Tag Archives: welt pockets

Linden Sweatshirt x2 or just because you can sew welt pockets doesn’t mean you should ….

Before I share a couple of Linden Sweatshirts, I’d like to thank you all for the suggestions about what to do with my boiled wool in the last post.  I will check out all the ideas you’ve left – I knew you wouldn’t let me down!  There are a few ideas for Schnittchen patterns – coatigans/ jackets which are intriguing – never sewn any of these before.  You can bet I’ll keep you posted …

But today I’ve some Linden sweatshirts to show you that I made up this week.  After deciding to upgrade my ‘test Linden sweatshirt’ & putting it in writing to the world the other day, I sprung into action & cut two out.  The first was in the green sweatshirting that I had set aside, an eBay purchase along with the ribbing from Plush Addict.  The second was a lucky extra – I had enough of some lightweight grey marl sweater knit that I had left over after making a cardigan, Simplicity 2154 .

Linden grey marl

But there wasn’t enough to make any of the neck, hem or cuff bands out of the grey so I had to pick some contrast ribbing- also from Plush Addict – & I am so glad I was forced along this route as I am immensely pleased with this particular Linden – I love the way the lighter weight fabric allows a bit of drape & it totally suits the wider neckline.

Linden grey marl (2)

And the pop of turquoise knit rib gives it a definite edge that a plain grey Linden sweatshirt would not have.  I have worn this a couple of days (in the warehouse job with jeans) & oops I see a bit of a smudge on it, so it is now in the wash.  My pink skirt (A Tilly and the Buttons Airielle)  is also victim of tending a woodfire but only revealed to me in these photos.  At least I am living up to my ‘scruffy’ name….

Linden grey marl (3)

As usual I ramble and am talking about the results before the process.  This is OK for the grey sweatshirt because what else do you need to know?  It has worked out better than I hoped & was a great sew.  But I have made more than one, on the same day, but this other is controversial….and I haven’t made my mind up about it yet, and as a result have not worn it outside yet….

Linden with pocketsYes it has pocketses.  Welt pockets.  And I conjured up this plan whilst cutting out.  But here’s the thang.  I do not think it works as a wearable item of clothing.  Isn’t it a bit ….. crafty?  Is it a classic case of ‘just because you can add welt pockets to a sweatshirt, it doesn’t mean that you should …’??

Linden with pockets (2)The cosy side of the fleece (sweatshirting’s wrong side) hosts my hands as the pocket inners.  But that is not the reason I created welt pockets.  The idea was to have a safe place to carry my phone when working in the warehouse (I’ve a new phone & want to look after it y’see).

Linden with pockets (3)Keeps it safe, is just the right size (bigger than an iPhone) & means I can access music on the go too.

Linden with pockets (4)But just because I can sew welt pockets doesn’t mean it’s right.  Is it the contrast ribbing? I am tempted to unpick the lower front half of the sweatshirt and add a kind of ‘kangaroo’ pocket on top of the welt pockets, hiding the original pockets under a more anonymous generic self-fabric pocket, whilst allowing the original pockets to function.  With side hand entry.  What do you think?

What’s funny is that I was so confident in this design detail that I even took photos of the steps along the way to add welt pockets.   I drafted them myself & referred to the instructions in the Colette Patterns Anise jacket to guide me.  I am not going to waste the photos, but share them with a touch of caution – use this wisely and don’t end up in the same dilemma I am in.  Remember the mantra & repeat after me- ‘Just because you can sew welt pockets, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do’

I’m going to note the steps I took – but please don’t treat this as a definitive guide for sewing welt pockets – there are plenty of others about with all of the steps clearly illustrated.  (OMG this tutorial from Workroom Social is just so incredibly neat & clear showing a single stage welt pocket – not separately pieced welts)  This tutorial on Craftsy uses a similar approach that I have taken.  However if you have done a few welts in your time, mine below might serve as an aide memoir … as that is what it will be for me…

So first of all I marked the horizontal placement of the welts pockets, referring to the size of my phone as a guide.  Going forward you might want to draw on stitching lines – above & below these horizontal lines.  Tip – Stitching lines on a single welt are less critical than for bound buttonholes which is like a double welt with two welt pieces that need to meet nicely in the middle.  Single welts do not need to meet anything else – it’s just about how deep you want your welt to be.  So relax a bit.  I did.  My stitching lines were about 1/2″ either side of the original horizontal line.

