Lots of ease and big pockets

All the talk of blazers got me a bit out of touch with my own style. So now for something I might wear myself.

Artisan – Carpenter – Utility – Safari – Hunter – Lumberjack – Backwoods – Fatigues – Railway
All words for similar styles, shirt-jackets or jackets with :
– tough fabrics,
– many big pockets,
– perhaps shoulder yokes, or topstitching,
– often very loose boxy shape.

Safari style is slightly different, typically sand, tan, khaki, or olive colour, perhaps with epaulettes, usually a slimmer style in lighter fabrics for warm weather.

The conspicuous pockets are the key feature.
Often pleated or bellows/ poacher’s pockets with flaps.

These styles are usually loose, practical and robust. But they can also be elegant, see Chado Ralph Rucci Vogue 1144.


and the new Claire Shaeffer Vogue 8732 with couture details.


There are many big shirt patterns with 2 upper chest pockets.
Also many with 2 lower pockets. These are some in-style versions :
Dana Marie Sahara.
Green Pepper 537 Frenchglen barn jacket.
MacPhee Workshop 220 Western Plains jacket.

But there are surprisingly few patterns with 4 pockets.

There’s Kwik Sew 3534


And the new Connie Crawford wardrobe Butterick 5618.


For a coat length version, see Burda 7786.

– – –

Pocket inspiration

So start with a favourite big shirt, shirt-jacket or loose jacket pattern and add pockets.

Where can you get inspiration ? I must be a fan of a plethora of pockets, as I have several patterns which are discontinued but still findable with a search.

Here’s Jalie vest 957


How’s that for a challenge to anyone who wants to get over pocket phobia ! There’s no double welt pocket, but I think if I worked through all the others, making one of those would no longer worry me 😀 Put one in the lining, there’s only a simple zippered pocket there. My father’s jackets had a double welt pocket in the lining, with button or button tab for added security.

Or for a prettier style with much easier pockets, there’s Indygo Junction Sewer’s Smock.


What would you like to carry with you when crafting ? Adapt the pockets for your own use.

Park Bench patterns River Walk skirt suit has been discontinued too.


An entertaining yet simple way of making pockets decorative, and easy to copy.

There are several hunting and fishing vest patterns in print, such as Kwik Sew 2198.


Green Pepper 501 Oakridge Hunter’s vest, and 502 Rogue River Fishing vest.
MacPhee Workshop 100 Cargo vest.

– – –

On-line goodies

Wild Ginger Wild Things is free software for hats and bags that generates pocket patterns in several styles and sizes.

Here’s a free pdf from Colette patterns about pockets to add to their men’s shirt pattern.

And a photo tutorial from Burda on making pleated pockets.

There are many on-line pocket making tutorials, but they’re mainly about patch and welt pockets.

P.S. 2016 Burda Style now has a group of download patterns in safari / utility style.

– – –

Carpenter shorts and pants

Pants with as many pockets as can be fitted on around your hips.

Add pockets to a favourite casual pant shape.
Here’s some inspiration from builder’s aprons.

These are some patterns you could use as a starting point.

McCall’s 5633 has side front and thigh pockets.


New Look 6876 has pockets in 3 places.


Double up the side and back pockets for this style.

– – –

I would wear any of the jackets, but perhaps these pants covered in pockets are only for someone with slim hips 😀 Many men round here wear knee length shorts with multiple pockets, but not many women !
Most ‘inverted triangle’ shape people, larger above the waist, need to be careful with jacket pocket placement.

This is generally such a casual style, it’s more ‘street’ than ‘runway’. In tough fabrics and usually looks a bit battered. But there are designer quality versions, as I showed earlier.

Actually the queen of patterns with pockets is Saf-T Pockets. But the principle there is rather different, as the whole point of those pockets is that they’re secret 😀

Fashion parkas are a related style – loose and with big pockets, but also hood and waist casing. Here’s a post on parka patterns.

P.S. 2017 : This is a continuing interest. I now have a pinterest board for over-sized jacket patterns. Though they’re not in ‘utility’ style – which typically has funnel collar, waist casing, large pockets.
This year I’ve only found these ‘utility style’ patterns :
Allie Olsen Lonetree jacket
Waffle patterns Tosti jacket

– – –

Patterns and links available May 2011

Explore posts in the same categories: current fashion

4 Comments on “Lots of ease and big pockets”

  1. Marie-Christine Says:

    Every single Spring Burda has at least one ‘safari special’ issue, with pockets everywhere.

  2. Bluemooney Says:

    Very timely, since I am planning a “field outfit” with many pockets on vest and pants. Love that Jalie example.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: