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Yellow Coat III Pocket Suspension & Lining

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A couple of days ago Sewing Diva Els posted about making a horizontal welt pocket that does not gap when objects are put inside. Pocket (No sagging) Her tutorial shows you how to put a horizontal pleat in the pocket bag. Neat! I’ve also seen this technique in Judy Barlup’s Unique Techniques Japanese Tailoring Video and Manual (Appendices: Mitered Welt Pocket, Slick Tricks 1997). You can get the DVD or the manual or just the booklet to bone up on fabulous welt pocket techniques. I’ve used it and found it handy especially when used on a close fitted jacket.

(Thumbnail: click for bigger picture)

So with pocket bagging and dragging being the topic of discussion going on in The Stitchery it reminded me to think about supporting those side seam pockets in the Yellow Coat. Somewhere, probably in an old manual on Tailoring for Gentlemen, I ran across the idea of a suspension stay to hold the bag in place and decided to add an organza panel in between the interlining an the lining of the coat.

pocket stay

Warning: the pocket placement on this coat pattern is at it’s lowest limits, probably because the pattern is a close fit and the pocket should be located in a straight part of the seam, lower than the waist and hip shaping.

When I made my muslin I did not add the pockets so this came as a surprise. 😮

I had cut my pocket bags with more volume and length but had to drastically reduce the depth of the bag and move the upper seams as high as possible on the extensions I had cut for the sides; hence the weird looking bags. Yes, I alter by eye at the machine if it’s not a crucial detail and obviously sometimes get less than perfect results. Hmmmmmmmmmmm…. Well, now no one will know but *thee* and me 🙂

Here are a couple of pictures at different resolutions in case your monitor is different from mine (and we know they are!)

pocket stay3

pocket stay2

I laid the organza over the coat and cut along the lines marked in black, using the selvege edge on the side of the organza closest to the front. The stay is laid upon the seam allowances and zigzagged, using the multiple stitch zigzag stitch, to the yoke and armscye and again at the top of the pocket bag. I didn’t attach it to the side seam allowance since I wanted it to hang freely inside the coat and not drag at the side seams. At least that is my rationale at this moment.

Adding the pocket suspension is very easy to do and makes sure that the pockets do not drag down the side of the coat or add bulk to your silhouette when you’ve pocketed your car keys and an extra handfull of dog treats 🙂

Now, The Lining…hmmmmmmm

I have been mulling over what to use for a lining for the last couple of weeks and am determined to use only what the stash has to offer. I have china silk in white (too thin), off white silk crepe and silk twill (too heavy), silk prints (too flamboyant). Nothing seemed to work but I knew I had a piece somewhere that just might work. Chemo-brained, I couldn’t remember what it looked like, though. I just knew I had something!

Finally, I found it on the bottom shelf, pushed against the back of the bookcase: a 1 meter piece of 60″, heavy charmeuse, a suitable thickness for the lining without adding much extra weight to the coat.

It had been a “gift”. The lady who gave it to me was starting a business, dyeing silks, and this just might have been a practice piece for her kids!

It was pale yellow with pinkish splotches all over it.

Hmmmm. Not attractive, it looked like an unfortunate “accident” had stained it (you ladies know what I mean). I’m trying to be delicate here. Soooooo

I was up before the sun this morning washing the silk charmeuse and mixing dye


I’d never used Dylon before. It dissolved easily into the warm water and salt and the experience was not too tedious: I just wasn’t awake for the hour long stirring process. Hey, it went by quickly! It had to be rinsed in cold water and then washed in warm water in the machine on “hand wash”. It hung over the shower curtain rod to dry away from heat and sun. And I now have *brilliant yellow* with *peachy splotches*.


It’s a nice match for the boucle and will do well in hiding the construction details of the coat’s interior.


I will venture out today to find some white fabric paint and work up the courage to paint some minimalist daisy shapes to give a visual meaning (flowers in a field?) to the sunny but splotched interior of the Yellow Coat.

More soon….


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

4 responses »

  1. Thanks for sharing that Judy Barlup also known this way of preventing a pocket gaposis. Your way to add a pocket stay is a fine solution for any princes line or side seam pocket. I have used something similar in the past too. Sometimes we need to invent a solution our self for an occurring problem. To dye the coat lining is a great way to use up some of the stash. The yellow dye matches beautiful with the jacket fabric and I am looking forward to your other artistic skills like painting daisies.

  2. What a great soulution for a coat – thank you for showing this! I’ve done similar stays for pleats to keep them from sagging, but never thought about making a stay for a coat pocket. The lining looks good and yes, I can see daisy shapes on it. Are you going to free hand paint them or stencil them?

  3. Thank you for this great idea..never really thought about it much, but it all makes sense. I know I will incorporate this somewhere.

    Love the painted or stenciled daisy idea. That will be lovely. I look forward to seeing the results.

  4. What a WONDERFUL idea! Thanks for sharing your process!

    I’ve used stays to keep the pocket bags from moving but usually I use some silk ribbon securing the pocket bag horizontally to the front seam; it keeps the pocket bags from shifting to the back.


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