WHAT IS IT?
Welt pockets have a narrow rectangular bound opening on the surface and the pocket bag hidden on the inside. Welt pockets can be single-welt pockets, with one strip of fabric binding the opening, or double-welt pockets, which have two strips binding the opening and look like a large bound buttonhole (page link). In fact, they are sewn nearly the same way, with the addition of a pocket bag. This is an advanced type of pocket construction. As with bound buttonholes, practice will help you master the technique!
Pocket bag inside welt pocket
WHEN DO YOU USE IT?
Welt pockets are used on the backs of trousers and shorts, on suit jackets and on coats. Welt pockets also make great interior pockets. Sew welt pockets either horizontally or vertically, depending on where you are placing them and the angle you’ll be reaching from. They’re more involved to sew than slash pockets (page link), inseam pockets (page link) or patch pockets (page link), but they are flat and subtle. Their tailored look makes them excellent for menswear, suiting and tailored coats. Welt pockets work best in fabric that presses well, such as wool or other suiting fabrics, cotton twill and denim. Make sure you can press a nice flat crease in your fabric so the welts will be well defined.
Tips + Notes
- Welt pockets cannot be moved once they are sewn, so be absolutely sure of the pocket position before sewing!
- If your fabric is prone to fraying, you may want to add fusible interfacing (page link) on the garment fabric behind the pocket placement line. Cut a strip 1″–2″ (2.5cm–5.1cm) wide and slightly longer than the pocket marking. Fuse the strip in place before starting to sew the pocket.
- For a casual look, and to hold the pocket bags in place, topstitch (page link) around the pocket bag edges on the right side of the garment.
- For faux welt pockets, sew the welts in place but skip the pocket bag. Sew the facing behind the welts to fill in the gap. I like faux welt pockets for a smoother line on dressy trousers, but it is nice to have functional pockets as well. It’s up to you!
HOW TO SEW A WELT POCKET
In this example of sewing a double-welt pocket, the pocket is placed horizontally on the back of trousers, but the process is the same for vertical pockets. Welt pockets are sewn to the garment panels while they are still flat. Make sure the pocket line is clearly marked on the panel. If there is a facing on the pocket bag, finish the edges of the facing and place it on the pocket bag.
Edgestitch (page link) the facing to the pocket bag along the finished edges. This will fill in the gap when the pocket opens, so the pocket lining fabric doesn’t show.
Interface (page link) the pocket welts, then fold them in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and baste along the raw edges. Center the welts along the garment’s pocket line, raw edges against the line, and sew down the middle of each welt parallel to the pocket placement line. Make sure the starting and stopping points on each welt are in line with each other.
Sew the back pocket lining to the lower welt only, along the previous stitching, right side facing down, and finish the seam allowances. You might find it easier to flip over the piece and sew from the other side of the garment, where you can see the previous stitching.
Slash along the pocket line between the stitching lines. Clip diagonally toward the corners.
Turn the welts and back pocket lining to the inside. If there are puckers in the corners, you may need to clip further into the corner to release the fabric. Line up the welts so the folds meet in the middle of the pocket opening, and stitch the fabric triangles down on top of the welt ends. Baste across the triangles once, turn and check that the edges are square and that there are no gaps between the welts. Then stitch over the triangles several times. Press (page link) the welts and the opening, and press the pocket bag down. Edgestitch (page link) around the welt opening if desired.
Fold the pocket lining upward along the fold line, thereby lining up the raw edges. Sew the top welt seam allowances through the back pocket lining and facing. This ensures that items only go down into the pocket bag, not up above the welt.
Sew the sides of the pocket lining and finish the seam allowances. If your pocket bag extends all the way to the top of the garment piece, baste the pocket lining to the garment along the top edge.
Source : The Sewtionary An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques + Definitions
About the Author : Tasia ST. Germaine