Sunday, 7 December 2014

Harrington in detail part 1

I haven't "digitised" the pattern but if you're in my situation: That is, you can't afford to buy a new jacket, have an old one, the time to make it and the skills required or the ability to find out. I also have an excellent library of old sewing books which I've referred to several times. I'm about half way through, insofar as putting actual area of fabric is concerned. There were a lot of problems because it's been a while since I last made a Harrington and couldn't remember how to make the pockets. Well, since I did all of this stuff in the past 48 hours, and will be making more of them, here's how I did it:

1. Practice pockets

Make these until you completely understand how it's done and you're certain they will all be perfect from now on.

2. Cutting

Do all of this before anything else. Both self (outside of your jacket, the drill), the lining and the interfacing.

3. Interfacing

Interface the collar, the pocket flaps, pocket welts and the wrong side of the fabric, where the pockets are going to be. If you don't know this, interfacing provides stiffness and strength. Pockets in bomber jackets cop a lot of punishment (my jackets do anyway).

4. Make the pockets

All of them. Start with the hard ones, being the self pockets, then do the lining pocket.

5. Sew the lining together

This is precisely where I'm at now. I stopped to explain to you, dear reader/s, how to do it, and my pattern maker didn't explain how to put the self together: The top of the back is quite different to any I've done so far so I have to wait until I see her again before proceeding.

OK, the pockets. I won't be scanning the picture from the Vogue sewing book because it's possibly still copyrighted in the U.S. (the book is 44 years old) so I have my photos.
Flap and welt pinned and being basted into place

pocket flaps go on next
Here is how to construct the pocket (on the right side of the self):
Bottom - the front left or right (I'll assume you want one on each side).
On top of the bottom - At the top is the finished flap. At the bottom is the welt. Now, the welt fold must be exactly 17mm outside the white box (the white box is solid line. That broken line is basting thread. The longer side of the white box is exactly the same as the flap. The welt should be longer than the shorter side, as the excess will be pushed inside after all this is over. I pinned both of these bits  in place so they wouldn't move when I put the pockets on top.
Put the pockets on top. The top part has some self joined to the lining (which I'm using as pocketing) because this will be visible when the pocket is opened.  Pin this in place too. The bottom pocket part goes on first and reaches about halfway inside the white box. The top pocket part sits on top and covers the whole box. Here's a close up of this:

Everything basted into place. Pins removed before stitching
Now the outline is carefully drawn and stitched. You stitch only the two long lines, not the shorter slanted lines the join them. You should end up with this on the other side:
interfaced wrong side of self fabric
Now, cut through the self and interfacing only. Be really careful or you'll cut through the pocket flap as well (go on, ask me how I know this). Stop short of the end and cut diagonally almost to where your stitching ends (about three threads short is perfect, I've been told):

Arrows point to the little triangles you need to make
Now turn the piece over and push the pockets only through the hole you just made. It should be reasonably obvious how this will work but it should also look so neat you'll be excited. Pulling the little triangles ought to make it even neater on the other side and when you do this, you should see that if the triangle were stitched to the welt (now on the wrong side with the triangle) it would be lovely.
then turn it over
Stitch both triangles to both sides of the welt and you should be patting yourself on the back.
Front of jacket. Welt is perfectly joined.
After doing this twice, you need to do it for the simpler inside pocket. The two outside pockets are easily the most difficult part of the whole jacket, so it's all downhill from this point.

Sewing the lining together

This is quite basic. Stay stitch the shoulders and neck then pin, baste and stitch the front and back at the shoulders. Press seams open (they don't have to be finished).

Remove the pins before stitching
Pin the sleeve in place then baste it and stitch.
Pin then baste and stitch the sleeve together with the side of the jacket in one go.

If you're asking why I always baste it's because with just pins holding the two sides together the fabrics move when the machine gets close to the pins. When it's a pattern like this, it is very noticeable.
Tacky 1960s suit?
And here she is: All ready to go with the self.

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