Saturday, 25 January 2014

Pocket problems

I've always hated sewing pockets and quite frankly, avoided them wherever possible. Hidden ones aren't so bad, as any mistakes are usually well contained inside the garment, but my perfectionist self cannot have errors - even if they're on the inside. I also really love the look of external pockets, particularly on dresses. So how do you make the perfect pocket? I think a lot of it has to do with what fabric you're using. I've come unstuck with fabrics that stretch but seem to do well when using quilting fabrics. 

Last year I made my son a polar fleece vest for a bit of extra warmth in the Canberra winter. I have rediscovered the virtues of this versatile fabric now I live in such a cold climate where tracksuits and hoodies are a real necessity. The vest itself was simple enough to sew, but I had a terrible problem with the blessed pockets. The pattern said they should have binding around the edges, but due to their tiny size, I was never happy with two pockets that weren't both exactly the same and perfectly square. I think I made two sets before changing tact.

Seeing as I was using polar fleece I decided to go for an un-hemmed version, stitched on with a simple zigzag. Great in theory, but the reality was - they stretched when stitching on! I couldn't win. The finished product looks great though and unless I pointed it out, no-one would probably notice my dodgy pockets. Its has also proven to be the most versatile little garment. 

Last week I made myself an oversized top/very short dress to add to my maternity wardrobe. This dress had pockets on the front and I am happy to report - they turned out perfectly! This was a light stretch denim with binding across the top. I think the thinner fabric meant they stretched less but also the turned under seam allowance made them sit nicely. The tip I learnt from these pockets in particular, was to do an easing stitch on the corners to make them sit flat. It worked perfectly and I just LOVE this garment. Shame it's a bit too short to wear without leggings underneath - especially with my expanding belly.

So what are your pocket sewing tips? There are so many types of pockets I guess there are specific tips for each one. Let me know!

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