Showing posts with label pockets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pockets. Show all posts

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Finished - My 70's Midi Jumpsuit!

Well I've finished my 1970's midi jumpsuit, and I quite like it!

I don't think it will be my "go to" outfit, but reserved for those days when I feel like being a bit quirky. I have to say I would not have made this had I not been captivated by the brown tweed version on the envelope,with it's 60's/70's polo neck and boots styling - I can't think of any other way I would wear this.  Polo necks and boots are a bit of a winter uniform with me, and therefore are the perfect (and secure) base for something a bit different!

I used a charcoal wool that I purchased from Global Fabrics in May, and some black wool remnants that I had from stash were put to use for the collar, front band, pockets and armhole facings.  I added a fourth pocket because I like symmetry - and after looking at all those Chanel jumpsuits in my last post I was on a bit of a Chanel symmetry tangent.

I fully lined the jumpsuit.  I used the original pattern pieces less the armhole facings, plus 3mm extra on each seam allowance and 25mm added to the crotch length.  It slips on easily and is so comfortable to wear.

I made a few fitting alterations:
  • back neckline was bunching up, so I lowered it 5mm tapering to zero at the shoulder point.
  • front armhole was gaping, so I swung the excess into the side bust dart.
  • totally redrafted the pant portion! Finally I have got around to redrafting and fitting a trouser block, and I have transferred this to the pattern. Essentially the high hip is wider, the rise is way longer, and the leg angle is altered. 
And I need to off-centre the buttons a bit - the buttonholes are quite large and stretch open slightly when being worn - see how the front bands don't line up properly in the photo?  Don't let me forget to do that...

The thing with jumpsuits is you need some extra length in the centre seam for everyday things like reaching up, bending over and sitting down - you need to allow an extra 2cm in the waist to hip/crotch length to enable comfortable jumping around in your jumpsuit!

I'm reasonably happy with the back appearance.  I'm not really standing evenly here, but the below the hipline it does sit better when I shorten the back waist by 1 cm, however I need that extra ease for bending so I've compromised.  Plus looking backwards into the mirror gives me a tension headache after a while!

The pockets and collar and front bands were topstitched in Nr 80 weight thread, and staying true to the instructions I topstitched the pockets with an X - which I think is rather groovy:

And speaking of staying true to instructions...I have a few comments on that for my next post!
Happy sewing!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Finished - City Cargoes!

During the RTW Tailoring Sewalong I started suffering from "jacketitis", and the only cure for this is to make something completely random and unplanned, so I whipped up these trousers from stash.  "Whip up" being a bit of a lie, as they had six pockets - two of them requiring unpicking precision stitching!

Plus the fit in the rise and the legs wasn't right on me - I fussed and fiddled forever trying to get them to be as I imagined, all the while thinking: "I am not moving those pockets", until I gave up with a stiff neck from trying to look at my behind in the mirror, and returned to my coat thinking it was far easier!

A couple of weeks passed.....

Until the other day I got stuck in and sorted them out once and for all, and here they go - ta-dah!:

The pattern
The pattern is #131 Trousers from Burdastyle May 2010 - the link is here, and you might recognise them from this magazine picture:

Because the model is walking they look a lot slimmer in the thigh than they actually are - I had to narrow mine considerably to get them to how I envisaged.  I also lowered the back rise and back waistline 1cm to better fit my shape.  The front rise angle is slightly wrong on me too, but I think I can live with it - with the zip and pockets done it is awkward impossible to change!  I taped the waist to prevent it stretching, but even so the front waist might need taking in slightly - which is unheard of for me as I usually have to let the waist out!

The fabric
I used some polyester suiting from stash that is probably a nice quality as far as polyester goes.  For some reason I have a roll of about 15m of this stuff - these trousers used up approximately 1/10th of that, hardly stash-busting!
Burda recommend using poplin for this pattern but my fabric was thicker than that.  I wouldn't want to use anything thicker though as the bellows pockets would get too bulky.  The tabs were turning out a bit thick and difficult to make neat, so I substituted them for some nice grosgrain ribbon and I'm really happy with the texture contrast they provide.  Raiding the stash further I found D-rings in the perfect size, so it was meant to be!

The details
I really like the details on these trousers - the belt loops, the back flaps, and especially the positioning of the cargo pockets - you'd think pockets right on the hips would be real unflattering, but they don't feel like that at all.  Maybe I should have buttonholed the back flaps, that button looks a bit lonely:

The invisible zips at the cuff are a bit of a waste of time as they are, well, invisible.  They're unnecessary for getting the trousers on and off unless you have particularly large shoes, and because the zip pull flops down they serve more as an advertisement for YKK than anything!

