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Add Interest with a Tab Welt Pocket

Extend the welt, fold, and button in place
Threads #223, Fall 2023
Turn a single-welt pocket into a star detail on a jacket, coat, or skirt. Jacket: author’s design. Fabric: wool, author’s stash. Photos: Jack Deutsch.

I was cruising through one of my favorite vintage clothing stores and found a skirt that had wonderful pockets. They are hip pockets, each with a broad single welt that extends well past the pocket opening toward the side seam and folds down at a right angle. Its pointed end is buttoned to the skirt. I bought the skirt, shown on the back cover, simply to decode how these unique pockets were constructed.

The originals are horizontal. That is fine, but I experimented with an angled version, which I find more graceful. I decided to place the angled pockets on a jacket, realizing that they are versatile and would work beautifully on a coat, too. On the vintage skirt, the garment’s multicolored tweed fabric obscures the pocket lines, so I made my version in a bold, solid-colored wool. My adaptation lets this welt pocket detail get all the attention it deserves.

Draft the Pattern, Cut the Fabrics

You can draft the pocket directly onto the garment. The proportions shown are derived from the vintage example.

Draft the pocket with all its elements diagram1. Make the initial draft. Follow the diagram at right to draw the pocket with all its parts; place it on the garment as desired. In my version, the welt is at an angle to the grainline. The dimensions shown can be adjusted to your preference, including the pocket depth. You’ll trace the individual patterns from this draft and add seam allowances as directed.

2. Trace the welt pattern. Fold a piece of paper and lay the fold along the welt’s upper edge. Trace around the welt shape, then add 5⁄8-inch-wide seam allowances to all but the folded edge. Cut around the edges to make the welt pattern.

3. Trace the pocket bag. Fold another piece of paper and align the fold along the…

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