Design – not free
Kenneth D. King has a class at Craftsy/Bluprint on designing, drafting, and sewing pockets : Designing details : pockets. He emphasises pocket placement for flattery. Covers : patch pocket, single welt pocket, double welt pocket, zipper covered by double welts.
Pockets as embellishment – Diane Ericson has a pattern for 60 pocket variants, Just Pockets.
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Specific techniques – free tutorials
There are 3 different groups of pockets, roughly of increasing difficulty to sew.
Pockets which are applied outside the garment or bag surface, so the whole pocket is visible :
– patch pocket.
2 types of pocket where the pocket bag hangs behind the garment or bag surface, so the opening into the pocket has to be part of the design :
Pockets which hang from an existing seam, or a specially added seam :
– in-seam pocket.
– slant/hip/jeans/western pocket.
Pockets which hang behind a specially made opening in the middle of the fabric :
– letterbox pocket, usually with exposed zipper closure.
– welt pocket.
Many many variants on each of these. I’ve just listed the basics.
All pocket types can have an added zipper closure to the opening. The only one I’ve mentioned is the exposed zipper pocket. In bag making, pockets without a zipper closure may be called ‘slip’ pockets.
All pocket types can have an added flap covering the opening. I haven’t given links about flap making.
Patch pockets are one of those techniques said to be easy for beginners, which actually need care to get a good result.
As the whole of a patch pocket is visible, they need to be carefully shaped when pressing, and when placing on the surface. The quality of a patch pocket may not matter on a garment made from a busy print and worn for moving around, or inside a bag. But when a patch pocket is noticeable in a stable location, such as a chest pocket on a shirt, it needs more care.
At the extreme, couture and bespoke tailoring patch pockets are sewn on by hand.
As usual in sewing, several methods, so try them to find which technique and result you like best.
She uses a pressing template. I prefer the more accurate shape from pressing angled corners over a template too.
You can cut your own card pressing template for the specific pocket.
You can also buy pressing templates.
For angled corners there’s the Prym marking/ironing set.
And this metal pocket template has several different radius curves.
There are many variants to patch pockets which add capacity with pleats or gathers, or add depth with gussets.
As patch pockets are added on the surface they can make a strong design element. Many ideas for patch pocket shapes on this pinterest board.
Starter ideas for piecing and embellishment in Diane Ericson’s pockets pattern linked above.
Pockets hanging from a seam
In-seam pocket :
In-seam pockets, photo tutorial with pattern piece, for a pocket in a vertical seam, from Sew Over It patterns.
I add a square of light fusible interfacing at the upper and lower corners, to support these stress points.
Slant pocket :
Here’s a photo tutorial on pattern making for and sewing a slant pocket, from By Hand London patterns.
Variants in the bag of a slant pocket :
These examples are about making denim jeans, but the methods apply to slant pockets in any garment made from any thicker/stiffer fabric.
Photo tutorial for sewing slant pockets with thinner fabric lining, from Closet Case patterns.
And a photo tutorial for a simplified method for that, from The Last Stitch.
Pockets behind a special opening
Exposed zipper pocket, zipper set behind letterbox opening :
Exposed zipper pocket insertion, video from Fashion Sewing Blog TV.
For a letterbox opening in woven fabric. Make the opening at least 5mm-1/4″ wider than the widest part of the zipper pull.
(Pocket bag : cut a rectangle of fabric about 25cm-10″ x length of zipper.
Sew one zipper-length side to one side of the zipper, the opposite side to the other side of the zipper. Close the sides of the pocket bag.)
An alternative method is to make the letterbox opening using a facing. Video demo at Sewing Quarter, from 1hr.24min. to 1.32.
This pocket is much used in non-fraying fabric such as fleece, as you can just cut out the box shape opening.
Welt pocket :
Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy – in marking, stitching and snipping.
Single welt pocket tutorial from In House Patterns.
Double welt pocket tutorial from Andrea Brown at Craftsy/Bluprint. Similar technique to a bound buttonhole, so sometimes called a ‘buttonhole’ pocket.
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