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How to do a One Layer pocket

AAC | Posted in Patterns on

That’s my best description of this pocket.  It’s not like a regular side pocket which is attached to the front and back seam, this is only one layer attached to only the front.  It’s then topped stitched so that it appears as part of the design showing on the front maybe using a wide double needle to get the effect.

I could do a side pocket but I’d like to do this instead. The pattern doesn’t come w/ a pocket and I could just put one into the side seams but that’s not what I want.  No, I have to be difficult and different, lol.  This is going to be a very casual dress, I call it a ‘”tent” dress and I’ve made it before and it’s very comfortable and looks good.  I’ve bought some light weight blue denim and would like to outline the pocket in red stitching (or orange).  It’s a New Look pattern # 6352,  wish I could do an attachment to show you. 

By the way, did y’all know that you can look through all the catalogues on-line?  Sure beats sitting on that uncomfortable stool at Wal-Mart’s!  I’ll bet one of you geniuses know what I’m talking about….at least I sure hope so, it would be appreciated.

Thinking of  those poor people in the flood areas, that has to be horrendous. What’s next??

Edited 6/20/2008 5:01 pm ET by AAC


  1. jjgg | | #1

    Are you wanting to put this pocket in the side seam? or more to the front? You want a patch pocket? (the pocket is on top of the front of the fabric) or you want the 'patch' part to be on the inside of the dress? If it's in the side seam, you have to finish the front dress at the side seam for the opening of the pocket, the 'patch' would get sewn to the back dress at the side seam and then stitched to the front leaving the opening free for the hand.If you want to put this elsewhere on the front of the dress, then you have to figure out how you are going to clean finish the opening of the pocket which would be a slit in the front of the dress. I'm not sure that would work. I've made an apron that had that sort of pocket, but the design was such that there was a horizontal seam at the top of the pocket that was finished with a bias binding.I think just a plain patch pocket, done in some sort of decorative shape would look nice. The dress looks nice, made out of a rayon batik would be great for the hot summer.

    Edited 6/20/2008 6:44 pm ET by jjgg

    1. AAC | | #2

      I'm on the 3rd read of your letter.  I need to swirl it around in my mind for a while to get your drift.  Years ago I made a copy of one of Nancy Zieman's Sewing with Nancy programs where she did this with a pair of shorts.  The tape is at least 24 years old by now and not in real good shape.  I'm going to have to look at it again over and over to understand it.  She spoke so quickly in her earlier tapings that you have to constantly rewind every few minutes to have what she's saying register in your mind.  Now that she's more comfortable with her endeavor, she's slowed it down some perhaps realizing that what needs to be said in 20 some minutes can only be a lesser amount.  In other words, you can't explain how to complete a whole project in a short time even with a time constriction.  I'll get back to you when I watch the tape again.  thanks

      1. jjgg | | #3

        Well, I wrote that all really really fast as I was heading out the door to dinner, but, I still want to know - are you putting the pocket into the side seam or do you want it more center front?

        1. AAC | | #4

          First of all, let me say thanks for taking the time for all this.

          It goes into the side but the pocket then swings to the front as in any normal pocket.   It's Saturday morning so I'm going to check out that tape again.  While I think about all this I'm curious how you'd enter the pocket if it's only on layer.  I'm thinking that the one layer pocket shape with the front of the dress must be the pocket but how do you close up that side seam?   I'm trying to picture this in my mind but just can't get my brain around it.  Guess I'll have to cut out something as a sample and start pinning.  It just doesn't make sense to me.

          1. jjgg | | #5

            OK, now you have me confused, I assumed by the title of this thread - a One Layer Pocket, that you didn't want to have a pocket and pocket facing - in other words, a pocket bag. I thought you just wanted one pocket fabric essentially top stitched to the front of the dress as a decorative top stitch so it shows o the front. To do that, you have to stitch the pocket bag to the back seam allowance of the dress (the dress back), clean finish the seam allowance of the front dress in some way (fold under 1/8 inch and fold under again on the seam line and top stitch or blind stitch down). Then sew the pocket bag (only one layer) tot he front of the dress smoothing the fabric so it lays flat against the front. This way, you slip your hand into the side seam, and it has the pocket against the front of the dress.Some things are just so hard to explain without pictures and visuals.
            I'd make up a sample for you, but I've packed away my entire sewing room. 2 weeks and counting...

