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Welt Pocket Tutorial

There seems to be some confusion when it comes to welt pockets in the sewing community and while I would love to state that a welt pocket is not the double lipped variety that people seem to think it is, the confusion is partly down to geography.

A traditional welt pocket (in the UK at least!) is an inset pocket type with its opening pointing upwards, and has a single welt. It is a fiddly pocket to make, requiring lots of basting of fabrics in place to get it perfect, but is very much worth the effort involved.

What in the US passes as a welt or double welt pocket is considered a ‘jetted pocket’ in the UK and other countries.

In today’s tutorial, I’m going to show you the step by step process of creating a single welt pocket of your own, but fear not – I also created a video tutorial on sewing a welt pocket too which you can watch over on my YouTube channel!

Photo of a pattern matched green tweed jacket, focusing on the welt pocket. Overlaid are the words 'how to sew a true welt pocket'.

What You’ll Need To Make A Welt Pocket

As well as your usual sewing tools, you’ll also need the following to make your welt pocket:

  • Main fabric
  • Interfacing
  • Lining fabric
  • Welt pocket pattern
What you'll need to create a welt pocket

I do recommend using scraps of the above to practice with first so that when it comes to sewing the full welt on a garment, you fully understand the process and can sew them perfectly.

Making A Welt Pocket Pattern

The pattern for a welt pocket is quite simple, and my drafting a welt pocket tutorial will help you with the process.

Essentially you need to create the welt 2cm or 1″ wider than the pocket opening. But seriously, follow the welt pocket pattern tutorial!

9 Steps For Sewing A Single Welt Pocket

I’m only going to walk you through the process of sewing the single welt pocket in this tutorial, and that it because the double welt / jetted pocket really does deserve its own tutorial.

Make sure to cut all the fabric and interfacing pieces needed before continuing.

Overview Of Sewing A Welt Pocket

Here’s an overview of the steps involved in sewing a single welt pocket:

  1. Prepare welt pocket location
  2. Prepare and sew the welt piece
  3. Prepare the welt pocket bag pieces
  4. Attaching the welt piece
  5. Attaching the back pocket piece
  6. Turning the pocket piece through
  7. Placing the front pocket piece
  8. Creating the welt pocket bag
  9. Securing the welt pocket opening

Let’s now work through each of those steps in turn!

1. Preparing The Location For Your Welt Pocket Opening

Start by marking on the right side of the fabric (or garment) where the welt pocket opening will be. I prefer to use tailors chalk for this first step.

Start by marking where the pocket location will be

Apply interfacing to this area on the wrong side of the fabric.

Spend time interfacing the pocket area for extra reinforcement

Now you’re ready to thread mark the location of the welt pocket.

Make sure to thread mark the position of your welt pocket

2. Sewing The Welt

Take the welt and interfacing, and apply using heat before folding in half lengthways, right sides together.

Start preparing the welt pocket piece
Interface one half of the welt
Press the welt, with right side stogether

Sew the two shorter ends together with your chosen seam allowance amount. Mine is 1cm.

Pressing the welt makes for a clean finish at the wend of your welt pocket creation
Notice how only one side of the welt piece is interfaced, to prevent too much bulk
Sew the shorter ends as shown

Turn through and press the welt pocket piece so that the folds and corners are nice and crisp.

The stitching on the shorter ends of the welt pocket piece should be nice and straight
Turn through the welt pocket piece so that the corners are sharp
Make sure to give the welt pocket piece a good press

You can choose whether to sew a line of topstitching along the top folded edge or not – it really depends on the garment type and the fabric you’re using.

3. Preparing Your Welt Pocket Bag Pieces

Ideally your pocket bag pieces will be cut from a fabric that is lighter in weight than your fashion fabric, so that it doesn’t ‘pull’.

It is also recommended that you overlock / serge or zigzag stitch the raw edges of the fabric, unless you will be finishing the pocket bag edges with a binding.

You’ll also want to sew a line of stay stitching along one of the shorter edges on both pocket pieces.

Stay stitch one of the narrower raw edges on each pocket piece.

4. Attaching The Welt

Take the welt that you prepared earlier, and place on the right side of your garment in line with the thread marking.

Positioning the welt pocket in line with the thread marking

Sew with your chosen seam allowance along the length to the welt to secure it to the upper pocket section.

Sewing the welt into place parallel to the thread marking

5. Attach The Back Pocket Bag Piece

Now we get to attach the back pocket piece to the main fabric. Put your upper pocket bag section on top of the right side of your fabric.

