Saturday, October 6, 2012

Inside-Out Self-Binding Pocket Tutorial

Here is the tutorial for self-binding the kangaroo pockets on Emily's hoodie. Unlike the self-binding method used in quilts (as if I know anything about quilts, I mean), they're made inside-out with folded corners and then turned right side out again to topstitch. This is obviously not a new technique but as usual, I didn't know what it was called, so this might even be the wrong name for it.

I don't remember having tried this in non-stretchy fabric e.g. quilting cotton but I imagine it would work since the opening of the pocket will be cut on the bias, which introduces some stretch where it is needed. Has anyone tried this in non-stretchy fabric? 

Well, here goes. I'll link this to the pocket tutorial summary post so you can find it from there, too. 

Step 1
  • Cut the patch pocket (pink dotted fabric) with seam allowance on every edge except the edge to be bound. The blue dotted line shows the position of the hem binding on this edge. The blue arrow indicates the width of this hem binding. In this pocket, it was 1/2".
  • Cut the facing (white solid fabric- I used knit) in a stretchy fabric, the same size as the patch except with double hem allowance (the black arrow is twice the width of the blue arrow. In this pocket, this hem allowance was 1". Note also that the corners of the hem allowance are a bit pointy - the short edges of the hem allowance were cut at right angles to the hem edge, to allow for full coverage when folded over. 

Step 2
Flip everything over so the facing fabric is on top, with the RS of both pieces together. Line up the curved hem edges of both pieces (black arrows) and centralize it from both the top and bottom edges of the pocket (red arrows). The facing piece will be smaller and will not meet the patch piece at these two arrow points. Also, all the other edges are horrifically misaligned. This is correct. Do not panic.

Step 3
Pull the facing at both arrow points, in both directions, to stretch it to "fit" the patch piece. Sew along the blue dotted line (from Step 1), to make a 1/2" wide seam. Black thread has been sewn over the actual stitching line for visibility. The stretched facing now meets the patch at both arrow points.

Step 4
Snip the seam/hem allowance of JUST the facing layer. This is not to reduce bulk but to reduce the tension in the stretched seam/hem allowance of the facing. Do not snip the patch layer.

Step 5
Line up the long side edge (black arrows) of both layers. The facing, being cut bigger than the patch, will produce a fold that exactly meets the edge of the seam/hem allowance at the red arrow. Line up the top edge of the patch and facing layers and pin in place. 

This is what the fold looks like from the top.

Step 6
Repeat Step 5 on the bottom edge of the two layers, producing a fold that meets the seam/hem allowance at the other corner (red arrow). Now both the side and bottom edges of both layers are lined up (black arrows).

Step 7
Sew the two folds down by sewing along the stitching lines on the respective edges of the pocket (red dashed lines). Also sew up the bottom edge of the pocket (blue dashed line). Leave the long side open because that's where this pocket is sewn into the center front of the garment to receive the zipper. 
Note: if this were a free-standing patch pocket (with all four edges exposed on the garment), you'd sew this long edge partly closed, leaving a small opening through which to turn the entire pocket right side out. You'll sew this opening closed later when topstitching the pocket onto the garment.

Step 8
Cut off the corner that has no fold. Do not cut the corners with the folds.

Step 9
Turn pocket right side out through that big side opening. 

Voila - magic! A beautiful self-bound hem with tucked-away corners. No raw edges!

This is the back- neat and smooth with no pulls, gathers or visible tension. If you had not cut the facing's hem allowance smaller than the patch (so that you had to stretch it to match the patch - remember?) you'd be looking at a hideous bunch of flabby gathers now.

Step 10
Topstitch (or edge-stitch or stitch-in-the-ditch) along the hem binding to secure the two layers together. 

This is the back, showing this stitching line. 

This pocket can now be topstitched onto the garment. All the sides are already finished, except for the side that becomes the zipper seam, so no raw edges even on the inside of the pocket!


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