At last! After cranking out two wedding gifts for the end of May and this next weekend, I spent a serious afternoon working on those darn pockets on my Marfy coat. The first one was looking pretty scary in my last post, so I dropped it in favor of finishing this quilt for the upcoming nuptials of a long time family friend.
Both had things I was unsure of, but the quilt had a deadline, so I had to dive in. The top was pieced several years ago, but I am still a novice at the whole quilting part of the equation. I am encouraged by how everything looked after removing the marking pen and doing the first was; it really does hide a multitude of small errors! It’s good that I’ve learned so much this past year, because my daughter’s best friend got engaged this week, and I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me!
Spending last weekend quilting or in the garden because I had to, really made me long to get something accomplished with my Marfy coat. The pockets were giving me trouble in my last post, and today was the day to get things figured out. I believe my big mistake was top stitching the edge before sewing the front seams together. I decided to try and work things out as they were and not rip if I could help it. Usually ripping is not a big issue for me, but it this case there was a rather deep cut to a corner on each end of the coat side front, so I didn’t want to risk the integrity of the fabric if I could make it work.
I got the first pocket to work out OK, though I’m not happy with the bulk I created by finishing the edges on the facings, and top stitching before I had the fronts joined. I am still considering how to reduce that even more. My goal for the second pocket was to do a better job constructing, and to document it, because I have never seen this type of pocket, and couldn’t find ANY directions anywhere that really dealt with it. The pockets are a wonderful design feature, and I wouldn’t be opposed to giving them another go in a future project.
I attached interfacing to the facing creating the pocket edge on the center front piece of the coat. Instead of turning under the outside edge, I opted for a multistitch zig zag. Much of the facing edge would be contained in the actual pocket seam, so this seemed like a good solution. Next, I attached the actual pocket, made from the lining fabric, and graded the seam.
Now it was a simple task to turn and pin before giving it a nice press. Because of the bulk, I decided to add a layer of quilt batting to my ironing board cover, and of course I used a press cloth. That, along with a few wool scraps strategically placed, prevented over pressing in the areas with several layers of wool. This time, however, I did NOT top stitch the edge.
This gave me a fairly crisp edge, (sorry, no photo) but with everything open to give me every possible option to eliminate bulk once the front seams were sewn. On the side front, I again finished th outer edge of the facing with a multi stitch zig zag, then basted it.
I attached the pocket, clipped and graded the seams, then pressed everything away from the side front. If my lining had matched, my fabric, I might have been able to eliminate the facing.
To join the front and the side front, I sewed from the bottom of the coat to the bottom of the pocket, and from the top of the pocket to point A in the pattern. Once I had determined that my seams were OK, I sewed the pocket’s long edge together, and finally the bottoms and top of the pocket. After trimming out the wool from the pocket seam allowance, I finished the edge with a multi stitch zig zag.
While I must admit this whole process still seems a little odd, I believe that I have eliminated a lot of the bulk, and I was able to add the top stitching with almost no difficulty. The initial press looks satisfactory, so we’ll see what it looks like in a day or two, when I can return to sewing. As you can see from the photo below, the first pocket could still use a little bit of trimming to reduce the bulk in the corners.
Here’s to progress!