V1419 Sewalong: Steps 51-63

3 Nov

Good morning, Sewalongers! We only have a couple weeks left before the sewalong is complete – are you feeling excited? You should! Especially since this week is all about the welt pockets πŸ˜€

Meg will be covering the steps this week for creating your own beautiful welt pockets, so be sure to check out The McCall Blog for tutorials. Again, I’m just here to cheerlead and give some tips this week. I spent pretty much my entire Sunday wrestling with these pockets, but the good news is that they turned out quite lovely! And I have some advice to share, so listen up!

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
First and foremost, whether this is your first welt or your 50th welt, you absolutely need to practice making a welt pocket using your coat fabrics before you start hacking into the coat. It’s important to do this with your coating fabrics in particular, as they may act differently than other fabrics you’ve used in the past for welts. My wool coating fabric is pretty bulky, so I was able to sort out issues in my practice rounds, instead of on the coat itself.

I know, making practice welts kind of sucks! I’m SO glad I did it, though, because I don’t think my welts would have turned out nearly as nice if I hadn’t practiced a few times first. You don’t need much for the practice – I used a piece of coating that was about 8″x4″, a similarly sized piece of my contrast taffeta (for the pocket facing – don’t worry about cutting a pocket out of your fabric for the other side – unless you just reaaally think you need to practice sewing pockets), and one fabric welt. After my third practice welt, I felt confident enough to do the real thing on the coat.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
For marking your coat pieces – here are a couple of tips. First of all, I wouldn’t necessarily rely on tracing the markings off the pattern. You can trace them to get a general *idea* of where the pockets need to hit, but for doing the actual marking (or cleaning up your markings, or re-adding them if they mostly rubbed off during the coat construction), just use a ruler and a piece of chalk. The welt is a rectangle, after all πŸ™‚ The welt is 6″ long by 1/2″ wide, and the circle marking is approximately 2″ from the corner on the bottom line (please re-check these measurements against your pattern before marking – I’m going based on my size, which may be different than yours!). I used a straight ruler and this Clover chaco liner (well, mine is white, but same difference) for my markings. I like this particular liner because it doesn’t pull the fabric when it marks, and the chalk dust comes out very easily. I also like how fine the line comes out. Just a preference!

Once you’ve marked your rectangles (I don’t bother marking the center line or the v’s – but go ahead and mark those if you wish), it’s a good idea to thread-trace the markings with long basting stitches. I use silk thread for this purpose – I like how easy it is to remove, and I love that it doesn’t show a marking when you press over it. You may also use cotton thread if you don’t want to spring for silk (a spool is about $4, so not terribly expensive but also not really cheap!) – or even regular polyester, but definitely check that it doesn’t leave marks when it’s pressed. I also mark my dots with simple tailor’s tacks – just loop the thread over the marking a couple of times. Thread-tracing these markings means that they’ll be visible from *both* sides of the coat, and that they won’t rub off as you handle them. Thread trace the rectangles on both the coat and the pocket facing (the contrast).

One more thing: once you’ve thread-traced the welts on your coat, it’s a good idea to try the coat on and make sure they are an even height. Mine were ever-so-slightly off, but I was able to catch it before sewing on uneven welts. That would have been lame!

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
When making your welts, if your fabric is thick – try trimming the seam allowances with your scissors at an angle. This will make one seam allowance slightly longer than the other, which will prevent a ridge from showing when it’s turned right side out. Position the welts so that the shorter trimmed side faces the outside of the coat.

Also, with the welts – don’t aggressively trim and clip the seam allowances to nothing! You need a little bit there so the corner will have some structure when it’s turned right side out. I trim mine to a little less than 3/8″.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
When turning the welts right side out, push the seam allowance to one side, like so.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Carefully turn the entire thing right side out, and gently use a point presser (or a knitting needle, or a butter knife, or whatever you have on hand) to push the corner out to a sharp angle. Then press, being careful not to drag the iron around – you don’t want to distort your welt.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Yay, sharp corners! As a side note – this was one of the practice welts that did not have the edges trimmed at an angle. See the ridge showing through? Yuck.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
When it’s time to sew the pocket facing to the welt+coat, you’ll be glad you did those thread tracings. I checked both sides constantly to be sure that I was exactly on the lines for both coat & pocket facing. I also went the extra mile and hand-basted the facing on, using a different color of silk basting thread. This took foreeeeever, but it’s super precise and I think it’s a big reason why my pockets turned out so nice. Then you can just sew right on top of the basting lines and not have to worry about pins getting in the way (or, in my case – distorting the fabric because of the sheer amount of bulk in that area).

