Tuesday 8 December 2009

Blue suit - jacket pockets

So far work on the new pattern for my suit has gone very well, far exceeding my expectation of how quickly and well I could cut it to fit.

The Five Coat pattern I cut, although I am totally happy with it, took a while to arrive at, doing through a process of cutting - adapting - cutting - revising - cutting - altering . . . . . before I got to something I was pleased with.

This time round I have cut a block (a base template) from which I then cut my pattern, both of which fitted perfectly first time (see above).

So it is now time to cut the pattern for some of the details of the suit, such as the breast and outer pockets.

The Breast Pocket
I had previously tackled the Breast Pocket before, and had made some decent, but crude samples (see left), so I know the the construction of the pocket already.
I do, however need to work it to the new pinstripe dimensions I have.

This time round though, my style will be a lot better and my work a not neater!

The new techniques I have learnt from my tailoring classes have shown me the best, methodical approach to use, so I first draw up the pocket as a block (see above),  to the finished cut size, then trace a pattern, adding seam allowances only at that stage (see right).

The pocket is made from a front, which is pleat fronted; a lining, which is just the width of the finished pocket; and the flap, which is cut in two parts.

First I make the front by sewing the pleat together, and pressing flat. The lining is then attached to the top edge of the pocket, and it is folded flat, with a one-inch turnover of the front into the inside of the pocket. I then stay-stitch around the pocket to keep the edges stable (see left).

The edge is then pressed over to the finished size, and the pocket is top-stitched into place on the suit (see right).

The flap is then made from calico I have marked the pinstripes on, as I had done with the pocket, and sewn inverted above the pocket. It is then folded down into position and pressed before a line of top-stitch to secure it in place.

Everything went to plan, and having done the pocket a couple of times before, the finished result looks pretty good (see left).

It also looks so much neater and tidier than when I did it before, as I have been doing so much more sewing recently!

The Outer Pockets
Again, I had previously done the outer Faux Flap Pockets before, so their construction was well known to me, meaning I can just crack on with cutting their pattern and setting them into the calico test jacket.

I cut the pattern for the flap to the width of thirteen pinstripes, and make the flap from calico.
It is then pressed in half to form the size of the finished visible flap, and is sewn onto the outside of the suit, inverted. The pocket facing is sewn above, also inverted (see right).

When the pocket opening is slit between them, and the flap and facing are turned (like pocket welts) they form the finished pocket.

The flap is then sewn up into its finial position with two narrow rectangles at either side (see below, left), obscuring where the pocket is inserted, making a nice clean result (see below, right).

I have carefully matched the position of the pockets compared to the reference pictures I am working from, and allowing for minor inaccuracies in my drawn pinstripes, they appear to be in the right place.

The placement of the breast pocket did throw up a point I need to watch for when I do the pocket for real. Although I need to simply line the pinstripes of the pocket with those of the jacket, because the front tailoring dart finishes under the pocket, the material above and below is different, since it is pinched below but not above. This means the vertical pinstripes are not completely parallel.
I therefore can only align the pocket’s left edge with a vertical pinstripe, and the top and bottom edges where they cross other pinstripes, leaving the right edge to do its own thing.

I have now gotten the calico test to a point where I think I can start making my first attempt at a final version of the jacket, though I have some special plans for that . . . .  check back soon to see what I am up to!

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