Linden pockets 1I then cut the welts so that they were longer than the horizontal welt lines (to provide a good seam allowance) & width was calculated by doubling the finished welt depth & adding seam allowances x2.   (But more on welt depth/ width calculations below). I interfaced each welt.

Linden pockets 2

And then I cut pocket bags about the same width as the ribbing welt’s long measurement.   Have a play with the folded pocket bag to make sure it doesn’t poke out underneath your hem!  Adjust if necessary.

Linden pockets 3Next, make the welts – fold in half right sides together and sew each of the short ends.  Turn right sides out and press & baste the open long edges together.

Placing the welts to attach to the sweatshirt requires a bit of thought- the welts are sewn at the lower stitching line (upside down) & because I was feeling relaxed about the precise size of the finished welt, I placed the raw edge alongside the original horizontal pocket line.  However, if you are more specific about the finished depth of the welt, you need to make sure that the depth of the stitched folded welt is equal to the desired finished welt depth plus the distance between original horizontal pocket line & stitching line on the sweatshirt front.  I would trim the welt to this depth before I attached it so that I could place the raw cut edge against the original horizontal stitching line.  I would also transfer the stitching line to the top of the welt to make sure I sewed along the right line.  (Does that make sense?)

Linden pockets 4Now onto the pocket bags.  They are attached ‘upside down’  to the stitching line above the original horizontal pocket line.   You want to attach them so that this new stitching is slightly shorter than the attached welt pocket (see my vertical pins that mark my start/ stop lines).  Think about what you want to be the inside of the pocket bag – in this case I sewed the wrong side pocket bag with right side of sweatshirt body & will end up with the fleece on the inside of the pocket bags – this can show up, you may want to sew right side of pocket bag to right side of sweatshirt.

Linden pockets 5Next is the cutting in between these two rows of stitching.  This is what it looks like from the inside.  Only cut the sweatshirt (not the pockets or welts) & cut diagonal snips close to the edges/ corners of the stitching.  Pull pocket bags inside through these cuts & place the welts to sit in their intended final position, right way up.  You’ve got some neatening to do next – like sewing the triangles at the side of each cut line (caused by the diagonal snips) to the body of the sweatshirt.  The welts also need to be topstitched down at each short edge, and the top of each pocket bag needs to be sewn to the seam allowance of its welt.  You can then settle the pocket bags, pin & sew to form the pockets.

Linden pockets 6Sort of like this.  Then make up your sweatshirt as normal.  (I used a regular machine with a straight stitch for most of the pocket stitching even thought this is a knit fabric.)

Linden pockets 7But the question remains…will I hide these or not?

Bellatrix blazer

Well hello ! At last I have something to show you which means a winning formula of having completed my sewing plus engineered the opportunity to to take my snaps.  So you saw I have been making the Bellatrix Blazer by Papercut patterns, supplied  very kindly by Susan of Sewbox.   I have been coveting a blazer for some time & when I settled on the Bellatrix I did not appreciate what a lovely design it was until I started sewing, and in my recent post about welt pockets I think I waxed lyrical about how it has been designed brilliantly with a lovely cut that also makes it a great first taste of welt pocket sewing – the shaping is created by princess seams & upper bodice and lower bodice piecing so that the welt pockets are inserted at this waist seam.   Sewing adventures!

Bellatrix blazer

It has a long collar with a curved edge – so special.  To achieve the contrast collar you need to plan your front facing to be cut out of your collar fabric- it is all one piece.

Bellatrix blazer

I was using some reversible fabric which is great because I knew the contrast would work & be the right weight & colour tone.  It meant that I used the reverse side of the fabric for all of the facing pieces so my jacket has a pinkish lining (with polka dot satin) and the grey outer,

Bellatrix blazer

See the princess seams and welt pockets

I am in love with the style – it’s almost got a peplum, but barely.

