Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Corduroy Fall Jacket - Welt Pockets

After a bit of humming and hawing (and procrastinating), I decided to go ahead with making welt pockets on my corduroy fall jacket. This was mostly because I'd like functional pockets on my jackets, but also because I've been shying away from trying out new techniques, and I need to get over that.

I'm glad I did, because welt pockets aren't nearly as intimidating as I thought!

First off, I did a practice run with some scrap denim. I spent all afternoon yesterday trying to figure out what my sewing books were trying to tell me. I finally went with instructions in the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, a book I picked up at Value Village one day and has proven to be invaluable so far. Look how my trial run turned out!

It's not perfect, and I didn't bother stitching down the sides of the welt, but overall I think it turned out pretty good.

I did learn two very valuable lessons that made doing the practice run well worth it.

#1: My lining fabric is a pain to work with! I sort of knew this going in though. Sewing the first box around the welt opening proved this; look at how the fabric warped.

And it sort of got worse from there. This fabric is so lightweight and difficult to stitch, especially by machine. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle putting together the lining of the jacket, but I suppose it'll be another learning experience. For the pocket, though, I decided to replace it with another fabric I had kicking around. More on that later.

#2: The other valuable lesson I learned with this practice run was about pocket dimensions. The RD-CGtS said to choose your pocket depth, then add 1.5 inches to one pocket and 0.5 inches to the other one.

Uh, yeah no that didn't work. I think this problem arose because my welt wound up 2x the size of the one in the book, but they didn't actually give you any starting dimensions. If I'd thought about it some more, I probably wouldn't figured this out on my own, but oh well. That's what muslins are for!

My starting dimensions included a 1 inch welt flap (plus seam allowance), and a 1 inch high (by 5 inch wide) welt opening.

The advantage of doing this trial run was I could play with placement on my jacket front. Since the original pattern only had you attaching a fake pocket flap, the marked placement wasn't right. Keeping the pocket depth in mind, I decided to lower the welt pocket 1 inch from the original flap markings.

I got a little focused while working on the first real pocket on my jacket, and forgot to take pictures. Here's the finished pocket!

Once again, not quite perfect; you can see that the left side pulls down a bit. I suspect that if I'd used a cotton instead of a ...shiny slippery poly-something-or-other fabric, it might not slide down so easily. Overall though, I'm super pleased. My first real welt pocket!

I was skeptical about making the pockets at first, and I wondered if I was wasting my time yesterday. Those doubts are gone, because these pockets will totally be worth the time!


  1. Hooray! Your welt pockets look really great, you should be proud.

    I wore my corduroy jacket to death this winter, you can squash it and wash it without trouble.

  2. You've done really well. Cord is not the easiest fabric to test the technique.

  3. Yay! It looks great! Welt pockets tend to sag open a bit always, that's why it's a good idea to put a little of the shell fabric inside (I learnt this AFTER sewing them on a pair of pants that now have permanent shiny-lining showing on the butt, sigh). That's the book (mine came from VV too) that took me from costume sewing to making things I actually wear! :)

  4. Also I just saw your comment on Steph's blog about the "Metric Pattern Cutting" book, if that's the one by Winifred Aldrich, I really like it, although I haven't actually made up a block for myself from it yet (I did draft some stuff for my kids, though.)

  5. Yeah, I figured out that I should've used some of the corduroy inside of the pocket. I may tack part of the pocket opening on the sides to try to keep it closed.

    Oh the lessons we learn the hard way!

    I thought that the book looked really interesting. I'm curious of others reaction to it. The woman at the fabric store raved about it enthusiastically! How did you find it for drafting patterns for your kids, Tanit-Isis?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...