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Oct 23, 2016

A Pretty Pair of Pockets

I spent most of the weekend catching up on my tailoring work.

We'd had a three week break in my Ladies Tailoring III class and I'd allowed myself to fall behind.  I expect to be fully caught up by Tuesday, our next class.  I've finished my three major pockets: one breast pocket and two matching front piped pockets with flaps (up top).   The big challenge on the breast pocket is that the welt is on the diagonal yet the pattern lines still need to align.  I think I did a pretty good job.

I completed the two matching front pockets today.   Here are some pics of my progress:

The piping is created by folding a rectangle of fashion fabric through the hole you cut in the jacket front to make the pocket opening.  Everything is hand-basted.  First a piece of muslin (or pocketing) is basted to the wrong side of the fabric as a pocket reinforcement.  The piping is basted in place at approximately 1/8" from what will be the pocket opening.  Then two parallel lines are stitched 1/2" apart (1/4" on one side and 1/4" on the other side of what will be the pocket opening).

In the photo below, the pink thread is the basting for the muslin pocket reinforcement.  The green stitching holds the piping in place.  The two parallel stitch lines are permanent stitches.  The pocket opening will be cut between these two parallel lines of stitching.

With the pocket opening cut (carefully!) and the piping piece pulled through the back, the two parallel seams between the piping and the jacket fabric are pressed open.  The piping will be formed by folding fabric over these pressed-open seams.

Below, the lower line of piping is formed.  It is stitched in place in the ditch entirely by hand.  Then the little triangles are anchored in place (also by hand), just as you would on any double-welt pocket.

Even before the triangles are stitched, however, the piping is basted closed.  This is to keep everything stable and neat.

Once everything is in place, it's time to add the pocket flap, which has been created by stitching a layer of fashion fabric and a layer of lining material right-sides together and them turning them right-side out.  From the underside, the flap looks like this:

The piping basting is removed and the flap carefully inserted and basted in place.  The pocketing is then attached (with a sewing machine) to the edges of the rectangular piece used to create the piping.  It is MUCH easier to attach the pocketing after the piping (or welts) and flap are finished, though most pattern instructions have you stitch the pocketing to the front and turn it to the inside along with the (separate) welts.  This often creates a lot of bulk (and can be a real mind bender imo).

Somehow I managed to complete both front pockets today: I wasn't sure I had it in me.

And that's it!  Tomorrow I start working on my hair canvas.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I'm curious about who gets the jacket when class is over. I hope it's your mom's size!

    1. Cathy gets my vote, or else to one of Peter's east coast gal pals.

  2. Great pockets. In my tailoring class, we call this a jetted pocket and the 'pipings' are jets. I find them difficult. My tutor says they're not difficult - you just need straight and accurate stitching. I guess my stitching is not straight and accurate!

    1. I've been sewing a long time, and I always knew them as welts. However with the omniscience of the Internet, I learned our British brethren tailors call them "jets." Stanley Hostek, Seattle's recently passed master tailor, does not mention that term in his books, but he never had the Internet in his prime years. Jets or welts, they still need precise sewing skills to get them looking right!

  3. Your work is inspiring. Seeing this makes me want to kickstart a tailoring project that I gave up on months ago.

  4. WOW! You have tremendous patience to deal with such precise, time consuming work.

  5. WOW! You have tremendous patience to deal with such precise, time consuming work.

  6. I have a purchased jacket with the same type of pockets and, from time to time, have wondered what they looked like from inside the lining. Now I know. Thanks!


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