Once you’ve sewn everything down for reals, remove all the basting and thread tracing. Cut and clip as indicated in the pattern – and don’t be afraid to get VERY close to the stitching line when clipping those v’s for the welt. This will prevent the coat from having a crease or fold at the corners where the welt intersects. Then just press the hell out of everything. It can be a little tricky, just because there is so much coat going on – just use lots of steam and take your time. I found that I got the best press when I used the top edge (the handle part) of my clapper and laid whatever section I was pressing over it. The narrow surface meant that the iron was pressing only the parts I wanted to press, and not pressing wrinkles into the rest of the coat.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Once I had everything pressed and done, I basted the welts shut while I finished the pockets, so they wouldn’t gape and flap and potentially stretch out.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Sewing the pocket and binding is pretty easy. The only thing I changed was that I stitched in the ditch to attach the binding, rather than slip-stitching by hand. Just a personal preference! Bonus for those of us who are using underlining – when it’s time to invisibly sew the pocket to the coat, you can just grab the underlining and not worry about your stitches being invisible from the outside. Yay!

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Here’s the finished pocket on the inside. Doesn’t it look luxe?

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
And, of course, my beautiful welts. I am so happy with how they turned out! Definitely worth the effort!

Don’t forget to check out The McCall Blog for Meg’s tutorial on sewing the welts! My biggest tip? TAKE YOUR TIME. Don’t try to rush this section and expect pristine welts. That in mind, you also should not be too scared to actually do this part! They’re just welts – practice a few times, follow the directions, utilize hand-basting, and you’ll be fine πŸ™‚ If all else fails, you can always throw a patch pocket over the mess πŸ˜› haha! (no, seriously, I tell myself this EVERY TIME I make welt pockets!)

How is everyone doing this week with the coat? Any questions?


32 Responses to “V1419 Sewalong: Steps 51-63”

  1. Dana November 3, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    I have amazing respect for those of you making this coat. I’m just reading along and some of these steps make me break out in a cold sweat!!

    • LLADYBIRD November 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      Haha thank you! Although, it’s really not as difficult as it seems. Just a bit time-consuming with all that binding πŸ™‚

      • anelisen January 16, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

        I can’t believe I didn’t find this tutorial before…would have helped so much while making the pockets! Oh well, mine turned out ok! A quick question: when I actually wore my coat, my welts were gaping open a little bit. Is there something that I might have done that would cause that, or something I can do to fix it?

        • LLADYBIRD January 18, 2015 at 10:37 am #

          Hm, they shouldn’t gape open. Did you sew the sides down? You might be able to sew a second line of stitching next to the sides to stop gaping – or just slipstitch them closed at the top about 1/2″ in on either side (I’m guessing; I can’t see your pockets so it’s hard to say for certain!). That might pull them taut enough so they don’t gape open πŸ™‚ The only thing I can think of is perhaps the welt is bigger than the opening, which would be causing it to gape open.

  2. Chris Johnson November 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    I too am just following along and so impressed with your teaching as well as your sewing skills. Your coat is sensational! Because of your detailed process, I am going to make this coat in the future. I have purchased the pattern, and I am bookmarking all of your and Meg’s coat posts in Evernote. This will be a real stretch for my growing skills.

    • LLADYBIRD November 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      Thank you so much! I can’t wait to see your future coat :DDD

  3. patsijean November 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    Just a suggestion, but when trimming seams for a project such as this (well a lot of projects actually), I use a pinking shear to feather out the edges and eliminate the ridge, and I’ve always oriented the shorter seam allowance toward the body. I do know know what the difference would be the other way around but I’ll note it next time.

    • LLADYBIRD November 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

      That’s such a great tip with the pinking shears! I’ll have to try that next time πŸ™‚ I’ve used pinking shears for that purpose with interfacing and back stays, don’t know why I didn’t consider it other uses that shouldn’t show a ridge.

  4. Reginasaurusrex November 3, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    Wow. It’s looking really great. I would have joined in on the sewalong but the coat isn’t really my style. It certainly looks great on you though!