(Not that I mind advertising YKK - I recommend their invisible zips highly.  In this post I was surprised to hear so many reports of invisible zips failing, and I have to mention that I have never had this problem with YKK zips - despite making a lot of close fitting garments!
I did have an issue once using another brand - on a style where I ordered only one colour in the other brand because it was a better match - and most of the tops in that colourway were returned by disappointed and embarrassed customers because the zip had failed - I was not happy! All the other colourways were fine - funnily enough, the ones with YKK zips.)

Back to the trousers:  next time I will probably use a fancy zip pull or an exposed zip instead.  And there could be a next time - I love these trousers and they are very 'me'.  They combine a touch of cargo casual with a touch of city chic - hence the moniker City Cargoes!

PS - while I was photographing these out in the garden our resident Tui made a noisy appearance, and I managed to capture him on pixels for you - doesn't he look smart with his feathery bow tie?

Friday, April 22, 2011

RTW Tailoring Sewalong #10 - More Sewing

Today I assembled the remainder of the outer shell of the coat, and a few other bits and pieces:

As usual, I sewed all I could at the machine, then pressed, then repeated...
  • I sewed the pocket bags to the side fronts, then sewed the side front seams:
  • I sewed the side back seams - don't you love those little armhole steps we added to our seam allowances?  It removes any guesswork where the seam ends:
  • I sewed the under collar to the front facing/back neck facing unit:  

(EDIT: I made a mistake here - this should be the top collar sewn to the facing unit - sorry for any confusion!)
  • Take care here as matching those notches is crucial for a nice collar: 
  • Start 1cm in from the collar edge, and this point must match the collar notch on the front facing exactly:
  • My gorge line is curved - it is important not to stretch these curves while sewing, and your shoulder notches must match.  Notice how much easier it is to sew opposing curves with a smaller seam allowance!  
  • If your gorgeline seam has an angle like this one, you will need to sew with the facings on top:
  • Match those endpoints (marked here by blue dots), and sew to the angle leaving the needle down.  The needle must be passing through the correct point on both layers - 1cm in from all edges:
  • Raise the presser foot, and clip the facing to within 1mm of the needle:
  • Still with the needle down and presser foot raised, swing the collar around so it lays in the sewing direction:
  • then pivot the facing to align with the collar, you can see the shoulder notch aligns with the shoulder seam:
  • Flatten the layers behind the needle so you don't get any puckers, then carry on sewing towards the shoulder notch:
  • Continue sewing to the CB notch, round to the next shoulder notch, then the opposite gorge line seam - remembering to match the end point of stitching exactly to the collar notch:

  • Then I set in my sleeve lining - there is quite a lot of ease, so I used a gathering stitch:

  • Draw the threads up to approximately the armhole length.  I always use the top threads so you can easily adjust them as you sew.  Place the sleeve into the armhole right sides together - check you have the correct sleeve, ie back sleeve to back armhole.  Starting at the front or back notch, with the sleeve uppermost, sew the underarm portion between the notches:
  • When you get to the notches and gathering thread, adjust it to fit, aligning the notches.  The cut edge of the sleeve will ripple, but the area we are looking at is the stitching line - between the gathering threads - it should be drawn up to sit almost flat:
  • When you reach your starting point, continue around the underarm area to the opposite front or back notch, so the underarm is actually sewn twice for reinforcement.
  • Next I tacked the back vent in place:

Then I pressed it all:

shot of steam!
For an angled gorge line, press like this:

And clip the overlapping corner away:

There should be no puckers:

Back at the machine:
  • I closed and overlocked the pocket bags:
  • Then sewed the side and shoulder seams.  I found it easiest to sew the side seams with the blockfused panel on top, so the feed dogs helped prevent creeping of the layers.  
  • For the shoulder seams I would normally do the same as the feed dogs help to ease the back shoulder onto the front.  However this didn't work for me this time, there is quite a lot of ease and I found it easier to use some gathering threads.  Unpressed v pressed:

  • Back at the iron I then pressed the seams open.  When pressing the shoulder seam you need to be careful not to stretch the neckline edges - I placed weights to prevent the coat slipping off the ironing board and stretching this edge:

The shell is finished!  You can try it on at this stage - place the facing inside to get a feel for the collar - but take care not to stretch the neckline or armhole.  Hang it up so you don't need to repress anything!

Sit back, admire, and have another Easter egg!
Next up - the collar...

(PS - Sorry for the long break - it's been a busy week!)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

RTW Tailoring Sewalong #9 - Tutorial: Jet Pockets with Flap

I must be a bit of a nerd because I love making jet pockets - so much so that I voluntarily made one this morning for a sewalong tutorial.  Would you believe me if I said that a double jet pocket with a flap has only 10 sewing steps?  It's true!  The one I've made isn't the greatest - it certainly adds to my dislike of fabrics with polyester!

