10 Steps to Adding and Sewing the Perfect Welt Pocket
Sewing a welt pocket can be a daunting task for beginner and advanced sewists alike. However, with the right knowledge and techniques, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. In this post, we’ll be discussing the step-by-step process for sewing a single welt pocket that will make your sewing project stand out. So, grab your fabric and let’s dive in!
10 Steps to Adding and Sewing the Perfect Welt Pocket
Step 1: Cut Pattern Pieces
Welt pockets can be effortlessly added to any sewing pattern, regardless of the pattern instructions. Want a convenient place to carry your phone? Consider adding back welt pockets to your shorts or pants like I do. Don't fret if your pattern lacks instructions or pattern pieces for welt pockets – this handy guide will show you how it's done.
To create a pocket, you'll need three pieces. Start by cutting a rectangular piece of fabric, approximately 8"x2", for the welt. This will be cut from both fashion fabric and interfacing. Additionally, cut an extra piece of interfacing as support for the back of the pant leg-we will use this later.
Next, determine the length of your facing piece by measuring from the top of the pant to the top of the finished welt, including seam allowance. I usually cut mine around 8"x6", but you can always cut it longer and trim it down later if needed.
Lastly, cut out your pocket bag piece, measuring from the top of the pant to the bottom of the finished pocket bag, and then back up to the bottom of the welt, including seam allowance. Consider the intended use of the pocket and ensure it's big enough to accommodate your items. My pocket bag was approximately 8"x20".
TIP: When making a pocket, I typically start by cutting a rectangle that is longer than necessary. This way, I can easily adjust the length as I work and sew. It doesn't have to be precise from the beginning; you can fine-tune it later on.
Step 2: Interfacing
It’s very important to interface behind the welt pocket area as well as the welt itself. This will give your pocket structure and durability.
Step 3: Positioning and Sewing Welt
Position the welt rectangle carefully on the right side of the fabric and overlap the top edge above the placement line to determine the desired width of your finished welt. In my case, I wanted a finished welt width of 1/2", so I overlapped the top of the welt piece by 1/2" above the marked placement line. Keep in mind that the ends of your welt piece will extend beyond the placement line, and that's intentional. Sew it on by starting and stopping at precise points, sewing in a straight line, and backstitching carefully at the beginning and end.
CAUTION: Oh, the woes of sewing mishaps! Make a note, folks - when it comes to placing and sewing the welt and facing piece, always remember to do it on the RIGHT side of the fabric. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. In fact, I made such a mess in my example that I had to do some serious fixing afterward. Learn from my mistakes and save yourself a headache!
Step 4: Positioning and Sewing the Facing
Place the facing piece’s bottom edge just under the seam allowance of the welt strip you just sewed. If you would like to add a button loop like I did, now is the time! Carefully sew along the edge of the welt seam allowance, just as before, starting and stopping precisely at the desired points.
Make sure your stitching is on point! Double-check that those lines are parallel and perfectly match up at the end. Don't settle for crooked seams – you'll thank yourself later!
Step 5: Slash
Cut through the main fabric piece only, not the welt or facing, in a straight line until about a half inch from the endpoints. Then, angle your cut right to the final stitch at the ends, creating a triangle of fabric. Repeat this step for the other side of the welt.
Take a minute to iron open the facing seam and iron your welt rectangle in half. This will set you up for success in the next step and help give your welt pocket a polished and professional look.
Step 6: Turn and Press
Turn the welt and facing to the inside. Next, press the facing along the seam line, effectively hiding the seam allowances and folding it back up to the top of the pant. Then, press the seam allowances and welt rectangle upwards towards the slashed opening. Lastly, wrap the welt rectangle around the seam allowances and bring it back down on the back of the piece.
I discovered this trick from David Paige Coffin's pants making video course on Craftsy (not sponsored but highly recommend). When pressed and constructed this way, the seam allowance is pressed up and "into" the welt. It seamlessly fills in the welt and eliminates any unsightly ridges. This method results in a flush welt that provides the best finish I have come across so far.
Step 7: Secure Triangles
Lay the garment flat and make sure everything is positioned correctly. From the front side of the garment, fold the sides up to reveal the triangle you cut when you slashed the opening. Gently pull the triangle and secure it in place. To ensure it stays in the right spot, I usually use a small piece of Steam-A-Seam to hold it in place while I make sure it is where I want it.. Then, sew along the edges wide edge of the triangle, making sure to sew as close to the edge as possible. This will secure and close off the edges of the welt box.
Now is the time to add any desired topstitching along the sides or bottom of the welt. We'll sew the top later. If you prefer not to have visible topstitching, you can sew a line of stitching in the ditch along the bottom of the welt at this stage to hold it in place.
Step 8: Attach Pocket Bag
To attach the pocket bag, place its right side against the back side of the welt, making sure the bottoms are aligned. Sew them together in a straight line from edge to edge. Don't worry if there isn't much space to sew with a full seam allowance. In this case, the exact seam allowance doesn't really matter as long as there is enough to hold everything together.
Step 9: Sew and Finish Pocket Bag
To create the perfect pocket on your pants, start by pressing the pocket bag towards the bottom. Make sure to leave enough space for your desired pocket depth. This is when I usually lay my phone down on the pocket to make sure it will fit beneath the welt. Trust me, I made the error of having it too shallow once, and my cell phone ended up sticking out. Don't let that happen to you!
Then, fold the remaining bag up to the top of the pants, aligning the edges. Pin the edges together and sew them from top to bottom, folding the pants out of the way. Lastly, finish the edges of the pocket bag with a serge or stitching.
Step 10: Finishing Touches
It's time to add some finishing touches to your pocket! If you want, you can topstitch along the top of the welt. Just remember to start and stop at the same points where you added topstitching to the edges of the welt earlier. By sewing through all the layers this time, it will make the pocket more secure and prevent it from gaping too much.
Before you're done, give your pocket a final press to make sure everything looks neat. Then, baste the top edge of the pants, making sure to catch the fashion fabric, the top of the facing, and the top of the pocket bag. This will secure everything in place and ready to attach the waistband.
Sewing a welt pocket may seem complicated at first, but by following these simple steps, you can create a high-quality pocket that looks and functions beautifully. Remember to take your time and practice, practice, practice. With a bit of patience and determination, you’re sure to become a welt pocket pro in no time. Happy sewing!
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