How to Embroider the Back Pocket of Your Favorite Pair of Jeans

comments (5) September 20th, 2008     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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Heres my embroidered pocket.
This is the before shot.
Use a sharp seam ripper to take the pocket off.
Heres my embroidered pocket.

Here's my embroidered pocket.

Photo: jen stern
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I'm always on the lookout for cool embroidered back pockets. It is amazing to see what other people come up with as far as design and technique. And there's always plenty to look at—walking down the street or shopping in my favorite stores. I'm embarrassed to admit that sometimes the temptation is too great and I find myself examining back pockets in church. (Everyone is so cooperative, standing perfectly still!) Anyway, if you have a pair of jeans in your closet that have plain back pockets, let me show you how to add embroidery to give them a face-lift. And when we're done embroidering, I'll show you how easy it is to sew the pockets back on!

I love this project because you can transform the look of your jeans in just a couple of hours.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A pair of jeans
  • A sharp seam ripper
  • Firm fusible interfacing
  • Embroidery designs and thread in colors of your choice
  • Heavy tear-away stabilizer
  • Temporary adhesive spray
  • Sewer's Aid (if you use metallic threads)
  • Topstitch needle, size 14
  • YLI Jean Stitch thread or your choice of heavy topstitching thread
  • Wonder Tape
  • A hammer and hard surface, like a sidewalk

I'm going to work with the back pockets of a pair of jeans that I have made into a denim skirt.

Use a sharp seam ripper to take out the topstitching. Most pockets have a heavy back-tack stitch at the top of the pocket. Once you carefully pick that out, the rest of the stitching comes out easily.

Use a sharp seam ripper. If you've had yours for a while, it might be time to get a new one (they get dull).

Fuse a piece of heavy interfacing to the wrong side of the pocket.

If you're worried that the raw edges of the pocket might be a problem, you can cover them with fusible interfacing to protect them, too.

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posted in: embroidery, pockets

Comments (5)

JonesEmma writes: Wow! I love the unfinished chalk marks and stains! Is there a name or address to research the embroiderer? I would try to look into it and if nothing, I would make up a history. The piece could become an artwork between stitchers through time, though I would leave the original stitches as is and add new completely different images too. Enjoy whatever you decide:).
Posted: 5:23 am on August 5th
thedigitizingdiva writes: Hey Jen!

As always you have great information!!! Your patterns are great, and I think this is great info...very detailed! So many "how to's" are woefully lacking in specifics!!!

Excellent comment about softening the edges with the hammer and positioning with wonder tape!!!

Charlton Sewing Center, Embroidery Instructor
Posted: 10:55 am on May 26th
scrapslady writes: I'm with sewingcats. I have an embroidery machine but haven't learned to use it yet. Don't see why you couldn't use a hand embroidery pattern to do the same thing. If you're really good at hand embroidery, it can be even more charming.
Posted: 3:13 pm on March 7th
sewingcats writes: Not everyone has an embrodiery machine! What's your idea for those of us who will have to use a needle and floss/ribbon or the built-in stitches on our sewing machines?
Posted: 4:37 pm on January 3rd
robingal1 writes: This is great! I'm looking forward to trying this myself!
Posted: 2:27 pm on September 22nd
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