Sunday, 18 August 2013


I feel as though I have been working on the same pair of trousers for weeks.

Probably because I have. Sort of.  I have had the same pair of trousers sitting on the end of the sewing machine cabinet for all that time, but working on them - not so much.  I've made a jumper/dress for me, a hat for no-one (Burda 2013.4.104 - no-one wants it) , traced and nearly cut out the pattern for a coat.  But the final five (approximately) steps needed to get these trousers out of the "no-one inside them" camp elude me.  But lets not think about that right now.  Lets think about welts.

Welts.  An aptly named sewing term, the carrying out of which can cause  namesakes to appear on the soul. Other techniques such as button holes require cutting into the face fabric, but those holes are small, they happen at edges and the bulk of the stitching happens first.  When you cut a buttonhole, you've got a pretty good idea that it's going to be ok.   With welts you are flying blind.

Apart from anything else, I hate techniques where you have to position stuff in the middle of a piece.  I avoid darts for this reason.  (Ok, I'm not that mad, but I would if I could.)  And then there's that cut.

But these trousers needed welts.  Welts were needed.  So I pulled up my big girl trousers (Burda 2011.5.??) and went to work.

First stop, the web.  Peggy Sagers was recommended, and she really did deliver.  She made the installation seem very straightforward.  Even fun. You cut!  You fold!  It all looks so neat! (and if this is incomprehensible to you then why are you reading a sewing blog?) But the location was still an issue.  And performance anxiety was too.

I got rid of the latter by inspecting my partner's dress trousers:

ted baker

Some of these trousers were quite expensive.

Admittedly, they have been worn by a fairly muscular bottom, but still you can see that the approach to welting is wonderfully relaxed.  Perfection just doesn't seem to be that important.

But location still is.  And this one seemed more insoluble.  If you mark the trousers, you can't see it through the welts.  If you mark the welts, you're missing the whole point of my dilemma.  That perfectly marked welt could go ANYWHERE.  So I cut em.

Yes, gentle reader, I CUT THE SLASH FIRST.  Not the whole way, but just enough that I could position the welts.  And this worked quite well.

Oddly, the welt where I let the curve of the dart sit slightly further into the welt sat better than the other one.  But not having gone on to make three thousand samples, I can't say if this was dumb luck or a better way to do things.  Anyway two welts and all is well.  Except I still haven't finished the damn trousers.

And I feel as though I have been writing this post for weeks.  (sigh)