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Thursday, 11 June 2015

Learn to Sew 3: Waistcoat with pockets

We have made a cozy pair of trousers in the previous lesson and it seem right that we should be making something to match that. With this in mind, I have decided that another easy pattern for newbies to sewing is a waistcoat. I am going to add some pockets, which are optional, but very easy to make. Any waistcoat pattern is good to use. Some patterns do not get lined and will have facings. Others only get lining in the front and a facing in the back. I am going to show you how to make a fully lined waistcoat. If your pattern is not the same, here is how to adapt it. Do not cut any facings. Cut 2 front panel out of fabric and 2 out of lining. Cut 1 back panel on the fold out of fabric and another out of lining.

To cut these pockets without a pattern, you need to cut a rectangle measuring 25 x 20 cm. Then simply cut a semi-circle away as shown. If you find the idea daunting, use a side plate to guide you. Now cut two pockets from fabric and two more from lining.

Lay the fabric and lining pockets on top of each other with the right sides facing.

Secure the panels with pins.

Sew all the way around the pocket, leaving only a 3 cm gap anywhere in the pocket to turn it right side out.

Cut the excess fabric away in the corners and the curves, as shown.

Turn the pocket right side out.

It is best to iron the pockets flat before you continue.

Position the pockets in the appropriate place on the front panels of the waistcoat. Pin in place.

Sew all the way around the pocket with a top stitch (lengthen your stitch length). Do NOT sew the curve. This should be left open.

(I had small bits of fabric left over from previous projects and as a result my waistcoat is a mixture of different fabrics. I could cut the lining for the back panel on the fold, but did not have enough fabric to do the same for the back panel cut from fabric. As a result, I cut two panels and simply sewed them together. That explains the strange seam you see in my back panel.)
Lay the front panels right sides facing on top of the back panel. Pin at the shoulders. Pin at the sides as well. Repeat what you do with the fabric waistcoat and do the same with the lining. Essentially you are making two waistcoats.

Sew the shoulder seams.

Sew the side seams.

Your waistcoat should now look like this. The lining looks like this as well, minus the pockets.

Lay the lining waistcoat inside the fabric waistcoat. Pin all the way around. Leave the sleeves open.

Starting at the neck, sew all the way around the waistcoat and ending where you started. Do not leave a gap.

Can you see where the seam line runs that we have just sewn?

Cut the excess fabric away in the corners and curves.

Turn the waistcoat right side out through the sleeve openings.

This is what the waistcoat looks like at this stage.

Tuck the lining and the fabric neatly in at the arms. Pin in place.

Sew the arm openings by hand. Iron the waistcoat flat when done.

Stand back to admire your own handiwork.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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