How To Sew An Inseam Pocket: The Ashby Coat Sewing Tutorial
SO. You've read allll about December's sewing project, the Ashby Coat. You love love it, and now you want to know all that there is to know about it. Right? Or maybe you are rather curious about the garment construction sewing technique covered in this post? (HINT: Think, pockets.)
(If you haven't yet read ALL about the Ashby, check out last week's post. The namesake for this coat is certainly near and dear to my heart, as the year is coming to a close.)
Or maybe it's December and you're just freezing and you love the style of the Ashby.
Above all, one aspect of this coat that I am particularly proud of (and there are many, this was a complicated sewing project) is that pesky little front inseam pocket.
Inseam pockets are always a little challenging to sew, but when the pocket is front and center (like on the Ashby) then it has to be PERFECT.
Also I kind of hope that you didn't even know that there was a front pocket, until you saw a photo with my hand in said pocket.
And then when you noticed said pocket your first thought was: "HF! How do I make a pocket like that?!" Well, girl. Seems like you're probably in the right place.
This post is going to be ALL about how to sew a sweetly perfect inseam pocket, just like that front pocket on the Ashby Coat.
Garment construction sewing techniques: How to sew an inseam pocket
POCKETS! Everyone loves pockets. Seriously.
Do you know a single person that doesn't appreciate a good pocket? It is the saddest thing in the world when you're trying on a new garment, you go to put your hands in the pockets..
And then realize there aren't any pockets.. Sigh.
Am I right? There are actually a couple of different kinds of pockets in the sewing world, which may (or may not) surprise you. The four main categories of pockets are the following:
- Patch Pocket: A pocket that is stitched to the surface of a garment.
- Inseam Pocket: A pocket that is sewn into the side seam or styled seam of a garment. (This is our pocket!)
- Front Hip Pocket: A curved pocket on the front of pants and skirts. (Think: Jeans.)
- Inside Set-In Pocket: A pocket that is sewn into a slashed opening on the garment, and closed with a single or double welt. (Think: A pocket on the backside of fancy dress pants.)
The pocket that we want to go in to some detail on is the inseam pocket.
An inseam pocket is sewn into a seam, and cannot be seen from the outside of the garment. Inseam pockets are typically placed in the side seams of dresses, skirts, pants, and coats. So. Ready to learn how to sew your own inseam pocket?
Keep in mind: You don't have to be sewing a coat to use this tutorial. You can use it for anything: A dress, a skirt, pants. You can even use the tutorial if you want to ADD pockets to a sad garment of yours that is pocketless.. Certainly always a good idea!
Garment construction sewing technique: How to sew an inseam pocket, step 1
First of all, press both the top and under pocket pieces. At this point, the seams in which you are attaching the pocket pieces should NOT be sewn together.
One continuous stitch line will be sewn along the seam (including the inseam pocket pieces) towards the end of the tutorial.
However, I HAVE already attached the pocket facings to the pocket pieces.
Pocket facings use the same fabric as the outside of the garment, so that if you see inside the pocket, you don't see the contrast fabric right away. Furthermore, pocket facings basically just create a more cohesive outer appearance, but aren't absolutely necessary when sewing an inseam pocket. (But are still highly, highly recommended.)
Garment construction sewing technique: How to sew an inseam pocket, step 2
Pin the top pocket to the front seam of the garment. Pin the back pocket to the back seam of the garment.
(In the case of the Ashby, the front seam of the garment attaches to the lower panel of the coat. The back seam attaches to the middle panel of the coat.)
Pin right side to right side, matching the raw edges.
REMEMBER: The right side is the side that everyone sees when the garment is finished. (And don't forget to match your notches!) At this point, the pocket pieces are still not actually connected to one another.
Garment construction sewing technique: How to sew an inseam pocket, step 3
Stitch both the top and under pocket pieces to the garment accordingly.
This is where we get the pockets physically attached to the garment.
Garment construction sewing technique: How to sew an inseam pocket, step 4
Press the seam allowance for each pocket (both top & under) open.
After pressing, understitch the seam allowance to the pocket facing.
Understitching is essentially just stitching the seam allowance to the pocket facing, so that the seam's edge doesn't roll towards the outside of the garment after lots of wear and tear.
Furthermore, understitching is SUCH an easy step to do, and it can completely transform the look of a garment. Finally, press one more time, after the understitching has been completed.
Garment construction sewing technique: How to sew an inseam pocket, step 5
Pin the front and back garments/pockets together, right side to right side. Make sure to pin both the seam of the garment, as well as the round pocket seam.
Garment construction sewing technique: How to sew an inseam pocket, step 6
Stitch the garment and pocket together in one seam.
Start stitching from the top of the seam, follow the round pocket shape, and finish stitching the bottom of the seam below the pocket.
Sewing the inseam pocket in one continuous seam ensures that there are no gaps between the pocket and the seams. Make sure to follow seam allowances accurately, so that everything matches up accordingly.
Garment construction sewing technique: How to sew an inseam pocket, step 7
Finally, one last time, press the pocket seams open. (Also make sure to press the seam line of the garment open.)
Depending on the weight of your fabric, clipping the seam allowance at the top and bottom of the pocket may be helpful. If you have a thick, heavy fabric, clipping the seam allowance would help to avoid bulk in this delicate area.
In contrast, if you are working with a lightweight cotton dress, clipping the excess pocket seam allowance probably isn't necessary.
While I know that pockets (especially inseam pockets) can be a bit intimidating to sew, they really aren't terribly hard to do. And they are SO incredibly useful.
Certainly worth the effort of putting the pocket in to whatever design you may be working on, IMHO.
If you happen to be using inseam pockets in any of your current sewing projects, I would love to hear about it.
And bonus points to anyone who is sewing an inseam pocket in an unusual place, rather like the Ashby Coat!