I'm showing you two jackets and two vests that I've put pockets into...
and my recent red vest...
You'll see how I learned from each garment, how to improve the next one!
The first thing to do is to determine what YOU are going to use the pockets for.
What one person needs a pocket for is not necessarily universal. For instance, I travel often, so I need:
- an easy-to-reach pocket for my airline boarding pass and my passport; for security, I put this on the inside of my left side, as I am right-handed and need to be able to easily reach this pocket.
- a place for a small package of tissues and a lipstick.
- a secure place for my glasses/sunglasses.
- a secure place for money and ID, if I'm not carrying a passport.
- a small water bottle.
- a pocket for my point and shoot camera, ready to aim!
The rest of the pockets are for various things, depending on what I'm doing.
Choosing/Adapting a Pattern
If the vest or jacket pattern you're using doesn't include a lining, you'll need
to draft one. Do not use facing patterns...or you'll wind up like this, unable to access your pockets!
It's a good idea to cut a size larger than you normally would, to allow room for inner pockets to expand when full.
If either the lining or the fashion fabric you're using is lightweight, you may need to interface the back side so the pockets won't sag. I didn't do that on this jacket
and should have. I can't put much of anything in these pockets without the jacket shifting out of shape. It's also more flattering to put the inside pockets up higher and down lower (unless you need extra inches in the waist area!)
On my second try, the fashion fabric (denim) was a little heavier and more stable, so I didn't need to interface the pockets on the front. The lining, however, was a vintage rayon crepe, so it needed the reinforcement of interfacing.
Another thing to take into consideration is if there are belts or waist casings on the pattern.
On my silver vest, I made the pattern pretty much as is, and wound up sacrificing some of my pocket depth to the waist casing, marked above with the dots. I went back in later and added a few hanging pockets to get the depth I needed (but it wasn't very pretty...)
I also made the pockets according to the pattern, and found they weren't deep enough; every time I bent over, things would fall out of the pockets, especially because both fabrics are slippery.
The red vest...
I think I was able to significantly improve on this 4th try...I drafted all my own pocket sizes and changed the construction order so that I was able to have both the waist casing and the depth of pockets I needed.
I finished the inside lining completely before I started on the outside of the vest.
I basted the area for the waist casing on both sides before drafting the pockets,
so that they would not converge.
All the sizes for the pockets are arbitrary; the only limit is how you can fit them on the pattern piece. I draft them as I go...sometimes I will draw one on a piece of graph paper to see how it will look. A pocket for boarding pass and passport needs to have a finished size of 4.75x9.25 (that's the boarding pass); I add a smaller pocket on top for the passport...finished size of 4.75
The picture above shows a double pocket, sewn then turned inside out, pressed,top serged and turned down and a decorative ribbon stitched down. The separate little "piggy-backed" passport pocket is shown with Steam-A-Seam on the edges before turning them in. Then it is top-stitched on the pattern piece.
I decided, for the sake of security, to make one pocket with a zipper closing
and one with a velcro closing
I made a double pocket with a gathered hem for my glasses...
The rest of the pockets I deepened considerably, so there will be less chance of
items falling out. After I finished putting the lining together, I cut out the outside, drafted pockets and sewed them on. I lined the crinkle pockets with the lining fabric for stability; the upper front pockets are 4.75x7.00 and the lower front pockets are 8.00x8.50. These are finished measurements.
I hope this helps those of you who have a need for pockets...if you have any questions, let me know...have fun!
(in the interest of full disclosure, I used to be a systems analyst...it shows!)