The new pattern from Sofilantjes*, the Fortuna Sweater*, has various options to make it in your own style, but also offers possibilities of making it even more fancy. Of course, you can use your own creativity, but in the instructions that come with the pattern, various tips are included. One of these is adding zippers to the pockets, and that is what this blog is all about. I will show how I made zipper pockets in the Fortuna Sweater. It was kind of an experiment for me, but I liked the challenge. I chose for blind zippers, because I think they combine nicely with the look of the lace overlay that I used for one of the colorblock parts of the front bodice. Good to know: Since the pockets in the Cicero Jacket* are constructed in a similar way, this tutorial can also be used for the pockets in that pattern.
You will need:
- all pattern pieces for Fortuna option A with pockets
- two blind zippers, about 5 cm longer than the pocket opening
- four (or eight) strips of fusible interfacing
Sew the three colorblocking pieces of the front bodice and the two pieces of the back bodice. You can sew the shoulder seams, but I found it easier to sew them after I did the pockets. Iron the strips of interfacing on the back of the bodices, where you will sew the pockets. Your strips need to be the same length as your pocket pieces. Optionally, add strips as well to your pocket pieces.
Step 1 Sew zipper to the pocket
Take one pair of pocket pieces and one zipper. Now we are going to sew the zipper to the pocket pieces. Open the zipper and place it with the back side of the zipper (which you want to be inside the pocket) on the right side of your fabric. Pin it and make sure that you have 1 cm seam allowance at the top. Stitch at about 0,4 cm from the zipper teeth, leaving the first and last cm open (seam allowance). Back stitch at both sides. Perhaps you can stitch closer to the zipper teeth, but I didn’t want it to be in the way for the outer fabric.
Fold your fabric back, and topstitch. Repeat all steps for the other side of the zipper and sew it in the same way to the other pocket piece of your pair.
Step 2 Sew you pocket pieces with zipper to the bodice
With the zipper open, place one of the pocketpieces with zipper on the bodice, with right sides up, and the pocket away from the bodice. Make sure the zipper teeth, when folded open are at 1 cm from the side (seam allowance). To keep it in place I used wash away glue. You can also use wondertape.
Pin from the right side, fold the zipper teeth to the side and sew with your blind zipper foot or in another way you prefer, as close as you can to the teeth. Again observe the seam allowance at the top and bottom of the pocket. Repeat for the other side of the zipper and sew this to the back bodice. You can now close and open the zipper. When you did it the right way, you can only see the zipper lip when the zipper is closed. Repeat step 1 and 2 for the other pocket.
Step 3 Finishing the zipper
Before sewing the side seams and the pocket closed, open the zipper, fold the top end of the zipper under and sew with a few stitches (picture left below)
Then close the zipper partly, and pin the side seam and pocket right sides together. Stitch at the red lines with your regular sewing machine. The stitching at the bottom of the pocket goes only to the bodices (in the seam allowance). Then sew the side seams and pockets closed and cut off the zipper ends.
Step 4 Finishing the Sweater
Baste the pockets to the front bodice (as per instructions). Sew on the waistband. Because the side seams are quite bulky already, I decided to place the seam of the waistband in the center back. I would advise to first sew the waistband on with the regular sewing machine, and then finish the seam with the serger/overlock. Make sure you don’t catch the end of your zipper with the knife, cause it might shorten it’s life. Then you can finish the rest of the sweater as per instructions.
Give the sweater to your model and hopefully you have made someone happy!
I like the result, and so does my daughter. However, I am not a professional seamstress, and I don’t have a lot of experience in sewing zippers, and even less in blind zippers. I searched for instructions for adding blind zippers to pockets, but since I didn’t find them, I made the method up myself. I enjoyed this challenge. However, this also means that probably some steps can be made easier or more professional, or I forgot important in-between-steps. If you have more experience and know how things can be improved, I would love you to leave a comment. We can all learn from each other!
Would you like to read and see more of the Fortuna Sweater? You can read my other blog post about the Fortuna too, where I also show the sweater I made for Little Mr SieBe. If you enjoyed this blog post, you are always welcome to follow me on Instagram (@siebesew), or to subscribe to my blog below!
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