          2. Josefly | | #10

            "...but I've packed away my entire sewing room. 2 weeks and counting..."Is this your move to Asheville that you mentioned once? If so, good luck.

          3. jjgg | | #11

            yes it is! Can't wait to go

          4. Josefly | | #13

            Well, I'm excited for you. It's quite an wonderful place to live, from what I hear - several young folks from my contra-dance group have moved up there, where there are dances several nights a week. And a couple of young couples in our extended family - second cousins - have settled there, too. So that makes me think it's coming to be a "young" city.Please keep me in mind if you offer fitting classes. I live in Atlanta, but could possibly drive up for classes if held on consecutive days, for example.

            Edited 6/24/2008 12:25 pm ET by Josefly

          5. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #14

            Good luck with your move--hope everything goes smoothly.  We will be vacationing in Asheville in July, it's one of my very favorite places.  You will love living there.

          6. mendingmom | | #17

            Hi: I'm new to the discussion, but I was reading through and saw that you will be moving, if you haven't already-my daughter moved there 7 years ago and loves it. When we visited once, we went throught the Biltmore Estate-really interesting. Hope you love it as much as my daughter.

          7. jjgg | | #18

            I think you meant this post for me, Yup, I'm here in Asheville, finally got my sewing room almost complete. It's good enough to work in now, I still have a few 'piles' of stuff that need to find a home, I'll do that tomorrow. I think it was easier to pack then to unpack and find a place for everything.

          8. Josefly | | #19

            Welcome East! I'm sure you're glad to get your sewing room set up. Have fun exploring your new city.

          9. jjgg | | #20

            Thanks Josefly, I grew up in NYC so Im glad to be back east finally. When I moved to Texas, it was supposed to be for only one or two years, 22 (twenty two) years later and I finally made it out.

          10. Josefly | | #21

            Well, Texas is a big state, but it shouldn't take that long to get out of. It usually just FEELS like it takes a week to drive through.

          11. Teaf5 | | #6

            I think I understand; let me take a shot:

            Cut the pocket shape (or attach a pocket to the seam allowance) of the Back of the dress only. 

            Sew the side seam, leaving open the normal amount for a side pocket. 

            Press under the seam allowance on the Front of the dress in the pocket opening area, and hem stitch it.  This will finish the opening.

            Press the pocket piece toward the front, and topstitch along the outside of the dress Front.  The hemmed side seam of the Front will be the slit, and the Back pocket piece will form a bag behind the main Front of the dress.

            It's a nifty way to reduce bulk in the pocket, but be careful not to overload the finished pocket, as it will drag on the main dress, which is also the front half of the pocket bag in this method.

          12. AAC | | #7

            That's it!! Thank you Teaf5. 

            I watched that video tape about ten times last night and that's what I got out of it.  For anyone else who may wonder how this is accomplished I'm adding the following:  However, one thing Nancy Zieman does makes no sense to me since the purpose of this pocket is to reduce bulk, it follows:

            #1   On the front piece,  press under a 5/8" seam allowance.  Between the notches, cut out all but 1/4" of that pocket seam allowance.   Pin a twill tape into that void, catching the 1/4" left, top stitching from the front sewing down both long edges of that tape, 1/8", next to the fold, and 1/2" in.  

            The whole idea of the pocket is to reduce bulk, so why add this seam tape?  I would just finish that seams cut edge or hold it down with WonderUnder but without the tape.

            #2  Now working with the back piece.  Place the pocket onto the back, right sides together and stitch.  Press pocket piece and seam allowance away from the back.

            #3  Lay the top piece over the pocket, right side of front onto right side of pocket and back, lining up the seam (front & back) and top stitch all the way up and down from the pocket opening.  Caution, don't stitch that opening, that's where your hand goes into the opening. 

            I hope this can be understood.  It's easier if you can see it.  Whew, now all I have to do is engineer a cute shape for the pocket....after I make a sample. 

