It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Exaltation of Welts (Welt Pocket Construction Methods, Phase One)

Welt:  Strip of material stitched to seam, border, or edge.

I've been putting it off long enough - the whole welt pocket thing.  A beautiful jacket has been hanging on my dress form for nearly a year now, awaiting (among other things) a welt pocket.  So I committed to Perfecting The Welt this month, and I've been gathering info & getting ready to put that info into practice.

It's time!

The first thing I did was look at my Vogue Sewing book (the 1982 version).  My eyes glazed over, my brain started getting flooded with memories of my former sewing life - a time when I remember constructing horrid looking pretenses at welt pockets, & decided they were just.  too.  hard.   I put the Vogue away.

Luckily, a new (used) copy of Anna Zapp's "The Zapp Method of Couture Sewing" arrived just in time!  (I got mine through Amazon - there is a HUGE wealth of info in this book.  Highly recommended!)  I took a look at her section titled "The World's Easiest Welt Pocket" and decided that would be my first go.   Here are the results.

Step 1.  Mark the pocket placement on the right side of fabric with 2 lines, 1/4" on each side of the center line.  (NOTE:  Instructions call for drawing 2 parallel lines 1/2" apart; it was late at night when I made this pocket & somehow I translated that into one line in the center, which you will see in the first pic worked, but this is a case of do like I say, not like I do....)  In my defense, I think that while Zapp's overall method (and results) are fabulous, her instructions do not go in the category of Sewing for Dummies.   I'll actually try to dumb down her instructions a bit for the rest of us.....

Mark, with dots, the corners of each welt.  These should be 1" apart.

Step 2.  Press fusible tricot or other interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric, extending c. 1/2" past the marked areas for the welts all the way aroung.

Step 3.  Press fusible interfacing on the welt fabric, and cut 2 strips the length of your pocket plus 1-1/4", and 1" wide.  These can be cut crossgrain, lengthwise, or bias.

Step 4.  Fold the strips in half lengthwise, press, and mark the center 5/8" from each edge.

Here is the marked fabric (with only one line in the center of the pocket), and the 2 welts, pressed and marked.  Note that I'm making this pocket at a slight angle - the pocket is on the bias.  My welts are cut on the crossgrain:

 Step 5.  Place the welts on the garment front, line up your dots.  The raw edges of the welts will meet in the center.  Baste in place.

Step 6.  Stitch down the center of each welt, from dot to dot.  Use small stitches, and secure each end with backstitching.  (Note:  this is where precision is important!  Your dots need to be exact, and the stitching needs to end right on each dot)

Step 7.  Check the back of fabric, making sure your stitching lines are exactly 1/2" apart, and exactly the same length, with the ends lined up.   If they are not, determine which line is right, and correct the other one.

Step 8 and 9.  On the wrong side, mark a dot centered between the stitch lines, 5/8" from each end.   Cut ONLY the fashion fabric (not the welts) down the center, stopping at each dot.  Cut a V from each dot to each corner, using a very sharp pair of tailoring scissors.   Your cut should end exactly at the end of the stitch line.

Step 10.  Pull the welt to the inside of the garment.   Turn the corner "V" inside and press (press press press!)  Grade the layers, leaving the longest layer toward the outside of your garment.  

Outside after pressing.  Not too bad for a first attempt, if I do say so myself!

Inside after pressing:

Step 11.  On the inside, fold back your garment fabric and stitch through the "V" and the ends of the welts, securing the short ends of the welts.

Step 12.  Hand baste or zigzag the welts together, in preparation for sewing the pocket bag.   Leave this in place until the garment is finished.

Inside view, with graded layers.

Okay.  So now I'm feeling pretty good about this whole welt thing, and it's time to look at another method.   I picked up the Vogue Sewing book again.   Again, my eyes glazed over & my brain fogged up.   I put the book down.

Practice session No. 1 is over, but I've found some adjustments that may make Ann's method more do-able.    I have 2 or 3 other methods lined up to try as well, so hang in here with me; I'll be back....


glorm said...

Wow--very nice welt pocket.

Jilly Be said...

Thank you Gloria! I'm still plugging away at it, & will post more today. These methods definitely improve on my pitiful attempts of yore!

Anonymous said...

oo, welt pockets have been confusing me for ages! There are instructions in the Singer Sewing Library Tailoring book, but they never quite seemed to make sense.
You are awesome, Jilly! Thanks!

lakaribane said...

Wow, I've been procrastinating on a pants muslin, not only because of the alterations/fit, but also because of the single welt pocket I have to put in. So this is very welcomed!

Jilly Be said...

I'm so happy this is helpful :~) I'll probably be using one of the other (harder) methods for the kimono I'm working on, & I'm thinking of adding a curve to it, so it's back to the practice board again...but it's really feeling good to start demystifying this albatross!

Anonymous said...

I just found this tutorial! It was a huge help! Thanks!