Saturday, November 9, 2013

A new kind of welt pocket

I have made many single welted pockets when making vests or putting in pockets on jackets, but I have not made much experience with double welt pockets. I decided to try out a new method which, if done correctly, would make the whole process rather easy. I found a good article on Fashion Incubator about making a double welt.

The process is fairly easy, but I had some problems with sewing exactly 1/4" from the edge of the welt.

In this picture you can see that I sewed closer to 1/2" from the edge and as a result the welts layer up. This can be desired, but it wasn't the effect I was looking for.

Next I tried a scant 1/4"
You can see there is a noticeable gap between the two welts. This also would be fine if I was using his for a suit pocket where I needed to leave space for a pocket flap.

With some very careful sewing I was able to get the gap on this sample just about perfect. Unfortunately since this was my 9th attempt with this new method I was less then careful with the edges of the welts and as a result they are not evenly cut and therefore not straight.

This is a very interesting way of making double welt pockets. I can definitely see myself using this method, either while sewing very carefully or perhaps in places were it isn't overly important how the welts come out.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Men's Spats

I am a big fan of Agatha Christie's Poirot. I always thought his shoes were so cool. I decided that I would some my scraps of muslin to make some white spats. I would a good pattern here. The pattern is for women's shoes, but I upped the size a bit and they came out well.

These particular spats are sized to wear over a pair of boots. I don't know when I could actually wear them, but very fun to make and only cost a couple hundred yen.

Vests Vests Vests!

My adventures in vests!

The first pattern I ordered after I drafted my Halloween costume myself was Laughing Moon Mercantile Men's Single and Double-Breasted Frock Coats with 2 Vests (pattern #109). I made the coat, which will be a post for another day, and had lots of fabric left over so I decided to try one of the two vest patterns.

I started out by following the pattern exactly using fabric left over from my Halloween costume.

Its hard to see but there are four welt pockets on the front and two on the inside. Unfortunately I made a mistake when cutting the front, and as a result this vest in unwearable. It was a good learning experience.

Next I used left over fabric from my frock coat.

I used this vest with my Willy Wonka Halloween costume and as a result it is showing some wear. I liked how this vest came out although I had some issues with the fit in the shoulders.

Next I picked up some interesting looking fabric while shopping at Elm.

The pockets came out well and I included an inner welt pocket. He problem I had with this vest was the length in the back. Due to fabric limitations I ended up cutting it a bit shorter than I would have liked.

Another one of my projects was to make a lounge coat, I also had a lot of fabric left and made a vest from the remnants.  

This vest came out very well. With the flannel front and crushed velvet innerside and back it is warm. Both the front and back are cut straight which takes away from the elegance of this vest.

After making a red wool frock I had enough red left to make a vest and a few other articles. Since the fabric was rather heavy and bright red I decided to go for a more modern look. I coped another vest I have and came up with this.

 This vest came out very well. It is warm and the fit is very good.

These are the vests I have made in the last few months. I only wear a couple of them but it was a learning experience.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Willy Wonka Halloween

Last year my Halloween costume was rather lacking, a simply Speed Racer costume where I had simply sewed some details on a polo. This year I wanted to make a proper coat. I decided that Willy Wonka would be fun. It was my first sewing project in nearly 10 years, and because of that I made a ton of mistakes.

My collar did not stand as well as I would have liked due to the shape of the base being a bit off. The lapels were a little shorter than I would have liked as well. The hat wasn't perfect due to an actual top hat costing nearly $100.

Overall I was happy. I also made the vest but it was actually part of a latter project will I will write about later on.

The end result was good, but looking back I spent a lot of time sewing in welt pockets (4 total) which where good, but for a costume I wore for a week not really necessary.

Pre-Halloween sewing machine

This year for Halloween I decided I wanted to actually sewing a real costume. I was talking with my sister in law and she mentioned she wasn't using her sewing machine. I asked to borrow it and was so happy to have a chance to sew again. I am borrowing a Juki. I have never used a Juki before and was pleasantly surprised at ease of use. It is a computer machine with a nice touch screen display.

The only real issue I have is with the button hole attachment. It is useful but since it is a computer sewing the hole, often it will stop short of where the button hole is suppose to end. This isn't all that terrible as I can go back and hand sew any mistakes the machine makes, but it does tend to slow things down.

From what I gather Juki also makes a lot of professional machines. I don't see myself buying one in the future as my sister-in-law implied this machine cost upwards of $3000, but definitely a nice machine.

You can check out juki here