27 March 2013

Jeans #9 (Part 2 - back pockets)

The instructions for J2908 are nicely divided into sections that feature the part of the jeans being made:  back pockets, back, front pockets, fly, side seams, belt loops, and waistband.  As I continue to document the process, I will follow this progression of construction and blog about each part separately.

Back Pockets (1 hour, 31 minutes)

Designing the back pockets of jeans is the most time consuming part of the process for me.  I spend a lot of time scouring the internet for images that I think are cool and easy replicate.  I've got some ideas about future pairs of jeans that may involve embroidery, hot-fix crystals, eyelets, and applique - not all at the same time!  Here, I only counted the time it took to physically draw the design, transfer it to the pockets, and sew.

1.  I made a copy of the back pattern piece and added seamlines (3/8").  

I also cut out a piece of transfer paper in the same shape of the pocket. This made it easier for me to ensure everything was lined up properly.

2.  Next, I free-handed a design onto the blank copy of the pocket and traced it with a serrated tracing wheel.

As you can see, I only traced one set of lines.  I used the guide on my presser foot to stitch the other lines. 

 3.  The fabulous Lisa of Sew On and Sew On posted a tutorial on how she preps and sews her back pockets.  I do mine a little bit differently.  Instead of stitching on the seamlines, I serge all of the edges and use this as my guideline.  The seam allowances on this pattern are 3/8" and while my serging is a bit more narrow than that, I don't have a problem folding over the necessary amount.  I also don't interface the top part of the pocket.  I haven't had a problem with the pockets stretching out, though this is something I will probably start doing on future pairs.

I didn't backstitch at the beginning or end of any line of sewing.  I know...I know...the horror!  I figure these edges are going to get turned under, pressed, and topstitched.  I think the stitches are pretty safe. =)

4.  Next I fold under 3/8" and press.  I am very generous with steam here because I want everything to stay nice and flat.  I also trimmed all of the loose threads.  Pin the pocket to the back at the marked dots.

5.  Whenever I topstitch, I use both a regular zigzag foot as well as a blindhem foot.  The blindhem foot has a little flange on the bottom that can be used as a guide along the edge of the fabric.  I sew the first line of topstitching with this foot and use the zigzag foot to sew the second line. 

To keep from having to change the foot often, I sewed the first line of topstitching for both pockets, then sewed the second line using the other foot.

6. I rarely put anything in my back pockets, but I still like to have a bit of security at the corners since they are points of stress.  To secure this area, I topstitch a little square through all layers.

7.  Finally I press both pockets with lots of steam to set the stitches.

That's as far as I've gotten with the jeans.  I still need to finish my Vogue skirt and whip up something for Faye's Top Sew Along.  Y'all know Faye hosts the best sew alongs, right?!

Time recap:

prep - 33 minutes
back pockets - 91 minutes

Total time:  2 hours, 4 minutes

Until next time, peace!



  1. I absolutely LOVE that pocket design!!!! I am still working on my muslin because I have an issue with junkinmytrunkitis and have to make sure that everything fits properly, but you are rely getting me excited mainly because you make everything look so easy. I guess I will find out soon enough. :). Btw, what weight do you normally use for your jeans?

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Hi L, I like the original design - it's going to look great on the finished pair of jeans. I always find the preparation and the thought processes in a garment (the design stage) really time consuming too - and finding all the bits and pieces that the store has usually run out of and starting again! Looking forward to the progress on these jeans. Sarah Liz

    1. Thank you Sarah! The design process is definitely time consuming and can sometimes even be overwhelming. I've shelved projects due to indecision on too many ideas.

  3. Great pockets - love your free style design. Very nice.

  4. i really like that design, may need to "steal" it...imitation IS the highest form of flattery, after all!

    1. LOL Enjoy! Imitation indeed is the highest form of flattery. How do you think I came up with the design?! =)

  5. looks great! the 2 hours were worth it, the thought of making jeans still scare me lol!

  6. What a wonderful job you've done with your pockets! I've yet to make a pair of jeans but have them on my wish list :)

    1. Thanks Chris. Making jeans is fun and not as hard as some may think!

  7. Hi L. Thanks for commenting on my top! I can see that you are a good resource for jean pants construction, a project that I hope to get to in the near future! I've gotta tell you that we share a love for Luther Vandross - "hands down" - just how I feel. Take care!


Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.


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