Welt Pockets for the Fulton Sweater Blazer
Like many others I instantly fell in love with the notched collar of the Fulton Sweater Blazer from Alina Design Co, and loved the idea of a comfy sweater with an element of formality. But I’m not really a fan of patch pockets, I don’t think my sewing is precise enough to make them look good. So I decided to add welt pockets instead! Welt pockets are easier than you think (I think they’re easier than sewing patch pockets, especially in a knit), and you could use this tutorial to add welt pockets to any cardigan of your choosing, not just the Fulton!
We are going to sew the welt pockets at the beginning, before the rest of the sweater blazer is assembled. To start, cut double of the pockets and pocket interfacing, so you have 4 pieces of each. On one set of the pockets, cut 3/4” off the top so you have a longer set and a shorter set. Apply one set of pocket interfacings to the top of the longer set of pockets, only. Make sure you have marked the pocket placement on the front of the sweater blazer pieces as indicated on the pattern, and apply the other set of pocket interfacings on the back of the front pieces, roughly centered over the pocket placement mark.
Using a pen, (I used a Frixion but you can use a permanent pen, this won’t be seen) mark the pocket placement onto this interfacing piece, double checking the placement with the pattern piece. Make a line 3/8” above and below the pocket placement line and connect the ends with a straight line so you have a box, like pictured. These two new lines are your sewing lines for the welt pocket.
Double check that your marks on the front and back match up (I made an error on one piece and you will see one of my interfacing pieces is askew, I fixed it before sewing the pockets, though!). Re-mark if needed. Pin one long and one short pocket piece to the front of your sweater blazer, right sides of the pocket to right sides of the front, with the edges of the pocket pieces meeting on the marked pocket placement line. Put the longer, interfaced piece on the bottom and the shorter, non-interfaced piece on the top. Be careful with your pin placement, because these pins will be on the bottom when you are sewing (you can also just re-pin from the other side). Flip the piece over and stitch along the bottom and top lines, starting and stopping your stitching (and backstitching). exactly where the lines start and stop. This precision is key to a perfect looking welt.
You’ll see in the above picture I have also marked little triangles in the corners of my marked welt, pointing directly to where the stitching stops and starts. Cut the front pieces of the sweater blazer only along the center line and branching out on the triangle pieces so you have a double-ended ‘Y’. Cut to but not through the stitching, and do not cut the center line all the way to the edges of the box. You can then pull the two pocket pieces from the right side of the fabric to the wrong side, and press them flat.
From the back side of the fabric, fold the bottom pocket piece up to meet the top. This will make your welt, and the reason this piece is longer. Press.
Remember the little triangle we left when we cut the pocket open? This is where it comes into play. Pinch the newly folded two layers of the bottom pocket piece and pinch the triangle on top. Fold the front of the sweater back so all three layers (two layers of folded pocket and one layer of triangle) are easily accessible and pin. Stitch across the base of the triangle, as close as you can to the folded back portion of the front without stitching through it. A nice tight stitch line here is the second key part of a perfect welt pocket!
Press the front of the sweater back down flat, then fold the top pocket piece down over the bottom. The edges should line up, but they might not be exact. That’s OK. Give everything a nice press.
The welt is now formed! If you have any holes in the corners, you may have to go back and sew the triangles again. If you have any puckers, you probably stitched past the marked lines and might need to adjust the triangle you clipped. Don’t forget a lot of steam can fix little imperfections!
Now it’s time to close up the pocket. Stitch at 3/8” seam allowance around the two sides and bottom of the pocket. Prioritize the pocket lying smooth and flat over matching up any edges. If you are making View A (the shorter version) you may have to shorten your pocket as it will interfere with sewing the hem. You can sew with a normal straight stitch or use your serger like I did here!
And that’s it! Your welt pockets are sewn. You can now sew the rest of the Fulton as per the instructions, and simply skip over the patch pockets at the end.
Wasn’t that easy?! I think in this case, welt pockets are much easier than trying to force a thick ponte knit to form as a patch pocket, and not move around as you’re top stitching! I’m not very good at top stitching, though ;).