    • LLADYBIRD November 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

      Thank you! I’m looking forward to wearing it πŸ™‚

  5. Dawn -The Winter Queen November 3, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    Lauren your posts for this are soooo informative! I zipped along today and my pockets are finished… YaaY for me!!!
    I have a question though, albeit not really about the construction! I am making this coat for makings sake, as in to improve my skills, learn new techniques and basically for the enjoyment and self achievement. I’ve tried on this coat (well, mine is more of a jacket) and whilst I like it, if I am honest with myself, It’s not really my style. So I’m thinking.. wondering.. am I actually allowed to sell this once I’ve done it? Or is it like restricted by copyrights or whatever legal stuff goes on…..?!! :)xx

    • LLADYBIRD November 3, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

      That’s so great! Yay pockets! πŸ˜€

      Hm, that’s a good question about reselling! I think it would better be directed to McCall’s – since they know the legalities in and out. However, I believe (and feel free to correct me on this!) that it’s ok to resell if it wasn’t specifically made for commercial reasons. Sort of the same idea of you selling it because you purged your closet, or you made it and it didn’t fit, or whatever. If you were making these specifically to sell – like you were stocking an Etsy shop – that’s a no no because of the copyrights (plus, it’s just a shitty thing to do). But unloading ready-made pieces that just don’t work for you, in my understanding, is the same thing as having a yard sale or taking it to a consignment shop. No one can tell you what you can/can’t do with the garment at that point, you know?

      That being said, I acknowledge that I could be wrong and I would love to hear what anyone else has to say (including McCall’s!). Willing to stand corrected if that’s the case πŸ™‚

      • blythetait November 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

        I cannot WAIT to see your final coat. The parts I can see from these photos are AMAZING! Is that satin on the band across the back? LOVE so much. I’m going to start looking for the perfect fabric. We have much less choice here in Australia…and for the amount of work this coat will entail, I want something awesome. πŸ™‚ I bought the pattern after seeing you wearing the actual designer coat on your trip to McCall’s.
        @ Dawn- I can’t see why that would be a problem. MIGHT be hard to explain if you are a size 4 and the coat is a size 8, though, ha ha. I know what you mean about patterns not suiting. I have SO MANY retro 50s full skirted patterns because I love how they look, but I am not sure if I love how they look on ME! Don’t think I am curvy enough. I’m about to make one and then I’ll see, but it’s such a drag to put so much work in only to find it isn’t ‘you’. I am sure someone will be thrilled with your coat. Also, how do dressmakers get around this? I would think it would only be if you were making multiple coats from the same pattern…

        • Dawn -The Winter Queen November 4, 2014 at 5:42 am #

          Thanks for the input both πŸ™‚ Yeah I guess Ishould direct this question at McCalls!
          Blythe… I knew this coat wasn’t really my style before making it, but I wanted to do it anyway. I even did fit adjustments to myself, on the off chance I would wear it. I’ve kept the cost down by using corduroy with appliquΓ©… it’d probably make a nifty little jacket if I shortened it!

        • LLADYBIRD November 5, 2014 at 7:15 am #

          It’s actually the silk taffeta contrast, I just sewed it to show on the outside of the belt instead of just on the inside πŸ™‚ It was an error in reading the instructions on my part, but a happy error – I love how it looks! So excited for your future coat; I know you will end up with the perfect fabric πŸ˜€

  6. Kaci November 3, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    I have to say, after staring intently at Megs photo of the original Rucci coat welts and your welts, yours look better. Bravo. I’m super enjoying the shared sewalong and both Meg and yours contributions.

  7. Indoor Kitty November 4, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    I’m never making this coat because I have no time and need cake, not frosting in my wardrobe. However, I love lurking things like this for the techniques. I do have one item to add to the welt discussion though: unfolded fold-over elastic as interfacing.

    When I made Fuzzle’s blanket sleeper, I added a welt pass through for the stroller/bouncer crotch strap. (Your Thurlow double welt tutorial was a huge help.) The welt was just a thin rib knit cotton and didn’t keep it’s shape. (A problem compounded by her habit of sticking her foot through the hole.)

    After experimenting with various interfacing options (and looking online for one inch wide clear elastic,) the FOE saved the day. Since it is meant to be doubled, FOE is thinner than other elastic. I lightning stitched it to the back of my welt, folded my fabric over, then lightning stitched in the bottom within the seam allowance. I may have used some washable glue stick to hold things together. (Mommy mush brain) Anyway, if anyone out there has material that is stretching on them, this might be helpful.

    PS — I finshed the Halloween costume, and it was cute. It also has almost nothing of the original pattern left in it. From a sewing standpoint, she was FrankenWoodstock for Halloween.

