Welcome to Part 7 of the Tap Shorts Sewalong. Today we shall conquer single welt pockets!
Tips for success: take one step at a time and be as precise as possible with your stitching and marking.
When you break down welt construction into series of small steps I think you’ll find that no task is particularly complicated or time-consuming. You simply need to find your zen and work methodically. Welt pocket construction is not a timed sporting event, although that could make a fabulous Great British Sewing Bee Episode. Imagine Patrick hovering over your shoulder with a stop watch as you sew a welt pocket. DISASTER!
I took LOTS of pictures for this tutorial so don’t be intimidated by the length. Many of the steps have been broken down into several images to help make things as clear as possible.
Alright, away we go…
1. Fuse interfacing to wrong sides of backs (pattern piece 3). Interfacing should be centered over welt placement markings. I may have become a little lax by Tap Shorts number 30 and not transferred the welt placement markings. I know the welt pocket intersects the back dart tip so I have used this landmark to place my interfacing in the example above. (Pattern Instructions step 1)
2. Fuse interfacing to wrong sides of welt/welt facings (pattern piece 6). (Pattern Instructions step 1)
Back Darts and Welt Placement
3. Sew back darts. For more information on back dart construction please refer to Part 4 of the Tap Shorts Sewalong. (Pattern Instructions step 2)
4. Crisp, accurate placement markings are essential to a successful welt. If you transferred your welt placement markings before inserting your dart it is a good idea to check that the top of your welt marking is level. If this is not the case or if you have gotten into the habit of drawing your placement markings after inserting your dart (like me), use a ruler to draw a line perpendicular to your back dart stitching. (Pattern Instructions step 4)
5. The bottom and top of welt markings should be parallel and 1/2 inch, 1.3 cm, apart. Mark the second side of your welt box if you have not done so already.
Refer to back pattern piece 3 to determine how far your welt should extend on either side of the dart. Draw lines perpendicular to your welt markings to the right and left of your dart creating a box for your welt placement. (Pattern Instructions step 4)
6. Check that your welt markings are even on both back pieces by placing backs on top of one another wrong sides together. Fold one piece back and confirm that the welt markings line up. (Pattern Instructions step 4)
7. Wrong sides facing up, stitch around welt markings. Start and finish stitching along a long side of the welt marking. (Pattern Instructions step 5)
8. Use the hand wheel to make sure your stitching lines up exactly with the welt markings especially in the corners. (Pattern Instructions step 5)
9. Pivot around corners by lifting the presser foot while your needle is in the fabric…(Pattern Instructions step 5)
10. rotate your fabric around the needle…(Pattern Instructions step 5)
11. until you line up with the next side of your welt marking. (Pattern Instructions step 5)
12. Put your presser foot down and continue sewing. (Pattern Instructions step 5)
Constructing the Welt
13. Match notches and stitch welt/welt facings (pattern piece 6) to both ends of back pocket lining (pattern piece 7). Finish seams with a zig-zap stitch, serged edge, or bound seam allowance. Press seam allowances towards pocket lining. Transfer welt markings to right side of one welt/welt facing per welt/pocket lining set. (Pattern Instructions step 3)
14. With right side of back (pattern piece 3) facing up, line up welt markings on right side of welt/welt facing (pattern piece 6) with stitching from step 7 through 12. The pocket lining and second welt/welt facing should be hanging toward hem. (Pattern Instructions step 6)
15. Right sides together, pin welt/welt facing to back. Place pins around welt marking. (Pattern Instructions step 6)
16. Flip back pattern piece over. From wrong side of back stitch through both layers along long sides of welt marking. Do not stitch short sides. When you are sewing along the long sides of the welt be careful not to stitch beyond the corners as this will cause the final pocket to pucker. You may find it helpful to use the hand wheel when approaching the corner and back tacking. (Pattern Instructions step 6)
17. This is a second image of me stitching the long sides of the welt markings from the wrong side of the back pattern piece. Again do not stitch the short ends of the welt markings, I know it is tempting, but trust me. Use the hand wheel to sew and back tack the corners precisely. (Pattern Instructions step 6)
18. A view from the right side of back pattern piece once steps 16 and 17 are complete. (Pattern Instructions step 6)
19. Flip back to right side and draw a line parallel and 3/8 inch, 1 cm, below the bottom of your welt marking. If your fabric is thin-ish draw this line 1/2 inch below the bottom of your welt marking. I have found that with thick fabrics a 1/2 inch results in a welt that is too large, so I have advise a line 3/8 inch below the bottom of your welt marking in the pattern instructions. However, if you are working with a thinner fabric the fold will not add size to your welt so you will need the full 1/2 inch.
