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Sep 18, 2014

Parka Post #2 - Pockets, Zippers, Velcro, and More!

My parka adventures continue.

In addition to the two lower "bellows" pockets I showed you in my last post (called "bellows" because they can expand) and which cover the two hand-warmer pockets, the front of the parka also has two upper zippered pockets.

Here's the bellows pocket, now attached to the coat front.  You can slide your hand into the handwarmer pocket along the curve.

The bellows pocket closes with velcro.

Now, I'd never made a zippered pocket before, but the construction is straightfoward:

First you stitch the rectangular shape of the opening (which is the exact length and width of the zipper) onto the pocketing and coat front.

You cut through the length of the rectangle and into the corners.  You pull the pocketing through to the wrong side of the coat front.  You're left with this window:

Next, you line up the zipper and edgestitch it onto the opening.

At this point, the other side of the pocket bag is attached.  (The pocket bag will be covered by the lining.)

An already-topstitched welt goes on top of the zipper.  It's attached along one side and folded over the zipper.  Then it gets stitched down at either end.

Today I also made the hood and attached it to the body of the coat.

So as you can see, this parka project is coming together.  I still have a few days to go, conservatively speaking.  I'll need to experiment with attaching snaps and grommets; I may save that for the weekend.

And that's it: slow and steady.

Oh, before I forget: I opted not to add the back cargo pocket.  I just couldn't see using it.  Eight pockets will have to suffice.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. Wow-- your pockets are really professional. Now I want to take a class so I can do this.

  2. More pocket envy. Zipper welt pocket; very nice!

  3. everything really well made! impressive!

  4. Peter, this is so amazing, you are so talented.

  5. That's impressive! This would have to be the best sewing mojo comeback ever :)


  6. Snappy looking, fella! Something nice about working with a crispy fabric in the fall. Such a pretty slotted zip!

  7. That bizarrely placed back pocket has had me puzzled from the start.

  8. You're probably the best sewing teacher we never had. Seriously, why don't you consider doing it?

  9. That zippered pocket is amazing. You make it look easy, but I'm sure it wasn't.

  10. wow, great construction of those pockets! I've never seen a back pocket like that before and not even sure what it would be used for. I'm wondering if that back pocket is so you can like fold up the jacket and put it in that pocket.


    Your construction skills are professional. I remember in high school when I was sewing, a few girls use to make their clothes, and it looked it. homemade,

    Peter you are in a different league when it comes to sewing.

  12. A great way to recover your mojo. Maybe it will rub off on me! It's looking great.

  13. Beautiful work. Your sewing mojo is definitely back!

  14. Zipper envy! We may have serene weather and hipsters at every turn, but Portland is woefully lacking in fabric and notions options. Jealous, but I'm still staying put. Lovely work!

  15. Those pockets are better than professional! Glad you got your sewjo back!

  16. Pockets are stitched wonderfully. So clean. Your output is always top notch.

  17. It all looks so professional and you did it so quickly!

  18. EIGHT pockets? I guess you can stop carrying a bag now! Love the parka.

  19. You make it look so easy. Now I want to make one. I especially like that zipper pocket.

  20. I really admire your topstitching. Could you share some pointers? Do you use a certain setting? foot? guide? How do you decide the spacing between the two rows?
    Your jacket is really coming together. Well done.

    1. I use a vintage Singer straight stitch foot. The spacing is usually 1/4" between the lines of stitching.

      This YouTube video I made explains how I do it:


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