Sunday, December 30, 2012

My adventures in welt pocket land

I found my NF straw bonnet from earlier this year hiding behind other sewing stuff, and I finally finished up the last few strips on it.  So that's done!  I'll probably use that for Pisces instead of making a new straw hat for it.

So I was a little bored Friday night, and I started reading some of the sewing books I got from the library.  One of them was a sewing guide reference book by Threads (awesome book by the way) and I stumbled across the section on welt pockets.  I've heard people complain about how difficult they are, saw May struggle to make practice pockets galore and still not get it right.  So I decided to try my hand at making one.

Two hours later...

Well, part of the reason it took two hours was because I hand sewed everything except for the stitching on the welts before sewing them on.  Part of the reason why I wanted to hand sew it was because I knew I could have more control on the very precise corners.  That and I ran out of thread on my bobbin and I was too lazy to wind another one.  That too.  Also, my hand sewing for this was more atrocious than usual.  Hints why some thread can be seen.  A bit counterproductive, but...

Verdict?  It's tedious.  No one can say it isn't.  Though there's a certain zen to it (perhaps I'm confusing that with all the hand sewing).  And they look impressive if done perfectly.  Mine wasn't too perfect (It's crooked on the right side!  Grr!), but hey, it was my first time making one.

I also got Period Costumes for Stage and Screen at the library.  A pity it was the 1500-1800 one.  Not my cup of tea time period wise, but I do plan on making working/middle class Renaissance garments eventually, so the chemise and partlet patterns could be useful.  I wonder if it will be more or less difficult jumping from time period to time period and having to figure out your body in comparison to the silhouette you need to have for that period.  Something to think about.

Well, the year will be winding down pretty soon.  Here's to another year of sewing!


  1. Congrats on your new welted pocket skillz! I think the zen comes from the pocket itself, not just the hand sewing, 'cuz I get it too, and I do mine with minimal hand basting. Your next challenge should be a single welt pocket matched across a pattern. Something like a Chinese brocade. It is a thing of beauty when you get it dead on, a sewing geek's delight!

    See also this neat tutorial for another path to welted pockets:

  2. Well, I wouldn't call it skillz just yet. Give me a few more tries. ^_^ But yeah, even though it's tedious, like anything tailoring related, it's gratifying if it's done perfectly. I'll definitely keep at it.

    I haven't tried a single welt pocket yet, but I want to learn that one too. I figure if I eventually want to make a suit for myself, those two are a must. This is after I figure out how to put in zippers without problems. That's my ongoing joke. I can make a Victorian dress from the skin out but I can't put in a zipper without trouble. Such is my retention of my sewing education. I blame history. If they'd invented zippers sooner, then I wouldn't be having this problem!

    I get so tickled when I intend to match patterns and it works. I'd love to do something complex, or to mess with plaids and stripes. I just haven't found the right ones yet. Hopefully I'll have a chance for pattern matching for the projects coming up next year.

    Speaking of projects...did you decide to do anything for YWU's Double Period Project? If so, what are you working on?

  3. I had Ste. Gen stuff up till the first week of December and then I decided it was time to make something for me, so I did a holiday dress with the 1870 ballgown bodice. I'm starting my Steampunk entry this week. I have my designs pretty well worked out and I've been collecting fabric for a steampunk dress since before the contest period was announced so I just have the sewing and some nifty hardware to make. Are you entering anything?

  4. Were you the one who was talking about a Steampunk Librarian? I think that was you.

    Pictures of the holiday dress please! Why are you holding out on me?

    Unfortunately no, I'm not entering anything. If I had the time and the fabric I would have entered my Pisces dress. It would at least have been a novel idea, even if I didn't win.

  5. I never developed the librarian idea. My entry for the contest will be "Bathilde von Goede, seamstress at large". More than anything I identify as a seamstress, so that's my first go in steampunk.

    I don't have any pictures of the holiday dress yet. Tim lost 50 pounds this year and bought a spiff new suit and I made the new dress, and he up and got sick the day of his work's holiday party. We were both so looking forward to it. Ah well, next year. I'll get pictures of the dress before then I hope.