Sewing for scouts! How to sew badges, uniform tips, retired badges, keepsakes, and more. All projects and posts may contain affiliate links. Read our policies here.
Today's project is actually two hacks in one - an inside pocket AND a side-seam take-in. This scout, who I'm calling Moonpie and her mom are so much fun. This active scouting family knows their stuff, but everyone needs a little magic in their life. MoonpieMom is doing the smart thing here by getting her 12-year old daughter a vest big enough to grow into. But six more years in the same vest is hard to judge for growth. Badge Fairy to the rescue! (Don't worry, Uniform Police! The "wrong" patches are just placeholders!)
The Badge Fairy exclusive Leader Vest even has optional inside pockets! And zippers!
Mom gave me this vest to start with. You can see that she already pinned in one side. We'll finish both sides and add an inside pocket.
That by itself is a great alteration, but Moonpie also needs a pocket. It has to function in several ways: be virtually invisible from the outside, still allow the new side seam to be removed while keeping the pocket intact, be able to hold Moonpie's things securely, and to allow for badges to be placed on the outside without sewing the pocket shut. For these reasons, I chose to do an elasticated pocket.
Other Projects from The Badge Fairy:
First, I traced the area of the inside of the vest where the pocket will go, and then I cut that piece of paper in half down the middle. Then I added a middle panel about equal width the others and trimmed the bottom of it to roughly match. Add somelab tape!
Moonpie's mom also gave me an extra vest from which I could take material. While it may seem easy to just take the same section from one and tack it onto the other, unfortunately that doesn't allow for any finishing of the edges, nor the extra length required for elasticating. It turns out that the only whole piece of fabric allowed by the extra vest is on the back. And C/S/A vests come with these darts on the back. AND these darts have oddly placed holes in them! Not cool!
So, I ripped out the darts and pressed the entire back flat. The bottom hem will become our elastic casing, so I placed the paper pattern "upside down" on the back of the vest. Be careful - think about your right-left and front-back sides. (I'm always saying sewing is the ultimate STEAM activity, and it is! Can't do any of this without logical thinking, willing to engineer, and spatial reasoning!)
The cut out pocket piece, with casing intact.
Flipped over on top of the inside of the vest, it appears to be a bit longer than where we want it to go. That's good! This is where the elastic comes in. Cut a piece of elastic roughly the same length as how long the finished pocket will be, or the width of the front panel of the vest:
I threaded the elastic through the casing and sewed the casing closed on both ends, catching the elastic in the stitches. Then I pinned the edges of the pocket to the inside of the vest, as well as one line down the center of the pocket. This will give us two compartments in the pocket, add security to it, and allow the extra material (from where we added the center panel) to come together for a perfect fit.
To make the bottom of the pocket match the bottom of the vest, I folded the extra material on either side of the center line under to create a pleat. This makes the pockets roomy, so that she can sew patches on the outside later, and also has the nice trick of covering up anything that wasn't cut exactly perfectly ;) I sewed down the center line, and then all the way around the edges of the pocket to secure it to the vest.
The finished look from the front - can't even see it!