Friday, December 10, 2010

Pockets XIX - Welt Pockets

Are you all pocket-ed out, people? We're in the home stretch of our pocket series now with this last category of pockets- welt pockets! Welt pockets are among my most favorite pockets because they are neat, subtle and, when done well, contribute a professional tailored look to garments. Plus their construction is non-linear, which appeals to the Sciencey part of my brain. Now the next few posts on welt pockets might be a magnet for hate mail from expert seamstresses disgusted that I do my welt pockets "this way", or not the way they do them, or not the way their instructors taught them in their XYZ Garment-And-Fashion Courses. To them I say, "Hm. Let's swop - you show me how much you paid to learn your welt pockets, and I'll show you my free tutorial :)"

To everyone else, I say Welcome To Welt Pockets! They look intimidating, but they're no more difficult than inset pockets. However, you will need to be precise. I know some people who love the fact that they're slap-dash seamstresses and actually proud that they can get away with sewing weird corners and uneven seams. Uh - I'm sorry to say that welt pockets are probably not going to sit well with you. But I also know a lot more folks from all levels of experience who are still working at sewing better straight lines, getting better thread tension and learning the names of the parts of their sewing machines (wink, wink) - to us, I say, wanna try welt pockets? We can only get better at something we didn't even know before!

OK, so welt pockets. I began sewing them in my late teens/very early twenties when I was making vests for some guy friends. Don't ask me how to make those kinds of vests now, with their turn-inside-out armholes. I can't remember. But I remember the welt pockets that Mum taught me. She called them buttonhole pockets, and that's what I'd called them forever after. I didn't even know the term "welt pocket" until I tried to find their name before first posting about them here. Till now they are referred to by so many names that I am not sure I'm even calling them the right thing.

But this is how I understand the nomenclature of welt pockets - foundationally, they are a little slit-like rectangular window opening (that's the "welt" part). Behind that hangs the main pocket pouch.

Sometimes they have zippers to close and open the welt, in which case they are called zippered welt pockets.

Sometimes, the seam allowances of the welt are enclosed in little folded strips of fabric, called lips. Then they are called bound welt pockets. These lips can be made of the same fabric as the main garment, or different fabric for contrast.

Sometimes there is only one lip that spans the whole width of the welt, in which they are called single (bound) welt pockets.

Sometimes there are two equal-width lips, in which they are called double (bound) welt pockets.

Sometimes instead of folded strips of fabric, the lips are made of piping, in which case I call them piped welt pockets.

And sometimes, they have, in addition to lips, flaps that either hang downwards from the upper edge over the entire opening,

or stand stiffly up from the lower edge to obscure the opening. In the latter case, they are called stand pockets (I think).

Does that sound about right?

We'll be learning to do all of these in the following five posts, beginning with the simplest variation - the zippered welt pocket.

1 comment:

  1. I've always wanted to learn how to do these kinds of pockets. They've seemed so complex. One of my sewing magazines has a diagram to show how to do them and it's like looking at an alien skeleton. No clue how it's done.
    Love this series on pockets!


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