    • LLADYBIRD November 5, 2014 at 7:17 am #

      That’s a great tip, thank you so much for the input! These welts actually are not interfaced for this coat (well, I guess you could if they needed it -but the coating fabric is supposed to have a bit of structure, so it *shouldn’t* be necessary), but that could be useful for those who are having welts that are stretching out. Also, that costume sounds adorable! πŸ˜€

      • Crystal Rice December 31, 2014 at 9:55 am #

        I wondered about interfacing and thought maybe I’d missed the instructions or something. I’m *finally* getting ready to to them on my coat, but I feel that I must interface. My brocade frays if you look at it sideways and I’m worried with all the handling that it could be a disaster. The pockets are big enough that I should be able to hide the interfacing behind them in the end.

        Now that my coat is all together my markings are so wonky! I’ve had a hell of a time getting my pocket markings even, and now I’ve noticed my button hole markings are misaligned too! Like Camille said earlier, I’m sure glad I let my coat rest a while and came back to it with fresh eyes and fresh motivation.

  8. jay November 4, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    Impressive tutorial! The coat is looking good.

    • LLADYBIRD November 5, 2014 at 7:18 am #

      Thank you! I’m excited to wear it πŸ™‚

  9. Ali M November 4, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    Hey, that’s some pretty useful advice, I’m not working on the sew along, but practicing something like this before doing it on my project seems like the sort of brilliant thing I’d never think of!

    • LLADYBIRD November 5, 2014 at 7:19 am #

      Always practice first! It’s definitely worth the extra effort πŸ™‚

  10. Basya November 4, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    Stupid question: did you underline your pockets? I can’t tell, from the photos.

    • LLADYBIRD November 5, 2014 at 7:19 am #

      Not a stupid question πŸ™‚ The pockets are not underlined; the pocket side (aka the side not sewn to the welt) is my coating fabric, and the facing is the contrast taffeta.

  11. Camille November 5, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    Done! Glad I let the coat rest a week before these pockets, because obviously after seeing your post and the McCalls post and then looking at the instructions again, it wasn’t really that hard, was it? Thanks for your tips! Dirty Confession: I dug right in and did it without a practice piece first… at least that thick wool blend is so forgiving. This coat really is my style. I want to wear it all of the time with my new booties and nothing else. Just walk around naked in the coat and booties.

    • LLADYBIRD November 6, 2014 at 7:29 am #

      That sounds like the best outfit ever πŸ˜€ hahaha!

  12. Basya November 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    Thank you for clarifying:)

    • LLADYBIRD November 6, 2014 at 7:30 am #

      You’re so welcome πŸ™‚

  13. Cathy N November 10, 2014 at 3:09 am #

    I’m getting there with my coat :), I’m onto the pockets and have a few questions before I cut into my coat… 1) is the “hole” exactly the length of the welt, and 2) when you do the top stitching on step 63, Is that to secure the pocket on to the coat, as I’m tempted to slip stitch the edge so there is no double stitching and the bits on the end of the welt (beyond the top stitching don’t “flap”? I also see that you did your welt top stitching closer to the edge on the welt than the rest of the coat and it seemed to give you a neater finish I think I’ll do the same.
    Your coat looks awesome, I’m so stoked your running the sew along with McCalls as I’m sewing my first vogue pattern, first underlining and first seams bound like this. My coat is a purple wool under lined in fushia and white twill silk and contrast is a white cotton twill and I am very pleased with it so far πŸ™‚ although it feels very odd to be sewing a wool coat as we head into our New Zealand summer πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD November 10, 2014 at 6:56 am #

      Woohoo!! Well the first thing I would advise you to do is practice those welts before you cut into your coat! I had the same questions, and they were answered with a couple practice rounds (plus I was really able to perfect my technique :D). The welt should be the same size as the hole – if not a little bit smaller. You should be able to feel the edges of the welt when you sew around the hole; you’ll be sewing right next to the welt but not actually INTO it, if that makes sense. The topstitching at the sides does secure the welt to the coat/pocket. I know what you mean about slip stitching, and I was planning on doing the same, but my welt ended up not needing it as it fit pretty perfectly into the hole. There shouldn’t be any double stitching as you’re sewing right along your topstitching lines. And yes, my topstitching on the welt is a bit narrower than the rest of the coat… I thought it looked dainter πŸ™‚ ha! Hope this helps! Can’t wait to see your coat, it sounds beautiful!

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