Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Adding Real Pocket to Faux Zipper Pocket

I love pockets, for kleenex, keys whatever but most pants now don't have them.  So I bought a pair of pants with faux pockets that have working zippers and plan to transform them.

First thing to do is to zigzag stitch the fabric under the zipper to make sure they don't run when you slit the fabric.  I did one pocket before slitting the fabric and the other pocket after.  Before works better because the fabric is stretched out, afterwards, it rolls and hard to sew.  I used Fray Check
Prym Dritz Fray Check Sealant

at the ends because a sewing machine can't reach the corners.  Here is it after slitting and stabilizing the edges.

I cut 2 pieces of fabric the width of the pocket welt 4.75" in my case and about 10" long.  First stitch the pocket fabric to the lower welt, see below.

The picture to the right is what the underside of the stitching looks like.  Now sew the other end of the pocket to the upper welt and around the edges to form the pocket.  I used a very stretchy knit and it's hard to adjust the pressure foot pressure on my sewing machine (new to me Bernina 820) which everyone says is great but I prefer my late Kenmore 70s machine. So the fabric is wavy, but no one sees it so I won't change it.

So now from the right side you can see the pocket pulled out.

 You can make one or two pockets, since they don't change the looks on the outside it's your choice.
And this is a foolproof method, no matter what happens you can always keep the pocket zipped close and no one is the wiser.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Making a portable foot rest/sling for the Plane

I am short and sometimes my feet don't reach the floor on airplanes especially when I am reclining.  Most planes don't have footrests on economy so I decide to make my own.  I used belting material, a belt buckle that adjusts and the bottom of a shopping bag.  Tried it in the car and works great, can't wait to get on a plane and give it a go.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bound Buttonholer

I haven't made a bound buttonhole in 20 years but I heard about the bound buttonholer and bought one on ebay a couple of yeras back.  With shipping it was over $10, but I was shopping at Britex in SF and they have them for $4.95 and available on Amazon too.  Glad they are available again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Shoulder Bag from Suede Skirts

I bought 2 factory seconds suede skirts from the FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Scholarship Store) in downtown L.A.  The zippers were broken so I make them into a tote bag.  The suede is too thin for shoulder straps so I used belting.  I sprayed it with leather protectant, like I do with all my leather clothing and shoes.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fixing Too Large Cloth Shoes

I love these shoes but the sizes available are too big or too small so I opted for too big and sewed a piece of elastic slightly shorter than the heel length to shorten the shoes slightly.  Had to hand sew because even with a free arm sewing machine, it wasn't possible to get at the heel.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Adding Pocket to Athleta Dress

I am obsessed with travel clothing as a frequent flyer.  I love this casual dress but with no pockets it wasn't as useful as I like.

The surplice neckline has 2 layers of fabric all the way down to the diagonal seam past the hips, so there is plenty of fabric for storage.  I can actually put stuff down the front of the dress but looks a little awkward if I were actually going to use it in public.  So I installed an invisible zipper on the right side to make a pocket opening.  Only problem is the dress is fairly tight fitting so can't put anything thick in the pocket.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Making an Ex-offcio fly-q lite jacket convertible (to vest)

The ex-officio fly-q lite comes as  a jacket or a vest.

I wanted both but didn't want to pack 2 things if I can get away with one so I decided to make the jacket convertible.  The hardest part was finding the separating zippers of the right color but I couldn't find the right length (needed 18") so I bought longer ones and cut them off.  I sew the zipper ends to the jacket fabric so it wouldn't slide further.  Also I decided that I want the zipper pulls on the sleeve part so that when worn as a vest, there is no pull sticking out.

I can vouch that the jacket is well made, I had to take apart 4 seams to detach the sleeves.

Here is a picture of the zipper after installation.  I left an inch gap the the armscye so the armhole won't be too inflexible.  Also it compensates for any mismatching of the seams.  I matched the back yoke seam on the sleeve and body just like the original jacket.

 Here as a vest.

And as a jacket.

It took me I think about 8 hours, not counting the hours going to the fabric stores and looking for zippers.    The actual sewing took about an hour.  I spend about an hour putting in a new zipper stop by bending an eye from an hook and eye and then sewing it down.  But as I was sewing I realized the stitches can make the zipper stop and not bother with the eye for the 2nd sleeve.  I also make sure the zipper pull are on the sleeves and not the body so they will not show when worn as a vest.  

I want to shorten the sleeves but decided too much work, will roll them up instead.

Will be traveling "lite" with my fly-q lite.