Guest Blog Post By: Jenni Early
My husband is not always the easiest person to sew for. We will call him “particular” about what he likes. Often I don’t bother, just allowing him to find what he wants in ready-to-wear, but he wanted to match the rest of the family in our Christmas Eve Pajamas. I had made a very basic pajama pattern for everyone else. You can choose which fabric. You can choose short or long sleeves, shorts or pants. My husband’s response was, “I will not wear pants to sleep in, so I would like shorts, but they need to have pockets or they won’t be worth wearing. And can you make the kind of pockets that don’t flip when I’m wearing them?”
Now, I could have added inseam pockets to the pattern I was using for everyone else, but I was trying to avoid making a muslin so I took a pattern that I had made before that was made for pockets, and that I already liked the fit of. The Men’s Daniel Shorts was perfect for this. I think this pattern is underrated. It is the kind of comfortable athletic shorts that the boys and men in my family wear seriously every single day! (Yes, even in the winter…they’re a bit crazy). These are the shorts that my husband puts on at the end of the day when he changes out of his work clothes. I love that they have big pockets, but my experience with inseam pockets is that they have a tendency to flip backward and get twisted up inside. So here is my solution to that problem.
- Daniel Shorts Pattern
- Supplies listed in the Daniel Shorts tutorial
- A tiny bit more of your main fabric, as we will be extending the pockets upwards
Adjusting the the Pocket Pattern Piece
The only change you have to make for this one is to extend the top of the pocket pattern piece upwards.
- Draw a line in-between the widest part of the curve and the waist of your pants.
You can see here that I cut on the bigger pocket line: the 2XL to 6XL line. This is because my husband is tall and likes big pockets.
- Leave some paper above the top of the pocket piece so you have room to draw.
- Line up the pocket notches on the pocket piece and the front piece of the shorts.
- Use a french curve ruler if you have one, or you can just draw freehand to continue the pocket curve all the way up to the top of the pants.
- Cut off the very top so the two pieces match along the top.
Attaching the pocket pieces
The procedure for attaching this pocket is almost like the tutorial, except that your pocket piece looks different when you place it on the fabric.
- You will still line up the pocket notches, put right sides together on all four short pieces (two fronts and two backs), and then sew or serge along the seam to the bottom of the pocket.
I have marked the notches here with pins. This is a front piece. Please note that the angle of the line on the top of the pocket piece may not line up exactly with the back short piece. That is fine, as the pockets will be turned to the front. The side seam should line up exactly on the front and the back.
- The tutorial asks you to understitch your pockets to your seam allowances after this. I went ahead and did that, as it helps the pockets to stay in place better.
Sewing the Side Seams
- Next, you will sew or serge the side seams. Starting at the top of the pocket piece, sew around the pocket, pivot and sew down the side.
- If you are not used to using a serger for this, a stretch stitch on a sewing machine will be easier to manipulate. This is almost exactly like the directions in the tutorial, except that you start with the pocket insead of the top of the shorts.
Next is the part that differs from the tutorial.
- After sewing that outseam, go ahead and press your stitches and pin or clip the top of the side seam and the pocket notches.
- Use a stretch stitch or zigzag to sew from the top of the outseam to the top notch.
- Then sew from the bottom notch to the bottom of the pocket.
- Make sure to stitch just to the inside of your previous stitch line on these, so you don’t see all the pocket layers when you flip the pants right side out.
Basting the Pocket in Place and Finishing
- Flip the pocket to the front side of the pants and baste along the top of the pocket (just to the front) so it stays in place for the rest of the construction.
Continue to follow the tutorial for the rest of the shorts construction. The only thing that will change is the enclosed elastic waistband on these will have slightly more bulk in front. I used midweight cotton lycra and didn’t really notice once they were finished.
Here is what the pants look like inside out when they are done. Notice that the top of the pocket is stitched into the waist elastic so it doesn’t flip backward when my husband is wearing them.
I have used this method to make many pockets not flip. It will work on any pattern that has a waist seam. It has worked particularly well on patterns with a waistband because it doesn’t create more bulk along the waist. The 5oo4 Swim Trunks pattern is super-great with this pocket hack, as it prevents the pockets from flipping while my kids are swimming.
My husband loves how these fit him. I’m pretty sure I will be making some more very soon!
About our guest blogger Jenni Early:
Jenni Early is a homeschool mom of six who spends much of her free time sewing up garments for her family and friends. You can check out her blog here (sewingandthetrivium.com). Jenni is one of 5oo4’s Brand Ambassadors. She says, “I love 5oo4 because the patterns are so practical. They are what my family and I would wear anyway. I love the inclusive size range and the fact that each pattern has so many options!!”