Friday, July 20, 2012

Day Trousers: Part 5 (pockets)

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of photos of the pocket-making process. I have to say I was working on this through the heat wave last week, and what with having a fan pointed at me going full blast - and then having to keep moving the thread that was blowing around in the breeze - I didn't stop to take a lot of pictures as I went along.

Let's start  first with a photo from last the last post. You'll see the two unfinished flaps of wool poking out - those are the pocket facings. They're here so that from the outside you don't see any of the pocketing fabric, which in this case I'm making out of the same cotton that I used to interline the trousers.

Here is the pocket, all finished. I know, I know, I didn't get any in-progress shots. Basically I took a large square of fabric, folded it in half, and then placed it on top of the trousers where I wanted the pocket to be. I then trimmed off the bit hanging over the waistband, and the bit hanging over the side seam. I stitched the side edge of the pocket to the side stay, then felled the pocket facings onto the pocket, from the inside. That was a little tricky for the top part, as you may be able to tell from the photo below. It wasn't perfect, but you'll never see. I felled the tops to the top of the waist stay, and tacked the corners so they don't pull free. Finally I trimmed the bottom of the pocket into a curve, backstitched along the seam, and hand-serged the raw edges. 

Here's a shot from the outside. Notice the pick stitching along the front of the pocket opening. This secures the pocket facing from flapping backwards and pulling out of the pocket.

A closeup of one of the bar tacks. These are placed at the top and bottom of each pocket opening, and are used to keep the seams from being pulled open as your hands go in and out of the pocket.

All right - almost finished with the trousers! Now I just need to affix buttons for the braces, and line them, and they're done!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day Trousers: Part 4 (fly and stays)

I know, I promised pockets next. I didn't realise there was so much more to do before getting to the pockets, so here's one more post before I get to them.

I took some photos outside instead of inside at my dark work table. Wow. The photos came out so much better. It's just so hot outside right now, so I may not take all my photos outside. Also, it's hard to stop work to take a photo and then come back inside to keep working.

Here is the button catch, with the buttonholes marked and basted, ready to cut.

The finished buttonholes (with bright colours!). This button catch is lined with linen, and has a layer of wool on each side to finish it. Some of the buttonholes are better than others.... I've also made the finished side of the buttonholes face to the outside, even though they'll usually (and hopefully always) be covered by the facing flap of the button catch, but just in case they show they'll look neat and tidy from the front.

Here's the finished and lined button fly. Note the difference between "button catch" and "button fly". I had trouble keeping the two apart, which led to a lot of reading and re-reading to make sure I was doing what was needed to the right side. I also referred to David Page Coffin's Trousers book to wrap my brain around button flies (flys?). Anyway, this is stayed with a triple layer of folded canvas to provide support for the buttons.

Here's a shot of some of the additional stay supports in the trousers. Across the top are the waist stays, which are actually several shorter lengths of canvas, overlapped at the side seams and at the split points at the back of the waistband. Down the side seam is another stay, which goes to just below the pocket opening, and keeps the pocket opening flat, and also gives the pocket bag itself something sturdy to fell onto (in the next post). Finally you can see the two round button stays for the suspenders/braces. In the rear there are triangular button stays which go up into the back split points.

The top of the trousers are cross stitched onto the waist stays. This seam will be covered eventually by the interior lining. Not shown, I pick stitched all around the waist stay to the front, about an inch from the top, to give the waist the support it derives from the stays.