I am going to show you how to make a double welt pocket using the traditional, but simplified, tailoring method called “five lines”. There are a few ways to make a double welt pockets, this is just one of them. Before we get started, let's make sure to define our terms. So what is a “welt” anyway? According to the dictionary, a welt is:
Our double welt pocket has “welts” on both sides of the opening. You'll be very familiar with this style of pocket since it is commonly used on men's and women's tailored jackets, light weight hoodies, light coats, slacks back pockets or the inside of pockets in the lining of jackets. Unfortunately, this technique isn't suitable for very heavy fabrics or situations where you have to match a design such as stripes.
There are a few ways to make this type of pocket which we'll run through below. I've written this up as a mini tutorial and workshop with a practice project on making this sort of pocket. The materials and instructions below will guide you through the technique. The hope is that you will then be able to integrate these sorts of attractive pockets in your future projects.
- Soft non woven fusible interfacing
- Muslin or any scrap of fabric for practice
- Fabric for lining. I am using satin.
The following are the finished measurements for a ladies double welt pocket. Pocket opening is a rectangle measuring 5″ to 5 1/2″ by 1/2″. Each welt is 5″ to 5 1/2″ by 1/4″.
For the purpose of this tutorial on double welt pockets, I am using grey in cotton for the main or fashion fabric and yellow satin for the pocket bag. This should provide a good contrast so you can see what is going on. The pocket bag should be 8″ (20cm) wide and 15 to 18″ deep (38 to 46cm). The pocket bag will be made of the following pieces.
- Two rectangles made of the fashion fabric and two of thin fusible interfacing 3″x 8″ wide plus 1/4″.
- One rectangle made with the lining fabric 8″ x 12 to 15″ in length plus 1/2″.
Take one of the rectangles 3″x 8″ and fuse one of the fusible interfacing rectangles to the wrong side of the fabric. Sew this rectangle to lining rectangle right sides together.
Sew the other rectangle made of the fashion fabric to the bottom of the pocket lining wrong sides facing each other. Zigzag the seam allowance so the seam allowance lies flat. Draw the pocket with the five lines to the interfaced side. Your pocket bag should look like this.
The picture shows I have the main fabric on top then a piece of lining then more fashion fabric. This is because in this type of pocket the lining will show, so you have to have a piece of the fashion fabric against the pocket opening. This point will become clearer when you are further along the tutorial.
Start by fusing the interfacing to the wrong side of the main fabric and the pocket fabric. The fusible interfacing should be at least 1″ bigger than the pocket opening on all sides.
Draw on the interfacing of the pocket, the stitching lines and the cutting lines the rectangle should be 1/2″ by 5 to 5 1/2″. Mark the notches on the sides aligning them with the cutting line. Each line is 1/4″ apart. A woman's jacket welt pocket opening can be between 5″ to 5 1/2″. For a man's jacket, the pocket opening should be 6″ to 6 1/2″ wide. These are the standard measurements for double welt pockets, but of course you are the designer and the pockets can be any size you want them to be depending on the proportions of your design. Here is a photo without the fold lines, once I iron I know this mark will disappear because I am using an erasable pen. Redraw the lines so you make both welts the same sizes.
Place the right side of your fashion fabric facing up.
Place the right side of the pocket bag facing down.
This means right sides of the fabric are facing each other. Make a notch on the pocket piece that will match the cutting line of the pocket.
This will be very useful when is time to make the welts. You need to know exactly where the center line is.
Sewing the double welt pocket
Sew the top and bottom of the rectangle ending exactly at the corner. Using the cutting line use your scissors to open the pocket.
Tip: It is imperative that the line start and end in perfect alignment. Alternatively, you can sew a perfect rectangle to avoid any mistakes. The way to sew a rectangle is to start away from the corner then pivot the work at every corner, making sure your stitching is straight specially on the sides.
Pull the pocket bag through the opening of the pocket.
Finger press the opening until you get a perfect rectangle shape. Press with your iron removing any pucker formed.
Making the double welt
Fold the top side of the pocket down using the line top line to guide you to know how much you need to fold. Iron the stitching line and fold up making the first welt.Match the fold line with the notches on the side.
Lift the bottom part of the pocket and iron. Focus on the seam.
Fold the fabric to make the welt and meet the other welt at the center.
Turn and look at your work. There should not be any puckers or pleats. Iron once again making sure all the puckers disappear. Use an iron cloth to prevent the fabric from becoming shiny. Lift the main fabric up and stitch the little triangle down as close as possible to the edge.
Finishing the double welt pocket
There are a couple of ways to finish the pocket. You can topstitch around the rectangle using a very small stitch, or use stitch in the ditch on just three sides. Start on the left side then sew the top of the pocket and finish on the right side. Fold the pocket up and and pin all around it.
Sew both sides of the pocket.
This is a double welt pocket using the “5 lines” method. This is one of the most difficult pockets to make, but we have simplified it here to make it easier for you. I will be sharing with you other types of pockets for you to improve your sewing skills. While simplified, this is still a relatively complicated project. Please let me know if you have questions in the comments below, and yes you will be asking for a video which I will be making with a few different type of pockets. It takes me a few days to make a video so please be patient.
In the coming weeks, we will be using this type of pocket in a project. I encourage you to practice before you consider making the super cool hoodie, cape and dress we will be making in the not too distant future. Until next time!