Test Coat Step I – The Front Pieces and The Welt Pockets

Finally I have had the time to start work on the coat itself! And it’s very pleasing to do something involving needle and thread and not merely rulers and paper!

Preparing the front pieces

After closing the seam running from the armscye downwards and securing the slit that will later be covered by the pocket, I started, enthusiastically, by padding the hair canvas to the right front piece. Because it interested me. And because I wanted to see the effect this had on the fall of the fabric for myself.
Well. What I should have done before, is a) ironing fusible interfacing on the area where the welt pockets are going to be inserted in the next step, and b) fix the placket in the shoulder area.
As I only realised this after I had completed the padding, I had to remove the whole thing again, of course. Well, it didn’t happen again on the left front piece afterwards…

The closed side dart and the horizontal cut covered by fusible interfacing. You can also see the area where the welt pocket will go, which I have also doubled with the same light, woven fusible.

The hair canvas being blind stitched to the fabric.
View from the fabric side. After some more ironing I convinced the irregularities to go away 😉

Here you see what happened after I destroyed my work from before and added a placket (in which the fabric grain runs perpendicular to the shoulder seam and which is properly stitched, herring-bone style to the hair canvas) and marked the welt-pocket zone as well as buttons and the waist line in red thread.

Close-up of the lapel while adding a seam tape to the roll line.

The Welt Pockets

Time to start on my first welt pocket. Ever. So, as always, I consulted a clever book. Which is nice as long as it really IS only one. Because, apparently, there are quite a number of different ways to go about making welt pockets.
I decided to go with this MO, after dithering over the damned things for WEEKS.

When cutting the fabric for the welt, don’t forget to align it correctly to the grain of the front piece it will go on!

Because I’m a bit paranoid and don’t trust things that I have to cut holes into my fabric for, I went with a double interfacing for the welts themselves. Fusible on the one half, hair canvas on the other (the one that’ll look outwards later on).

Close the side seams, notch at the corners, turn and iron. Then baste the prepared welt in place… (You can see here that the grains of front piece and welt are indeed aligned)

…and the fabric part of the pocket lining, as well. Machine-stitch. The seam on the welt is about 1,5 cm longer than on the lining.

And now the AWFUL thing: Cut through hair canvas and fabric, but not the welt, or the lining, in this double Y-shape. Of course you have to stop cutting before you damage the thread of the two parallel seams.

Pull the lining fabric through the gap and pin it out of the way.

Add the second part of the pocket lining by stitching it onto the seam allowance of the welt (use a zipper foot!). The result should, on the wrong side, look like this.

Fold the fabric pocket lining down.

Now hand-stitch the lining onto the small triangles on both sides of the slit, then machine-stitch the three open sides. Preferrably BETTER than I did here, producing the worst-ever overlock seam in history. But I honestly couldn’t be bothered to fight my serger after all that work…

Now all that’s left to do is finish the pocket by hand-stitching the small sides of the welts onto the fabric. I HAVE done that, but not taken any pictures yet. They’ll follow soon!


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