Did last week get you in the mood for bag sewing? Us too! This week, pattern designer Alicia Miller presents her technique for double welt pockets. On the interior or as an exterior pocket, this technique is the perfect way to add finish and polish to your bag. There’s still time to join! Grab a copy of the paper pattern at shopsewitall.com, get your supplies and get started!
This double welt pocket is the perfect way to add polish to your interior bag pockets. I developed this technique when I was drafting the Swoon Bonnie Bucket Bag pattern. I wanted to include something new, an alternative to the usual exposed zipper pocket. By a lot trial and error, I came up with this way to make one. It’s fast and easy, but don’t try to put this pocket on a pair of pants – it’s a little too bulky for clothing (though works perfectly for bags!).
What you need for a 7″ Pocket:
• Main Panel – the interfaced panel that you want to install the pocket on
• Pocket Facing – quilting weight fabric, 9″ x 4″
• Pocket Panel – quilting weight, 9″ x 15″
• Pocket Welts – quilting weight, (2) 9″ x 2″
1. First, we need to measure where the pocket will go. Press your Main Panel in half matching the side edges to make a center vertical crease (I’m just using the center seam of the Bonnie main panel). Measure down from the top or bottom edge of your panel wherever you want the bottom edge of your pocket and mark a horizontal line going past the center crease by 3.5″ on both sides.
2. Mark another line 1/2″ above that one, parallel to the first line. Then draw two 1/2″ vertical lines at both ends to make a rectangle. It should look like this:
3. Now fold the Main Panel down at the TOP line, wrong sides together. Underneath the Main Panel, lay your Pocket Facing right side up. Now, you get to see that designers also make dumb mistakes as I accidentally used my Pocket Panel rather than my much smaller Pocket Facing Just pretend that the blue panel below is MUCH shorter in length. The Pocket Facing should extend past the fold of the Main Panel about 1.75″.
4. Now underneath the folded top, pin the Main Panel to the Pocket Facing, then unfold. Try not to pin over the marked rectangle.
5. With the wrong side of the Main Panel up, start anywhere you want to stitch right over top the marked rectangle with a shorter stitch length (2.5 for me).
When you get to the end of a line, with the needle down, lift the foot, pivot and continue.
Backstitch when you get to the end.
Flip the Main Panel over and it should look something like this. Except you’ll have the shorter Pocket Facing here instead of my gigantic Pocket Panel. The stitched rectangle will be centered in your Pocket Facing.
6. Flip back to the wrong side of the Main Panel, and mark a horizontal line through the rectangle. Then mark a dot on that center line that is 1/2″ from each end. Draw marks from each 1/2″ dot to each corner of the rectangle. It should look like this:
Now cut along the center horizontal mark, stopping at the two 1/2″ dots.
From the 1/2″ dot, cut to each corner. Be careful not to clip the stitching.
6. Now pull the Pocket Facing through the clipped hole.
Head over to your iron and press the Pocket Facing flat against the wrong side of the Main Panel. It helps me to spritz it with water or hit it with steam quick and roll the seams between my fingers.
7. You should have two Pocket Welts. Press one in half, right sides together and matching the two long edges to make a lengthwise center crease.
Pin the two Pocket Welts right sides together with the creased one on top.
Starting at one short end, machine baste right over the center crease with a long stitch length (4.5 for me).
Fold the two Pocket Welts away from each other, wrong sides together and press well.
8. Now we need to attach the Pocket Welts to the Main Panel. Make sure the Main Panel is wrong side up. I use fabric glue here (Fabri-tac) but you can also pin the welts in place. Apply a very thin line of glue around the entire finished edge of the rectangle.
Match one short end of the Pocket Welts with the short end of the Pocket Facing and press with your fingers (or pin) the Pocket Welts against the right side of the Pocket Facing, with the center seam of the Welts centered inside the rectangle hole.
Work your way to the other short end of the Pocket Welts / Pocket Facing.
Flip the Main Panel over and adjust the welts if needed so the seam is perfectly centered the whole length of the rectangle.
If you used glue, give it a good press to help set the glue faster.
9. Now we need to topstitch around the entire rectangle to permanently attach the Pocket Welts. With a longer stitch length (4 for me), sew about 1/8″ from the finished seam of the rectangle, backstitching at start and stop.
Lift the foot and pivot (with the needle down) at the corners.
Now you need to remove the machine basting in between the two Pocket Welts. Do so carefully with your seam ripper.
10. Now the last part, attaching the Pocket Panel. Flip so the Main Panel is wrong side up and lay your Pocket Panel right side down.
Pin a short edge of the Pocket Panel to the top raw edge of the top Pocket Welt, right sides together. Be sure not to pin the Main Panel.
Flip so the Main Panel is right side up, and fold the top part of the Main Panel out of the way. You just want to sew the Pocket Panel and top Pocket Welt.
Sew as closely as you can to the Main Panel down the whole length of the Pocket Welt, backstitching at start and stop.
Press the Pocket Panel away from the Welts.
Now match the loose short edge of the Pocket Panel with the long raw edge of the bottom Pocket Welt.
Pin the Pocket Panel to the bottom Pocket Welt, without pinning the Main Panel.
Now fold the bottom of the Main Panel out of the way and sew the Pocket Panel to the bottom Pocket Welt, as close to the Main Panel as you can.
You should end up with a Pocket! Well, almost. The pocket still has open sides.
Press the pocket flat, then pin the open raw edges of the Pocket Panel closed. Do not pin through the Main Panel.
Flip the Main Panel right side up. Fold the Main Panel out of the way and sew down one edge of the Pocket Panel at about a 1/2″ seam allowance to close it up.
Rotate the Main Panel 180 degrees and repeat with the other open side edge of the Pocket Panel.
11. Trim the seam allowances of the Pocket Welts and the Pocket Panel.
You’re all done! You should have a perfectly beautiful and functional double welt pocket.