Mini Tutorial: How To Sew Front Hip Pockets
To sew a front-hip pocket application, you have to first identify and understand the pocket's sewing patterns. You should have at least 2 patterns for the pocket portion: A pocket piece which is visible on the right side of the garment and completes the pocket bag, and a facing with a sole purpose of clean finishing the pocket opening edge. The garment piece housing the front-hip pocket should have a a cut-out edge that depict the pocket's opening edge and is identical to that of the pocket facing edge (both are curved).
1. Start by cutting your pocket components. The pocket piece should be cut form the same fabric as the garment while the facing can be cut from a lighter fabrics- this layer will be fully enclosed on the inside of the pocket. It is important to transfer all sewing notches (especially on the pocket piece) and any other sewing marks as they will facilitate aligning the pocket pieces in the sewing process. Naturally, if you are sewing two front-hip pockets as is usually the case, cut two of each pattern piece.
2. It is essential that the pocket opening edge is backed with interfacing as this area will receive lots of strain and force during use. If your pattern set does not include an interfacing pattern, use the pocket opening edge on your garment piece to cut the interfacing portion. Make sure the interfacing fusible side aligns with the garment's wrong side.
3. Cut the curved edges of the interfacing so that it fits evenly along the curved pocket opening edge, and fuse it to the back of the garment as shown.
4. From the garment's right side, align the facing's pocket opening edge to that on the garment such that fabric face side are touching and insert pins perpendicular to the edge to secure the two layers.
5. Stitch the two two layers together at the designated seam allowance- 1/2" in this case.
6. To release tension in the curved edge and minimize bulk, trim the seam allowance down to 1/4" and clean wedge notches into the curved most portion of the seam.
7. Iron the seam with the facing layer and all seam allowance layers underneath directed away from the garment layer as shown.
8. Topstitch the facing and all seam allowances underneath next to the seamline as shown.
This topstitch is called understitching and its role is not only to further stabilize the pocket opening edge but also keep the facing layer flatly enclosed on the inside of the pocket thus preventing it from rolling outwards at the finished curved edge.
9. Bring the facing to the wrong side of the garment layer and iron the clean finished curved edge as shown.
10. Place the finished pocket edge and facing on top of the pocket piece such that the ends of the curved edge align with any marked notches on the pocket piece. The facing's bottom edges should align with those on the pocket piece to create the pocket bag. Both of these components should have their right side facing up during the alignment process as shown above.
11. From the wrong side of the application, insert pins perpendicular through the pocket bag edges to secure the layers for stitching.
12. Machine stitch the pocket bag edges together being careful not to catch any of the garment's layer underneath. It helps to extend the two pocket bag pieces away form the garment during this process.
Once the pocket bag is complete, the garment's side seam edge and top horizontal edges should fall into place naturally when the pocket bag is laid flat.
13. Before completing the rest of the garment, clean finish the pocket bag edges with a serging or zigzag stitch, or any other finish of your choice.
14. For a bit more comfort during the rest of the garment's construction process, it helps to stitch the side seam layers together (pocket bag and garment) so that the final seam is easier to align and work with in the steps to follow.