"A machinist sits at the machine to sew - they are not there to pin things together, they are there to sew them together! They are not there to trim things, mark things, or check that things fit together - these should already be done. Unless that machine is making a noise there is no sewing happening, and no garments are being made!"
Although aimed at maximising production in a factory, this still applies to the home sewer who wants to increase their efficiency don't you think? It pays to check occasionally whether some of our habits really contribute to sewing a quality garment, or whether they are just a good way to fill in time!
I know this quote runs through my head every time I sit down at the machine with a new bundle, so that sort of explains my basic and random method of construction, that is:
- to sew everything that can logically be sewn together, then go to the press, then go back to sew more things together, then go to the press, and keep repeating until you're finished!
- make things easy on yourself - don't sew so far ahead that you make other areas difficult to sew - ie, complete your front pockets before sewing additional panels to the front, don't sew across unpressed seams, sew those small pieces (like flaps and epaulettes) first so they are ready to attach to a larger piece, complete the sleeve unit before setting it in, etc.
- follow your nose, not the instructions! Ha ha that's not strictly true, I just thought it sounded good, but if you know your pattern inside out, it is true that you won't need many instructions.
And so today, despite intending to do a jet pocket tutorial, I couldn't resist sitting down and sewing my first round:
And so tonight, because I have nothing better to do, you get a post in reverse order of construction, because sewing your jet pocket should be one of the first things you do.....!
First I sewed the waistline seam on the centre back panel - this is a seam I had to add so I could fit my coat out of the
scraps of available cloth:
The seam will be covered by a half-belt, I bagged that out along with the epaulettes:
|There's another epaulette somewhere!|
I sewed the front darts:
and sewed the sleeve seams. There is almost 2cm ease in my back sleeve, so much that I had to use gathering stitches to fit it all in between the notches. This is it after an initial press, but being 100% wool it should be fine after another go:
If you are sewing a two-piece sleeve, first sew the hindseam, complete the back vent and press while the sleeve is still flat, then sew the foreseam. I have documented how to sew a two-piece sleeve here.
I attached the Front Facings to the Back Neck Facing at the shoulder:
And I sewed the lining body pieces together - I also overlocked the lining seams because I will probably leave my hem open, if you are bagging out your hem you won't need to overlock:
And I sewed the sleeve linings:
Instead of easing the back seam which would have looked a mess in the silk, I made a small tuck. You need to leave one sleeve seam partially open for bagging out - sew about 10cm at the armhole and cuff ends with the opening in between. You can see my scissors holding it open here. If you are sewing a two-piece sleeve, make the opening on the foreseam.
Actually I always used to leave a seam open on both arms, because according to Murphy's Law the sleeve you put your hand down to turn through will always be the wrong one, and if you are doing this a few times it gets annoying!
Then I pressed everything so it was ready for my next round of sewing. I pressed the back seam, the bust darts, and the half-belt and epaulettes:
The centre back is now ready for the side back to be attached, the front now ready for the side front to be attached, and the belt and epaulettes are ready for topstitching.
I pressed the shoulder seams open on the facings - take care not to stretch the curved neckline edges when pressing:
And I pressed the sleeve seams open - they look a lot better now, and all that ease has given the back elbow some shape:
I pressed the lining body, pressing the seam allowances to one side rather than open seamed:
And the sleeve linings were pressed with the seams following with the tuck rather than against it. You should be able to see how I have pressed a fold in the open seam, this makes it easier when you come to enclose it:
Now all my pieces are prepared for the next round of sewing! For the record that took about an hour at a leisurely pace, stopping to take photos along the way. (OK, I didn't count the bit where I had to unpick an epaulette!)
Tomorrow - jet pockets, I promise!
Tomorrow - jet pockets, I promise!