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Feb 15, 2012

Pocket Love + Don't Call Me!

So much to cover today, friends!

First the big news.  For the first time in my life I have no land line telephone service (and no 212 area code).  Since both Michael and I have cell phones, and now that we have cable Internet (we needed the land line for our lousy DSL), we decided to turn it off.  Since I rarely received calls on my land line anymore, it doesn't feel very different, but the event does warrant memorializing, don't you think?

Do you still have a land line?

In other news, we decided to skip the V-Day party last night.  For one thing, it started too late, and I won't tell you how late to avoid embarrassing myself.  I'm an early-to-bed, early-to-rise type, readers, and I hate to have my routine disrupted.  Also, the coat (the coat! the coat!) isn't done yet.  And it won't be done for a few days yet.  We'll do a Cathy photo shoot on Saturday combining faux fur coat and black sequined pantsuit (remember that one?), maybe even featuring a few guest celebrities!  Do you know any?

Right now, I'm trying to track down a bottle of Charlie to create the right uber-Seventies mood.

Now on to the coat.  Yesterday was all about slit pockets.  (For those just joining us, I've been following Kenneth King's instructions from an online faux fur coat-making class he led on Pattern Review a few years ago.)  Here's how I made the pockets.

First, I couldn't conceal them in a seam, because the side seam of the coat is all the way back behind the arm (common with a two piece sleeve, I believe), as opposed to being directly under it.  You can see that seam here, though I hope to brush it out a bit more:

After deciding where I wanted my pockets to go, I drew the pocket line on the inside of the coat and marked the ends with cold tape.

For the pocket bag, I used a pattern piece from an old Simplicity coat pattern I own.  (I chose a 7" pocket opening based on the pattern piece.)  This is an easy pattern piece to find, or you can trace one yourself.  I cut the pockets out of some stretch poly satin from my remnant stash.

From the inside of the coat, I stuck a pin through the front of the coat at each end of the pocket.  On the outside, I lined a ruler up between the protruding pins, and with combs, I parted my fur.  I then taped the fur down on either side of the part.  I used electrical tape because that was what I had.  Whatever tape you use (King suggests masking tape), make sure you test it on your fur first -- you don't want gummy residue or any damage to the fur.

Now, on the wrong side (inside) of the garment, I centered a piece of grosgrain ribbon over my pocket line, and stitched it down along the length of the pocket.  My ribbon was a little wider than necessary, but it was all I had.  Plus it was pink!

On the right side, you will now place the two sides of your pocket bag, one side at a time.  The pocket piece seam allowance will be placed over the center pocket stitch line, and then stitched -- from the wrong side, of course -- in a stitch line parallel to, but 1/8" to the side of, the center stitch line.  On the outside of the coat, the seam allowance will be pinned back temporarily (before the next pocket side can be attached).

I stitched down the other side of the pocket in the same way, only with a stitch line on the other side of the center stitch line.  (Don't worry about the stitches getting caught in the tape; the tape will be pulled off and is just to keep most of the hair out of the way.)

Here's what it looks like from the front (ideally, both seam allowances will be the same width, but this is OK).

On the inside, you now have three stitch lines: a center line, marking where the pocket will be slit, and two stitch lines on either side, holding either side of the pocket bag in place. 

You will now slit through the coat along the center stitch line, from the inside.  (As you can see, this is very much like making a welt pocket.)   I did this with an X-Acto knife -- highly recommended.

Keep the "V" cut at the end narrow: we don't need room for welts.
Now pull the pocket back through to the inside.  NOTE: you are not creating welts.  You are simply creating a pocket bag that covers the raw edges of the coat pocket.  The pocket lining does not show from the outside of the coat.

The inside side of the pocket (which will end up closest to the coat) will be prick stitched along the edge.  You can't press fur, and this will hold the pocket and pocket opening in place.  The stitching goes through all layers.

The seam allowance of the outer side of the pocket (the one that will show) is stitched down with a running stitch.  This is just to keep things tidy and in place.

You can now stitch the two sides of the pocket bag together with your machine.  When you're done, stitch down the pocket with a catch stitch.  Here's how mine looked.  Not perfect, perhaps, but for me, this is pretty good!

