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Decorative pockets or bound buttonholes

Finished ‘window’ pocket opening in silk matka

This technique is similar to a welt pocket or bound buttonholes, but with an updated shape. I first saw it used as a pocket on a suit jacket in a designer boutique. I have since seen smaller versions as a series of different brightly colored bound buttonholes down the front of a black sheath dress. Both sizes are intriguing applications and go together the same way–only the measurements are different. Here’s how to do it:

Cut a piece of silk organza 3″ longer and 2″ wider than the finished opening.

On the right side of the fabric, draw the finished opening shape. In the first photo, the navy blue and red sample is 7″ long and 1″ wide. The illustration above shows an opening 8″ long by 2″ wide. The shorter straight edges are 6″ long. 

Pin the silk organza centered over the marked shape. Set your sewing machine at 1.5mm stitch length, and start sewing along one 6″ side. Stitch carefully along the line your drew turning accurately at each corner. To keep bulk to a minimum, overlap your stitching rather than back stitching when you return to the starting point.  

Carefully cut along the center of the opening and into each corner. Pull the organza through the fabric opening and press, favoring the stitching to the wrong side. The fashion fabric and silk organza will be trimmed away in a later step. 

Cut 2 pieces of fashion fabric 10″ x 3″. Mark a centered line the length of the fabric. Mark a dot 2″ from each short end on the line to designate the finished opening length.

 Stack the 2 layers of fabric and using a 2.0mm long stitch sew from the short end of the rectangle to the dot, stop stitching, reset your machine to a long basting stitch and sew to the second dot, then shorten your…

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  1. sewwellglo | | #1

    I will boldly say, that only those with an eye for fine garment construction, could appreciate this classy presentation of the bound buttonhole. Love it!

  2. rkr4cds1 | | #2

    Ahh - Couture Tailoring 101!!
    And the real beauty of this technique is that the shape of the window openings can mimic the theme of the clothing; they can be perfectly round circles, diamond shapes, crescents or any shape you can imagine.
    The set-in panel of the two-sewn-together pieces for the buttonhole 'lips' remains the same, just the 'window' shapes change and is emphasized or played down depending on whether you use contrasting colors or the same fabric for the lips.
    Also Love it!

  3. ipodgrannie | | #3

    I agree with sewwellgo and I do appreciate all these fine details. Love it Love it..........

  4. kimsidlehands | | #4

    Thanks for this. THis has always driven me up a wall. I could never get it to look right.

  5. starzoe | | #5

    I have a complete set of Threads. Finding a remembered subject on the online index is a daunting task. Recently I wanted to review the article on binding sleeveless garments and noted that, although the date was shown on when the online item was posted, there was no record of the issue number in which it first appeared. I could not find it listed on the online index, and I'm sure it is there, but under what title?

    Am I missing something here? Uleta

  6. LaurieDiane | | #6

    I want to go home right now and do this on the jacket I'm making. Love the clean couture lines of them. Thanks, Louise for making this look so simple!

  7. LaurieDiane | | #7

    I want to go home right now and do this on the jacket I'm making. Love the clean couture lines of them. Thanks, Louise for making this look so simple!

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