            Edited 6/22/2008 3:32 pm ET by AAC

          13. jjgg | | #8

            The reason for the seam tape is to clean finish the edge. Personally (and this is just personal choice) I would never use wonder under. I find it to be very stiff, I also just don't use any fusible items in my sewing. If you like the look of this there is no reason that you can't use it, but it will not give you a "clean finish" to the edge - you will still see the raw edge of the fabric exposed, and every time you put your hand in the pocket, you will rub up against it and may make it fray even more. this may eventually erode to the seam edge and become unsightly.This accomplishes the same thing I said about turning under 1/8 inch and stitching it down.

          14. Josefly | | #9

            The twill tape is used to prevent the open edge of the pocket (the front dress edge) from stretching with wear, and then leaving a gapping pocket. Since you say the dress is tent-shaped, I'm assuming the dress flares out loosely over the hips, so that side seam is going to be slightly on the bias, meaning it will stretch. Especially if you, like me, put your hands in your pockets a lot. I would definitely use a twill tape, a lightweight one if you're concerned about bulk. You could also use a narrow grosgrain ribbon instead - a red one might add something to the look, just peeking out from the inside of the pocket when it's open, to match the red top-stitching you're considering on your denim.

          15. AAC | | #12

            Thanks for the message.

            Yes, I do put my hands in my pockets a lot. (I think you and I are the last people in the world who know that's two words.) Yesterday the thought occurred to me that I could just add the pocket as part of the back while cutting. Made a paper pattern but I don't think it will work. I haven't started any of this yet as I have some legal stuff I need to do first.  I always have to clear the deck, so to speak, before I can get into any serious sewing. Thanks for your comment, that should have been obvious to me and Nancy did mention it.         Alice

          16. DONNAKAYE | | #15

            Perhaps someone has already answered this.  I haven't read through every single post in detail.  But --

            Simply pin the pocket to the side seam of the front prior to closing the side seam.  Then stitch the side seam closed as in attached diagram.  Then top stitch as you like.  I did this by folding and stapling with a couple of sheets of paper.  It does work.  Make sense?

          17. AAC | | #16

            I'm so sorry I didn't get back with you when you wrote your instructions.  Sometimes I have a problem with my new laptop and don't get on or/and put off messing around with my carrier until it's absolutely crucical.  Talking to someone out of country makes me nuts!!  How can someone in India's name be Kevin or Brian??  Pshoosh.  Who's kidding who here?  Know what I mean?

            You went to a lot of trouble to explain all that to me and I appreciate your time.  I will try your method although I wasn't quite sure about Step Two.  I once made a lined suit so don't know why I think this pocket is going to be a big problem.....could be I'm getting older (getting??) ha!

            Thanks again for all your trouble.  I appreciate the help.




          18. Teaf5 | | #22

            "Kevin" and "Brian," indeed!  The funniest one is "Sean" in a rich East Indian accent; I always want to introduce myself as "Jazpreet" or "Shivani" in reply!

            Seriously, though, you can always get better service by hiring a local IT consultant, who can get through to the unscripted service technical support staff, most of whom are in the States and can actually solve your problem.  You have to pay for an hour or so of the consultant's time, but he/she can update and debug your system while handling the much shorter phone calls.

          19. AAC | | #23

            Sean!  Now just who do they think they're kidding?  I recently signed up for an Ohio based internet service provider, http://www.basicisp.net .  I'd Googled Netzero but when the Google page came up I noticed this company in the margin.  They don't sell your information to others and showed a comparison to other companies.  I've had a couple of occasions to call them, no cost there, and each one was helpful and without an accent.  There's the basic price of $6.95 and higher speed for $9.95.  For the later help calls are free, for the former there's a one time  $4.95...or lesscharge of nominal cost for however much time it takes, think it was.  My kids think I'm cheap for not going with a faster service but I tried that with AT&T and it was a disaster.  As long as I have Bill Pay I'm a happy camper.  Oh, yeah, I like to watch the market too but then I can also do that on CNBC.  Wonder how life will be in twenty years?  I'll never know, I'm running out of time. :(

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