The welt should be facing down, the pocket bag facing up. Make sure that the stay stitched edge of the pocket piece is lined up with the edge of the marked opening.

Positioning the back pocket piece accurately is important when sewing a welt pocket

Sew carefully along the raw edge using the same seam allowance amount that you used for attaching the welt piece. When turned over, the two stitch lines should look like mine below.

Sewing the back pocket piece into position

It is optional at this point, but you may wish to take your seam ripper and remove the basting stitches used to thread mark the welt pocket position.

The thread marking has been removed from the welt pocket area

6. Turning The Pocket Pieces Through

The next step is the part which worries many people when it comes to sewing a welt pocket – cutting into the fabric. This is a necessary step in creating an inset pocket, so worry not.

If you’re nervous about this step, you can (and should!) make a practice sample first so that you have more confidence before cutting into your garment.

Start by placing marks on the wrong side, within the welt stitch lines.

Start by placing marks on the wrong side, within the welt stitch lines. Mine are 1.5cm in from the outer edges.

Cut through the main fabric of your garment in a straight line between the two marked dots.

Cut through the main fabric of your garment in a straight line between the two marked dots

Then cut the diagonals. Make sure to cut to but not through so that you have nice corners for your welt pocket!

Then cut the diagonals.

Now, turn the fabric so that the right side is facing you and push the back pocket piece through the new hole you have created.

Turn through the back pocket piece first

Neaten up the seam allowances on the reverse of the welt pocket.

Neaten up the seam allowances on the reverse of the welt pocket

And then push the welt pocket piece upwards towards the top of the garment and baste in place temporarily. Make sure the seam allowance is pointing down, as can be seen in the above image.

Baste the welt into place temporarily

7. Placing The Front Pocket Piece

The next step is to secure the front pocket piece into position. With the stay stitched edge aligned with the raw edge of the welt’s seam allowance, pin into place as shown in the photo below.

Attaching the front pocket piece

You now need to sew to secure. This is very fiddly due to the small seam allowance available, but sew slow and steady and you’ll do it.

You can also watch the welt pocket video tutorial at the bottom of this tutorial to see more closely how this step is done.

The photo below shows how it should look when the step is complete.

The front pocket piece is sewn into position.

8. Creating The Pocket Bag

We can now sew the pocket back and pocket front together to create the welt pocket bag. Turn back the main fabric so that the edge of the welt pocket can be seen.

Turn back the main fabric so that the edge of the welt pocket can be seen.

Sew along the triangle edge first of all to secure the welt and pocket bag pieces in position. Repeat on the opposite side of the welt pocket piece.

Sew along the triangle edge first of all to secure the welt and pocket bag pieces in position

Then, line up the two pocket bag pieces and pin to secure as shown below.

Line up both pocket bag pieces ready to sew around

Sew around the three remaining edges of the welt pocket bag pieces.

Sew around the three remaining edges of the pocket bag pieces.

Finish the raw edges if you haven’t already by overlocking to binding.

9. Securing The Welt Pocket Opening

The final step is to secure the welt itself into place. You can either stitch along the two shorter edges to secure or sew them by hand so that the stitches are invisible.

Below is the one side of my welt – I edge stitched it with my sewing machine.

Machine sewing the edge of the welt pocket piece

The photo below is the opposite edge of my welt, hand sewn for an invisible finish.

The invisible stitching on this welt pocket is beautiful

The Finished Welt Pocket

A welt pocket is a great type of pocket that is used predominantly in menswear but also in women’s tailoring too.

It really isn’t as hard to sew as you’ve probably been thinking, just take your time and follow the tutorial carefully and you’ll have amazing welt pockets too!

Here’s my finished pocket sample for you to admire!

The finished welt pocket

I have always preferred the cleaner finish seen on the left of the photo over the slightly messier look of the edge stitched side on the right.

Inside the finished welt pocket

Here’s a peek inside the finished welt pocket. Can you spot the stay stitching on the front pocket piece that I forgot to remove?

The contrasting fabrics used in the welt pocket tutorial highlight how the welt pocket is created.

You can of course remove any visible stay stitching as I did for the back pocket piece.

I’ve added a welt pocket video tutorial to my YouTube channel, in case you’d like to watch the process through before sewing your own.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on sewing welt pockets of your own! Do check out my jet pocket tutorial too – it’s the one often referred to as the ‘double welt’ pocket and is constructed a bit differently!

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