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!