Bellatrix blazer

Bellatrix blazer

It is a snug fit, mind you.  And I haven’t quite got around to sort the buttons out.  So I am holding the edges together in the first pic with good reason.  I had a slight problem.  The instructions are printed on the paper pattern and you cut them out to make a book –  it comes in a few fold-constructed pieces that should be glued together (but of course I didn’t get around to that).   Because I am camping sewing & have a few bags that I am using to pack away my sewing after each sitting, I seemed to have misplaced the last part of the instructions ….& so felt my way through the last part of making up my jacket (attaching the lining & adding buttonholes).  And when I came to try on, the waist is very small on me- probably quite rightly, but there is no room for your usual overlap that one button and one buttonhole needs.  But I wasnt able to reference the instructions to see if my approach is the right one – I think this needs a double buttonhole approach-barely  joined together so that the fronts meet at the centre- by a pair of buttons attached to each other with some ribbon or some elastic.  I havent bought a pair of buttons to tell you how it works, as I wouldn’t wear it like that.  I wear this unbuttoned.  But do you understand what I mean?

bellatrix blazer

And the welt pockets are a decent size….not purely decorative.

bellatrix blazer

I did make my interior welt pocket and might explain my understanding of welt pockets at some point.  maybe.  It meant that I was able to design & sew my own with a satisfying degree of accuracy.

Bellatrix blazer

That pocket has not been road tested however and I placed it at the widest part of the front facing, however it is just a weeny bit high up the body, but apart from that I’m very pleased.

 

Inside welt pocket

Inside welt pocket

In the end I used Lladybird’s classic welt pocket tutorial to steer my sewing of this welt pocket- it really is so simple, & despite trying to follow the David Coffin article in this month’s Seamwork it acted as inspiration as I work better with step by step photos.  Hurrah!  Let’s see how they perform in the wild as there were so many comments in my last post about why women’s jackets do not always have inside pockets …

Fit?  As already mentioned it is a snug fit- I made the lining up as a toile to gauge what adjustments I needed (decided upon shoulder pads- an optional ).  Considering I have less access to mirrors at the moment, it’s not too bad at the back is it?  OK, not perfect but I am not sure how much I would have detected & been able to change – I find the back such a tricky body part!!  I think if anything I could have taken out a little as a sway back looking at these pics carefully. But when I’m wearing it I can live with it. Incidentally I did lengthen the sleeves as there is nothing I hate more than cold wrists …

bellatrix blazer

I found the instructions I used very easy to follow & the construction went well, with easy to  match princess seams, markings in the right place for sewing the collar/ shoulder. As I couldn’t find the last part of the instructions I remembered that the Spearmint coat sewalong has a great method for bagging the lining and sewing by machine, but the Bellatrix blazer is simpler to line than the Spearmint coat, & didn’t need all the steps, however it was the video on three dresses blog explaining the steps for sewing the sleeve linings by machine that was invaluable, avoiding Gordian knots of sleeves & linings…

Bellatrix blazer

The worst thing is that I have hardly anything with me at the moment to wear this jacket with –  the few skirts & trousers I have with me  just don’t work with it so it is currently awaiting a jeans-out night.  That I think is all that I have –  I can’t wait to see what it’ll look good with from my wider winter wardrobe when it comes out of storage.

Bellatrix blazer

You see this is a warmish jacket – the fabric has some wool/ acrylic content & with all pieces (except the satin lining) being interfaced, it has some weight to it.   It has potential to be worn a lot this time of the year …..

Thank you for reading x

Welt pockets!

I can’t believe a whole week has gone by already!  I am not sewing nearly as much as usual, as you know, but just wait until I move into my new (very old) place.  Give me enough time to unpack & I’ll be back to full strength again.  As soon as I have exchanged contracts I will tell you MY NEWS…..

