Welt-Reece machine operations

The first step to doing welt pockets is to understand how the machine does it so this post describes the operations performed by the reece machine. I am aware that the pictures in this tutorial are scuzzy; that’s another reason why I have to do this one over but for now, these will work for illustration purposes.

1. Lay the receiving piece -the one to be pocketed- into the machine. Your piece will have two dots either drilled or marked and you align those with the laser sights of the machine. Typically, the drilled dots are 1/8″ inside the outer dimensions of the finished pocket.


2. Feed the machine the top welt of the pocket. The machine will take the piece from you and then:
a. It will fold the outside edges of the welt toward the middle on both sides.
b. It will lay the folded welt into place on top of the shell piece.
c. A very wicked looking cutting blade (it looks like a blade-up meat cleaver) will come up from beneath the first piece -coming up from the inside of the bed of the machine- and cut a lengthwise slit that is 1.5″ shorter than the finished dimensions of the pocket. The 1.5″ is broken up into .75″ on either end of the pocket.
d. It will sew the two folded sides of the welt into place.

3. The machine is done with its job at this point, the rest of the pocket is turned and finished by hand. When we do our pocket, we’ll follow the same steps above with the exception that our welt piece will be pre-pressed with a paper jig and I won’t be cutting the slit before I sew.

4. When the machine is done, a stitcher will take the pocket, cut a Y shaped wedge into the two ends of the pocket (where the machine left off) and turn it.
A view from the underside:

Then the pocket is flipped and the lips are sewn into place by stitching off the sides of the long box. The welts -the tricky part- is done by this stage.
This is a sample before sewing off the ends, note the folds:

And here is a photo of the ends sewn off:
And finally, a finished view from the underside:

5. You’d take your underwelt and sew one side of it to the allowance of the welt lips at the top (but from underneath naturally) and sew the other long edge of the underwelt to the pocket bagging. Sew the sides of the pocket bags closed and you’re done.

Entries in this series (links open in a new window):
Zippered welt pockets
Welt-Reece machine operations
Marking & Cutting
Welt and paper jig
Welt pocket construction

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  1. ANDRES FELIPE says:


  2. I sew, but I hadn’t mastered welt pockets. I’m really excited about your instructions, but I have one question. Is an underwelt a piece that goes under the pocket so the pocket bag doesn’t show? (I actually figured that much out when I was writing the question.)

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