Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tutorial - Style Arc Jacqui Pocket

Finished pocket

First, I want to thank everyone for your kind comments on my Jacqui coat!

I just love the curved pockets featured on this coat. However, I found the instructions a tad terse. What confused me most was one of the terms used. Have you ever heard of a pocket bearer? I hadn't. Once I realized that one of the pattern pieces is named the "pocket bearer", the text wasn't quite so confusing.

Out of curiosity, I googled the term. It is an industry term. Apparently, it is the term for the part of the pocket that is against the body. (Perhaps it is so-called because it bears the weight of the pocket.) The pocket lining is the part of the pocket against the garment. That is probably not the most correct description for pocket bearer, but it seems to be pretty accurate.

Empirically speaking, anyway. ;)

By the way, I'm sorry I don't have better pictures, but I took these as I went along and I was very focused on making the pockets correctly. I made the pockets last - the entire coat (sans lining) was finished, so it was a bit nerve-wracking as I could have ruined the entire coat with one fell snip.

To make this pocket you need:

  • the pocket bearer - cut from the fashion fabric (though I don't see why you couldn't use the lining fabric)
  • the pocket lining - cut from the lining fabric
  • the ribbing - cut from the hem of the cashmere sweater (in my case)
There is a pattern piece provided for each of these.

Note: it occurred to me once the pockets were well along, that it would have been prudent to reinforce the pocket area with a fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the coat fronts where the pockets would be positioned. I suggest you consider this step - I was a bit surprised at myself for not thinking of it sooner. Oh well. :)

Step 1

Oops. I thought I took a picture before I sliced into the tracing, but it wasn't in the camera.

  • Trace the pocket placement from the front pattern piece onto tracing paper. (I don't cut the slit at the time I cut the coat front for several reasons, but you can do it then if you wish.) Make sure you mark the location of the side seam on the tracing. (Ignore the wonky side seam lines on my tracing - my side seams vary from the original because of my unusual FBA.)

Step 2

  • Lay the tracing onto the coat front, exactly where you want it to be located. (Mine was 14-1/2" up from the bottom of the coat.)
  • Pin the tracing to the coat (triple check that it's in the correct location). Cut through both the tracing and the fabric, along the "split" line. Transfer the "x" mark at the end of the split to the fabric. (I used a tailors tack.)
  • Unpin the tracing and set aside. You will use this for the other pocket.

Step 3

  • Pin the "pocket bearer" to the top of the slit, right-side-to-right-side.
  • Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Stop stitching exactly at the end of the slit - do not stitch past it or you will have trouble when you turn the pocket to the inside in Step 6.

Step 4

  • Prepare the ribbing. I was using a single thickness of ribbing, so all I needed to do was to turn under the raw edge about 1/4" and whipstitch it to itself. The other edge is secured into the side seam, so I left it raw.
  • Pin the ribbing to the bottom edge of the slit, right-side-to-right-side and raw-edge-to-raw-edge.
  • Stitch with a scant 1/4" seam allowance. Sew up to, but not past, the end of the slit.

Step 5

  • Pin the pocket lining to the bottom edge of the slit, on top of the ribbing, right-side-to-right-side.
  • Sew the lining with a 1/4" seam allowance, on top of the previous stitching.

Step 6

  • Push the pocket bearer and the pocket lining through the slit to the wrong side.
  • Arrange all the pieces so they lie flat and aligned. The ribbing folds up to the outside of the coat, but the ribbing's seam allowance folds to the inside with the rest of the pocket.
  • Making sure everything is flat and aligned, pin the pocket lining to the pocket bearer.
  • Stitch around the curved pocket shape, creating the pocket bag.

Step 7

Finished pocket

  • Stitch the finished edge of the ribbing in place - this is the upper edge of the pocket. If there is any wonkiness at the end of the slit, you can probably tweak the ribbing to cover it. I hand stitch this short seam, but you can machine stitch it if desired.
  • Finally, secure the pocket and the ribbing to the side seam. I pin it and then stitch, but you can baste.

Step 8

  • Flip the tracing and place on the other front, at the same relative location. Repeat the process.