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MN2213 Opal / Sewalongs / Tips & Tutorials

Opal Sewalong // Hack Idea – Cargo Side Pockets

Opal cargo pocket hack how to

So now we’ve gone through all the main construction steps for the Opal pants, it’s time to try something a little different with a few hack ideas! With all of the modular elements of Opal, there are so many opportunities to have fun mixing and matching, and even creating your own looks just by moving things around. And that’s what I’m doing today! This fun cargo side pocket hack uses the patch pocket that is already included in the pattern, but rather than using it as a back pocket, we are going to relocate it to the side of your pants instead! It’s such a simple change, but it can create such a different look!

Wanna see? Let me show you…

Opal Pants And Shorts - Cargo Pocket Hack Step 1 - Preparing Side Seam

So, we’re going to start off this hack at the point in construction just after we have sewn our side seams. Make sure your seam has been nicely pressed, with the seam allowances facing the front if you sewed an inseam pocket or the back if you sewed a patch pocket, or open if you prefer.

Opal Pants And Shorts - Cargo Pocket Hack Step 2 - Finishing Top Edge Of PocketsI used the back patch pocket pattern piece for my pockets, but if you like you can always use your own custom size or pocket style if you want something a bit different! Finish the top edge of the pocket just like in the previous patch pocket tutorial, by turning down the raw edge by 3/8″ (1cm), followed by an additional 1″ (2.5cm) to enclose the raw edge, then topstitching to secure.

Opal Pants And Shorts - Cargo Pocket Hack Step 3 - Turning In Raw Edges Of PocketsNext, I folded in the side and bottom edges of my pockets 5/8″ (1.5cm) before pinning and pressing everything into place. If you like, before this step you can finish the raw edges of your pockets with a zig-zag stitch or overlocker/serger, but it’s up to you!

Opal Pants And Shorts - Cargo Pocket Hack Step 4 - Determining Pocket PositionBefore you permanently attach the pockets to the pants, you need to figure out exactly where they need to sit! Have you ever had pockets that were down so low you had to do a silly dance and bend ridiculously just to get something out of them? We want to avoid that! Either measure down from your waist or just pin the pocket in an approximate position on the side seam, hold the pants up to your waist (if you are wearing a pair of high waisted pants, just tuck them into your waistband!) and see how that position feels. Make any adjustments you need, measure the position, and copy it to the other side.

Opal Pants And Shorts - Cargo Pocket Hack Step 5 - Pinning Pocket In PlaceWhen doing the final pinning or tacking stitches to hold the pockets in place before sewing, make sure the side seam runs through the centre of your pocket, and that if you have them, you aren’t catching the inseam pocket underneath. Also, be careful to make sure the seam allowances of the side seam are going the right way and that the pants are nice and flat under the pocket, so neither the leg nor pocket is bubbling.

Opal Pants And Shorts - Cargo Pocket Hack Step 6 - Edgestitching PocketEdgestitch around the side and bottom edges of the pockets to secure them to the leg, less than 1/8″ (3mm) from the folded edge.

Opal Pants And Shorts - Cargo Pocket Hack Step 7 - Continue Construction As Per InstructionsAnd that’s it! You can now continue your construction as per the instructions, how easy was that?

Opal Pants And Shorts - Cargo Pocket Hack - Final ResultThis quick hack is such a great way to create a different and functional look!

// Looking for more Opal posts? //

We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNopal  and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

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About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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