Once again, we welcome Heather Lou of Closet Case Files to the Sew News blog for the Clare Coat sew along! Love them or hate them, welt pockets give the Clare Coat a sleek and professional finish. Today we learn some pro tips for mastering welt pockets. Let’t get started.
View A of the Clare Coat has welt pockets, which can be a little intimidating if you’ve never sewn them before. Welt pockets are not hard, but do require a bit of precision and thoughtful prep work.
If you haven’t already, carefully mark the location of your welts by drawing a rectangle around the circle markings indicated on your pattern piece. Then draw a line down the centre of the rectangle. Each corner should end in a little triangle wedge around 3/4″ long. These center lines will be cut later to make room for our pocket opening. If you have some chalk carbon paper, the easiest way to transfer the markings is with a tracing wheel.
Time to assemble your pocket welts. They should both be interfaced. Fold them wrong sides together and then sew each short end at 5/8″/19mm.
Trim the edges down to around 1/4″/10mm and snip off the corners at a 45 degree angle. Flip right side out, use a point turner to square the corners and press. You can also baste 1/4″ along the raw edge.
Next up, let’s sew our pocket linings. Place the pocket facing and pocket lining right sides together (you want the pocket lining that looks like a half moon). Sew along the length.
Place the pockets facing face down on the right side of the coat with the raw edge butting up against the welt raw edge. Center the facing edge with the welt. Pin into place.
Sew the facing to the coat, 1/4″/6mm away from the edge. Do not sew past the length of the welt or the pocket opening you marked on the coat fabric below. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Repeat for both sides.
Right now the welt and pocket facing are attached to the coat, but we also need to sew down the other half of the pocket lining. Lay it face down on top of the welt so that its edges line up with the pocket facing. Sew it along the length of the welt, 1/4″/6mm from the edge, basically sewing on top of the stitching you made to fasten the welt to the coat.
Your stitch lines should be about 1/2″ apart. Cut along the center line you marked earlier to create the pocket opening in the coat front. As you snip the triangular lines going to the corners, make sure you cut right to the very edge of your stitching. This is what it will look like on the back side of the coat:
You can now flip the pockets inside the coat and the welt should fold over to the other side. You should have a nice, neat rectangular opening from the opening you cut. Ensure you have snipped far enough to the welt corner so that you get a perfect rectangular opening with no buckling. Everything should lay nice and flat.
On the wrong side it should look something like this. Pull your little triangles open and press them flat. You can now fold the pocket facing over to line up with the pocket lining.
Pin your pockets together around the perimeter.
Make sure that little triangle wedge is lying flat and pin it into place.
Sew the pocket facing and lining together while also catching that little triangle wedge. To do this, switch to a zipper foot and place the pocket facing side down on your machine. Start at the outside edge and sew the facing and lining together, catching the triangle wedge as you sew as close to the edge of it as possible.
Sew around the perimeter of the pocket with a 5/8″ seam allowance. For extra pocket strength, sew the entire pocket closed a second time about 1/8″ away from the first line of stitching.
On the right side of the coat, press the welt pockets over and up.
Since these pockets will be under stress, it is important to tack the welts down securely so they won’t come undone as you stick your hands in them over the years. From the wrong side of the coat, hand sew the welts down using a sturdy “X stitch” by sewing all the way through the back and then catching the underside of the welt pocket with your needle. Some stitches will be sewn through your pocket facing. You must secure the entire length of each welt edge.
Make sure you can’t see those stitches from the outside!
To finish up your pockets, you can also use a chain stitch to sew to sew the pocket linings together.