This line, whether 3/8 or 1/2 inch below your welt, should extend an inch further than the welt in either direction. Baste over this line through both the welt/welt facing and back pattern piece. (Pattern Instructions step 7)
20. Fold welt/welt facing up against the row of basting (step 19) and press. (Pattern Instructions step 8)
21. Pin welt/welt facing in place once pressed against basting (step 20). (Pattern Instructions step 8)
22. Flip back (pattern piece 3) to wrong side and stitch the bottom long edge of welt marking only. Stitch through all thicknesses. Be careful not to stitch beyond the welt corners as this will cause puckering of your final pocket. (Pattern Instructions step 9)
23. When you flip your back pattern piece to the right side you will see a row of stitching through all three thicknesses 3/8 (or 1/2) inch above your folded welt/welt facing. (Pattern Instructions step 8)
24. With right side of back pattern piece facing up, cut the entire length of the welt/welt facing half way between your two rows of stitching. (Pattern Instructions step 10)
25. Be careful to only cut the welt/welt facing leaving the back (pattern piece 3) in tact. (Pattern Instructions step 10)
26. Flip back pattern piece to wrong side and make a clip in the center of your welt stitching. You only want to cut through the back pattern piece. (Pattern Instructions step 12)
27. Expand your clip cutting horizontally in both directions. Approximately 3/4 inch, 20 cm, from each end cut diagonally towards both corners creating triangles. Do not cut through stitching or welt/welt facings sewn to the right side of your back pattern piece. (Pattern Instructions step 12)
28. Flip you back pattern piece to the right side. Your slashed welt should look something like the picture above. (Pattern Instructions step 12)
29. Remove basting added in step 19. Push welt/welt facing and pocket lining through welt slash created in steps 26 and 27. (Pattern Instructions step 13)
30. Make sure the top strip of welt/welt facing and triangle ends of slash are also pushed through. (Pattern Instructions step 13)
31. When everything is pushed through your back pattern piece should look like this. (Pattern Instructions step 13)
32. Welt viewed from the wrong side of back pattern piece. (Pattern Instructions step 13)
33. Press welt into shape. Adjust welt and pocket opening so that they are parallel. (Pattern Instructions step 14)
34. Catch stitch welts closed for pressing and to prevent shifting while sewing the rest of your shorts. (Pattern Instructions step 15)
Creating Pocket Bag
35. Fold pocket lining in half bringing lower edge of welt/welt facing to meet raw edges of slashed welt/welt facing. (Pattern Instructions step 16)
36. Pin welt/welt facing edges together leaving back pattern piece free. (Pattern Instructions step 16)
37. A second view of welt/welt facings after they are pinned. Notice that the back pattern piece remains free. (Pattern Instructions step 16)
38. Flip back pattern piece so right side of fabric is facing up. Fold down top of back to expose pinned welt/welt facings and raw edge of slashed welt. (Pattern Instructions step 16)
39. Stitch top of welt opening over previous stitching. The back pattern piece should remain free while you stitch through welt/welt facings and raw edge of welt slash. (Pattern Instructions step 16)
40. Finish top edge with a zig-zag stitch, serged edge, or bound seam allowance. (Pattern Instructions step 16)
41. Flip back pattern piece to right side of fabric. Fold back side seam out of the way until you see the welt/welt facings and pocket lining. Pin raw edges of pocket lining and welt/welt facings together. Pin the triangle end of the welt box. (Pattern Instructions step 17)
42. Keep back pattern piece free and stitch through all thicknesses of welt/welt facing and back pocket lining. Make sure to catch the triangle and sew over stitching from short end of welt box. Finish raw edges. Repeat on opposite side of pocket. (Pattern Instructions step 17)
Ta-Dah, welt pockets!
As a final note I wanted to mention that there are many ways to attack welt pocket construction. I’ve shared my favorite method in the Tap Shorts Pattern Instructions and above, but you should definitely experiment with other tutorials such as those by Workroom Social or Pattern Runway to find a technique that works best for you.