And here's the pocket from the outside:

NOTE:  It is VERY important that before you attach your pocket pieces, you know exactly how they'll look pulled through to the back, so that 1) they're facing in the correct direction, and 2) the side you want on the outside of the pocket ends up there.  This can be a bit of a mind twister, but can't be skipped.

My second pocket was better than my first and I'm sure my eighth would be better than my seventh, but whatever.  The beauty is that from the outside, slight imperfections don't show-- such is the miracle of faux fur. 

I hope this is helpful to those of you eager to add slit pockets to a faux fur coat you're making, or maybe wanting to add pockets to Grandma's old mink!

OK, folks, no rest for the weary.  Time to get to work.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. wow, that is a neat pocket construction. (and, OMG, you basically did welt pockets in fur. WAY braver than I'd ever be!!)

    I am also a early-to-bed type, and my general rule is if it starts after 8 PM, I am too old to attend. ;)

  2. Fab on the pockets! We still have a landline but I can't for the life of me figure out why, I think it will go soon!

  3. here in Florida there is reason to have a land line: hurricanes! The land lines phones work without power so I'll keep mine! I love the polka dots fabric!

  4. Nice work on the pockets-the photos help so much. Still landlocked with our phone, and have spent hours fighting with AT&T over our internet service with them. If anyone has a recommendation for a good internet company we can switch to, please advise me! I would love to ditch AT&T permanently....

  5. We got rid of our land line several years ago, but there are valid reasons to have one. First is that in a disaster of some sort, land lines still work. Second is that (don't ask me how I know this) if someone you know gets picked up by the police, they are not permitted to call cell phone number. DD had a friend this happened to and it was almost a disaster because no one he knew had a land line.

  6. The pockets are amazing! Very impressive.

    I am about to get rid of my Bell line and take a digital land line. I hate Bell.

  7. Thanks for the great tutorial! Still have a land line that is almost never used, but cell phones don't work during emergencies (9/11, the Great Northeast Power Outage, storms).

  8. My only regret in getting rid of my landline is now I don't have a phone to call my cell phone when I can't find it at home...which I seem to misplace a lot! grrr. Now I will read the rest of the story!

  9. Wow! Excellent tutorial on the pocket. This can also be used for a multitude of fabrics. Looking good...Thanks for taking the time to record and post this.

  10. Gave up the land line about 10 years ago when the only person using it was telemarketers.

    Nice work on the pockets!

  11. Peter! You little motivator you! Your efforts in making these pockets have inspired me to get off my duff and get cracking with my own project! LOL!! Thanks a million!

  12. I am in awe of your sewing skills and bravery. We still do have a land line: love of all things vintage I suppose.

  13. Have been getting a kick out of the faux fur coat project...BUT as I was reading and scrolling down the page I got an idea when seeing your pic on the sew-along boxer link. I think you should take your face and post on the photo of the Beckam building ad from Valentines Day for our enjoyment! ....Tammy

  14. I'm still in a quandary about giving up my land line or not. We have earthquakes here, so I feel like I need to keep it. But I really want a fancier cell phone...what to do, what to do...

    Regarding those pockets, you are the MAN!!!!!

  15. We went sans land line for a couple of years and I really missed it. I don't enjoy having conversations on a cell phone---something about the size or sound. Its fine for organizing coffee or whatever, not so much for talking to my mom for an hour. Our cable provider does a phone service, for it's way worth $20 a month.

    1. The sad part is that I HATE talking on cell phones, from the sound quality to the buzzing in my head I feel afterward. Plus you have to remember to recharge it! A real step backwards, imo. Oh well...

  16. The pockets look great and your tutorial makes doing them sound nearly as easy as in-seam ones; certainly easier in some ways than welt pockets (of which I live in terror even though I like doing bound buttonholes.)

  17. awesome tutorial thanks!!! I am also now inspired to give this a go sometime. That coat is looking good, although I must say it would inspire me to snuggle up in front of a nice fire with a novel :-)

  18. I got rid of my land line too and got a cell with the same number I have a homebased business so I needed to keep the number. Main thing is to have more than one cell so that when you can't find the phone you can dial it from the other phone - a trick I learned from my daughter


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