Wednesday, July 10, 2013

COATS : Pockets Pockets POCKETS!!!

I spent most of last week obsessing about pockets.  How, where, is it necessary etc etc etc.  It took up so much of my brain space that I was making sketches on post-it notes at my day job on how I could do it!  It was something that needed to be thought through properly though, because there were a couple of problems that needed solving...

FIRST PROBLEM : They need to be within a piece of the fabric, not in a seam, so the first thing was how on earth was I to achieve that???

Now, I don't have many sewing books, but I do have this one:

I bought it for not very much on Amazon because it covered detailed things like pockets and collars and buttonholes etc, and this is the first time I've used it.  And thats when I realised that a bound buttonhole is basically the same as a welt pocket - but welt pockets are just bigger.  Derr!!

So I did some experimenting:

But I realised if I wanted to attach a flap to the welt, I would need to do a single welt pocket, not a double welt pocket.  And these are actually faster and easier to do!  Hooray!!!


SECOND PROBLEM : Where do I put them???

Pockets have two purposes in my mind - 1. a place to put your hands and things; and 2. provide visual interest.  These two things don't always work together.  Think about it - the most comfortable place to put your hands is in pockets that are down low, but to have an external detail on a coat down low would look completely out of place.  So I struggled to find a compromise.

To help me, I put my red coat on the dress form (again) and cut out two pocket flap shapes from leftovers of the red wool that I still have (I have trouble parting with scraps of expensive fabric!) and pinned them to the coat.  I came up with two locations I liked.

And then I put the coat on and stood in front of a mirror to see how it would look with my hands in the pockets (and even if I could get my hands in them).  I made a couple of small adjustments and decided I had found a compromise.

The more vertical location I thought would work well for the cape collar coat (the black one) and the more horizontal location I thought would work well for the shawl collar coat (the lilac one) especially since the inspiration coat for the lilac coat had pockets pretty much in the same location.


That decision made all I needed to do was come up with the confidence to hack at the fabric!  I started with the lilac pockets first, because I have more of that fabric and if it was a total disaster I could re-make the pieces.... but I needn't have worried - they came out just fine!

On the left is the inside showing the pocket bag which I made out of wool for warmth, and the right is the welt on the outside of the coat.  I have basted it closed so the piece doesn't distort during the rest of the coats construction.  I also basted the pocket bag to the side seam to secure it inside the coat.  This basting will stay in place.

So I went on to the black one, which also came out just fine!

Then I had to make the flaps to sew to the welts.  This was pretty straight forward.  I made the outside from wool, and the inside (which sits against the coat) from the lining fabric.

Then I sat down in front of the TV and hand sewed them to the coat.

Then I could get on with the construction of the coats!  I stitched the fronts and the backs together of both coats and the linings too.  Here is a sneak peak for you:

Things are really coming along well with the coats now, and I'm so excited!  I'm at that wonderful point when I've worked really hard and long on this project and I'm beginning to see it all come together!!!



  1. Good choice on the pocket location! Love it!

  2. Excellent work! You're doing such a lovely job.

  3. Beautiful! Your posts are really inspiring! I'm planning a coat for this winter, too. I'm thinking about it all the time - when summer had finally started here in Germany :P

  4. excellent pocket construction placement aesthetic and fonctionality <3