Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pockets, Butterick 5960

The pockets are the most challenging aspect of this rather simple design. As directed in the instructions, the final pocket will have three layers of wool coating. Naha, a bit too much, me thinks! I made the pocket facings out of a black poly satin with the satin side where my hands would feel it if I put them in. I am really glad I did this as it cut down much bulk, an issue that can affect the outcome at the very top point of the pocket installation. So, bulk dealt with!

Next issue was getting all these layers to lie flat and stay flat. The pocket bag was basted before sewing. Then the bag was basted to the garment side and front, both steps paying lots of attention to getting it flat. If I topstitched this pocket without it being perfectly flat it would permanently "pull" on the right side and look unsightly. Since I really sew in real time, sharing my efforts with my much appreciated followers, I can tell you that it took  a fair bit of unstitching and restitching on the pocket bag to get it to lie perfectly flat for topstitching. To digress, I have seen more than one blog lately where a garment is presented by its maker with no process description while it was being made.   When a commentor asks about an obvious  issue then and only then do you get the ," yeah, I really did have a hard time with that and I know it doesn't look right now, but I really didn't want you to know that I make mistakes or don't know how to do something. Oops, you caught me." I would just like for people to be real. I love the blogs, and I won't name you but know that I love you, when I see you struggle with tasks that ARE hard and I love watching you work them through. It is so inspirational. Sometimes you may decide you've made a wadder and will chuck it and other times you amazingly power through till you get it to your level of happiness and perfection with the project. I love watching this. It so empowers all of us to sew to know that this is something that to do well requires, persistence, practice, and more practice. It's not work. It is a joy to "power through". Thank you to all of you who blog your reality. You had me at your first sentence!

Once the pocket bag was flat and happy it was time to topstitch. I decided to do some samples and started first with regular sewing thread. Then I would try the topstitching threads. I never got that far as I knew immediately when I saw the right combo of thread and stitch that I need go no further.

On the bottom sample I used a 3.5 stitch length and my Pfaff stitch #4. That's the obvious winner. It just doubles over itself as it sews giving a nice thick effect. I'll have to remember this for when I do jeans. The middle stitch is your classic "triple" stitch or "stretch" stitch. If you look close you can see that one stitch is nice and thick and the other is regular, looking very uneven. The top stitch was a plain stitch at 3.5. Certain things in sewing always pay off. One is muslins. The other is samples.


Once the pocket is topstitched a machine zigzag is suggested at the top and bottom of the opening. It could easily be misconstrued and sewn all the way through all layers making the pocket not functional. It says "all thicknesses". I am going to do this by hand with an arrowhead stitch, fingers crossed. This is just something to be aware of if you attempt this pattern.

This weekend we have a houseful of company that we are totally enjoying. While they were skiing today, Grandma opted out to catch up on a LOT of things and did manage to get one pocket complete. Tomorrow our precious guests will depart and it will be a day at the machine. Heaven, I'm in heaven...........Bunny

14 comments:

  1. I enjoy your work very much. Your comments today were excellent. I am a returning sewist, working on recovering my skills and making high quality garments that fit...I look to the blogs for inspiration and to set my expectations for what 'excellent' sewing looks like...you always deliver!

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    1. That's a lovely compliment, Tilly. Thank you so much.

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  2. I so enjoy seeing your process. Samples are so important.that I am amazed when beginners don't make samples, but don't realize that practicing a new technique leads to success.

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    1. How did we lose that "practice makes perfect" philosophy? It applies to nearly everything ventured. It does conflict with the instant gratification so much of our society expects today.

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  3. Your coat is going to be so beautiful Bunny!

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    1. I am so anxious to finish it! I am determined to wear it this winter, not next, and move on to some other important projects!

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  4. I make samples quite often, just to get the stitching to look the way I want. It's so easy and saves soooo much time. Three layers of fashion fabric for the pockets? What were they thinking? It's a coat, it's bound to be bulky!

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  5. Without a doubt, your blog is the best I've found so far for the serious sewer. We will always make mistakes; when a garment is completed, we will almost always do something a little bit different, a little bit better, the next time, but striving to execute each garment to the best of our abilities is what sewing should be about. Keep up the quest for perfection and sharing the journey with us!

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  6. I always enjoy seeing "the process'", your work and work-arounds make your garments an "experience". In this world of instant everything, we often need to be reminded that making the quality of lovely garments that you and so many others create is not a "shake and bake" process! One of my goals this year is to go back to my fine tailoring roots and find the time to make at least one jacket and one coat for myself...I shudder to think how much I have probably forgotten, yet will not hesitate to look to blogs like yours and those of other experienced sew-ers for inspiration...people who actually "exhibit their process" instead of merely exhibiting themselves.

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    1. That was all so nicely said. I would love to see your future tailoring posts, Pam. What I love about tailoring is that it really takes thought and that's probably why making a coat is one of my favorite projects. It's my "Calgon" moment.

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  7. Oooh, what a great pocket! I look forward to seeing this finished!

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  8. This reminds me that I have been documenting a project that, frankly, isn't going so well. I vary the process by catching up with the mending, which involves a desperately large number of pockets. I came up with a pocket bag process by accident (by making horrid mistakes) that seems to work pretty well. It boils down to using a bag with too much fabric and doing all the steps (especially the welt/flap/exterior public face of the pocket entry) and THEN sewing up the pocket bag. Iron the bag fabric, pin the bottom with the garment as flat as possible (I put something between the layers to reduce shifting), sew the bottom, iron again, and repeat the pinning process for the sides. I also shift the bottom seam so it's not at the bottom but up one of the sides. They last longer this way. I am playing around with a method to eliminate all the layers at the welt/entry point.
    I am coming to the conclusion in sewing/blogging that I mend more than I sew, and I should concentrate on that. I have enough clothes. And the mending pile is deeeeeeeep.

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    1. You are a better person than me. I so don't like to mend and let it all pile up in a basket. Then every great once in a while I take the basket and get to it. Not my idea of fun but it is necessary.

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  9. I sure wish I could have read about this procedure before I attempted to add a pocket to my tennis pants!! I need to go back & do some top stitching as well as those little anchor spots, as it is gaping. Probably from stuffing balls down inside!
    Thanks for showing us how you did it. I need to put pockets in several other pairs of pants so I can carry my phone with me.

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