Zippered welt pocket in a side seam

I've returned to an earlier project, the Marfy shorts.  Thank-you to Belinda, Jenny, Christine and Mem for helping me out with my Marfy pattern puzzle.  The consensus is that the lower half of the patch pockets have a vertical zippered opening.  Whilst I was thinking how to do this, I pulled out some King Gee shorts.  I have learnt a few construction techniques by studying King Gee clothing.  One of the pairs of shorts had a zippered welt opening in a side seam.  This would be on the opposite side of the pocket than the Marfy pattern indicated, but I decided to try this technique out anyway.

I took some photos of my practice run.

The brown fabric is the main fabric.  I have interfaced the edge, to a width of about 5 cm.  The floral fabric will become the welt.  This welt fabric should be interfaced.
Mark the welt position on the main fabric.  The box is a width of 2.5 cm (1.5 cm seam allowance plux 1 cm welt width) and the length of the zipper opening.  I have marked a basting line 1 cm (welt width) away from the box.  I have also marked the cutting lines, 1 cm inside the box.
 Place the main fabric and the welt fabric right sides together, lining up the edge.
 Baste along the basting line ouside of the box.
 Press the welt fabric up along this basting line.
 Stitch along the long side of the box, stopping and starting exactly at the ends of the box.
 Trim the excess fabric away along the cutting lines in the box.  Cut diagonal lines into the corners of the box.
 Turn the welt to the inside.

 Fold back the ends of the main fabric and stitch a short vertical line to secure the ends of the welt.  Repeat for the other end of the welt.

 Fold the welt over the main fabric so that the seam allowances are exposed.
 Place the zipper face down on these seam allowances.
 Change your machine foot to a zipper foot and baste the zip in position, making sure that you do not catch the welt or the main fabric panel in the stitching.
Sandwich the zip between the seam allowances and the pocket lining.  (The pocket lining should be twice the depth of the pocket plus seam allowances. )  Stitch.  After sewing most of the zip, you may need to stop the machine with the needle down, lift the foot, pull up the zipper tab, lower the foot and continue sewing.
 Press back the pocket lining.
 This is what is looks like from the right side.
 Fold the pocket lining in half, forming the pocket.  I handbasted the other side of the zipper in place along the seam line, so that I could see and sew the seam line without catching the welt.
 Place another main panel on top and sew the side seams of the garment.  All done.

I haven't sewn the ends of the pocket bag in this example.  On the shorts I will sew the pocket bag by topstitching through the main panel.

Now for the real thing.  Wish me luck!


  1. Very neatly done. All the best!

  2. OMG - Very fiddly - but it looks awesome!

  3. wow - I've never sewn anything like this before, but I expect to find it in a burda pattern some time soon!

    I recently had to make welt pockets that had the side zipper behind them so you had to put in a zipper similar to how you described - because their welts were going over the curve of the hip the welt strip had to be cut and applied on the bias.

    There is a lot of precision sewing required in welt pocketing, and even more so with a zipper to boot - so well done you and I hope you can replicate it just as easy with the camera turned off!

  4. Oof, nicely done and I'm sure it'll go well the second time around. Kind of like childbirth, I expect. The process is unpleasant but you're pleased with the end product.

    The last time I came to an in-pocket zipper (not a welt) I decided that the jacket would actually be so much better without the zippers, hehe.

  5. Thanks for this! I'm getting ready to do my first welt pocket, so this post will be a great reference.

  6. I am feeling Joy's vibe.
    I expect that these will be very, very smart shorts. I am off to sew something with an elastic gathered waistband, due to suddenly feeling tired after reading this excellent and evidence of hard work tutorial. Didn't you just sew 300 dance concert costumes?

  7. Never struck a zippered welt pocket before, but will keep this great tute for future reference.

  8. Awesome! This has always been a mystery to me. Thanks!

    1. I got stuck where the fabric should trim and fold over. The welt shouldnt be trimmed? What to do with the baste line? Keeping it prevends folding over??

    2. Got it :) just add one sentence: pull out the basting fold over the welt and trim off the excess of the fabrics. Keep in mindto have enough seamallowance at the welt fabric to sew on the zipper...

  9. Did you forget the remove the basting line step?

  10. what happens after you press back the pocket lining? the pocket still needs to be finished off?