How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns
Sewing Tutorials

HOW TO SEW GUSSETED POCKETS FOR THE KELLY ANORAK

When I started working on the Kelly Anorak pattern I knew right away I wanted, big, deep, roomy pockets. I take the pup out for long walks a few times a day and I like being able to carry everything I need without lugging around a purse (like treats, keys, my phone, aaaand let’s be honest: an old droolly tennis ball). Gusseted pockets are great because they create a little more volume without adding to the square footage; our pockets are about 1″ deep and trust me, you can feel the difference.

Because these are basically 3D, it can be a little hard wrapping your head around how to sew them, so this tutorial should make it clear as Crystal Pepsi.

To start, finish the straight raw edges of the pocket bags as I’ve done below. If you don’t have a serger you can finish with pinking shears or a zig zag stitch. The goal is to reduce unravelling inside the pocket. Make sure you can still spot the notches you should have marked when you cut the pockets out.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Next up, fold the straight edge of the pocket facing in 1/4″ two times, press and topstitch into place.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

With right sides together, line up the facing along the pocket extension and pin into place. Make sure the circle mark is clearly marked.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Sew around the circumference of the pocket facing  using a short stitch length, starting and stopping at each circle. Backstitch each time.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Trim the seams all around to about 1/4″. Trim a little closer around the corners so you get a clean point in the next step.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Turn the entire thing right side out. You may need to snip to the circle markings to get everything to lay flat.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Now fold all three straight edges of the pocket in 5/8″. Press the free edges of the facing in while you’re at it.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Fold the bottom and the long side edge in 1″ and press.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Stitch the pocket facing to the pocket itself just above the pocket facing seam. Now unfold the sides. The folds you pressed will now act as a sort of guide.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Fold the bottom corner right sides together at 45 degrees so that the pressed guides line up with each other. I’ve drawn the line in question in chalk so you can see below. Pin into place.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case PatternsHow to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Sew along this line, from the angled edge to the first folded guide (in the images below I sew all the way to the bottom but ignore me). Backstitch.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Trim the seam to 1/4″ and snip along the angled edge if necessary to get the seam to open flat.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Press the seam open.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Turn the pocket right side out. Here you can see I seam ripped out a few stitches; you want the seam allowance free because it will be easier to sew into place later.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Now it’s time to topstitch the bottom and long side along the edge. You will only be topstitching the face of the pocket to the adjacent side like below. Do not include the 3D gusset in this stitch line.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

To sew, stitch 1/8 from the edge, keeping the folded seam allowances tucked in. Stop at the corner, backstitch, and then turn the pocket to sew the next stitching line.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

It should look something like this when you’re done:

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

You should attach your snap buttons now; it’s a little easier to install them before attaching to the jacket.How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Before sewing the pockets to your jacket, I like to use a chalk pen and quilting ruler to identify exactly where to locate them, using the circle markings as a general guide.  Below I have drawn in the side and bottom edge of the pocket – the side is parallel to the center front.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Pin your pocket into place along the bottom and side, lining up the edge with the chalk guideline. Press the pocket flat – only the sides of the pocket gusset should be pinned – the face of the pocket should be out of the way. You may need to trim the corner seam allowance to get everything to neatly tuck in along that corner.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Stitch the side and bottom of the pocket to the coat, 1/8″ from the edge of the seam. Start and stop at the inside corner as you did before, backstitching to secure. The top and shorter side are still hanging free. Give it a press so that the pocket gusset presses in on itself like a pleat.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case PatternsHow to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Pin the remaining sides of the pocket into place, ensuring that everything is neatly folded together.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Topstitch the top and the short side through the jacket , 1/8″ from the edge. Backstitch when you start and finish.

How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns How to sew bellows or gusseted pockets // Closet Case Patterns

Since the opening on the pocket will be put under a lot of stress, I like to finish up by sewing a little bar tack at each corner to help secure it, though I don’t have an image of that.

And that’s it! Three dimensional gusset pockets are sewn in! Enjoy filling your pockets with everything you used to carry in your purse and I’ll be back later this week to explain our zipper placket construction process in depth.

  • Lauren

    Thank you for posting this. I’m actually working on this step today and have one quick question. The pocket facing is interfaced where the snap button goes. However, the pocket itself underneath the flap isn’t interfaced. Should I interface the small spot where the snap stud goes on the pocket? Or, does it not really matter since it is a faux flap and won’t be opened and closed?

    • You can interface it if you want. I didn’t bother knowing that the button would stay permanently closed but if you intend to wash it a lot it’s probably a good idea!

      • Lauren

        Thank you so much! It’s coming along nicely, and I’m getting so excited about this new jacket. Great pattern!

  • Mariah

    Hello! I made my Kelly Anorak and it’s all finished (pictures here: http://www.blackberryjamble.com/?p=912) and I love it SOO much but for this one small detail: the snap back on the pocket is kind of sharp and catchy when I put my hands in my pockets. I used the snaps from your shop. Did I do something wrong? I am thinking about sewing a little patch over them since it wouldn’t show but I’m not sure what would work best. Any suggestions?

    • Your Kelly is super unbelievably awesome – that colour!! Way to go! So funny that you mention this actually – I just made a new waterproof one and noticed the same thing. I am going to cover the back of it with an adhesive patch – you know the stuff they sell to fix tents and stuff? I think I have some in my stash.