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Pocket Picker

June 13, 2011

A little while ago, Robin of a little sewing wrote of having her bulletin board covered with clippings of basic garments rather than flashy showstoppers. Yep, basic & classic are my keywords. I also favor solid or textured fabrics and generally eschew prints.

Classic style + solid fabric can make for a boring wadrobe and boring sewing, too. Little variations can freshen up your sewing experience. Patch pockets are a feature on lots of simple styles; they give interest to what would otherwise be a big old expanse of plain fabric.

Here’s a little meditation on combining basic elements of patch pockets for lots of variations. I am planning a utility garment with heaps of specialized pockets…and that ties back to my previous post about taking advantage of the special touches available to those of us who sew our own clothes.

So….patch pockets. They are classic in themselves.

Start with a basic shape. Corners can be squared, or rounded and angled to various degrees.

 Pick a method of attaching the pocket. Sew it on invisibly? Edgestitch? Edgestitch and topstitch? How about stitching down the top facing with multiple rows of stitching or something decorative?

Want a pocket that means business and can hold a lot? Add a gusset to make poacher’s pockets. Gathers and darts can also add extra volume.

The shape of the top opening can be changed. The top of hip pockets can be extended up and become belt loops.

Add flaps or bands to the tops. The shape of the flap doesn’t have to echo the shape of the pocket bottom. The pocket tops can be gathered to the bands, or the bands could contain elastic and have a ruched effect.

Add a button (snap, velcro) or tab. Tabs could also be fastened with D-rings if you’re feeling sporty. Zipper openings, too, but I’m not going to bother drawing a zipper.

 Layer pockets – the coin pockets on jeans are just the beginning of the pockets you can have inside or over other pockets. You can also subdivide…like a cigar pocket.

Then you can experiment with applique-type shapes. The ideas that are occuring to me are most appropriate for kiddie clothes, but maybe you’ll think of something more sophisticated.

A pocket is a nice defined area for embellishment of all kinds: decorative seaming, such as some felled seams or slot seams, embroidery like hemstitching, lines of satin stitching, or decorative machine stitches; pintucks; contrast fabric for flaps, bands, or edge bindings.

My pocket-palooza garment is in the planning and fabric selection stage. Lots of measuring is involved so that each pocket accomodates the items it is intended to hold. Pockets within pockets will  be involved. I’m also giving careful consideration to placement – where will the different items be most conveniently located? Do I want to reach across my body to get at them? I want this garment ready to go in the fall. It’s the fabric selection that’s holding me up right now – needs to be strong, light-weight, and cool. And easy to sew because I’m going to be making lots of pockets.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2011 5:42 pm

    Nice summary. From now on, I’ll be watching to see what you do with pockets.

  2. June 13, 2011 10:56 pm

    wow, I never thought that much about pocket variety. I’m with Bev, can’t wait to see what’s coming!

  3. June 21, 2011 8:40 pm

    That is a whole lot of pocket goodness.
    It is making me stop and think. I am guilty of pocket avoidance, because I don’t like anything to add bulk (such as an inseam pocket on hips). But, look at all these interesting options to dress up a basic garment.
    (thanks for the mention!)

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