Welt pockets provide a professional looking finish to classic clothing designs. Traditionally, they are used on the breast pockets of men's dress jackets, but they have now become a feature in women's designs, too. They are always applied horizontally to men's clothing, but for women's clothing, they may be horizontal, vertical or applied at an angle. Sewing welt pockets requires patience, precision and attention to detail, but they aren't as difficult as they may seem.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Tailor's chalk
- Lightweight, fusible interfacing
- Ironing board
- Welt fabric
- Pocket lining fabric
Transfer the welt markings onto the wrong side of the garment -- say, a jacket -- with tailor's chalk and a ruler. Make sure that the markings are accurate and that the corners are well-marked.
Cut a piece of lightweight, fusible interfacing 2 inches wide and 2 inches longer than the finished welt. Center the interfacing over the welt markings, with 1 inch on each side of the centre line and 1 inch beyond the markings on each end. Fuse in place.
Cut a paper pattern for the welt and pocket facing. The pattern should be 2 inches wider than the finished welt and 7 inches long.
Cut out the welt and draw a straight line 1 inch from the edge of each 7-inch side. Draw a line across the width of the welt 3 inches from one end.
Lay the jacket right side up and position the welt right side down, with the horizontal marking lined up with the position of the welt opening. The 4-inch section should be above the welt marking and the 3-inch section below the welt. Line the vertical markings up with the corners of the welt marking on the wrong side of the jacket.
Sew two separate straight stitching lines across the welt 1/4 inch from each side of the centre marking. Start and stop exactly where the parallel lines intersect the welt marking.
Cut through the welt on the centre line. Be careful not to cut the jacket.
Turn the jacket to the wrong side. Cut the garment fabric between the two lines of stitching, leaving 3/4 inch from each end uncut. Clip only the garment fabric to each corner of the welt marking, leaving a small, 3/4-inch triangle at each end. Make sure you do not clip the stitching.
Turn the jacket with the right side facing you and hold it up to the light. Can you see through the slit without pulling the fabric apart? Trim the edges of the garment and welt slightly if you cannot. Do not trim the triangles.
Lay the jacket on an ironing board with the welt piece up. Bring the top piece of the welt down and press along the stitch line. Bring the bottom of the welt piece up and press along the stitch line.
Pull the welt pieces through to the wrong side of the garment. Straighten out the welt pieces and make sure the lips of the welt line up and are even. Press into place.
Turn the jacket to the back side and straighten out the triangles at the ends of the welt. Press them in place and stitch them down to the welt fabric.The stitches should line up with the end markings for the welt.
Fold the top flap facing the welt down over the welt and press into place. The edges of the top flap and the bottom flap should be even. If they are not, trim them.
Cut a piece of lining fabric twice as deep as the desired depth of the pocket plus seam allowances, minus the depth of the welt facing. With right sides together, stitch the top facing to one end of the pocket and the bottom facing to the other end.
Press so that the pocket lies flat. Sew the sides of the pocket, catching the facing and welt ends. Trim the seams and finish the raw edges with a zigzag stitch.
Tips and warnings
- Make the welt pocket before you assemble the garment.
- Be sure to start and stop your stitching exactly at the ends of the welt. Precision is the key to a professional looking welt.
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