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8/09/2010

Tutorial: Perfect Chevron Pockets...Every Time !

I was asked how I get stripes to match perfectly when making a Chevron Pocket.
Here is my method (and please forgive the strange blue cast of the photos, my camera is on its last legs)--

 You may click each photo to enlarge and see more detail.

First, start with a piece of fabric that you have cut on the bias. In this example, I used scrap fabric and was able to cut a bias triangle that was about 17" on each side.  The size of your bias piece for an adult size pocket, must be at least 16" on each side.  After it is cut, you will have a piece of fabric that is Straight Grain on TWO sides, and ONE side that is on BIAS.  Position your fabric piece on your table as shown, with the bias edge on the "bottom".

Next, holding the bottom-right point of the triangle, fold the piece in half. It doesn't have to meet perfectly, as you can see in my example below--


Now,  turn your piece so it is easy to trim off a scant 1/4" (or less) along the folded side.

What you want to get are 2 separate triangles like the ones shown below...after trimming off a bit of the folded edge, and then turning the top piece right side facing up,

This next step may sound odd in written directions, but it very easy.  KEEP BOTH TRIANGLES RIGHT SIDES UP. Then rotate just ONE of the triangles clockwise, until your rotation results in the two inner edge stripes lining up like a V-shape Chevon.  It's easy, just keep rotating JUST ONE piece until the edges meet and look like this--
Yes, it is likely that your edges may be quite off-set like these are, if your stripes are wide.  If this step confuses you, draw some stripes on 2 triangles of paper and practice this step before cutting your fabric.

Ok...Now you have 2 pieces of fabric that are right sides up, and meet in the middle forming V-shaped chevron stripes.  Next, flip one piece over so that they are right sides together. THIS NEXT STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT--slide the top piece over a little bit, and adjust the the pieces until the stripes match up, as shown below.  By off-setting the pieces like this, you are SURE the stripes will match when you sew the pieces together in the next step.
Pin your pieces together so that they will not shift, and sew the matched edges together with about a 3/8" seam allowance. Your sewn piece will look like this, the seam-allowances still off-set--
It's all VERY easy from here to your finished perfect Chevron Striped Pocket !  Next, press your seam allowances open.  This is how your piece will look from the wrong side--
And this is how it will look from the right side. Because the edges were off-set and perfectly matched before sewing, you have perfect chevron stripes !

Now all you have to do is place your pocket pattern so that the center of the pattern runs along the seam, as shown below, and then cut out your Perfect Chevron Striped Pocket !
 For a precise way to hem and turn the edges of any patch pocket to prepare it to be sewn onto a garment, you may be interested in another tutorial I wrote, Perfect Pockets Every Time


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12 Comments:

Blogger Lorelle said...

Thankyou.

8:23 PM  
Blogger casserole said...

That's such a cool look for a pocket! I linked to your tutorial over on Craft Gossip Sewing.

--Anne

9:57 AM  
Anonymous theresa in tucson said...

Thanks for the tutorial, Pam. I did a shirt yoke on the bias and didn't get it to match exactly. Next time I will use this technique.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

Hi Teresa, Yes! Glad you mentioned it! This method works equally well for bias shirt yokes :)

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you need to do anything special to the center chevron seam to keep its edges from curling or streatching with wear? I assume the button will prevent some of that, but some people do insist on using the pocket. Also is there a buttom on the collar band on the inside? It looks so nice and crisp in the picture, but I can't see any button. I am guessing that the double set of top buttons is a design feature. I love getting such great tutorials and design ideas from your blog. Thanks, d

8:47 PM  
Blogger Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

Hello Anonymous, If you wanted to, you can edge or topstitch along that seam, but unless the pocket is going to get extraordinary wear, it is really not necessary. The seam allowances are quite narrow. I have never had any of the shirts I've made with this pocket for clients or my husband, have any problem with this pocket. The pocket itself is not very big,the bias is already stabilized by the center seam, and it is further reinforced by the stitching that holds it to the shirt.

Yes, there is a button on the collar band..it is unbuttoned in the photo.

Yes, the double top buttons are a design feature, but are functional. They give my client the option of wearing his shirt a bit more open if he cares to do so:)

I am glad you enjoy my tutorials, thanks!

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Pal Zileri said...

Really cool trick. Thanks for sharing.

4:57 AM  
Blogger Bunny said...

Brilliant! Going in my sewing bookmarks and thanks!

9:15 PM  
Blogger Karenza said...

Thanks Pam - this is a great addendum to your perfect pocket tutorial. I know we all appreciate the time you put into showing us these techniques. I always learn something new and get really inspired by your work.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Lydia said...

Bravo!

10:28 AM  
Blogger mary lynn said...

I actually go one more step. I lightly press back one seam allowance on the mitre and then use wondertape just past the seamline in the seam allowance. Then i fold the other seam allowance back over. The wondertape insures that my stripes don't shift.

3:55 PM  
Blogger EditorK said...

Hi,

I've linked to this tutorial on AllFreeSewing.com. I think it's very helpful and our reader will love it. Here's the link:

http://www.allfreesewing.com/Miscellaneous-Clothing/Perfect-Chevron-Pockets

If you have any questions or would like to see more of your projects on the site, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks!

Kirsten
Editor
AllFreeSewing.com

4:39 PM  

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