It's time to start sewing! Today we wil tackle many of the detailed pockets prior to assembling the pants themselves.
The instruction booklet begins with applying interfacing to the necessary pieces and making belt loops. If you haven't already interfaced the listed pieces, do so now. I assembled my belt loops later on when I was ready to add them to the almost finished work pants - skip ahead to this post
to see the photographed steps! These same steps apply to the hammer loop.
Ok, let's move on to pockets:
Variation 1 is designed to have multiple pockets for any of your workwear needs. The pockets are designed to be reinforced in self-fabric for extra durability, especially if you plan to carry any tools or hardware that may wear on them over time.
If you are using a heavy-weight fabric (10oz or more) we recommend skipping reinforcing your pockets, as they will become too bulky and difficult to sew. To finish the pockets without the reinforcement pieces, just fold in the edges where the instructions say to sew.
Variation 2 only has the top back pockets with no reinforcement pieces.
Variation 1 also comes with a coin pocket design. The coin pocket can be added to Variation 2 as well if you are wanting more of a jeans look. The coin pocket will be assembled and attached to the Right Front Inner Pocket Facing piece before being sewn to the pocket lining.
Fold the top edge of the coin pocket two times to the wrong side of the fabric, following the notches, enclosing the raw edge.
Edgestitch along the lower folded edge.
If you are using topstitching thread, flip your coin pocket so the right side of the fabric is facing up. Make sure your machine is threaded with topstitching thread on the top and regular thread in your bobbin. Stitch 5/8" (1.5 cm) down from the top folded edge.
Press the long, straight edge of the coin pocket to the wrong side at 5/8" (1.5 cm).
With the right sides facing up, place the coin pocket on top of the inner pocket facing piece. Align the notches and lower edges. Stitch the coin pocket to the inner pocket facing piece using a regular stitch along the pressed edge. Baste around the lower and notched edges to keep the coin pocket in place.
There are five reinforced back pocket pieces. Despite the different shapes of the pockets, they all have the same construction steps.
For each style, there is a "pocket" piece and a "reinforcement" piece. The reinforcement piece is slightly smaller than the pocket piece.
Back Top Pocket & Reinforcement:
Right Angled Pocket & Reinforcement:
Right Top Pocket & Reinforcement:
Left Side Pocket & Reinforcement
The first step is to prepare the pocket pieces. To do this, fold the top edges of the pocket pieces to the wrong side following the notches. Give your fabric a good press so that you can see the pressed lines, then unfold the fabric.
Next, you will be matching the reinforcement piece to the corresponding pocket piece. Match the pieces together with the right sides together, aligning any notches, and lower edges.
The left and right pockets will get sewn into the side seam. Because of this, you only need to stitch together the un-notched side and bottom edges of the pocket and reinforcement pieces. The notched edges will get basted to the Back side seam in later steps.
For the top back pocket and reinforcement, stitch all around the curved edges.
To reduce bulk, trim and grade the seam allowances and clip at an angle at the corners.
On the top back pocket, clip and notch along the curved edges to further reduce bulk in the seam allowances. This technique also helps to press a nice smooth curve in the fabric once it is turned right side out.
Turn your pocket and reinforcement pieces right side out. Press the sewn edges neatly and use a point turner for any corners. The tailor's clapper would be super helpful for this step. Using the clapper when pressing will help to flatten the seam allowances and press a nice straight or curved edge.
Fold the top edge into place, following the pressing lines from step one. The top edge of the pocket will fold over the top raw edge of the reinforcement piece.
Edgestitch along the lower fold line.
If using topstitching thread, turn the pocket unit right side facing up. Make sure your machine is threaded with topstitching thread on the needle side and regular thread in the bobbin. Stitch 5/8" (1.5 cm) from the top folded edge. Do this for all the pocket pieces.
ATTACHING POCKETS TO THE BACK LEG
Now we will be attaching the pockets. For the following steps, it will be super handy to have your clapper, seam-jumper, and mallet near by.
Since the fabric I am using is quite thick, instead of basting the right side pocket and right angled pocket together as the instructions say, I am going to attach the right angled pocket to the back and then the right side pocket on top.
With right sides facing up, match the angled pocket to the back pant. Align the pocket markings. Pin in place. If your fabric is too bulky for pins you can use wash away tape instead or mark the outer edges of the pocket onto the back pant to align with when sewing.
When sewing on the side pocket, using a seam-jumper will help immensely so that your machine doesn't get stuck at the corners. What the seam-jumper does is even out the surface height for the presser foot so that the tension of the stitches stays even. As you can see from the image below, the bulk of my side pocket was even a little taller than the seam jumper! Even though that was the case, the seam-jumper still helped with stitching compared to not having that and the foot getting stuck from being angled from the single layer of fabric to the pocket. If you are having trouble getting the bulk of the pocket under the presser foot, use your clapper or mallet to flatten the layers of fabric.
Baste along the side seam through all layers.
CREATIVE TIP: Make two rows of stitching when attaching the pockets for more of a rugged workwear look. First, edgestitch along the pocket (1/8" - 3 mm away from the edge), then topstitch (1/4" - 6 mm away from the edge).
ATTACH THE RIGHT TOP BACK POCKET
The back top pocket will go on next. Align the back top pocket with the pocket markings near the top of the back pant. The back top pocket will cover the angled corner of the side pocket. Pin in place and stitch around the curved edges of the pocket.
CREATIVE TIP: Make two rows of stitching when attaching the pockets for more of a rugged workwear look. First edgestitch along the pocket (1/8" - 3 mm away from the edge), then topstitch (1/4" - 6 mm away from the edge).
Follow the same construction steps from the right side pocket for attaching the left side pocket.
ATTACH THE LEFT TOP BACK POCKET AND HAMMER LOOP
(Instructions for sewing the hammer loop in the "Belt Loop" post)
Match the hammer loop to the left back piece. Align one short edge between the notches on the side seam, and baste in place. For this next part, determine how much slack you would like your finished hammer loop to have. If you don't want it to have any slack, lay the hammer loop flat against the back piece and baste the short edge to the back. Cut the length of the hammer loop smaller if it is too long. If you would like some slack in your hammer loop, fold the hammer loop slightly to create a bump and then baste the short edge to the back. Make sure the short edge doesn't go too far towards the side seam that it goes past the back top pocket markings.
Match the back top pocket to the back, covering the edge of the hammer loop. Align the corners of the back top pocket to the pocket markings. Using topstitching thread, edgestitch along the back top pocket, matching how you attached the other back pockets.
For reinforcement on the pocket pieces, you can add a bar tack or rivet.
Once I had my pocket sewn on, all the layers of fabric were too thick for a rivet, so I made a bar tack instead. Always check on a scrap piece of fabric if a bar tack or rivet will work on your final project. Sometimes thinner fabrics are more prone to ripping or tearing and a rivet may contribute to this.
You can add reinforcement to all the pocket corners.