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  • Oli

Can't Mend a Broken Heart? Mend Your Clothes Instead.

Stitched and sewed by Oli (they/them)

The saga starts here: over the break, I bought a new pair of jeans. Alas—anyone who’s worn ‘women’s’ clothing knows the small pockets. What’s a person to do?

Expand them, of course! One of my passions is mending and altering to make my clothing last longer. This year, I’m getting up on my soapbox to share those skills with you. I’ll bold the sewing terms, so you know what to google for more info. This expansion works for slash pockets and welt pockets—pockets where the opening isn’t in a seam, and the pocket is internal.

You’ll need:

  • A needle and thread

  • Fabric (Choose something lightweight to avoid adding bulk)

  • Scissors

Start by turning your jeans inside out and measuring out the fabric. It should be about double the extra length you want, as it will fold over. Remember to factor in seam allowance on the edges.

Cut off the bottom seam of your existing pocket. 

Back stitch one edge of your extension to the bottom side of the pocket. Trim down one side of the seam

allowance and fold the other side over twice, enclosing the raw edge. Stitch this down (a flat-felled seam). 

Fold your extension up and repeat the steps to sew it to the top pocket half. Be careful not to sew your pocket shut!

Back stitch the sides closed in line with the original pocket’s fold/ stitching. On the side nearest the centre front/back, we’re going to flat fell the seam back onto the pocket bag. This will make the pocket narrower, but will also cover the messy corner.

If the other side of your pocket is free floating you can do the same, but if the original pocket is sewn into the side seam I recommend flat felling to the seam, to help support the pocket and stop it flapping about. I used a back stitch, but if you don’t have a thimble a whip stitch might be easier on your fingers.

Rinse and repeat on the other side.

Behold! Actual pockets. 

Go forth! Adventure, fix the pocket sins of the world, and remember you are more capable than you think :)


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