Saturday, November 26, 2011

Back Pockets

Whenever I make a new pair of jeans, the first thing I stitch is the back pockets. Having the pockets done gives me a little mojo burst, which I need at the beginning of an involved project.
I don't have an embroidery machine, so I have to work a little harder to get my pockets symmetrical. Over the course of my last several pair of jeans, I've worked out a system that works for me. I thought I'd share it.
The first thing I do is trace the pocket pattern piece I'm using, then draw in the hem and seam allowances (if it has them). I copy this several times (on a regular copy machine/printer) to give me something to sketch on so that I can try out different design ideas in the space I'll actually have on the pocket.  Once I've settled on a design, I flip it over and trace it backwards so that the two pockets are symmetrical. I used regular computer paper today, but the next step is easier if you trace it onto tissue paper.
Cut out your tracing on the cutting line and glue it onto your fabric with a glue stick. Just dab a little glue in the upper and lower allowances. You don't want it glued permanently, but you don't want it to shift around when you stitch. Wonder Tape would work too, but glue sticks are cheaper. Pins are acceptable, but may distort your design as you stitch.
Now stitch your design through the paper. Go slowly and sew accurately along the lines you drew.
That big fat jeans needle you should be using does a nice job of perforating the paper, so it is easy to remove from your design! Just pull gently, starting with the big pieces of paper. When you get to the little ones, tug on your pocket a little. Even non stretch denim will stretch a little on the bias, and this will help detach the paper from your stitching.
Now all that is left is to press down your hem allowance on top and topstitch it in place, then press under the allowances on the other sides and bottom of the pocket. Since you already traced out the pocket shape, you have a template you can use for pressing. Handy!

Any other tips? Please share!

12 comments:

  1. I like it! This is definitely worth a try, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a great tutorial for those of us who may be trying this for the first time!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your design.

    I do the pockets first too, but I have to go through many, many designs before I am happy (oh, and steal ideas - eek).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, that is really awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Brilliant to do those first. And thanks for the tutorial. Hopefully I will use it someday.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh thank you, this is very timely for me as I am just getting ready to start my first attempt at making my own jeans. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Spectacular pockets! Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing:)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Katie!

    Thanks - I absolutely adore your new pocket style (and concur with your recommendations). Also I also really liked the "cardiac monitor" pockets you did before!

    Congrats -I can't wait to see the end result!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, this will get me rolling - I've tissue fitted my skinny jeans and am adjusting the crotch curve, but I may have to play with pocket designs now!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the walkthrough, I'm hoping to make my first pair of jeans sometimes after the New Year and I'm sure these tips will come in handy. Looks great, and cute design, simple but pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the tutorial, I will have to try this!

    ReplyDelete