Shelley is back with one of her thorough tutorials for adding thoughtful little details to garments.
My first attempt at a double-welt pocket with button loop on my Classic Shirt dress was a bit “organic.” I managed to make it look wonkier by using a striped fabric. Stripes really call for precision!
If you’ve sewn a welt from one of the Oliver + S or Liesl + Co. patterns, you’d be familiar with the process of constructing the welt and the pocket all from the one piece of fabric. But what if you want to make a welt out of different fabrics?
I worked out a way to get exactly 1/4” welts across a 1/2” pocket while using multiple fabrics. So, I set about making another top and photographing the process. Being a Melbournian, I like to wear a lot of black (it’s really a thing).
The problem with black is it’s not the best fabric for photographing a tutorial. Let’s see how we go.
How to sew a double-welt pocket with button-loop
First, assemble the fabrics you want to use for the welts and the button loops. I’ve chosen five different Liberty lawn fabrics: four to be used for the welts and one to be the button loop on both pockets.
For the welts, cut rectangles of fabric measuring 1 1/2” by 6″. You’ll need two of these rectangles per pocket. Fold them wrong sides together along the long edges and press.
For the button loop, cut on the bias a longer rectangle of 1 1/2” by 7”.
Now we’re ready to get started.
Mark the position of your pocket on the right side of your dress/top front. I’m using the Verdun Woven T-Shirt and so I’ve copied across the markings for the pocket position.
Then add another line that’s parallel to the pocket marking line and exactly 1/2” below it.
Choose the folded welt rectangle that you want to have at the upper position of the finished welt.
Position the raw edges of the folded welt along the lower line that you drew on the top/dress front. The welt will be longer than the marked line by about 2″. Ensure you have an even 1” of welt extending beyond the pocket placement dots on each side. The side of the welt that you want to show on the shirt front should be facing up at this stage.
Pin the welt in place using a pin at the level of each of the dots marking the corners of the welt. These end pins will indicate the start and stop points of your stitching.
Stitch between the dots/pins with a 1/2″ seam allowance from the raw edge. If you prefer you can reference the folded edge and stitch exactly 1/4” from the folded edge. You’ll get the same result either way.
At this point I also stitched the button loop. Take the longer, bias-cut rectangle set aside for the button loop and fold it right-sides together along the long edge. Stitch with a 1/2” seam. Trim the seam allowance to 1/8” and turn the loop right side out.
Now take the folded rectangle that you want to use as your lower welt and place it with the raw edge touching the stitching line of the upper welt. Again, mark your pocket marking dots with pins.
As you pin the lower welt in place, make sure that you’re not trapping the raw edge of the upper welt.
Stitch the lower welt between the dots 1/2” from the raw edge (or 1/4” from the folded edge).
Cut the welt open as you would normally do for a welt pocket. Make a cut along the shirt front that centered between the stitched welts, stopping about 1/2” from the ends and then extending to each corner. Snip as close as possible to the ends of your stitching at the dots.
Push the welts through the opening, turning them to the wrong side of the top/dress front. Press.
Cut the turned button loop into two 3” lengths. Mark the center of the upper welt and pin the raw ends of the button loop at this marking. Position the seamline of the button loop facing up so it won’t be visible at the shirt front when finished.
Baste the button loop in place.
With the top/dress facing up, fold one side toward the center to expose the short side of the welt. Stitch the little triangle of the top/dress to the upper and lower welts to lock them neatly in place. A very slightly curved stitching line works well here to keep the short ends of the welt tidy. Repeat on the other side.
Turn it over and admire your finished welt with button loop
Now we’re ready to add the pocket bags. Some of the pocket bag will be visible between the slits of the welt so I’ve used the same black fabric as my top. Cut two 6” by 9” rectangles for the pockets.
My black fabric is hard to photograph, so I’ve shaded the pocket bags a lighter grey in the following images.
Pin one short side of a pocket bag to the raw edge of the lower welt. The pocket bag will be laying right-side down against the wrong side of the top/dress, directed towards the shoulder.
Stitch the pocket bag to the lower welt. Sew with the pocket bag underneath so that you can see the welt and the previous stitching line. Stitch the length of the welt close to the previous stitching. Press the pocket bag and seam allowances down away from the welt.
Sew on the buttons. Mark the button position on the front of the shirt by inserting a fabric marker pen through the button loop. Sew the buttons on the shirt front through both the shirt fabric and pocket bag, securing the pocket bag in place
Fold the lower short edge of the pocket bag up to meet the upper welt’s raw edge. Stitch the upper welt to the pocket bag. Again, place it pocket side down so you can stitch as close as possible to the previous welt stitching.
Stitch the side seams. Then finish the top and side seams allowances of each pocket.
And you’re finished! A lovely, neat, double-welt pocket with button loop. Perfect for a Classic Shirt dress, or a Verdun Woven T-Shirt, or pretty much any other garment you can think of.