I was working on my pants sew-along with Sunni (aka The Cupcake Goddess) when I noticed that something was very wrong…
The grainlines on my pockets were not lining up with the front leg piece.
The pocket piece is the bit of fabric on the right and its supposed to blend nicely with the front leg piece, the fabric piece on the left. They’re not terribly askew, but just enough that I would never be satisfied with them with this blemish.
I first thought my sewing was to blame for this travesty of a pocket, so I double checked that both pieces were on grain, and they were 100% perfect. So take comfort that it’s not you (!!!) and that these pocket pieces were just meant to be used with solid fabrics.
Here is this sad pocket again, in closeup.
So I kept trying to get these two pieces to line up and I just couldn’t get it to work. I went to bed very mad at these pants, and sure enough, when I woke up the next morning I had found a solution.
This solution may seem like common sense to advanced sewers, but when I was in the ‘forest’ late at night (& angry with these) I just couldn’t figure it out.
SO… what is this magical solution, you ask? Recut the pockets, ladies! :)
Yeah it does sucks to have to cut up more fabric (and I’m crossing my fingers that you do have some more fabric on hand). But seeing how much time you’ve spent fitting multiple muslins, pressing fabric, basting, and sewing it’s so worth the extra 20 minutes to just recut these two pocket pieces so you can be totally happy with the finished product.
Since cutting another set of pockets using the ‘correct’ grainline would be fruitless, you’re going to have to create your own grain lines, based off your front leg piece.
What you see above is the backside of my pocket pattern piece to match the right leg piece (looking at the table). The blue dotted lines are my original seam/cut lines since I used a tracing wheel. This makes it handy to line up the font leg piece onto your pattern piece at that correct angle where the pocket is set in. (Does this make sense?)
Okay, so once you have your pants lined up on your pattern piece, you need to make a new grainline for yourself based on the lines in your pant fabric. Here you can see I’ve drawn two lines in green that extend up from the pin stripes on my pants. (There are actually three lines, but one is hidden behind the pants.) You want to make sure you draw a few lines to ensure you get the most precise grainline. What I mean is that since you’re trying to convert a pin stripe from shifty fabric onto a non-shifty piece of paper, you’ll want a few lines drawn to ensure you’ve captured the correct angle. So if you draw three lines, and two of the angles are the same and the third is ‘off’ you know you can use one of the two that are the same and not the third strange one.
Now you’ll need to do the same thing again with the other side of your pants (the left leg piece) using the other side of your pattern pocket piece. Yes, you could just use the new grainline markings to cut both pockets out at the same time. To me, it’s safest to do this process twice in order to ensure a perfect line on both of your pants, not just one side. If you cut the pockets using the one side’s grainline you’re assuming that both sides of your pants are identical, when that might not be the case.
So once you have all of your lines marked you just proceed as normal and cut out your pockets (individually) using the new grainlines you marked using your pants as the guide.
Here’s what mine ended up looking like:
Don’t they look so much better than the wonky/original ones?! I pinned the pockets to the front pant legs before basting them in to ensure I keep these fabric lines in alignment.
Here they are again without as much zoom.
Even from this distance you can tell the lines are nice and straight. :)
I hope this mini-tutorial helps you perfect your pants and pockets also. Please leave a comment if anything is unclear or if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.