Thursday, 25 March 2010

Welt pocket Woes

Welt pockets are my current sewing hurdle. I sewed my first successful welt pocket in September 2008, with a great sense of achievement! (thanks Ann Rowley) but still, when I see a welt pocket in a pattern, I have nasty feelings of trepidation.
My public story about sewing hurdles is that they should be practiced, a lot, until they become part of the sewing repetoire. So, have I been sewing welt pockets? Yes, but not very often. I don't think I have sewn more than 10 of these to date.
On receiving Kenneth King's Cool Couture for Christmas, I thought I had welt pockets nailed. His technique using a ribbon as understructure for the welt seemed an ideal way to cut down on all the marking and measuring that is not at all my favourite part of sewing.
You may remember that in my most recent pair of trousers, I managed to completely stuff up the welt pocket due to operator error. That was Mr King pocket #1
Here are Mr King pockets #2 and #3.
There is a problem.
For #2, the nasty overlapping-instead-of-meeting-nicely-in-the-middle welt is compounded by my 15 minutes of resewing, re-turning and generally messing up the end of the welt until it required drastic repair.
Naturally, I assumed that my sewing was at fault, I must have failed to eyeball 1mm away from the edge of the 1/4 inch foot (that is Mr King mixing his metric and imperial, not me)when sewing the welt. So I was very, very careful with pocket #3. It did not meet in the middle either.
Was it my foot?
I measured. No, although my 1/4 inch foot looks nothing like Mr King's 1/4 inch foot pictured in his book, it does sew exactly 1/4 inch away from the edge.
Was it the ribbon?
No, the ribbon width is exactly 5/8 inch, as described on the label.
(Apologies to Pamela Allen for adopting the writing style of Who Sank the Boat? 500 times reading the same story will do that to you)
I was stumped.
I tried again.
Same problem.
I read the chapter of instructions again, not just the two pages with pretty pictures about sewing the welt.
Operator error strikes again. I was supposed to use 7/8 inch ribbon.
Note to self, read the instructions.


Sharon said...

How frustrating.

I have done welt pockets before with some success and then decided to take KR's online class on PR using the ribbon technique. As yet I haven't tried this and after reading your post I will be very careful reading his notes.

arnysews said...

I don't have KK's book so can't comment on the method.
I was taught using a method similar to the Palmer Pletsch method and always have great results.

Elaray said...

I've gotten over my fear of welt pockets using the same sources you used: Ann Rowley and practice. I use the method described in Pants for Real People. I haven't studied Kenneth King's method although I have the book. My welt pockets have improved, but they are not perfect. I think they are a lifelong battle.

Mary Nanna said...

I use the Burda method and they are pretty good but they do require exact measuring which I think was the thing you were hoping to escape from.

The last pocket looks great! But I suppose it's meant to be a double welt not a single welt? Because as a single welt I would be thrilled with that!

It's so easy to overlook something as simple as starting with the right "ingredients" - I've been amazed at how many times I've overlooked something equally simple.

I'm sure it's that lethal cocktail of complicated pattern + children. said...

Shoot! I can't stand it when I goof up like that. SO annoying.

The dress I have nearly finished (for the second time) has been dubbed the Do-Over Dress. I have unpicked and resewn nearly every single seam.


The Slapdash Sewist said...

Don't you hate it when it turns out to be your own fault? This happens to me all the time. I'm glad you solved the mystery.

Miss Smith said...

My sewing nemesis is invisible zips. I've failed at them more than once and I feel like they are mocking me. Luckily my sister Mary Anna is coming down next week and she is totally awesome at them. She will whip them into shape and then we'll see who has the last laugh! Nya ha ha ha ha!

gwensews said...

Sometimes, we just hit a wall. and then, the lighbulb goes off! Now that you realize the problem, you'll be making fabulous welts in no time.