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A pocket and a zipper in the side seam.

aub | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello sewers,

I am not a good sewer (in spite the magazine Threads), English is not my mother tongue, and I have also the following problem.

I am unable to understand: how I can sew and a zipper and a pocket in the side seam of a lady trousers.
-I can sew the zipper in the left side seam ( nicely)
-I can sew the pocket in the other side seam (also nicely)
-But I can’t sew this 2 things in one side seam, the left one.

I thank all of you taking time to explain this hot item to me .

The next problem will be : How to understand- without images, DVD, videos etc. – this complex handling. But I promise you that I shall and will try to understand it.

With kind regards, cordialement , aub.


  1. meg | | #1

    Welcome to Gatherings. While I am not able to help you with your question, someone around here will post a response to your questions. Your English is quite good, by the way.

  2. rekha | | #2

    If you can get Sanrdra Betzina's book, Power Sewing, pages 67 and 68 describe it all with very nice pictures.


    1. aub | | #3

      Hello, hello.Merci " rekha " for the hint.
      I will see on Internet if I can find Sandra Betzina's book. I am living on the other side of the world (France). We still have the 'Haute couture" but that will nog say that we are rich in sewingclubs, sewing books, sewing hints etc.With kind regards: aub

      1. rekha | | #4

        You are not on the other side of the world - I live in Nottingham in England. This message board is truly global.

        Good luck with your pockets. Take pictures of each step and post them here so other learn from it.

      2. sewslow67 | | #5

        Hi Aub:  Here is a link to the Power Sewing book written by Sandra Betzina.  http://www.amazon.com/Power-Sewing-Step-Sandra-Betzina/dp/1561585726/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247136676&sr=8-1

        I have the book, and it is very good.  I would highly recommend it, and hope you get a copy.  It is a good resource and also fun to read.  She also has a section showing many of the clothes she has made for herself, which is a nice "inspiration" section.

        I hope you enjoy Gatherings, too.  It is a group of quite exceptional people who love to sew, and always helpful.   And you don't need to be concerned about English not being your native language.  There is no problem there.  So ...welcome! 

      3. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #6

        Hello Aub, and welcome to Gatherings. Cathy

        1. aub | | #7

          A big merci to all of you for your help. Be sure that I adored it.I order the book and as soon I start an other pair of trousers I will explain it to the others how to do it ( sewing and ####pocket and ####zipper in one sideseam) in the right way . Ah the right way ! I need still a lot of DVD with or wihout Louise and Judith to discover that way.With warm and kind regards, AUB

  3. woggy | | #8

    Welcome to Threads!  Below are the directions on how to sew a zipper in a pants pocket.  I hope these help you.

    My edition is 2000 but I will tell you how to do it. It is a very simple application. This application is obviously for pants that have slash pockets:

    1. Cut 2 pieces of your fabric , each 6 inches by 14 inches. Put right sides together and machine baste the length of your zipper. Switch to the regular length at the end of the machine basting for the remainder of the fabric.

    2. Press the seams open. Place zipper over the open seam with the teeth of the zipper on the seam line. Stitch zipper to both sides of the seams and across the bottom.

    3. Per Sandra, the zipper pocket is to be placed on the left side of the pants. To do this, the zipper panel you just made must be faced down on your table with the zipper side facing you. Take your pattern piece, make sure the printing on the pattern is facing you, place this pattern over the zipper panel. The pattern needs to be placed so that the zipper is 1 inch away from the inside pocket edge of the side front. The pattern is placed in this position so as not to have the zipper show in your finished garment.

    4. Cut the zipper panel out.

    5. When I made pants with slash pockets, I applied the pocket facing first to the pants. I trimmed the seam, then folded the facing to the inside, gently pressed the seam (this seam is on a bias so you need to gently press so as to not stretch this area). Next I top stitched this seam about 1/4 inch from the seam. The zipper panel is now applied to the facing.

    ***Make sure when you pin the zipper panel to the pocket facing that the zipper is facing the outside.

    Line it up with the side and the bottom. Don't worry if the pieces aren't identical in size. Sew down the side and bottom, trim if necessary. Stitch across the top of the zipper panel at the waist.

    6. Sandra recommends you cut a long waistband - your waist measurement plus 6 inches. One edge lines up flush with the top of the left pocket (outside of the pants) and the other end of the waistband lines up with the inner edge of the pocket. Cut off excess.

    Take a look at fly front pants - one edge of the waistband lines up with the edge of the pants. The opposite end of the waistband ends up underneath this piece. The waistband that you see from the front has the button hole and the piece underneath has the button. Same principal for a zipper in pants pocket.

    A very clever idea was written by Karen Howland in an old Threads. She recommends that if you have a small waist and large hips to put a zipper in each pocket - this will open up the waist area enough to slide the pants over large hips.

    If you need to see this demo by Sandra, get her newer edition of "Power Sewing" from the library and it is on page 67 under the pants section.


