Archive for the ‘Jackets’ Category
School blazers, golf club jackets, cricket club jackets and other sporting clubs may need pockets replaced on lined jackets. The usual reason is that someone has been promoted to Captain or some other type of promotion. It looks more difficult than it is. You can sew around the outside, which will save you a lot of angst, however most jackets are sewn around the inside of the pocket. Don’t sew over the lining. Get into the jacket and sew only onto the outer fabric. For both ladies and men’s jackets you can do this by unpicking the seam closed to the pocket for easy access. If there is an inside pocket on the lining, open the seam between the inside facing and the lining. Closing will be different for both ladies and men
Unpick the old pocket. If the new pocket has not been stitched around the outside or ironed flat then do this. The seam allowance is about ½” or 1 cm. Stitch in just under the seam allowance (not close to the edge) If the pocket is curved at the corners do a gathering stitch and curve the corners, clipping up to the stitching so that they will sit properly.
Iron the pocket seam allowances back. Place the pocket in the correct position and draw around the pocket EXACTLY as it will sit. The drawn line must be exactly where it is to be stitched. Use a tailors pencil that will wipe off when you are finished.
I start sewing at the top left hand side of the pocket (as I am looking at the pocket). The pocket will be right side to the jacket and the seam will be lying so that your stitch line is over the ½” or 1 cm point and EXACTLY over the drawn line. As you sew around the inside of the pocket you will have to fiddle with it, so that you can sew, but it’s really not that hard to do.
DO NOT SEW IN TINY STITCHES. Use a reasonable stitch length just under gather, because if you make a mistake you can unpick easily, and the pocket does not have to be on tight.
The only thing you have to watch is that the tops are even. Practice makes perfect they say, so if you want to practice use an old jacket and take the pocket off and put it back on again. This will give you the idea of what needs to be done.
When you have the pocket on, you need to stitch over the top of the pocket on the two top corners, so it doesn’t come undone. I find an upside down triangle works well. Sew across the top for about 3 stitches then turn and sew back to the side of the pocket then up to the top.
Now you need to make it look like you were never there. For ladies jackets unpick the opening in the lining of the sleeve. It will more than likely be the left sleeve at the inside arm seam. Pull the section that you opened near the pocket through this opening and sew together. Then resew the lining opening at the inside arm of the sleeve. For men, pull the lining out from the breast pocket. Unpick the seam at the very bottom of the lining. Do not unpick the sides, just the bottom section. Pull the section that is open where you sewed the pocket on through this opening. Sew the section together. Push back into the jacket and sew the bottom of the pocket together. Just topstitch, it doesn’t need to be invisible, because no one looks inside their pocket.
If there is no breast pocket in the lining, unpick a small section at the bottom of the jacket hem. Pull the section through that you need to sew together, then hand stitch the lining back to the jacket at the hem.
Judith aka genie
Men’s Jackets are a little different from ladies jackets, because most men’s jackets are hand stitched around the armhole which closes off the ability to your arm through the sleeve and into the body of the jacket. (Please note that you may come across some men’s jackets that are mass produced, and the sleeve will not be hand stitched on, which means you can get in the same way as you do for ladies.)
So if you are shortening the sleeves on men’s jacket with the sleeves attached at the shoulder, open the lining on both sleeves. Always open the inside arm seam, rather than the outside arm seam.
If you are doing alterations to the body of the garment, put an opening in the lining at the side seam. When you are finished, unpick the bottom of the breast pocket lining, pull the side seam lining through the bottom of the pocket lining and sew up the side seam. Now close the breast pocket lining with a seam across the bottom like you do with the inside arm seam.
Judith aka genie
I knew she was a perfectionist, when she turned the jacket inside out and looked at the workmanship on the inside. I had shortened hundreds of Ladies Lined Jackets, and I am very proud of my own workmanship, so I had a smile on my face. She glared at me and said “I don’t want that seam to be like that on the inside of the sleeve!!!!” The smile escaped my lips, but I kept my sense of humour.
What she was referring to was the inside arm seam on the lining. This is how we get into the inside of ladies jackets. If you have a look at the inside lining on the left or right sleeve, you will see that there is a section that has been sewn down the edge keeping the seam together.
