21 Feb 2023 • • by Heather Lou

Sewing Stretch Pockets for Jeans

Ginger Skinny Plus Sized Jeans Closet Core Patterns

To celebrate the recent launch of our Jude Jeans, we’ve come up with a great hack that will add comfort to the pockets of your stretchy jeans so you no longer have to break them in! Adding stretch pockets to your stretch jeans will ensure your jeans move with you. They will sit flatter and smoother on the body and show less when using thinner denim or twill. You can add these to many jeans and pants patterns and we'll show you how!

In this tutorial, we're showing an example using a pocket stay from our Ginger Jeans. A pocket stay is a pocket lining that extends across the body and is sewn into the center front zipper. This has a bit of a shapewear effect and helps add structure to the front of your pants. However, if sewn from a non-stretch woven it can be quite rigid and uncomfortable - sewing it from power mesh creates stretch and comfort.

With that said, if you're sewing a traditional folded pocket (like the one included with our Jude Jeans) you can still sew them using stretchy power mesh. These will have less of a shapewear effect since they are not sewn into the center front, but they will be softer and thinner than regular lining fabric.

(Left) Traditional folded pants pocket (Right) Pocket stay

How to Draft a Pocket Stay

If you'd like to convert a regular pants pocket to a pocket stay, you need to draft two pieces.

Pocket stay bottom: overlay your pocket pattern piece on the front leg, lining up the waist and side seam. Draw a curved line from the bottom of the pocket extending into center front.

Pocket stay top: For the top, trace this shape again, but now trace the pocket shape on the front leg onto the pocket stay. Remove this section. Remember to copy the notches as well. You have now drafted a two-piece pocket stay!

(Left) Top pocket stay (Right) Bottom pocket stay

Supplies You'll Need to Sew a Stretchy Pocket

  • Pants pattern with lined pockets (the pocket lining should not be visible from the right side - this technique works great for jeans and trousers where there is a separate pocket facing)
  • 1/2 yard of power mesh (also called power net or stretch mesh)
  • A walking foot is optional, but will help layers feed evenly under your presser foot
  • A medium-heavy stretch needle can help prevent skipped stitches

What is Power Mesh?

We recommend using power mesh (sometimes called power net) for your stretch pockets, as this fabric is very firm and stretchy, but also strong and smooth with great recovery. It is typically made from nylon or polyester and is also used in bras, underwear, and shapewear for supportive undergarments. It comes in a wide variety of colours and prints. You can choose a nude, or something fun for your pockets!

Remember, stretchy fabrics like power mesh should be cut with the Direction of Greatest Stretch (or DOGS) going around the body.

Cutting

Cut the pocket lining pieces out of power mesh, with the DOGS perpendicular to the grain line indicated on the pattern pieces - this ensures the stretch of the fabric runs horizontally around the body where you need it. Cut the rest of the pieces as indicated by your pattern instructions.

Assembling the front pocket // Ginger Jeans View B // Closet Core Ptterns
Cut front pocket pieces // Ginger Jeans View B

Assembly

Follow the normal construction of the pockets following the pattern instructions. Sew the pocket facing to the bottom pocket stay. In this case, we also have a coin pocket!

Sew pocket lining to the top of the front leg at the pocket opening.

Assembling the front pocket // Ginger Jeans View B // Closet Core Ptterns

Flip over, press and topstitch a double row along the pocket opening.

Assembling the front pocket // Ginger Jeans View B // Closet Core Ptterns

If you're sewing a stay, sew the top to the bottom of the pocket stay along the bottom edge. if it's a traditional pocket, simply proceed with sewing the pocket as directed in the instructions.

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