Last week I found a bargain at a local charity shop – 3m of what I suspect is a wool and silk herringbone fabric in sage green and off white. It was just hanging on a hanger in the curtains and duvet covers section, looking sad and unwanted. Well, not by me! It didn’t take me long to decide I was having it, even though all I’d gone in for was a couple of books.
I popped it in the washing machine straight away and let it dry. It was when I ironed it that I thought it might have a silk content, and a bleach test on the fibres confirmed that. Woo! But what to make?? I didn’t think too long, I realised it would be perfect to make another pair of Kana’s Standard trousers B-a. Not for now, it’s too cold, but for the spring they’d be great! I though I could line them, or have a Hong Kong finish on the seams, put in jetted or welt pockets at the back instead of the patch pockets – and generally just fancy them up a bit. All because the fabric was so nice!
The fabric frays quite badly, so the first thing was to overlock all the edges and then interface where necessary asap. I don’t always interface the hip yoke pocket opening, but on this stuff with it’s tendency to wiggle around, interfacing was definitely called for. The pocket facing in understitched and then I topstitched too – just to make sure it was all secure and wouldn’t stretch out when I over use the pockets.
Hong Kong finish was scrapped, this fabric is too drapey and that would stiffen the seams too much. I also didn’t line them in the end because the colour needed didn’t exist in the stash with enough meterage. I didn’t want to buy anything, it would cause delays (shock – horror!) and I’m trying (not very hard!) not to buy stuff!! Oh dear, that didn’t last long, did it??
But I did make fancy pockets on the back! I cut the standard patch pocket out of the outer fabric, and another from the limited lining. Then I cut 2 bias strips 6cm wide by 16cm long. I wanted narrow jetted pockets, possibly with a loop and button to hold them closed. For the loop I cut a bias strip 15cm long and 3cm wide. This I fed through a bias tape gadget and then folded double and topstitched shut. Much easier than making a strip and then trying to turn through. I just knew this fabric wouldn’t like that very much.
To construct the pocket, these are the steps I followed. First, interface the bias strip for the welts, then interface the fabric on the trouser piece, wider and longer than the pocket opening. I drew a line with blue chalk down the middle of the bias strip – on the wrong side, marking the begining and end of the pocket opening. Then I stitched, starting and ending exactly on those markings with the edge of my sewing machine foot on the blue line, one line on either side of the centre marking. Next, I cut down that centre line and cut diagonally to the end of the stitching. Make sure you cut straight! You don’t need to stitch a box, in fact, that can hamper things.
Now turn one side at a time up and press well, all along the fold. Once that’s done, turn the bias strip to the inside and press those little triangles back well. Now you have to use the “seam allowance” as the “stuffing” for the welt, and fold the bias strip down to the inside over it. Make sure you’re folding straight and accurately, it will show on the outside if you don’t. Pin and press and baste as you feel necessary to get the right shape/line. Make sure the welts aren’t overlapping or smiling at you, the folded edges should be touching “kissing”, as my tutor used to say. Now you can stitch in the ditch along the length of the welts. Then turn it all upside down, fold back those triangles and stitch along the fold, securing the edges in well. Now you’re ready for the pocket bags.
Start with the lining, line the fabric up with the bottom edge of the bias strip on the lower welt, right side of lining to wrong side of trouser. Lift the seam allowance up and pin and stitch from the welt side, not the lining side. I tend to stitch twice, once roughtly down the middle of the allowance, this could be called either a holding stitch, or a reinforcement stitch, it does both jobs! Then I go back and stitch again as close to the welt stitchline as I can. Fold the lining down and press well. If you’re going to use a button loop, now’s the time to get it in.
Mark the centre of the pocket opening and pin the loop to the inside of the welt, centred on that marking. (I usually use a pin to mark.) Again, lift up the allowance and stitch the loop to the bias strip. Now you need to whipstitch the welts together. This keeps the pocket closed while you fiddle in the inside sewing the pocket bags together. Now line up the pocket fabric with that allowance and stitch as you did for the lining, right side of pocket fabric to wrong side of trousers. Once you’re done, smooth the pocket bags down and line up the sides. You will have a longer lining piece than pocket bag, just trim it to the same length, pin all round and stitch. I then overlocked the pocket bags together.
All that’s left is to sew on your button, and voila! You have a fancy pocket! Now I just need weather suitable to wear these in, it’s a bit chilly here at the mooment, but not half as cold as it is in the States! Keep warm guys!!