Saturday, December 19, 2009

Breast pockets, Huntsman-style

This one's for the tailors. Tiny little details that I obsess over.....

I have always operated under the assumption that there were two basic methods of setting the breast welt pocket (with many variations on the methods, but two global methods).

The first being the hand-made method, in which the welt is constructed (usually by hand), sewn to the front, then the ends felled or slip-stitched in place by hand. This is how I have always made my breast welts.

The other method is the factory method, in which the welt ends are machine-stitched on top, either by micro zig-zag (which is the common technique)or, horrors, by plain machine. The zig-zag method looks like this; you have to look very closely at some garments, but it is there and it is visible.

IMG 099

Every once in a while I would come across a garment whose welt ends looked cleaner, more solid and better executed than the ones felled by hand, but there was no visible stitching on top, leaving one to assume they had to have been done by hand, but with some very talented hands. I knew there was something that I was missing, something I had yet to figure out. The breast welt on this Huntsman coat was one of those types. I have removed some of the pickstitching, but you can see how the ends are done- cleanly, with no visible stitching, yet they are solidly affixed.

breast welt 1

breast welt 2

That's what's fun about studying other people's garments. We learn. We can improve.

Looking inside, we can see that the breast welt has been tacked by machine, but from the inside. At first it seems obvious, until one sits down to try to do it. Hmph.

breast welt inside

I finally managed to figure it out. The welt has to be constructed in a totally different way than I am used to, but I got it.

breast welt mine

This suit has just about paid for itself now. Now I have to practice this, oh, about a hundred times or so before I do it on somebody's garment....


This blogging thing's cool. I got an email from someone who trained at Henry Poole, saying that this was how he learned to do welts there, and then proceeded to send me an explanation of his method. Most of it was pretty much what I had figured out, but there is nothing like experience. When you have done it a hundred times you come up with little tricks to make it easier or better, things that did not immediately occur to me. So he saved me a whole bunch of trouble; in the interest of sharing, I'll put together a tutorial showing the method.

Thanks R!


Lynn said...

You may have intended it for tailors, but you are inspiring me to think about my home sewing in a more professional manner. I'm learning a great deal from you. Thank you.

Todd Hudson said...

I'm excited to see that tutorial on making the Huntsman outbreast. Thx so much for posting these rips.

R. Jeffery Diduch said...

Oh- you can see Jukes doing this kind of pocket in this thread


Todd Hudson said...

thx. Downloaded that video Schneidergott linked to as well.

J. Maclochlainn said...

Where's this tutorial?! :P

Jack said...

The last picture is not available / cannot be seen. Can you repost how to do the breast pockets - Thanks!

R. Jeffery Diduch said...

@Jack- I seem to have lost that photo. In any case, it was just an image of a finished breast welt I had done using the same technique.

Keiv said...

Hi Jeffery, thanks for sharing this useful method as i have always wanted to have a perfect finishing for the end (stitching by machine, sometimes, isn't looking nice with the stitches). Would you mind elaborating more about this method which tacked by machine from the inside? I find it hard to visualize by the picture you shared here.

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