THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

April 14, 2009

Pocket ( No sagging)

How to make double welt pockets is covered in most sewing books as well as via shared tutorials by other bloggers like by Paco see here and another way here

I will show you another way in another post.

Any slashed pocket like double welt, single welt or welt with flap pockets tend to sag if you actual use them to put something in it. 

 I always tell my husband to never use the outer pockets from his RTW suits except for a piece of paper because those pockets will sag.

But if you make your own suit jacket or coat you can prevent the sagging by using a tailors trick in sewing the pocket bag ( interior)

I learned this trick about 20 years ago during a tailoring course I took from a Dutch tailor, and I have no idea if this way of making a pocket is done by all tailors in Europe but I have never seen this technigue mentioned in tailoring books. So I thought  this trick could be of use for all of  you who are making a coat or jacket with horizontal slashed pockets .For angled pocket openings there are other ways to prevent sagging.

It does not take more than a few seconds, an iron and 2 inch/ 5 cm extra length of  fabric or pocketing for the pocket bag ( Pocketing is a sturdy cotton or  polyester rayon ( viscose)  fabric used for pocket bags)  but the difference in huge.

I made a sample double welt pocket and hung the fabric on a dress form to mimic a jacket or coat

here you can see the keys I used to put  in the pocket


 pocket sagging due to the weight of the keys,


The inside view of the bag with the keys inside


Pocket with keys inside, but due to the tailors trick  there is no sagging.


I used pocketing plain green fabric (a sturdy cotton )  for the bag part but also used self fabric from the lower welt and a separate piece sewed at the upper welt seam allowance which is sewed at the pocketing part.

view of the welts are shown in beige color due to the beige colored fusible interfacing .

 The trick is to make a pleat ( I used a 1 inch /2,5 cm deep fold) at the upper pocket bag part which is the side towards the jacket or coat, just below the first  inch from the self fabric welt.



Inside view of pleated pocket bag with keys inside,













pocket bag stitched around included the pleat which is folded upwards.

upper-pocket-bag with pleat

view under pocket bag

pocket-bag upper side

Inside view from pocket opening,





Update:  I received a mail from Sigrid  a fellow blogger that she has seen this trick before in the  book Cool Couture  by Kenneth King , I have this book too but I had not noticed it.

Thanks to Kate in England a tailor in training mentioned in a comment that this is done in England too ( Saville Row way)


  1. I made this type of pocket bag in a jacket last winter. It works! The pleat expands and disperses the weight of the keys in this example along the outer seams of the bag.

    Comment by Mary Beth — April 14, 2009 @ 8:36 pm

  2. I’ll have to try this–I’ve definitely had problems with saggy welt pockets.

    Comment by Judy Greenough — April 14, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

  3. Els .- of course, this is the problem of these pockets: the sagging. The idea of the bag is fantastic. I always noticed on my tutorials precaution of leaving slack in the lining of the pocket edging lower. Thanks for showing this idea. Hugs, Paco

    Comment by paco peralta — April 15, 2009 @ 2:22 am

  4. Lovely detail to this type of pocket. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Sigrid — April 15, 2009 @ 3:42 am

  5. Hello,
    I’m training as a tailor and we’re taught the Savile Row way – we were taught to do this with pocket bags, so it is a common tailoring device! We were told that it is called a Bartell pleat, after the guy who invented it (it’s a pleat – I don’t think it’s a big enough invention to deserve its own name, but who am I to question it?!) Very handy for all those men who insist on putting their mobile phones in their outer pockets!

    Comment by Kate in England — April 15, 2009 @ 6:40 am

  6. […]  The Sewing Divas share a tutorial for making welt pockets that don’t sag when you place items in them.  Get the how-to. […]

    Pingback by Tutorial: Welt pockets that don’t sag · Sewing @ CraftGossip — April 15, 2009 @ 11:49 am

  7. Great tutorial! I posted a link to your technique tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing Blog:


    Comment by Anne — April 15, 2009 @ 11:49 am

  8. Great tutorial – thank you!

    Comment by Summerset — April 15, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

  9. Thank you for this moswt informative tutorial. More please!

    Comment by Gwen — April 15, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

  10. That is so simple and such a neat trick! Thanks Els!

    Comment by Kay Y — April 15, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

  11. This is a great tip! I have the earlier version on KK’s book, so I’ll have to look and see if it is there. Such a simple fix and the pocket is perfect.

    Comment by Nancy k — April 17, 2009 @ 9:20 am

  12. Ok, I looked and it is not in KK’s earlier version of the book. He only shows pinning the lower lip above the upper before sewing the pocket bags to keep it from gaping open, but not the pleat technique.

    Nancy I have the new version and it is shown. The other tip you mentioned is a common way to to prevent gaping ( pinning the lower lip/welt over the upper lip/welt before sewing the pocket bag all around.
    That is a useful tip for a welt pocket which does not get used much other than use it to keep a ticket or a paper tissue.


    Comment by Nancy k — April 17, 2009 @ 9:26 am

  13. […] Els posted about making a horizontal welt pocket that does not gap when objects are put inside. Pocket (No sagging) Her tutorial shows you how to put a horizontal pleat in the pocket bag. Neat! I’ve also seen […]

    Pingback by Yellow Coat III Pocket Suspension & Lining « The Stitchery — April 17, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

  14. This is a great tip and will be most usefull to me; I have the previous edition of KK’s book (it’s under another name but the contents are very similar) and I didn’t notice this method either… I will take another look when I get home. Thank you Els for this valuable tutorial 🙂

    Comment by Tany — April 20, 2009 @ 8:44 am

  15. Els, This is the way I was trained to construct the pocket bag…during the time I apprenticed with a Tailor from Italy. It truly makes such a difference! One can use a thin strip of selvege or twill tape attached to the bottom of the pocket bag and the upper welt as another way to prevent sagging…but I think this is a more elegant method. Even a 1/2″ pleat will make a difference.

    Thank-you for explaining this technique so well, and showing it so clearly.

    Comment by Pam ~Off The Cuff~ — April 20, 2009 @ 3:54 pm

  16. Thank you for this tutorial Els. I always learn something when I come here.

    Comment by Marji — April 23, 2009 @ 10:12 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: