Hi Sewists,

Here’s a little technique that I’m pleased I got my head round…

A while back I wanted to add a secret in-seam pocket to the waistline of a pair of trousers – just big enough for a note, a card & a key – Well, my patience was obviously thin that day as I tried to work out the logistics of it… I gave up pretty quickly and decided it was impossible!

However long later, here I was about to make these new trousers. I’d got this lovely gabardine from Maculloch & Wallis (with a little bit of stretch!) – as it’s so soft I decided to cut all the pieces from the main fabric. No fancy pocket linings, no contrast welts, not even a jazzy fly or waistband facing… What was I thinking… how dull is that?!

To ‘spice-up-the-sew’ a bit, I resolved to tackle that pocket again… and, after all these years, it turns out it’s not much more than a ‘simple’ regular in-seam pocket… how about that! Here’s how I did it…

The pattern is the ‘Cheeky Chinos’ from Les BG (first made here as shorts – They’re a tiny bit on the snug side but I made no adjustments as this fabric has stretch) all assembled bar the waistband. The belt loops have been basted to the chinos.

I started by cutting two pocket pieces. I drew round a credit card and added ease & seam allowance. To check they matched up I pinned the first piece in position to the chino right-front, then pinned the outer waistband in place, matching up the second pocket piece.

Inseam waist pocket bags pinned in place

Next, I stitched the pocket bags in place and pressed them upwards, away from the waist seam line.

… once you’ve done this it might be an idea to finish the seams, just behind the new pocket on the waistband piece – it won’t show and shouldn’t unravel, but if you’re concerned about your fabric, do it now – it’s hard to get at later!

Pocket bags; attached, pressed & pinned

Now it’s time to sew the outer waistband and pocket in one go – sew the waist seam as normal, stop when you reach the seam allowance of the pocket. Pivot and stitch around the pocket, stop when you reach the waist stitch line and pivot again to finish the waist seam.

Clip into the corners and finish the seams on the pocket bag. (I’ve pinked the waist seam here but later on I snipped a bit further and tucked that seam into the waistband.) I pressed the seams away from the chinos…

Inseam waist pocket in position

… then pressed the waistband up and the pocket down…

Snip this pinked edge and fold it up too.

Feeling pretty pleased with myself, I pinned the waistband facing onto the waistband… as I have learned – pride comes before a fall – the keen eyed among you will see what I mean…

Waistband facing pinned in place…?

… so after pinning the waistband facing to the wrong side of the outer band, I unpinned it and pinned it again, this time to the right side of the outer band! Then I could stitch along the top (long edge) and the sides (short edges).

When I sew the short edges, I fold the corner of the facing away so that it doesn’t interfere with the zip or peek through later on.

Facing corner turned on the inside

After turning the waistband right side out, I pin it in place, ready for stitching. As a reminder, I place two pins at the edges of my pocket.

Pocket marked with pins

Using the stitch-in-the-ditch foot I sew from the front as normal. When I get to the pocket, I carefully manipulate the chino front out of the way.

Stitching in the ditch past the pocket

Although I wouldn’t recommend keeping a seam ripper in there, it was the closest thing I had to hand. (After somehow slipping out of the ditch and having to re sew some of the waistband!)

Not recommend while wearing

To finish up, some topstitching, the belt loops and the button (& buttonhole) – all went smoothly, but I won’t get into that now.

Although I’m still totally in love with my suede chore jacket, the colour does make a nice change from denim and blue – I’m really pleased with how well they go with my new fern shirt (fabric bought for last summer, started before Christmas and finished this spring!) and my ‘mud grey’ SneakerKit sneakers

I’ve never been so … tonal!

The weather has been great lately, but, of course, the 20 minutes I spent on the terrace was the 20 minutes that the sun went in! Still, I managed to grab a couple of photos.

Since my Mum’s been making ‘Franken-socks’ out of her leftovers, I had a bit of a struggle finding the matching pair…!

Every combination but no pairs!

… but I found them in the end…!

Rainbow seams – Mums knitted socks – Handmade sneakers!

Stay safe & keep sewing!


Notes to self:

  • Keep the bits cut from the hem to mark the pattern pieces – save a bit of fabric next time.
  • Start pre-washing the stretch denim!
  • When you get back to work, wear your apron!