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The Double Cloth Patch Pocket

Nov 29, 2010
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Double cloth patch pocket: Here’s a beauty shot of the pocket installed. Note that it’s installed with a pick stitch (a hand stitch), which is as strong as a machine stitch. There are two operations shown here: finishing the top edge, and making the finished shape of the pocket. These techniques can be adapted to other areas of a double cloth jacket. To begin, mark with thread basting, the finished outlines of the pocket. I’m using 1 1/4″ seam allowances here, to make shaping the finished edge easier. Also, at the top edge, baste 1 3/8″ (or twice the seam allowance plus 1/8″). Then, with sharp scissors, split the double cloth to these rows of basting. After splitting, press the edges flat. Stay the top edge first. Cut a length of silk organza, on the lengthwise grain. This strip is 1 1/4″ wide, and pressed in half lengthwise. Separate the two layers of the double cloth, and pin the back side (plaid) out of the way. Pin the strip of organza along the top edge, along the back of the “public” side (solid). Stitch the organza to the solid colored seam allowance, at 1/2″ for a 5/8″ seam. This is what it looks like from…

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  1. User avater KennethDKing December 14th

    In response to Aly, Threads did an article on Ralph Rucci, and in that article, treated the issue of sewing seams and edges with double cloth--if you're looking for some good information, I'd refer you and everyone else to that article.

  2. User avater ALY December 9th

    It is difficult to find information on sewing double cloth. This article was especially helpful to me by illustrating how to stay a bias edge in double cloth.

  3. User avater Cyd88 December 3rd

    Thanks once again for a great technique explained so clearly. Reading what Kenneth offers always reminds me of why I was so inspired into entering the world of sewing in the first place. I love all the little special additions that "I know are there" in everything that I make.

    Currently I am making some "Jungle" pajamas for a 5 year old who loves animals. I know that no one will ever see or appreciate how "I" make little girl's pajamas. I know that one can pick up a pair of cute pajamas for a 4th of what the fabric cost me. But as I make all the French Seams, add tape to the stress points and turn a regular elastic waist into a elastic drawstring tied with beads at the ends; I am enjoying every bit of the process. So, yes, in my head is a whole bag of tricks that trying various techniques has given me which makes my sewing not just a means to and end or even fun - it's exciting!

    And I will wait and save up to get the silk for this or whatever ... okay, it is perhaps "my escape" but I have some pretty special clothes and great memories of putting them together. Of course, I would rather have a wardrobe of a few classic pieces then a ton of clothes. (That's what jeans were invented for.) I have also NEVER had anyone ask me if I made what I was wearing. Ask me wear I got it, yes. Want to know where I've been to pick up some of my pieces, yes.

    So, thanks Kenneth! Keep writing - Love it!

  4. User avater KennethDKing December 3rd

    Hello, all!

    Interesting comments about this pocket! With regards to Suzannity's comments about how Threads publishes a variety of techniques, it is true that there are a number of ways to do a particular thing. That means that there is room for pdevore's way, as well as mine, as well as other ways to install this pocket. That's the beauty of learning differing techniques--you can decide, based on whatever requirements you have regarding time, appearance, durability, etc.--which technique to use. If someone says that there's only ONE way to do something, they are, at best, misinformed.

    As this was an inside pocket, I wanted it not to show from the outside, hence the pick stitching. Also, I didn't want the stitching from the outside pockets to show on the inside.

    Also, the classic way to finish an edge for double cloth, is to turn the seam allowances in and slip stitch. I personally like that appearance--also, my particular customer would immediately know it was hand done, which elevates it in terms of price and desirability to them. A machine finish would, to their eyes, look somehow wrong. But, if you want to stitch the edge by machine, and like the appearance, then by all means--there's no incorrect way here, depending on the appearance and uses you put the garment through.

    As for how to choose which technique to use and when--that's a difficult question to answer, because it is such a matter of personal preference and experience. It may sound like a dodge, but I've found that knowing which technique to use for a particular garment, (and in my case, to appeal to a particular customer) is something I've arrived at by both studying many kinds of garments, as well as making many kinds of garments, over the years.

