Pockets and Finishing
Lessons 9 and 10 (Pockets and Finishing) have been combined in this post since Lesson 9 requires all of your finishing decisions to be made prior to sewing the pocket to the jacket.
I want to start this post with a comment about our instructor, Ms. Lorna Knight. I was reading the class comments in Lesson 9 and discovered she is a prolific writer and has quite the repertoire of instructional sewing books. If you are interested, you can check them out here.
Creating a Pocket
So, on to our pocket(s). Hopefully you watched this Lesson back before you started working on your jacket so that you did not get to this point only to realize – a step (possibly critical) was skipped.
We start out by discussing said skipped step of adding interfacing to the back of the front jacket section.
If you did not do this and your fabric is really lightweight and wish to have pockets, just make your pocket and don’t use it for carting around heavy objects. Problem solved.
ALERT: The paper pattern for the pocket and pocket lining is created from the tissue pattern piece (#7) in the jacket pattern (Vogue 7975). Just remember if you do not trace this pattern off like with the other paper pattern pieces, you have a 5/8″ seam allowance and not the 1″ seam allowance.
The first step to the pocket is the pattern matching. Make sure you have your pocket placement exact and then, like the instructor, mark the lines in your fabric onto the paper pattern piece so that you can cut your fabric out accordingly.
If you find you do not have enough fabric for pattern matching, consider cutting your pocket on the diagonal. This way you will get your pocket and at the same time, have a clever design element added to your jacket.
The only other thought I have on the pocket placement is to make sure you know what trim you will be using prior to sewing anything into place. I say this because the size/width of your trim may play a role in where you decide to place your pocket.
I initially picked out the perfect pocket location just to discover, after selecting my trim, that my location was going to have to be moved in order to accommodate the width of my trim. If I would have left the pocket in it’s initial position, it would have been too close to the trim and would have looked funny.
Constructing the Pocket
Ms. Knight’s lesson on the pocket is pretty straight forward. Her instructions are for a lined pocket with a trim of ribbon and braid. No quilting is done on the pocket however you can quilt your pocket if you wish.
Trims: Ribbon and Braid
There are so many different types of trims and trim combinations it can be overwhelming. If you are struggling to find something you like, you can find some inspirational pictures out on my Iconic Tweed Jacket Pinterest Board.
The following photograph is of a real Chanel jacket. This is especially interesting to me because the trim is crocheted. Very simple, yet an elegant finish.
The trim you have in mind may not in reality look very good. So before you spend a lot of money, I recommend you do some auditioning if you can. Take your jacket (not a small swatch of fabric) to the fabric store. You can even take a few pins so that you can pin a few things in place and then step back and get the full picture.
ALERT: One mistake I made was continuing the one-sided fringe (see my jacket pictures below) around the base of my jacket. I sewed the entire trim down and THEN tried the jacket on in front of the mirror.
What looks really nice around the neck and down the front was an epic fail around the base of the jacket. It just didn’t look right.
My solution was to remove the trim from the base of the jacket only. Much better.
Emma One Sock has some good tips on trims.
Craftsy also has a blog post by Ms. Knight called Sewing on the Fringe: 6 Steps to Making Fringe for Your Tailored Jacket
I thought this blog post was most helpful and ended up choosing her method for making fringe for my jacket.
I ended up having to put two layers of fabric together for my fringe since my fabric was so sparse. The double layers worked out.
As you can see from the photo above, I had to put some paper between my fringe and the sewing machine in order to prevent the needle from poking random pieces of threads down into the machine. I ended up using a folded piece of paper for this task and even then, a few pieces still poked through to the back.
Making the fringe was a very messy job.
There are lots of options for chains. Consider the size, weight, shape/decorative appeal, and the color.
Don’t assume you have to go with a gold chain. Had I not already had the gold chain in my stash, I think using a nickle colored chain would have looked a bit better on my jacket.
ALERT: Something you want to consider when buying a chain is how it is constructed. If you buy a super inexpensive chain you will find that each link has a tiny gap. If this is the case, look for something else.
I made this mistake on one of my other jackets. The tiny gaps are big enough to allow your thread to slip through. I was wearing my jacket and noticed my chain was hanging out so I had to go back and re-sew.
Take a look at the chains in Susan Khalje’s store if you want to see some very good quality.
Curtain Weight Alternative
Since I had a chain I did not need to do this step. I have to admit that I don’t much care for the curtain weight option. If you are interested in buying curtain weights, you can search around the Internet. Curtain weights can also be found by searching “lead hem tape, lead curtain hem tape, leaded drapery weights, or leaded curtain tape”.
I have to say that I really did enjoy this class. Ms. Knight is a good instructor. She has put together a very comprehensive and fun class that results in a classic and versatile item for your wardrobe.
Once the weather cools off a bit, I’ll be donning my new jacket!
Thanks for reading, V