces the box and allows you to see it from the RS of the garment, for placement in Step 4. Begin stitching on one of the long lines; pivot at the corners; use very small stitches as you approach each corner to control needle penetration. Pierce the pencil line with needle as you stitch. This must be very accurate – stitch on your pencil marking. Don’t back tack to start – just over stitch the line when you end.

Step 4: With RS together, pin Fashion Fabric welt strip on the RS of the garment, centering over the Box you just stitched; be sure fabric strip is centered horizontally and vertically over the pocket placement line. Pin in the corners to secure, but out of the way of the stitching lines.

Step 5: If you’ve done all of the above correctly the rest of the process will be simple.
From Organdy Side (WS), machine baste on the top and bottom pencil lines, basting through the garment, organdy and welt strip. Baste the entire length of the lines which extend past the length of the finished pocket.
After basting, turn to the RS of garment, and fold welt strip towards the center, finger press against the basting line.

Step 6: From the organdy side (WS) using small machine stitches sew along the length of the 1/2” Box” - this time stopping EXACTLY at the ends of the finished pocket length. You are now stitching through the garment a second time, and also through that folded-to-center welt strip. This step is forming the pocket welts.
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If you choose – fold one edge towards center, and stitch as described. Then repeat for the other welt edge. Be sure to keep the raw edges of this welt strip free from one another. You’re almost done!........

Step 7: Remove the three rows of basting stitches. Examine and be sure your Box is straight and the welts were stitched correctly. Slash along the center of the Box and then cut diagonally to corners of box, but not through the corners. Do not cut fabric welt strip except within the Box.
When pivoting your scissors cut diagonally to the corners, begin about 1” from end of pocket so that the triangles will be elongated and easy to secure later.
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Step 8: Press seam allowances open very well before turning to wrong side. Turn welts to WS. Then press lightly and hand baste the pocket closed with silk thread, making sure you keep the welt pocket opening square. Pay attention to the pocket ends to keep them nice and square – then secure on the wrong side. Steam and lightly press to train all pieces to behave.

Step 9: Apply pocket bag inside in the usual manner – Ann of Gorgeous Things covers this step very well in her Welt Pocket Tip. I do it the same way – so I’ll skip that part and defer to her. But please write to me if you have questions.

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