Whilst sewing my latest project, I came across something I’ve never down before – sewing a welt pocket. You might be familiar with a welt pocket if you have some office wear, they’re often found on formal trousers and jackets, and are sometimes sewn up when you but things. They’re a little letterbox style pocket, which isn’t to bulky (no flaps to get in the way) and doesn’t spoil the line of the garment.
So here’s a little how-to if you’re wondering how to tackle this kind of pocket!
First of all, decide where you would like your pocket to go. I’ve opted to place my pocket halfway down the length of the side (from the underarm to the hem), and 1.5″ inward. Place your welt pocket piece here, right-sides together. If you don’t have a pocket piece, think about how big you want your pocket to be, and cut a piece of fabric with a 1″ border all the way around.
Draw a line in the centre of your pocket piece to mark where the opening will go. Next, draw a small box around the line, around 1/2″ in height, making sure our pocket line is in the middle. This shows you where the top and bottom of the pocket are going to go, leaving a small opening in the middle.
Draw some points in the corner to mark where you’re going to cut the pocket – you must make sure that you get right into the corners in order to turn out a clean rectangle shape. Don’t cut just yet! Sew around your rectangle to guide were the pocket will form.
Snip down the centre of the pocket, making sure to neatly cut out the corner triangles. It’s easier to cut this with a rotary cutter if you have one!
Push all of the pocket piece through the hole, thereby turning the pocket inside-out.
Press the pocket firmly – you can see it taking shape now! The next few steps are a little tricky.
Fold half of the excess fabric upwards into the pocket opening I find it helps to push the seam allowance upwards as it guides you where to fold the fabric back on itself. Firmly pin in place.
Repeat with the top piece, again pushing the seam allowance towards the pocket opening. Make sure that the top and bottom meet in the middle. Pin in place securely.
Flip the pocket over to double check that everything meets in the middle. Move the pins from the back of the fabric to the front.
It helps to add a little tacking (basting) stitch to either side of the opening, just o make sure that the sides are folded correctly whilst you sew.
Sew around your pocket to secure the fabric in place. I’ve left a very small gap between the pocket and my sewing line (around 1/8″), but if you wish you can sew in the ditch around the pocket slot to make your stitches invisible.
You can see how the pocket lies flat on the reverse side. There’s no need to take out your tacking stitches The next stage is to line your welt pocket!
Using your lining fabric, cut two pocket pieces according to your pattern. If you don’t have a pattern, work out how deep you would like your pocket to be, and draw a semi-circle with the same depth and width as your pocket opening (leaving around 1/4″ seam allowance each side). The actual pocket will come out a little smaller, so if you want a deeper pocket, add an extra 1/2″ to your pattern.
Fold over 1/2″ of one pocket semi-circle, pressing it onto the wrong side.
This will eliminate the need to finish the top of the pocket by providing a nice clean edge.
Line up the folded-over pocket with the folded part facing the welt. Make sure that it is lined up with the bottom of the pocket slot. Pin in place.
Secure the bottom of the pocket lining in place by carefully sewing in the ditch around the pocket hole. This will give you a neat finish and make sure that the lining is secure, although if you are not confident to do this you can also follow your existing sewing line around the pocket.
Next, add the top part of the pocket lining to the reverse of your fabric.
Be careful to make sure it’s straight and sew it down – again, either sew in the ditch around the welt pocket front or follow the existing sewing line around the pocket opening.
Pin the two sides of the pocket together and sew around to make the bottom of the pocket. If you like, you can continue to sew the sides of the pocket right up to the top sewing line, or alternatively just sew the two sides of the pocket at the bottom where it meets.
Your welt pocket is nearly finished! Now, trim the excess fabric from the pocket.
Flip your pocket over and give it a whirl!
You can further secure the lining to pocket by top stitching very close to the edge of the bottom pocket.
I’ve chosen to illustrate this pocket with the things I typically find in Mini’s pocket – small plastic toy thingy usually from a kinder egg, contraband item (pink scissors) and something “borrowed” from Mummy.
Hope this tutorial is useful and has inspired you to try a new type of pocket, a great alternative to the in-seam pocket and a fab to way to up your sewing game!
Any questions, leave a comment. Be sure to check me out on Facebook too!