Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pondering Pants Pockets

I'm getting ready to make a pair of pants using my Sure-Fit Designs blueprint. I want to add front pockets and have been thinking about the exact angle and curve of the pocket opening I want. So of course I had to read up a bit. Just Pockets: Sewing Techniques and Design Ideas by Patricia Moyes has a lot of information about this, as well as construction information.

I thought I'd take a look at the pockets of my jeans. They're Not Your Daughter's Jeans (NYDJs), and the pocket bag (both layers) goes all the way to the center seam. I'd like to duplicate this and welcome any suggestions and tips, especially if you've made pockets this way.

Here are a couple of photos (please pardon the not-ironed-ness of them):

This photo is of the jeans' pocket area (right side). I'm not going to include the tiny coin pocket. I have drawn in the stitching line of the side front, but you don't see this from the outside of the pants.

The same area but from the inside. I lightened it so you can see the details:
  • Both layers of the pocket bag go to the center (zipper), which is at the left of the photo.
  • The red-thread X is stitched through only the innermost layer (pocket back). I think that this is part of the "tummy tuck" (ahem) feature of these jeans. The stitch itself seems to be a stretch stitch. However, the fabrics of the jeans AND the pockets are 96% cotton, 4% Spandex. So I'm not sure how much stabilizing that X stitching is. It would, though, stabilize the crosswise fabric of a fabric that has no stretch.
I'll be using a woven fabric with no stretch, so I want to give this a try. However, I don't have this fancy kind of stitch, so I wonder if maybe two rows of straight stitching will work. No, I think that any strain in wearing might pop the stitches. What kind of stitch might work? (My machine is a Bernina 1130, if that helps.)

My next pondering relates to the order of construction. Here's my thinking so far. Please chime in.
  1. Cut 2 rectangles of pocket bag fabric the length plus top and bottom seam allowances and width from center to side seams plus seam allowances.
  2. Stitch X (with what stitch?) on the pocket back, ending about 1 in. from bottom. This is the innermost piece of the pocket, which can be seen from the inside of the garment.
  3. Stitch this pocket back to the side front piece, which is cut from the fashion fabric, along curve.
  4. Stitch again, 1/4 in. from first line of curved stitching. Trim away pocket back along curve.
  5. Sew second piece of pocket, which I'm calling the pocket bag front, to pants front, along curve, which is about 2 in. smaller than the curve of the pocket back. Press stitching, then press open, then fold pocket bag to wrong side and press along curve. Topstitch curve, close to the folded and pressed edge, then topstitch again 1/4 in. from edge. (In my NYDJs, it looks like there is a piece of bias on the inside of the curve that covers the seam. ???)
  6. Stitch bottom of pocket pieces, right sides together. Press, press seam open, turn, and press again. Trim and topstitch close to this bottom seam, then stitch again 1/4 in. from first row of stitching. Or stitch a French seam.
  7. Attach at center front and side seams.
If by any chance you have followed my train of thought, do you have any suggestions or warnings? It would be just so loverly to not have to pick out stitches (at best) and/or recut the pants fabric (at second best). 

Or maybe you have a question or two? I'll be happy to clarify anything I can. I'm really looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

Blessings and peace...


  1. How are the pants coming along? This is the one thing I have never been brave enough to tackle ... J

    1. Hi Judith, Thanks for stopping by. I totally understand your reluctance! I just finished them today!!! My husband took some photos and I am trying to write a post over at SG but for some reason, it's in slooooooow motion. I'm hoping to write a blog post in the next day or two. But overall, I am totally happy with how they turned out! First time EVER!