How to Make a Pocket in a Men's Vest

By Kristina Knight ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Two 1-inch wide fabric strips
  • Lining
  • Interfacing scraps
  • Thread
  • Chalk
  • Exacto Knife

There are a number of different types of pockets but the two most popular are patch pockets and welted pockets. Although patch pockets are simple to place on any garment the finished look is quite casual. For a man's vest welted pockets will keep the garment looking fresh and professional. Even if the vest did not come with a welted pocket it is fairly simple to create one, giving the vest a fashionable look. "False" welts can also be added to a vest.

Choose the placement for the pocket and mark a centering line with chalk. Mark on the right side of the fabric as well as the inside of the fabric. This will place the welt on the right side and the pocket on the inside.

Cut two squares of interfacing; one piece of interfacing should be 2 inches longer than the length of the pocket and the other should be equal to the pocket. Both squares should be 2 inches wide.

Cut 2 squares of lining. One square should be 2 inches longer than the length of the pocket, the other should be the same length as the pocket.

Match the interfacing and lining and fuse them to the inside of the vest, centered over the chalk line. This will place the pocket pieces on the inside of the vest.

Line up the two 1-inch fabric strips along the chalk line you drew (Step 1) and center them on the right side of the fabric. The top edge of the bottom fabric strip and the bottom edge of the top strip should sit directly on the line. Pin the strips in place on the right side of the fabric.

Stitch along each strip using a ¼ inch seam allowance from the pocket line. Do not stitch to the end of the fabric strip; leave the excess hanging free.

Slash the pocket open by cutting between the two fabric strips with the Exacto knife. Start with a "V" shape at one end. The "V" should be about ¼ inch from the pocket line. Only slash through the vest fabric--do not cut the interfacing or pocket.

Push back the top and bottom fabric strips. Fold the top strip under itself, fold the bottom strip under itself and fold the excess ends under as well. Pin and press the folds; this will form the welt.

Pin the smaller pocket piece to the bottom welt seam allowance and using the ½ inch seam allowance sew it to the bottom welt. Do the same with the longer pocket piece, placed on the top welt seam. Press away from the welt. The pocket pieces will not be connected to each other at this point.

Stitch in the ditch around the entire pocket opening. The stitches should be placed on the seam where the welts attach to the vest, making them virtually invisible

Bring the upper and lower pocket pieces together and stitch along the edge using a ½ inch seam allowance. This will form the full, useable pocket

Hand stitch through the welt ends as close to the pocket opening as you can get. Sew all the way around the pocket opening; this will close the top and bottom portions and tidy up the pocket.

Tip

Use thread that closely matches the color of the fabric.

The fabric strips should match the fabric of the vest.

Use lining fabric that has a satiny feel.

The zig-zag stitch is the best way to keep the pocket edges from fraying.

You can use scraps of interfacing and lining from your stash.

Warning

Pull the fabric taut as you stitch so there are no gaps.

If the pocket is for looks only and will not be used, do not slash the fabric between the welts and do no sew lining or interfacing to the back of the garment. Simply use the instructions to form the welt and you're done.

About the Author

After working in television news for 10 years, Kristina Knight started a new career as a freelance writer in 2005. She has written for publications such as Disaster News Network, BizReport and Soaps.com. Knight holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from University of Central Missouri.