Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Getting over myself

Sometimes when you've heard something repeated for so long, it becomes true, whether or not it is. And the more times you repeat it, the more true it becomes. And the more stubborn you become about changing.

That's me with welt pockets. You've heard me moaning about my fear of welt pockets for as long as I've had this blog, but . . . NO MORE. It's over. I've done it, and now that I've done it, I'm going to do it again, and again, and again.

First and foremost, a HUGE thank you to Ann Steeves for the one and only welt pocket tutorial that has ever made sense. Kudos to Ann for unclogging my brain.

After a mostly-successful trial pocket before vacation, I decided that my next project had to feature the real thing. I went through the Burda stash, and picked out 1/2008 #127, a shawl-collar jacket with welt pockets. I had a black, gray and white plaid with red accent stripe from Metro Textiles that's been calling to me from stash, but I couldn't get excited about an entirely plaid jacket. I wanted a black collar, but not any black collar. I decided on leather.

My local thrift store had a pair of black leather pants, for $2.50. For a 26" waist. When I told the saleswoman I was taking them home to cut up, she said, "Good. Any woman with a waist that small who's wearing leather pants is trying too damn hard." Not sure about that, but that much leather for $2.50? I'll take it.

The pattern gave me a break in that the welt pockets (which BWOF called bound pockets) were inserted between the side front and side seams. But that's enough, since I still had to measure them out, mark them properly, sew the welts on and then - gasp! - slash my fabric. Then I taped my welts together with a new sewing room accessory, blue painter's tape, and added the pocket bags.

Then I got cocky. I decided that if the pockets worked, why not do bound buttonholes? My welts were semi-faux, but bound buttonholes would have to be done properly. I marked, used Ann's recommended silk organza turn-in method, added more tape and sewed the leather strips for the buttonholes. I think this would have been a lot easier in a less finicky fabric. The leather was a royal pain to get lined up, since I couldn't pin or baste, but I only had to unpick two out of the six, and the stitch holes are so small and near the seam that they barely show.

They aren't perfect bound buttonholes by any means, but for my first attempt, and in leather, and basically winging them by using the welt pocket instructions that stuck in my head instead of looking at any of my reference books, I'm pretty happy.

I've gotten the facing and lining attached now, and much pressing has gone into getting the leather flattened.

Next up: figuring out how exaclty to handle the bound buttonholes on the inside. I did spend some time with the reference books there, but again, since I can't hand-stitch the leather, I'll be doing it my way.

And it will work, because I know how to make welt pockets and bound buttonholes.

And if I say it over and over, I'll begin to believe it. And it will be difficult to make me ever think otherwise.

16 comments:

Gail said...

Fear of welt pockets is a common phobia among sewers. A 12 step program is needed!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Well that jacket is looking pretty snazzy Karen...and the welt pockets...now you're just putting me to shame! *LOL* And I have so many other things asking to be made and you've thrown down the welt pocket challenge! Arrrgh what am I gonna do!

Vicki said...

Wow, you really do know how to make welt pockets! Well done. I wish I could get leather that cheap. Our op shops (as we call them) are just so expensive. Nothing for $2.50!

Elaray said...

Don't you feel great for having conquered welt pockets!!! There is no stopping you. The jacket looks fantastic.

KID, MD said...

Congratulations on conquering your fear, and on an utterly fab jacket!! The leather is a perfect accent to that fabric.

And if I had a 26 inch waist, I would definitely wear leather pants.

Irene said...

Congratulations on overcoming your fear! It all looks absolutely wonderful. Have you ever tried a temporary adhesive to hold leather in place for stitching?

Little Hunting Creek said...

Blue painters tape is the BEST! And aren't you something with your welt pockets and bound buttonholes :)

Lisette M said...

That jacket is looking good. Congratulations on surpassing your fear, I knew you could

renee said...

Congratulations on giving your welt fear a well deserved kick. And that is one snazzy jacket.

senaSews said...

Nice jacket. Love the way you worked with the black and plaid fabrics. I also have the welt-pocket-phobia. I should follow your example and just give it a try....

Sheila said...

Kudos on conquering welt pockets and the jacket looks great... like the idea of the black leather.

Nancy K said...

Very snazzy! I've been making welt pockets for so long and have tried so many different methods. Sometimes it depends on the fabric.
You sew everything and good for you for finally deciding that you can make them. BTW glue is helpful with leather. Either temporary spray or glue stick. If you use the glue stick you need to let it dry before sewing through it. My dh picked apart an 80's leather coat for me to reuse the leather. Haven't made up my mind what for yet though.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Congratulations! Love your leather accents.

Lindsay T said...

Wow! I am so impressed with you. Plus I really want to sew with leather. But I think that contradicts my not eating meat. Ack!

Summerset said...

Great jacket - the contrast of the leather with the plaid is great. I've made the entire suit and it is a great pattern.

sewabeginner said...

Can I say wow again?