Alexandria Pocket & Pleats Tutorial
I hope you all read the Alexandria Track Pants post that was published yesterday. If not, scroll down to the article below to see what we’re talking about!
Ok, let’s cut to the chase, the promised Alexandria pocket tutorial: These pants are quite simple to make, the front pocket and pleat construction being probably the most demanding feature in the whole project. We assembled a little step-by-step tutorial for the pockets so you can be sure to nail them!
First, let it be said that the Alexandria pocket bag is kind of small, so if you need bigger pockets, feel free to draft them a little deeper. For me they were ok, since I don’t need them to store anything else except my hands once in a while.
Ok, start with the front piece, and the outer pocket bag (which is the slightly bigger pocket piece). I used a light jersey for pocketing, and Nosh Organics Denim-look Sweatshirt Jersey for the pants. Pin those two pieces right sides together at the pocket opening and sew. I used a serger since I’m working with knits. If you use a woven fabric, I suggest stitching with a regular sewing machine, then clipping the curves slightly and serging the raw edges together.
Take the front corner piece and the inner pocket bag (smaller pocket piece). With right sides together again, pin the pieces together. Note that as you need to pin the outside curve to inside curve, the pocket bag will get a little creased and wonky-looking. Don’t worry about this, just make sure that the raw edges are even, and that you don’t machine over any of those wrinkles. I work so that I pin the top edges first, then the bottom and work from there towards the curve. This way it’s easiest to pin the pieces evenly.
After sewing the pocket bags, press them carefully. Press the inner pocket bag’s seam allowances towards the pocket bag and understitch. I used a regular stitch, since this part doesn’t necessarily need to stretch ever, and the stretch stitch tends to ”curl” the fabric. Press the outer pocket bag carefully to the wrong side, but don’t understitch.
Place the pocket bags together, right sides against each other. Make sure that the pocket is set correctly and pin. Sew the pieces together and press.
Now the pocket itself is basically finished, and it’s time to form the front pleats. This is the key design feature in this otherwise very basic style. It’s very very simple, but it has to be done right so that it looks good and all the pieces match. First, pin the pocket bag to the side of the front piece, to make sure it’s set on its correct spot. There’s a notch which should be matched with the pocket opening.
There are two pleats on each front piece. The first pleat is created by matching the two notches closer to the center front: make the notches meet right sides together, fold the pleat towards the center front and pin in place.
The second pleat is a bit trickier – the pleat is created by matching the third, outermost notch on the front piece, with the only waist notch on the front corner piece. This way, the top of the pocket opening is actually folded inside the pleat (see image). After matching the notches, pin the pleat and the top of the pocket bags to the waist and secure with a baste seam. As you can see, the front piece-to-pocket bag seam will be enclosed under the pleat, and the pleat will cover the top of the pocket opening.
Secure the the pleats (and the pocket to the side seam) with a baste seam. After attaching the pleats, just continue sewing the pants normally; sew the leg seams, crotch and waistband making sure that the pleats and the pocket bag stay in place!
Ta-dah! This pattern works just as well in a woven fabric, even though I used a jersey here. If you go for woven, choose a light woven fabric for the pocketing as well.
Remember that our Alexandria discount coupon is still valid today! Just use this code at the checkout: