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Nov 19, 2013

Pea Coat Progress + New Patterns!



Readers, be honest: do you think this McCall's pattern I just purchased, which dates from approximately 1957, is too Sixteen Going on Seventeen for my cousin Cathy?

Perhaps you are wondering how old Cathy is, anyway.  I believe a woman is only as old as she looks, which means Cathy is a still-dewy 28.  Who just guffawed!?



I also picked up this Vogue men's pattern:



So why do I still purchase so many patterns when many of them would be easy enough to draft (especially the men's patterns)?   Friends, I like patterns.  No, I love patterns.  Even if I could draft the exact same thing myself, I love the artwork and the sense of connecting with the history of home sewing, do you know what I mean?

In pea coat news, today was all about my two front double welt pockets.

First I sketched each pocket on the wrong side of each front with colored pencil.  (A dart goes through them so one side had to be retraced a bit.)



Next, I stitched around the entire rectangle from the wrong side, with easy-to-see thread in my bobbin.



I interfaced the whole area -- probably unnecessary, but it couldn't hurt -- with a strip of fusible interfacing.



The rectangle is 1" wide, so each exposed welt has to be 1/2" wide when turned under.  I cut 2" pieces for my welts, folded them in half (so they were now 1" wide) and stitched the edges closed at 1/4."   Then, using my straight stitch foot, I attached them by stitching over the visible blue stitch line at 1/4" from the 1/4" stitch line on the welt (leaving the 1/2" for each exposed welt).  Does that make sense?



On top of the lower welt, I attached the side of the pocket that will come in contact with the wrong side of the coat (and will be turned under along with the welts).



Then I cut open the rectangle and turned the welts and pocket through the cut; I'm sure most of you know the routine.  After that, any blue thread that was visible got pulled out.



Next I added the other side of the pocket, the one that has the facing, by attaching it to the other turned-under welt (the two pocket layers are still not attached to each other).



Then I carefully topstitched around the whole pocket, being careful that I didn't stitch the entire pocket closed while I topstitched, and also added an additional frame of decorative topstitching (as per the pattern).   Tomorrow I will stitch the two sides of the pocket together.

The pockets could still use a light pressing, but currently they look like this:





And that was my sewing day!

Tomorrow I hope to attach the back to the fronts, as well as the undercollar.  If there's time, I might cut my lining; we'll see.

Have a great day, everybody!

24 comments:

  1. Cousin Cathy might look nice in the sixteen going on . . . pattern with a bolero added on. Or maybe a longer sleeve and her strung minks? But I'm always looking for sleeves (my upper arms are . . . . mature.)

    So does this mean I'm about 24? Were that it was.

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  2. I like the pattern version of this dress, with the little cap sleeves, much better than the poufy pirate sleeves Liesl wore. Or however her name was spelled. Anyway, she was way too poufy. I agree with Alaskapsych -- I'd like to see Cathy in a more sophisticated version of this dress along with her minks. How about a cherry red silk? That would look fab with her coloring. :-)

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  3. It's a pretty Junior Miss kind of frock (as so nicely demonstrated by Fraulein Liesl), but the right fabric might make it a tad more mature, as could some detailing. Perhaps some appliqué trim around the neckline? Too mature, though, and you'll run the risk of going all Mamie...

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  4. Really great tutorial! And lambchop, I am still dewy as hell...... eternally dewy bordering on nearly criminal freshness. ;) I like the pattern---- and don't find it too youthful. It has a great vintage look but for me (and just for me) I'd have to dump the ties. Can't tell if that is a one piece or if it does actually rely on the ties for closure--- in either case the ties need to go. Can you imagine the dress made in a matte something or other.... and that under boobage piece made one piece and perhaps softly interfaced and quilted in either a grid or design? Might be pretty smashing!

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  5. I never got why Liesl and the other characters are all wearing 50s-style dresses in a 60s movie set in the early 40s. The only one with any style is the Baroness. If the Captain had married her, there would have been no family singing group (see: "The Jacksons") and they wouldn't have been stuck running an inn in Vermont. Cathy can do better.

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  6. Agreed, thanks for the tutorial. Sounds like a productive sewing day to me. My only sewing productivity so far is attending an American Sewing Guild Neighborhood Group meeting.

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  7. Ah! I was sweet sixteen when that pattern was current. Love the puffy skirt and gasping-for-air waist. (There was a pre-Spanx boned undergarment call a Merry Widow that permitted/tortured you to have this wasp waist.)