  5. suzannity December 3rd

    Regarding choice of technique, I can't speak for Mr. King. But I will hazard to guess some reasons...
    Did you see the jacket that this pocket is on? Notice that this pocket is solid on plaid. It's an inside pocket. Machine stitching would show on the outside unless it was under a pocket on the other side.
    Let's say that it's one of the outside pockets. Machine stitching would smash the fabric down or sink into the fabric. Not the right look for this garment.
    A wider seam allowance will grade the seam so it's not ridgey at the the seam. And woven wool ravels pretty easily.
    It seems that he went to a lot of effort to make it look beautiful on the outside and inside. It just plain looks RIGHT. To me.
    I think the goal here was to demonstrate an alternative to traditional technique. Issue No. 152 also had an article about sewing a patch pocket without topstitching.

    Dekobell and pdevore's comments lead me to this thought: Threads is devoted to educating and publishes many techniques. As an intermediate sewer I practice and learn the techniques. Not so hard. Learning WHEN to apply WHICH technique is the hard part for me. Maybe this is something that comes with experience. I'll suggest technique comparison for future articles.

  6. suzannity December 3rd

    Thanks for taking the scary out of double-sided fabric. I'm happy to have this follow-up/addition to the jacket article in No. 152. I love the look of the hand-picked attachment for this garment.

    I have the great fortune of living near the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store. In fact I'm going that way today. I'll see if they make double-sided fabric in a weight suitable for garments.

  7. dekobell December 3rd

    As a novice sewer, I would like to see the pocket done with devore's technique to compare differences. Shortcuts are always appreciated but 1 picture is worth a thousand words.

  8. User avater Jetmuis December 3rd

    wooow this is interesting, thank y ou for your great tute, i didn't know that version of the handstich, i had learned it something differend.
    will try this out!!! ;-D
    thank you for the sharing as well, have an nice weekend.;-D

  9. pdevore December 3rd

    Let me preface this contribution by saying that I am delighted to have this idea to put into my stash of ideas to use and I know that Kenneth is highly skilled and has made many valuable contributions to the sewing community. I mean no disrespect to his methods, but saw a few things I would personally change, so I wanted to share them. This is how we all learn; by sharing and talking over ideas.

    Although I admire the finished look of a double pocket, the method outlined seems a bit awkward with the organza reinforcement and hand stitching. Maybe I am just a little too conventional (or just too lazy to do the extra handwork ;-} ), but I would probably make a few changes in the procedure (these work in with the steps outlined by Kenneth in order, but do not necessarily correspond with his step numbers):

    1. Place a piece of non-woven interfacing or light-weight embroidery machine stabilizer, cut the same size as the organza would be, where the organza is shown above. I keep interfacing around, but seldom have organza and being thrifty, may as well use it. Sew the interfacing, as outlined above, to the solid color fabric.

    2. Place the two fabrics right sides together, and pin along the seam allowance. Machine stitch along the seam allowance, removing pins as you go. Turn and lightly press the fabrics so the top edge will be nice and clean.

    3. Since I hate hand basting, I would next mark the basting line with chalk or a disappearing marker (preferred) and pin the pieces together, keeping the pins within the basting line.

    4. Next, instead of working around all that extra fabric on the plaid side, I would trim it now, leaving a very small seam allowance. perhaps 1/8" or 1/16". Proceed as outlined above to clip the curves of the solid fabric, press along the sewing line and trim the seam allowance.

    5. Before continuing, make one more clip in the solid fabric, about 3/4" to 1" below the top of the pocket, cutting only to the side seam line. Tuck the "tab" you have just made in between the two fabrics, making a neat finished corner that will not ravel or peek out of the top of the finished pocket. Press the tab in neatly.

    6. Carefully pin the pocket into position, making sure that it sits straight, especially if you have a pattern, stripe or plaid, as in the illustration above. (If you will notice, in the photo of the finished pocket, the front edge is not aligned with the plaid [this would make me remove and reposition it]).

    7. My personal preference would be to machine stitch the pocket in place, either with a standard straight stitch, perhaps using a double needle, or with a decorative stitch such as a blanket stitch, depending on the style of garment and type of material. A decorative reinforcement might be put at the top corners of the pocket to prevent pulling during use.

    If using a hand stitched finish, I think I would prefer a decorative quilting-type stitch such as a small, neat blanket stitch instead of having the dimples and uneven hand stitches which show a little.

    If anyone has comments or additional suggestions, please feel free to let me know. I'm always looking for a great idea!

  10. User avater woodruff November 30th

    Lovely and interesting work with this hard-to-find fabric!

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