The view Camping sewing

The view Camping sewing

I am currently creating a slower sewing project, the Bellatrix Blazer by Papercut patterns, courtesy of the lovely Susan at Sewbox.   I had been coveting this tuxedo style jacket for some time it has to be said.  Have you seen Rachel’s black Bellatrix?  She has even used a shiny fabric for the collar to give it a real  classy DJ look.   It deserves to be made like this I think.  Looks fab.  As for me I had my own ideas in mind for creating a contrast collar.  I have this fabric from my local fabric shop, the Sewing Studio.  It must have some kind of wool in it but I have no idea what the content really is, I was drawn to its reversible nature – same weave but one side is grey, the other a dull raspberry.  GORGEOUS.  I have decided to make the jacket in grey with a fruity contrast collar.

Sewing the princess seam

Sewing the princess seam

I don’t usually show many ‘in progress ‘ photos, but rather than save them all up for the fait accompli I have enough to show you where I have got to now & to talk about welt pockets!  Oh yes.  This jacket has welt pockets in both versions – the cropped length & the longer length.  Guys if you are at all cautious but curious about welt pockets this could well be the jacket for you!  The pockets are installed in the horizontal seam that joins the jacket’s bodice to its lower half.  This takes away some of the scariest elements of sewing a welt pocket – as you do not need all of the steps associated with creating the ‘window’ for the welt pocket to occupy – the horizontal seam becomes your pocket’s window.

Inside the welt pockets

Inside the welt pockets

I think I may have laughed with joy when I realised how much simpler this made the pocket process.

Welt pocket cuteness

Welt pocket cuteness

And I am pleased with them.  So darling.

In fact so darling are they that when I finished my Saturday sewing I showed them off to my son: ‘Look at my pockets’, I said.  Do you know what came next, after a spot of admiration?  A brilliant idea – from the perspective of a bloke: ‘why don’t you have an inside pocket or even two?  So handy for tickets or keeping things safe’.

IMG_4685

Of course, why do ladies’ jacket sewing patterns rarely have inner pockets?  Not that i have made thousands of jackets, but none of them have interior pockets.  Is this because the content of an inner pocket interferes with how the jacket hangs + boobage?

Designing the inner welt pocket

Preparing for the inner welt pocket

Anyway, I want an inside pocket.  And despite having got away with the simplest welt pockets I have ever sewn in my life, I am now drafting one inner welt pocket, to be constructed the slightly less simple way.  All of my sewing reference books are in storage so I was eternally grateful to see that there is a very comprehensive article on sewing welt pockets in this month’s Seamwork magazine by none other than David Page Coffin.   Hurrah for welt pockets!

Inside view of the Bellatrix blazer in progress

Inside view of the Bellatrix blazer in progress

And if you know whether there is a reason for women’s jacket patterns not having inside pockets it won’t change my decision but I will feel far better informed!  Do please let us know ….(is it the boobs?)

Anise jacket

Apologies in advance for repeating this post- but through all my laptop debacle & having to use the WordPress app on the iPad I have inadvertently deleted some of my recent posts.  I am trying to put it right, but I’m sorry I lost all of the lovely comments you all left me.  I need to keep a record of this jacket on my blog though, so here it is again.  Hopefully word for word.  If you missed it the first time around, hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

So here it is, the most proud moment of my sewing history I think I can say. I am reporting back on my Anise jacket and I am stoked. It’s lined, it has welt pockets and bound buttonholes. It has the cutest Peter Pan collar that sits with such a lovely roll over the neckline. It fits me like a glove, with enough room for a cardigan or sweater. I feel a little je ne sais quoi in it, when I wear my beret and leather gloves. It’s cute, cosy, but most of all, I feel I have done a really good job. You might be like me with the things you make – the first one to point out the flaws when someone offers you a compliment? Well, that is my default position too. However for this jacket there is only one slight 80 degree corner at the inner lining I would hastily show you if you said, “nice jacket”. And for me that is a record. I see just one flaw, & if you see any others, please keep them to yourself & maintain my illusion!!

Anise jacket 1

 

I have made a couple of more complex semi-tailored items before, with my Vintage Vogue jacket, my Spearmint coat and more recently my Andy coat, so anticipated a lot of groundwork & preparation and quite a lot of nerve-wracking techniques in making this jacket. You have to be patient with a make like this. I would suggest it will not be completed in a day unless you are pretty pro or don’t sleep.

