Tamarack: Inserting Welt Pockets

Are you ready to insert some welt pockets? This is hands down the most requested Tamarack tutorial; I think a lot of people are a bit scared of welt pockets. Nothing more frightening than cutting a hole through the middle of your garment piece I suppose. Like everything else in sewing though, don’t stress, take things one step at a time, and remember to breathe – you’ll be just fine. Let’s dive in!

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

To begin you’ll need to mark the placement of the welt pockets. I recommend hand basting rather than marking with chalk in this situation because there are so many layers of fabric involved.

Your first line will connect the two pocket placement lines, extend each side 3/4″ beyond the placement marks. Then baste a line the same length both 1/4″ above and 1/4″ below the first line. Finally, at each end of the pocket opening, stitch a line perpendicular to the pocket openings through the pocket placement marks to indicate the width of the pocket. These lines should also extend 3/4″. You want to extend the markings so that you can see your starting and stopping points as you stitch with the pocket pieces attached.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Prep your welts by first fusing your interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. You will then fold the welts in half lengthwise with the right sides facing and stitch the two ends together. Grade your seam allowance, clip your corners, and turn the welt right side out. Press and baste the opening of the welt closed so that it acts as one piece while attaching it.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Now align the welt pocket along the center line of the pocket markings between the two edges. The welt will be facing towards the bottom of the jacket. Baste the welt in place.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Align the upper pocket with front of the jacket, the right side of the pocket should be facing down. The upper pocket should fall 1/2″ below the lower basted pocket marking and should extend over each side by 1″. Pin your pocket in place.

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Flip your jacket so that the inside is facing up. Starting in the center of either long edge, stitch in a rectangle exactly following the basted markings. Make sure to pivot at exactly the corners. Make sure that the stitching on the short edges falls just to the outside of the welt. Too far away from the welt and you’ll have a gap on either side of your pocket, too close and you won’t be able to flip it to the inside.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Next you need to slice your pocket open. Take extreme care not to cut through your stitching when doing this as that will be a slightly difficult repair. Starting at the center cut out towards each edge stopping 1/2″ away from the end. From this point clip into the corners cutting to, but not through, the stitching. Not clipping far enough can cause puckers, but clipping too far will ruin your pocket. You can always clip further during the next step if you’re worried. Also keep in mind that since we have 2 layers of fabric and 1 layer of batting it will be impossible for the pocket to lay perfectly flat.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Pull the pocket and welt gently through the hole you just cut. Press the pocket piece flat; the welt should be facing up on the outside of the jacket. If your corners are very puckered you can clip slightly further into them.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

The outside of your jacket will look like this.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Now fold your welt back and stitch along the top edge of the pocket opening, approximately 1/8″ from the edge, through the jacket, seam allowance, and upper pocket. This will help anchor everything in place and make for a neater finished pocket.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

To attach the lower pocket, align the lower pocket over the upper pocket so that the edges match as shown above.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Flip the jacket so that the outside is facing up and fold down the bottom of the jacket to reveal the pocket seam allowances. Stitch along the dotted line shown above exactly following the existing stitching line. Make sure not to extend your stitching beyond what was previously stitched.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Now fold the lower pocket down and press.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Fold the upper pocket down so that the sides and lower edge meet. The top edge should cover the seam allowance at the top pocket edge. We’ll stitch that down later to enclose the raw edges.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Flip the jacket so that the inside is facing down and fold the edge in. At the side of the pocket there are these tiny triangles – stitch over them along the existing stitching line just from one edge of the base of the triangle to the other. This will anchor the edge of your pocket.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Stitch along the pocket edge at 1/2″.  Finish your edge as desired. In this sample I’m using bias binding, but you can easily serge or zig zag the edges.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Slipstitch the top edge of the pocket down to just the inside layer of the jacket to enclose the raw edges along the top of the pocket.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Flip your coat over and remove your basting stitches.

Inserting Tamarack Welt Pockets | Grainline Studio

Finally, slipstitch the edges of the welt to the pocket to secure them in place. Repeat these steps for the other side.

And that’s it! You’ve inserted your welt pockets, congrats!

2 replies on “Tamarack: Inserting Welt Pockets

  • ellen

    Hi there! I am looking forward to making a Tamarack as soon as the pattern arrives. However, I don’t love seeing the wrong side of the pocket fabric on the inside of the jacket. I’m pondering a couple of alternatives, and would welcome any guidance.

    The low-effort option would be to use some spray adhesive or something to make a double-thick upper pocket, so you see right-side fabric on both sides (inside of the pocket and inside of the jacket. This seems the simplest approach, and the biggest downside is that the fabric (I will be using a wool challis) will be a tad thick.

    I’m not sure this would work, but option 2 would be to cover the lower part of the inside of the jacket with a second lining / facing panel which serves primarily to conceal the pocket. This wouldn’t be quilted, or could be hand quilted.

    A third option (which probably would only work if you are hand quilting) would be to affix the pocket to the outer layer and batting, then attach the lining, then quilt–taking care to not quilt the pocket closed. I think this would look the best, just not sure how it would work.

    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Ellen

      I ended up just doubling up the upper pocket fabric, and quilting the pocket layers together so it matched the jacket quilting. The result looks nice, and avoids having any “wrong side” fabric visible on the inside of the jacket.

      Reply

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