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  8. I feel the exact same way about using patterns vs. drafting them myself. It's fun figuring out what to do next and connecting with the sewing community.

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  9. I think the dress would be great in a sophisticated fabric....navy velvet, floral brocade, etc.

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  10. Yes on the patterns thoughts! I used to believe they were only for utilitarian purposes. Now I buy patterns for the art, or the inspiration they bring me or i'll buy similar patterns from different providers to compare who says what about making that dress. Love patterns!

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  11. Great looking pockets, Peter! I'm tempted to by that Japanese pattern book. :) But anyway, I think that the dress pattern should have longer sleeves for Cathy because it is more appropriate for the colder weather.

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  12. Pea coats and pockets, schmockets, the conversation is clearly all about the dress. My (much older) sister had one like it in white with blue polka dots. I remember it particularly because my equally identical cousin, Hildegard (definitely not related to the Saint of the same name), wore it once for an Octoberfest outing when I was around 11, just about the time I had memorized all the songs and dreamed I had an older brother like Rolph who stayed and sang to me rather than dancing with Leisl and then running off to be a Nazi wimp. Funny how puberty can mess up a glorious career. Kudos to Cathy for keeping the dream alive.

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  13. Cathy's figure is perfect for the dress; just don't make it in baby pink. I liked the cherry red brocade idea above, but any sophisticated fabric would do.

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  14. With a lace overlay and something festivus as an underlay it wouldn't yodel a note.

    In fact it would be very early Ava or anytime Cyd.

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  15. The pattern is so cute! I agree with you about patterns-- I could draft more of my own stuff, but I just love patterns! It's so enjoyable to see how each pattern is put together and I love the little details you can find in older patterns.

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  16. This is going to be so great. I am with you love patterns, everything about them. I also appreciate your wonderful explanation of the welt pocket. I have a jacket I want to make and this tutorial will be an amazing help.

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  17. If I ever get brave enough to try welt pockets, this is my go-to page. Thanks for the tutorial.

    I agree with your thoughts on buying patterns. I love the artwork. It’s the stuff of which dreams are made. I love opening vintage patterns and imagining who the original owner was.

    I am drooling over that dress pattern. As others have stated, it’s all about the fabric. The version on the left looks like Midge’s country picnic outfit, while the one on the right has a more sophisticated look.

    Cathy doesn’t have any dangling arm/batwing issues, so I think the little sleeves are fine.

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  18. It was me guffawing way down in the Antipodes...Cathy's age is closer to 38.But she does have nice shoulders so I think the pattern could work, with the sleeve edges brought up higher on the shoulder, almost a square neckline.

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  19. I wished I dressed like this at 16 going on 17! Alas, I was too busy trying to get Adam Ant to notice me (please don't judge my youth!) Cathy would look amazing in this dress and her youthful good looks will certainly only be complimented! Love your blog! I'm a long time reader and newer commenter :)

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  20. Very informative post. Welt pockets are hard to master and you make the process clear.

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  21. Hi Peter,
    I'm so happy that somehow looking everywhere in Internet to buy a jacket pattern for a foux mink jacket for myself, I just don’t want not to make a mistake and ruin this Italian foux mink. I got to your blog of yours , this wonderful place and started to read all this funny, lovely comments, pictures. I'm like you a self-taught “fashion designer” for years I have made many things, from a hat and trousers, women dresses, shirts and you name it and I never used a pattern from anybody, I always made all cane of patterns, I taught myself how to knit, how to cut hair, how to make macramé, how to make sandals, how to transform shoes. When it is something you can make with your hands, I go for and if at first if it doesn’t work and I’m interested in it I won’t stop until I get it right. I guess the reasons are many: grow up pour in a large family back in Cuba, since I was a little boy I was interested in fashion, my mother made clothing for people, I sat nearby and look how she cut, how she used the sewing machine, how she put together the patterns, how she made all the handwork. One day, when my mother went to the store to get some food and returned, discovered me sitting by the sewing machine, I had a pair of pants almost ready, she was stoned by how well done those jeans where, from that moment on she help me and taught everything she knew. I don’t make that many things any more, only when there is an item, like this foux mink jacket I discovered online in this Korean store and it is too much money for me to pay for. In this situation, I just buy the fabric and make it for myself.
    JR in Fan Francisco.

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  22. I prefer the same. I always use patterns too, well I just love comparing my work, it makes me overwhelm specially if what I did is totally a perfect virtual copy of the original.

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