Today we begin sewing our shorts. First, apply your interfacing to the pocket facings and waistband. Next, add interfacing to the relevant pocket pieces. This post will be all about the welt pockets, please skip ahead to Day 3 to learn how to sew the patch pockets.
Prepare the welt pocket bags by first finishing the edges of your welt facings with a serger or zig zag stitch. Alternatively, you could fold under the long raw edges 1/4-3/8" but keep in mind this will add some bulk.
Position the facings onto the pocket bags (wrong side of the facing against the right side of the pocket bag) using the notches to guide you. Pin and edgestitch them in place.
Next, prepare the shorts back pieces for the pockets by transferring all the necessary markings. I like to use a regular pencil for this but, depending on your fabric choice, you may need to use a light colored chalk or a washable fabric marker or even basting stitches in a contrast thread for this marking.
Double check that your welt markings are drawn at exactly the same position on both shorts by lining up the shorts with right sides together and peeking to check that the markings align perfectly. You woul not want to create shorts with one pocket higher than the other!
Now we can prepare the actual welt pieces by folding them in half with wrong sides together. If you like to keep the welts from shifting around you can optionally baste them within the seam allowance as pictured above. The less moving parts we have to work with in the next few steps, the better!
Place the welts on the shorts back with raw edges together centered over the welt markings. Note that the welts are longer than the drawn marking. They should be centered over the marking.
To stitch them in place, use a very short stitch to slow yourself down and allow the stitching lines to be very precise. Make the stitching lines match the penciled in marking as precisely as possible.
Push the raw edges of the welts out of the way and cut across the center of the welt markings. Cut a diagonal to each corner. Snip as close to the last welt stitch as possible as this will create crisp corners later on.
Push the welt flaps through the opening you just cut. The end result will be that the raw seam allowance is on the wrong side of the shorts back and the folded welt edges are now facing each other.
Press the welt pieces and pocket opening to form a neat rectangle. From the right side it will look as above and from the wrong side it will look as below:
While the pocket looks finished from the outside, there are some more very important steps to go! Let's secure the welt in place now. Fold the shorts back to expose the small triangle on each narrow end of the welt. Stitch veritcally across the triangle. You can see in the photo that we did this stitching after adding the pocket bag. In the instruction booklet we have you do it before. Either works!
Now it is time to add the pocket bag. On the wrong side of the shorts, flip up the bottom welt and pinch all raw edged layers. You will be sewing only these layers to the pocket bag. Let the rest of the shorts fall away from these pinched layers.
To attach the pocket bag we will be working with the end farthest from the pocket facing (the bottom of the pocket bag).
Place the pocket bag under the shorts with the right side up. Pin it to the bottom welt seam allowance that we exposed by pinching earlier.
Stitch across the entire seam allowance. Press the pocket bag away from the welt opening:
Flip to the right side of the shorts and edgestitch through the welt/shorts/pocket bag along the bottom of the welt. You can see below that we edgestitched along the sides at this point too. It is better to wait until the pocket bag is complete to stitch along the side of the welt so please ignore this stitching for now!
Back on the wrong sides of the shorts, fold up the pocket bag along the notch. Press along the new bottom of the pocket. The pocket facing should be centered over the welt opening.
Pin the pocket edges together (keep the shorts back out of the way for this step).
Stitch the pocket bag edges and finish with a serger or zig zag sittch. Baste across the top of the pocket bag and shorts to keep it in place.
From the right side edgestitch around the rest of the welt pocket through all layers (including the pocket bag).
And there you have it! A functioning and attractive welt pocket that won't sag due to all our careful stitching efforts!
June 05, 2024 — Morgan and Matthew Meredith