    1. aub | | #9

      Salut Woggy and the other slash pocket zippers.I printed your explanation, I shall study it with the dictionary in one hand , the slash pockets in the other, the zipper between my teeth and the ordered book Sewing power from Sandra ( will arrived this day ( said Amz....etc) )on the sewing machine.I guess that I had to sew soon an other pants (the word is so much nicer then trousers ) or only a left side sample, to show to all of you that I : a) did understand it. And b) that I can do it.I am really happy wish all your recommendations.Warm regards, aub

      1. Pattiann42 | | #10

        Have you tried on-line translation sites?  Copy and paste the message and then ask for a translation from English to French.

        1. Sancin | | #11

          I laughed out loud when I read your suggestion to try on line translation. I speak a little French and read more so don't know how accurate the English/French translation on line is. I regularly use the sites to translate from Portuguese and last week the 2 sentences I translated made so little sense I ended up phoning the sender and the translation was nothing like the sentences she sent. I am still giggling at how it translated. However, I suspect there are more French than Portuguese speakers around and the translations may be better. One of the biggest problems with translation is the special language used in the sewing and quilting circles - or other special vocabularies. I suspect selecting a few nouns and verbs from the dictionary will give the 'gist' of needs to be known.

          1. Pattiann42 | | #12

            That's nice.  Glad I gave you a giggle.

          2. aub | | #13

            translations and side zippers.Hello, hello, Yes the problem is the technical vocabular. I have no idea what a slash pocket can be. I think that it has to make with the /. Don't worry I will find it, if the power sewing will arrived by Amaz... That wasn't the case yesterday. Indeed, indeed, on line translation is often just beside the truth. But it can be worse.
            On the Website of ####a French museum near the Belgian/Flemish* border there is a Dutch ** translation of their French text. I guess that the translator (?) did used an on line translation.
            Example : The Dutch translation of : vitraux(Fr)= glas en lood ( Dutch), stained glass windows (Eng) =is translated in "Vitrages" . This Dutch word With a french look, but it isn't French, means ; transparent window curtains.*The Flemish language is Dutch ( the accent is different)
            **My mother tongue is Dutch. This for complicating the zipper history. Salut, salut with nice and warm sewing regards, aub

          3. Sancin | | #14

            Thank you for your response, Aub. Language can be humorous. I have been told that English is one of the hardest languages to learn, though I don't know. I think some of those Asian languages sound and look pretty complex! Here are a few dictionarys of sewing terms - one even in Dutch if you can read it. http://www.bellaonline.com/site/Sewing - detailed
            http://www.box.net/shared/43oevmk8zv - English/Dutch sewing words
            http://www.fabrics.net/wisdom.asp - collection of good information I am sure you will enjoy the any of the Betzina books. She uses plain language to describe her techniques, all of which are excellent and easy to follow. Your sewing skills should advance quickly and your confidence will increase. You will get lots of good advice, help and encouragement on this site. Good luck and do keep us informed about your progress. Salut!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            Some sites that have Betzina articles - sorry I don't know how to shorten the addresses into tiny?http://powersewing.com/community/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=106Itemid=244 - her site - check out her archives
            http://books.google.ca/books?Google pages of her book
            http://books.google.ca/books?id=N_eGgc4XcbkC&dq=Sandra+Betzina&printsec=frontcover&source=in&hl=enei=FuxYSpvLCIvcsgPlk8XWBg&sa=Xoi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=16 her fitting book
            http://books.google.ca/books? id=DJziMZyF3MQC&dq=Sandra+Betzina&printsec=frontcover&source=in&hl=enei=FuxYSpvLCIvcsgPlk8XWBg&sa=Xoi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=18 - https://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3831/video-an-easy-flat-fly-front-zipper - video on front zippers

            Edited 7/11/2009 5:11 pm ET by Sancin

          4. DavidCoffin | | #20

            Sancin said: sorry I don't know how to shorten the addresses into tiny?Just go here: http://moourl.com/ or here: http://tinyurl.com/and they'll do it automatically for whatever page you came in from, or you can paste a big url in and copy the result out.dpc

          5. Sancin | | #21

            Thanks, David

          6. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #23

            Hello Aub. My Father in Law is from the Netherlands, as are several of my friends. If you run into a problem expressing yourself, I am sure I can help out from my end. You are doing just fine, so I don't think it will be needed. Just thought it might make you feel better. Please post some photos of what you are working on, they sound wonderful. Cathy

          7. aub | | #25

            Dag dag, Cathy greetings to your "schoonvader"

            I will incorporate my sewing images and outfits and the fabric with the laughing dragons , as soon as I find out how to do that.
            I do other things with woven fabrics. see the Website :
            Don't forget the slash , after tissus/The power sewing , after making a trip around the world, the book is back in France ( Lyon) , but not in Chevreuse.
            To day it is the "14 juillet" Remember you the French revolution ! Nobody (except al the others) is working.
            Can I hope that the power of love and sewing arrives in my post box to morrow ? By the Greek Amazones ? Looking to the DVD with Louise Cutting and Judith Neukamp and to the shirt making man David Page Coffin, seeing all that nice sewing tools: the roller cutter, the pin return points, the small ruler... It is really great. And it helps me a lot! I can make very nice miter corners. I have still a lot of problems with other things , but my miters are beautiful, and all that on my very old ( 30 years) Elna. greetings to all of you en tot ziens; aub

