Anatomy of the Pocket
A pocket can be both functional and decorative. The combination and configuration of pockets is unlimited. This article describes the anatomy of the pocket, types of pockets and their suggested uses. When designing pockets for your garments, we recommend that you use your fit garments as a guide to pocket size and placement. You can also measure pockets on existing garments for size and placement.
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Flat and expandable pockets can be sewn to tops, jackets, dresses, pants, and skirts in any location desired. Any embellishment such as embroidery should be completed on the pocket prior to attaching it to the garment.
The Angled, Banded, Cargo, Chevron, Diamond, Hoodie, Jeans, Patch, Pleated, Pointed, Round, Scalloped, Tab, Tulip, and Zip Patch pockets are all "flat" types meaning they are not expandable. These pockets can be made to any height and width needed. They can be sewn to the exterior of the garment as well as to a lining inside the garment. These pockets are useful for slim items such as a notepad, business cards, ID, badges, and cell phones. Most of the pockets have alternate stitching lines for rounded or mitered corners. Flat pockets can be stacked on top of each other to create multiple storage areas. Smaller pockets can also be sewn to the inside of larger ones to create storage for money, credit cards, or cell phones.
Flaps, tabs, buttons, snaps, snap tape, or hook and loop tape can be attached to make pockets more secure. Flaps can be attached leaving a media port opening for head phones. Decorative exposed zippers and invisible zippers can also be used. Elastic can be inserted into the upper hem of the pocket to help hold items in securely. The Zip Patch pocket has a zipper sewn inside a "window" to provide security.
Additional Design Ideas
Flat pocket patterns can also be used to make removable pocket liners from vinyl, Tyvek, or other waterproof fabrics. Attach the liners to the pocket with snaps, snap tape, or hook and loop tape around the inside top edge of the pocket.
Prior to attaching the pocket, attach bungee cord, elastic loops, or loops made from bias tape or grosgrain ribbon on the inside of the pocket to organize and secure tools that will be stored in the pockets.
Expandable pockets are useful for storing bulkier items such as eye glasses, keys, wallets, and larger cell phones. The Accordion, Baseball, Box, Bellows, Gathered, Gusset, and Tucked are expandable pockets.
The bellows pocket has a large center pleat and can accommodate eye glasses and be lined with a cleaning cloth. The baseball pocket has pleats on each side at the bottom of the pocket and the top gathers to a band. The gathered pocket is gathered to a top band. The tucked pocket has a large center tuck. The accordion pocket has accordion pleats for expansion. The box pocket has lower corners stitched to form the box and creates a roomy pocket. The gusset pocket has a gusset stitched around the entire perimeter of the pocket to allow for expansion.
Inside pockets have pocket bags that hang "inside" the garment. The welt and zip pouch pockets are inside pockets. The welt pocket has a welt that covers the opening of the pocket. Snaps, snap tape, buttons, and hook and loop tape can be used to secure contents. The zip pouch has a zipper opening for security. Pocket bags can be cut from fashion fabric, lining,water resistant fabrics, or heavy canvas or other more durable fabrics.
In addition to the flat and expandable pockets, there are several integrated pockets. Integrated pockets are those pockets that are part of the structure of the garment itself. These pockets are available for pants and skirts and include the slash, inseam, control, trouser, scoop, jeans, and western pockets. All of the integrated pockets have pocket bags that hang on the inside of the garment. Smaller flat pockets can be sewn to the pocket bag prior to construction of the bag, if desired.
The slash pocket has a slash window opening with welt. The sideseam pocket is sewn to an opening in the front and back sideseams of the garment above the hip line. The pocket bag can be topstitched to the front of the garment if desired or left hanging loose. The control pocket is also stitched to the sideseams of the garment above the hip line. The pocket facing extends to the center front of the garment to provide tummy control.
The trouser, scoop, and western style pockets complete the front of the garment at the side/waist. The front hip pocket for pants and skirts i s a flat applied pocket but is drafted to the front hip and front waistline of the garment.
For great sewing pocket sewing tips, take a look at these books from Claire Shaeffer. Claire is one of the foremost experts on couture sewing techniques.
Also check out all of the great pockets in my FREE Wild Things program.