I used an old pattern of mine where the pocket opening transits the front dart and side body seam.  Here are the pattern pieces:

There is a waist dart in the front body with a pocket slash, a side body with a notch that matches the slash, and three drill holes - one located 1cm below the bust dart apex, and two located 1cm inside the ends of the finished pocket.  The front, side body, jets and the pocket flaps are blockfused, the pocket bag is cut in fabric, and there is a pocket bag lining and pocket flap lining.

The jets are 20mm wide, giving a finished width of 5mm.  They are 4cm longer than the finished length of the pocket.  The notches are located at endpoints of the pocket,with a 2cm extension either side:

The pocket flap has 1cm seam allowances, and its finished width (marked by notches) is 3-4mm wider than the finished width of the pocket - the flap is slightly eased to allow it to curve around the body (think cloth allowance).

The pocket flap lining is 2mm narrower around the curved edges, to enable the lining to turn readily to the wrong side and remain invisible:

The pocket bag is cut the same width as the jet, with matching notches:

The pocket lining is cut the same as the pocket bag, but 1cm (total width of jets) shorter:

And here are the cut and fused pieces ready to sew, the chalk dots will need to be on the wrong side, I have only marked them on the right side so they are easier for you to see:

Over to the machine...
I sew the front dart - this has a 6mm seam and I taper 1cm past the chalk dot at the bust apex (if you are not sure what I mean, check out this post on darts):

Sew the side body to the front - the notch on the side body should match the front slash:

You'll end up with a partially pre-cut pocket opening:

Fold your jets lengthwise and machine baste close to the raw edges, you should have four of these so they are  ideal for chain piecing:

And bag out your pocket flap - see how the seam wants to turn to the wrong side already:

Over to the ironing board...
Press open the side body seam, and the dart seam - you will need to clip one side of the dart near the pocket slash to open it:

Give those jets a quick press so they are flat and straight:

Trim the corners of the pocket flaps:

Turn and press - the slightly smaller lining will bring the stitching line towards the wrong side:

The pocket corners should be symmetrical:

Mmm, close enough...
Back to the machine...
I'm going to stitch the jet to the pocket slash.  The raw edges of the jet are butted up to the raw edges of the slash, the notches on the jet are placed 1cm outside the dots, remember the notches denote the finished end of the pocket:

Here the upper jet is sewn, you sew down the middle of the jet from notch to notch:

I align the edge of my presser foot to the edge of the jet, as it is the correct width at 5mm:

Check that both stitching lines are parallel, the same length, and that they start and finish exactly at the notch:

This is often easiest to assess from the reverse side, if it's not quite right, fix it now or it's too late!:

Cut the slash to the chalk dots, which are 1cm from the finished end of the pocket:

Then clip diagonally into the corners.  Clip to within 1mm of the end of the final stitch, never past it:

Now you can carefully turn the ends of the jets to the wrong side:

Mmm, obviously we need to go back to the ironing board!

Back to the ironing board...
Press the jets into place from the wrong side, as you can see I've given them a rather hard whack with the iron:

The right side before the ends are sewn:

Sew the ends by folding back the body panel, and using your forefinger to hold the jets so they are abutting.  Sew across the end:

After stitching - see how the upper jet looks slightly longer - it is!  When sewing the jet onto the bias-y piece of the front panel lateral to the dart, it looks like the fabric has stretched.  Mistakes are good if you learn from them - in future I will fusetape that piece to prevent it stretching:

If you are making a flap pocket, insert the flap as shown:

Flip to the wrong side, and sew the flap to the seam allowance of the upper jet:

It's quite narrow, but that's OK:

As you begin, flip the upper front up to check that the flap covers the lower jet sufficiently:

And do the same thing as you finish - the flap needs to reach to the end of the jet:

Once sewn, the reverse will look like this:

Lay on the pocket bag, right side facing down:

And sew it to the seam allowance of the upper jet, giving the pocket bag a slightly better seam allowance:

Likewise, sew the pocket lining to the seam allowance of the lower jet:

It should look like this:

Now you can sew the pocket bag and pocket lining together - start at one edge of the jets and sew down:

My pocket bags are slightly misaligned, but only you and I will know that!  Sew around both corners:

and up the other side to finish:

That's it!  This is before a final press:

And I don't think I'll bother because I'm not exactly going to wear this partial front out and about am I?!

I should mention that you need to final press over a ham or something - see how the ends don't wrap around the body and want to flip out - that's bad.

So there we have it - double jet pockets with flap in 10 easy steps!  And there are only eight steps if you abandon the flap :)

Happy Sewing