I explained to my customer, that this is how we get into the jackets to shorten sleeves, take in backs etc. She did not believe me, so I explained that if she went into any fashion store and looked inside the left or right sleeve of all lined jackets, she would notice that they were all like this. She became very upset, and because my shop was next door to a fashion store, I took her into the shop and turned the sleeve inside out of some jackets to show her that it was normal. I did offer to hand stitch the seam closed if she preferred it that way, which she insisted I do. Remember the customer is always right…………………
If you are going to alter a lined jacket, unpick this seam and pop the jacket inside out. Put your hand inside the jacket and pull one corner out first, then the opposite corner, and then the rest of the jacket. If the opening is not enough, make it bigger.
If on the other hand you are doing some alterations to the body of the jacket, make your life a little easier, and open the side seam in the body of the jacket. Do whatever needs doing, then open the sleeve opening, pull the section you unpicked through the opening in the sleeve, seam up the seam and close the lining in the sleeve.
This rule applies for ladies jackets, but for men’s jackets it’s different. Next week I will give you some tips on getting into men’s lined jackets.
Judith aka genie
Bagging corners gives a professional finish to a lot of garments. Bagging corners should be used on hems with splits, the top of zips, the front panels are bagged on jacket hems, attaching collars to the body of a garment to name a few. So what does it mean? The easiest ways to explain it is to imagine you are shortening a skirt with splits. Let’s say that the top split overlaps the inside. They are usually about 1 ½” wide, and the underneath section of the split is only about ¼’ – 3/8” wide.
Let’s say it is going up two hem lengths, which means if the hem allowance was 1½” then you would mark up 3” and down 1 ½” for your hem allowance. This would mean cutting just above the existing hem allowance. Always line up the split to make sure you do not get one side longer than the other.
Turn the garment inside out and place it over the ironing board. Iron the hem allowance up at the chalk mark, and place pins on the two side seams pinning the seams together. This is to work out if the hem allowance will fit back onto the garment, or if you need to open out the side seams from the fold line to the bottom of the fabric. If the garment is shaped in or out from the hip area, you will have to either open out the seams or close the seams.
If you don’t have an over locker, sew a piece of ribbon over the selvage, otherwise over lock the edge.
You should have your splits lined up so that they are the same length, and you will have an iron mark for your hem.
Fold the fabric back on itself so that the right sides of the wide split section are together. Place a pin in the ironed fold, and check to see that the pin is in the ironed fold on the opposite side. If it is, sew along this ironed line, then pop the fabric back on itself. Iron it again, and place a pin through the three pieces of fabric, which includes the hem allowance. This holds the split in place. Repeat this with the small section of the split, although in this case, fold the hem up rather than across.
By folding the fabric with right sides together you are bagging the corner. Next week I will talk about bagging the top of invisible zips.
Judith aka genie
This is by far the quickest way to sew on buttons with normal holes at the centre.
I use this technique when I am making clothes like shirts, tops or jackets. Obviously you can’t do this with shank buttons.
Set the dials on your sewing machine as follows:-
- Stitch length zero (0)
- Zig zag should be the width of the two holes in the centre of the button. On my machine it is around four (4).
- Lower the feed dogs on the machine. Do this by reversing the flywheel (usually on the right hand side of the machine). The feed dogs are under the sewing machine foot and needle. (If you don’t lower the feed dogs you may find it difficult to place the fabric under the foot, and allow enough room to put the button under the foot.)
- Place the garment in under the foot and place the button in the right position.
- Lower the foot onto the button. Sometimes I have to hold the button in place if the button is slightly raised. Or sometimes I use some tweezers to hold into place while I lower the foot.
- Using the flywheel, lower the needle into the button hole, then continue turning the flywheel until the needle goes into the opposite hole.
- Now sew about 6 times back and forth. The garment and button should not move because you have the stitch width set at zero (0).
- Take the garment out from under the foot and leave yourself a bit of thread.
- Some people would just cut off the thread and leave it, which is why the buttons fall off in the first place.
- Using a needle thread the cotton onto the needle and push through to the under side.
- You have four threads now. Divide them into two and knot off. Cut off excess cotton
Judith aka genie
Good tailored men’s jackets are usually closed off at the shoulder. The sleeve is hand stitched in which makes it impossible to get to the body of the jacket through the sleeve. In this case, open the side seam and do the work you have to do, then when you are ready to close, open the bottom of the breast pocket. Pop the side seam through and sew up, so that noone will know you opened this seam. Then stitch the bottom lining together. The stitching will be on the opposite side, but really no one will know that you did this, and usually people don’t put big things in the beast pocket anyway.
Judith aka genie