Sunday, February 26, 2012

A bit done today

I'm so far behind in my SWAP! I anticipated being halfway through by now. I need to get over stalling my progress when I get stymied by something and just work through it and keep going. I think I'm back on track now. I finally got the off grain fabric worked out. Parts are going to continue to be slightly off grain, but I worked on graining that damned stuff for a week off and on and it never got much better. So it will be what it will be. Frustrating because it's a lovely light weight navy twill for one of my core items... pants and matching jacket. But I'm moved on with it, and I'm up to the lining insertion. I had hoped to have it complete by now, but unfortunately life got in the way this weekend.

Instead of sewing, I had to do errands. Our refrigerator ice maker and water dispenser just quit working. So I had to find the brochure with the warranty items, and go through them. What a surprise to find you're supposed to change out the water filter every 6 months! I don't think they told us that initially. But to make a long story short, several hours were wasted on line and calling local stores trying to find the right part.

Ultimately I found out our Kitchen Aid refrigerator filter has been changed to a Whirlpool filter. After checking with multiple stores, and getting useless recordings that want you to talk to them, I finally found out Home Depot carries them (if you have the right number!) and if you get lucky enough you might even find someone to help you!

Off to Home Depot we went. We initially had a woman who took us to the Brita water filters, and the filters for those in sink water dispensers. After wandering around for a while, we found the refrigerator filters and after a lot more head scratching found one that is the same as our old one. Not the actual part number we were given, but it does fit.

All in all, I love the Internet, and I love being able to find anything on line. BUT there are times when you need something today, not in a week, and I really miss having customer service from a real person who can help you find what you need in their store and actually gives a damn if you are pleased with the store and their service! I know, rag, rag, rag. BUT still!

So now I'm off to hopefully finish that jacket tonight, or at least get really close!

Hope you all had a fabulous sewing weekend!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The inseam pocket instructions

Don't get freaked out by the various pair of pants. As you'll be able to see, I do this a lot! And I love wild prints for my pockets and waistband finishes. If you do this, every time you go to the bathroom all day, you'll be smiling! :P}}

I have taken this from David Page Coffin's book Making Trousers for Men & Women. I can't recommend the book highly enough. Like his book on Shirts, this is the definitive textbook for making trousers. I took his instructions, and wrote them out with pictures so even I can get it right start to finish!

Modify your pattern front side to have a flap that extends past the normal seam allowance. Add the flap along the front side past the seam allowance along the area where your pocket will be. The total width including seam allowance should be 1.25" if you use 1/2" seams. Adjust appropriately for your preferred seam allowance. It should start approximately 1.25" below top of pants including upper seam allowance, and extend approximately 5 to 7 inches long, depending on the size of your hand. Your hand needs to be able to fit through the opening without stretching the pocket opening.

Cut a pocket square approximately 15" wide by 12" long. This can be cut from the fashion fabric, regular cotton pocketing, or any tightly woven cotton. Quilting fabrics work great. You will fold it in half, with the fold towards the pants center front seam. Place the folded pocket square underneath your pants front pattern. The top should be at the top of your pants to be included in the waist seam.

Cut the outer edge of the pocketing to match your pattern hip curve. While you cut the pocketing, you can ignore the flap and just do the pocket the same as the pants would be without the flap.

The total width including seam allowance should be 1.25" if you're using 1/2" seam allowances, or 1 3/8" if you're using 5/8" seam allowances. Again, you want your pockets opening to start approximately 1.25" below top of pants including upper seam allowance, and extend approximately 5 to 7 inches long, depending on the size of your hand. Your hand needs to be able to fit through the opening without stretching the pocket opening. (See photo)

Note: I use 1/2" seam allowances, with an extension of 3/4" extra or 1 1/4". If you are using 5/8" seam allowances, adjust as needed. A 1" extension also works, and will be just a little wider on the interior of your pants where no one can see it.

