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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Learn to Sew 1: Making a Pocket with a Flap

Want to make your own clothes, but don't know where to start? I have had numerous requests from people asking for sewing lessons. This blog is the first in an open-ended series of blogs in which I will try to teach you the basics of sewing. I am going to start you off with a very easy pattern for a pair of trousers with an elastic in the waist. To sew along, you can find any pattern for pants with this description. There is no waistband, the fabric simply folds over into a tube and a length of elastic is run through it. Ask your friendly fabric shop assistant to help you find the right pattern if you are in doubt. In the first blog I will concentrate on the pockets and in the second we'll make the actual pants.

The Flap
Do not fret if you can not find a pattern for the pockets. All you need to do is to cut 2 rectangles of 20 x 25 cm each from your fabric for the pocket. You also need to cut two rectangles for the flap, measuring 20 x 12 cm each. The flaps are cut from both fabric as well as stiffening (vilene). Iron the stiffening onto the backs of the flap panels.

Fold the panel in half, right sides facing and pin in place.

Starting 2 cm from the edge, sew all around the open ends of the flap. Leave 2 cm open on the other end as well.

Cut the excess fabric away in the corners so that when you turn the flap right side out, you will have neat corners.

Turn the flap right side out and pin the open sides closed. Iron the flap flat.

Set the stitch length on your machine longer. Sew along all three sewn sides of the flap with a top stitch. Do NOT sew the folded side.

The Pocket
Fold 1 cm of the side of the pocket over on both sides. Fold 3 cm at the top of the pocket over and pin it in place.

Fold a triangle in at the bottom of the pocket and fold the sides and the bottom in neatly. Pin it in place. You can see a clearer illustration of this in a previous blog here.

Sew the top of the bag, approximately 2,5 cm in from the top. This is once again a top stitch and your stitch length should be longer. This always creates a much neater appearance on a top stitch.

Adding Velcro to the pockets is optional. If you do choose to add it, you will need two lengths of Velcro of 5 cm each.

Place the rough side of the Velcro in the centre of the seam of the bag and pin it in place.

Sew all around the four sides of the Velcro.

Place the soft side of the Velcro on top of the rough side.

Position the flap to a sensible position over the Velcro. The folded side of the flap should be at the top.

Very carefully pull the Velcro apart making sure that it stays in the right position of the flap.

Pin the Velcro to the flap.

Sew around all four sides of the Velcro in the flap.

You can now set the pockets aside for the time being. We will get back to them once we have sewn the side seam of the pants that they belong to in the following blog.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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