          8. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #26

            Thank you for giving me the link to your site!!!!!! I love fabric history and I am so excited to see what you have posted there. It is fortunate that I can read and understand french even if I do not speak it. Well I can, but a one year old can speak better. Will be spending a lot of time on there..... :) Cathy

          9. aub | | #27

            ach ach treadkoe ,don't worry ! there are 2 English histories = Pleats is all you need, and the beaded fabrics, There are several Dutch articles for your father in law, and French. Very nice language French. And there are images. a lot of images.Nice reading. aub

  4. DavidCoffin | | #15

    Hi, aub

    Lots of good replies; just wanted to add that you could adapt the directions in my article called A Moveable Waist in the current issue. Instead of making the pockets adjustable, you could insert the zipper in place of the slash in the pocket bag on the left pocket. Otherwise the construction would be much the same.

    If you wanted to keep the adjustability, you could insert a short zipper that allowed the pockets to have few inches/cent. of unzipped slash above the zipper and below the band.

    btw, I've just posted some additional info on this pockets/waistband idea to my blog, here:

    Questions welcome, always…
    David Coffin

    1. aub | | #16

      Dear, oh dear pockets and zipper sewers. All your good advises, the blogs, web pages, books , it feel like Christmas. I thank you so much.After finishing my Chinese outfit ( the half silk fabric came from China. A satin lancé à 3 coups ( 3 wefts in 3 different colors) decorated with small guirlandes of flowers, small laughing dragons playing with a ball, "mignon comme tout" ( cud as cud can be); I feel that I will start the exercise of the side seam zipper and pocket , sooner then I thought. The French poet Charles Beaudealire , said already in the 19 Century: " Art is long and time short"
      I will not be done before September. In the mean time I can hope that also the power sewing has been arrived at my home address. It came from the USA, was for a moment in Paris , then it goes to Lyon(fr) and now it is in Bologna ( it). Like the Greek Amazons, on the road. Salut, salut with warm regards. aub

      1. KharminJ | | #18

        Dear aub ~ Ooh! Wow! That fabric sounds luscious! Is there any way you can post a photo - the whole outfit would be great, just a shot of the fabric would be fine! - I'd love to see the design and the weave of it...And, your English is quite "good enough" - ;)

        Bright Blessings ~ Kharmin

        1. aub | | #28

          hai, hai, Power Sewers I recieved this afternoon the Power sewing step by step. from Sandra Betzina. delivered by the Greek Amazons .
          The first 2 weeks of my holidays will be spend to read, to see , to understand and .... to do all those tricks, hints, tips. Never seen so much in one book. And what did I seen also ? My Chines fabric page 25 Sandra used a brown one, I have the black version. So I think that you can also buy this kind of fabrics in the USA. ( China town?) Salut salut , with warm sewing regards ; AUB.P.S. this fabric is half silk ( the warp), the 3 wefts are Rayon brillant like silk.. The width is 110 cm.
          It is not brocaded ( supplementry weft only for the motif(s)) but lancé. The weft is going from one selvedge to the other.

          1. KharminJ | | #29

            Oh Hurray! You got your book!(Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could tell us the stories of their travels?)

            I'll be looking for Power Sewing at the used book store tomorrow!

            Bright Blessings! Kharmin

    2. sewslow67 | | #17

      David; thanks so much for your post, and for the link to your blog.  I must admit, I'm not an experienced blogger, and I had not seen yours before, nor your new book.  I will definitely bookmark your blog and watch for updates.

      I watched your video too, and it is fabulous.   And to include it with your book is a terrific idea and will no doubt be very helpful to each reader.  Brilliant, I'd say ...and I just went to Amazon and pre-ordered.  It is definitely a "must have".

      Do you have any idea when the book will be released?  I don't recall that Amazon stated that anywhere.

      Thanks again.


      1. DavidCoffin | | #19

        Hi, sewslow (I'm a slow sewer myself!)Thanks for your enthusiasm; much appreciated:) The official ETA for my book is August 1; but I think it'll be sooner, since I got an advance copy about 2 weeks ago. I'd say any minute now…dpc

        1. sewslow67 | | #22

          That's terrific news; thank you, David.  While I was on Amazon, I also checked out your shirtmaking book and DVD, and noted such great reviews by those bought them, too.  As soon as the piggy bank is fat enough, they will move from Amazon to my home library.

          Thanks again for sharing your wealth of knowledge with those of us who love to sew.

          PS:  One of my favorite sayings is:  "Sometimes you have to go slow, to go fast."  Substitute "sew" for "go" ...and it works great for me!

          Edited 7/12/2009 9:39 pm by sewslow67

    3. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #24

      Thanks for the wonderful link to your blog David. I was going to sew today....he he he. Thanks also for dropping in with your helpful advice! Hope to have you drop by to chat often. :) Cathy

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