Cut the clipping lines on the pants front as shown in the diagram. Finish the outside edge of the flap.

Sew front and rear darts.

Make the Pockets

With the right side of your pants front up, position the cut out pants front over the front pocketing. Extend the top of the pocket up to the waist edge of the pants so it will be caught in the waistband seam. Check to be sure your hip curve matches on the pocket and the pants front. The extension should go beyond the curve of the hip by 3/4" to 1". Mark the pocket edges on the pocketing.

Reinforce the pocketing edge only with stay tape adjacent to and abutting the seam line. to keep the pocket edge from stretching when you're wearing the pants. You can either use sew in or fusible stay tape or narrow twill tape.

Fold the extensions over the pocketing (wrong sides together ~ you want the print showing when the pockets are complete!) and zigzag through the pocketing and extension ONLY. Be sure not to catch the pants in this stitching!

Fold the pocketing so it matches up along the seam line with the edge of the pants that will be sewn to the pants back. Position the pocket facing between the layers so it lines up with the side seam, and covers the pocket opening. Zigzag the facing inner edges to the pocketing, leaving about 1" open at the lower side edge so it can be folded out of the way when you stitch the side seams. NOTE: Don't do the outer edges. They will be caught in the side seams.

Topstitch the pocket edge. At this point, I like to fold it again so the inside edge of the pocket is even with the stitching line and topstitching edge is 5/8" inside the seam line for 1/2" seam allowance. You can baste the edges together so they don't shift when you stitch the side front to the side back if you choose to do so.

Baste and stitch the pocket bottom together. I like to pin them together inside out first, stitch the seam, turn them, and topstitch with the raw edges inside the topstitched area. It reinforces the seam and makes it look nice on the inside.

Fun photos of very sedate looking exteriors and fun interiors!

Khaki twill slacks with camo pockets

Grey polished cotton slacks with stars!

and my favorite: Tropical navy wool trouser with circus pockets!

If you decide to make these pockets in your pants, let me know. It's fun to know there are other sewists walking around with sedate pants on the exterior and wild pants on the inside!

More later!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Off the blog for a while

So I've been sewing pants, but slowly. We've been fighting either colds or flu here for the last few weeks, so I've been conserving my strength and my time for the necessary work life instead of the enjoyable blogging and sewing... LOL

The navy pants I made with the cute pockets got trashed. With the large amount of stretch in them, I decided they were a bit too big, so went back, took off the waistband, redid the back crotch seam, and brought them in to serge the seam. Because I have a narrow table that was kind of full of other things, the pants were scrunched up as I was doing the serging. And lo and behold, as I went to move them around I realized not only had I caught the right cheek of the back into the seam, which may have been fixable, the knife had slashed a hole about 2" long right smack dab in the middle of the right cheek so there was no fixing it without it being super noticeable! Darn! Another wadder and I really liked those pants. So far, a pair of pants and a jacket as wadders. I HATE that! I really am a better sewist than this!!!

So far I have got two pair of pants made that are great, a navy and a grey and I've started the navy jacket. Backs are sewn together. I need to cut out the fronts, sleeves, and facings and get them sewn up. The fabric is seriously off grain and I can't seem to get it grained up right. It's a cotton/rayon/lycra, and no matter what I do it doesn't work. So I'm doing the best I can with it, cutting one layer at a time, and will hope for the best. It's frustrating because it was a good quality fabric from Sawyer Brook and I paid fairly good money for it on sale.

I'll be posting pictures soon of part of the process. I love the in seam pockets from the David Paige Coffin trouser book, so will show you how I go about it! Hopefully that will be this evening or later in the week when I get finished with my work!

Elizabeth at Artisan's Square set up a mini challenge to have two garments finished by the end of February. If I do the jacket and a tee shirt, or stop and do a few tees, I could make that happen! Thinking I will need to pay attention and quit messing about though!

Have a fabulous Monday!