Anise jacket 2

 

I chose this grey flannel fabric for the outer and polka dot satin for the lining. I also used calico (muslin) for underlining. It took me about four sittings to make this (quite long stints- between 4 and six hours). It was my post Christmas – pre New year make. Something to lavish attention on having sewn like a whirling dervish as I made Christmas presents for friends and family in every spare moment.

The Anise jacket pattern by Colette patterns, has a supplementary instruction booklet you can buy if you need more help, but I have to say that the instructions were extremely clear in the pattern alone. Maybe though I have a few coat makes under my belt and so have those experiences to build on.

It’s funny that there is a whole lot of work that you have to do for a jacket like this before you start constructing the jacket itself, eg attaching the underlining, thread tracing the pattern markings.

If you opt for bound buttonholes you need to make them as one of the first steps, which feels odd since buttonholes and buttons are usually one of the finishing touches for a shirt or skirt. You can make this jacket with regular buttonholes, but I was always going to make bound buttonholes, and can never make bound buttonholes any other way than without followingKaren’s e-book. It is my bound buttonhole bible! And I think they look pretty smart this time.

Anise jacket 3

 

So having completed the buttons, you then get on to engineering the collar. It’s cut with two pieces- an upper collar and the undercollar. The undercollar is cut on the bias. There is also an extra piece of interfacing, with its own special pattern piece that looks like a stretched sliver of a crescent moon. This is for reinforcing the collar roll, and I am convinced it’s what adds to the collar behaving itself beautifully, with enough loft before, yes, rolling as it folds. When I mentioned this to my Mum, conversation went along these lines,

Anise jacket 4

 

ME:”There’s even an extra piece of interfacing like a crescent along the collar at the neckline”

MUM (matter of fact) :”Yes, I know”

ME: (In my head) “How come you know all this stuff – there is nothing you don’t seem to already know! I wish I could know as much about sewing as you do!” You see I can remember my Mum going to evening classes in the 70s, when classes like “tailoring” were run up & down the country at local technical colleges, even in Somerset! Sigh. OK back to the story, the Anise story.

Anise jacket5

 

I can’t remember if I made the welt pockets before or after the collar. But what a joy they were to make too, but you feel more practised having four bound buttonholes under your belt – welt pockets follow similar principles, with that nerve inducing & very final slashing through the centre of the rectangle you’ve just sewn in the actual front of your jacket, for the pocket linings & welts to get manipulated within.

Anise jacket 6

I’m afraid I have no drama to recount about putting the jacket pieces together to make a 3D garment.  The sleeves are cut in two pieces & set in with some gathering stitches at the sleeve head.  This fabric by the way sucks up gathers like a sponge, absorbing the tucks into its wonderful dense self.  And it is like a blanket.  I love it!  The jacket lining has special pieces for the front & back, but uses the same sleeve pieces (but with a shorter hem).  The centre back is designed for a massive expansion pleat.

Anise jacket 7

Attaching the lining to the jacket- this time I made the decision not to bag the lining.  That was quite a biggie for me as it is how I have done it before, & you know me, I try to machine as much as I can.  This time, however, I followed the instructions in the pattern – attaching the sleeves to the lining at their hems, then handsewing the lining sleevehead into the lining body.   The main hem is handsewn – first the jacket’s hem itself, then the lining’s hem is handstitched but hidden under the lining’s hem fold.

Anise jacket

My most fiddly bit is the front facing corners where the lining at hem & facing meet to form a right angle.  One side is better than the other, hence one side being 80 degrees & a bit squirched.

So, I promised to share the trials & tribulations with making this jacket, & I have to say they fall mainly into the whoop whoop department.  And working with this flannel was a joy – it was easy to press underneath a silk organza cloth, with steam.  I had no problems with it at all.  And it is very forgiving, handstitching just disappears within its dense fibres.

Sewing this jacket has helped me decide that I need more makes like this in my projects, so that some at least of my future handmade wardrobe is invested with risk & learning (as set out here).  I don’t need to always make fast clothes!

ANise jacket 9

A big thank you to my Dad who took the on location photos.  Aren’t they so much better than my usual! And I’m wearing my new Miette skirt..