Welt pockets, take 2

Holidays always put a wrench in my best thought-out sewing plans, and Valentine’s day was no exception. While in the fabric store searching for a pink lace fabric (more on that in a later post), I came across wool suiting remnants for $2.99/ yard. Thinking that I know a deal when I see one, I picked up a 3.25 yard piece, with the intent to make my husband a pair of pants for Valentine’s day with one week to spare. Here’s the fabric— it’s actually navy blue (as is evident in subsequent pictures), but showed up grey under the flash:


After the Vogue 8890 fiasco, I chose the Burda Jochen pant, which I had purchased some time ago (together with their sew-along class when it was on sale, since I’d been sufficiently traumatized by Vogue 8890).

Red flag #1— I got home and promptly washed the fabric by hand in cold water (after basting a 4×4” square in one corner, to monitor shrinkage). The fabric lacked the characteristic sheepy smell of wool. Even my wool blends smell sheepier than this did. The fabric submerged quickly (unlike wool), and when I pulled it out, it went drip-drip-drip like an umbrella. I concluded the fabric was polyester, but I proceeded undeterred.

Red flag #2— the smallest size for the pant pattern was for a 30.75” waist. My husband is closer to 28”. I took out 1” by shifting the dart legs over by 1/8” plus tapering the side seam at the waist by 1/8”. That would bring me to 29.75”. However, I had no idea if the pattern was drafted correctly, nor how much ease there should be at the waist (2” is standard for women, I have no idea for men).

On to the topic for the day, I started off making the welt pockets. The sew-along instructions don’t always follow the written directions, and I decided that the written directions made more sense in this case. As far as welt pockets go, these are conceptually more straightforward (though perhaps less elegant/ clever) than many others (certainly more so than Vogue 8890). This is not meant to be a comprehensive tutorial on making welt pockets (there are many available online), but my goal is to show some highlights and/ or things that caught be by surprise even after reading tutorials.

I thread-traced the pocket markings. This was important because there later came times when it was necessary to see the marks from both sides of the fabric. The center horizontal line, along with the two Y-shaped ends, is the cut line. The upper and lower long edges are where the welts will be sewn. The short sides are largely irrelevant.


I interfaced the back of the pocket on the pant piece. I used a woven fusible shirt-weight interfacing throughout. This was nice and stable, and I think was the key to success.


Because I don’t have x-ray vision, I stuck pins through the pocket markings on the right side, then drew the markings between pins on the WS. In retrospect, it would have been easier to transfer them with tracing paper and a tracing wheel.


I cut and interfaced the welt pieces (called “piping” in the directions), folded in half lengthwise (WRONG sides together), and basted very close to the long raw edges.piping1047

I pinned one welt to each top and bottom pocket marking line. The key here is to have the raw edges of the welt pieces meet in the center. Here’s the top welt pinned in place.


I stitched along the pocket stitching line from the WS (since I don’t have x-ray vision to see through the welt piece to the stitch line underneath). Here are the two welt pieces stitched in place on the right side. The key here is to start and stop each stitching line right at the corner of each stitching line.


By pushing the welts apart, I could see the cut lines underneath.


I cut along these lines,


folded in the overhanging welt bits


and shoved the welt pieces to the inside:. Here they are before pressing:

Here is a triangle generated by the Y-shaped cuts, and shoved to the inside:


I stitched this triangle to the overhanging welt bits, in the orientation shown above.

Here are the welts looking tidy after a good pressing. There’s a little pucker in the upper left corner, where I overshot the corner of the welt stitching line by one stitch. I undid that stitch later, and eliminated the pucker.


Next up, the pocket lining was attached to the welt. The lining was first aligned to the lower welt upside down


and the lower welt stitched in the ditch from the RS. I placed several pins like this to make the ditch more easily visible/ accessible:


Then the lining was turned down over the stitching line.


At this point, Burda did the sensible thing and instructed you to sew a buttonhole through the pant piece and pocket lining, right below the end of the dart tip.

The pocket bag was then overlayed on top of the pocket lining from the wrong side, and the pocket lining and pocket edges were stitched together, catching the welt overhangs and triangle in the stitching. Here’s the pocket from the wrong side in the finished pant:


and here’s the bit where the triangle was stitched to the welt overhangs and then to the pocket.


And here’s the finished pant, not yet pressed


After finishing the whole thing (other skills required are inserting a fly front zipper, and side slant pockets), the pant was about 2-3” too large all around. I managed to take about 1.5” out of the center back seam, the only place I could make adjustments after the waistband was attached. Because the fabric was not a true wool suiting, it has stretched a bit all around over the course of many fittings.

Overall, though, the construction and fit is much better than for the Vogue 8890 pattern, and I plan to try again with the remaining fabric, this time reducing the width of the front pieces as well. My husband is looking forward to wearing the pants this week.

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