Zipping up our latest design! Military inspired high waisted culottes for ya. For this design, we experimented with button holes, volume and our love for pockets.
This gorgeous fabric was picked up in Calgary at Fabricland. Sheila makes it a point to do her fabric shopping rounds every time she visits her hometown. Yee Ha! This past trip she had to check in an extra piece of luggage just for fabric.
These are definitely not your basic pair of wide leg pants. Here is some insight into our experimental process with the patch pockets and some sewing tips on buttons and button holes.
Oversized Patch Pockets
Not all pockets are supposed to be functional. Although, we did test it out and YES, you can fit a laptop in the larger pocket. Both side seams rock a smaller (usable) patch pocket.
We played around with the placement of the larger pocket (just on one side). Notice how the larger pocket is pulling the main pant leg? Due to its size, the side seams at the opening needed to be placed further away from the Center Back/Center Front of the body to avoid this. Nonetheless, we still love the drape of the over-sized pocket!
Waistband Button Extension
We dove into our big ol' button jar for this gem. You cannot see it, but it is an old button from Jacob! Anyone remember that clothing store?
Buttonhole Sewing Tips
1. Always test out a machine sewn buttonhole on scrap fabric (2 layers).
2. The buttonhole should be big enough for the button to slide through with a hair bit of resistance as it may stretch out over time.
3. Trim down any excess bulk in your seam allowance, especially if placing a buttonhole along a waistband. The more inconsistent the thickness of fabric under the foot, the more sensitive your sewing machine will be to not sew correctly.
Given the high waisted waistband of these culottes we created shaping to hug our curves with straight darts in the front and back, radiating from the waist.
Voila! This was a quick sew, under a week, in between clients (sometimes not in between hehe). Almost no hand sewing was used for these design elements.
Designed, photographed and written by Sheila Wong Studios
Six months ago, we busted out this beautiful vintage Oscar de la Renta pattern by Vogue. We just just tied the knot on the last bit of top stitching and couldn't wait to share! This pattern is from 1973.
This is the stuff nobody gets to see! Temporary yet oh so necessary stitches. The orange threads are thread marking stitches. They are inserted in prior to cutting out fabric and frame each pattern piece. They are also used to display any notches. These threads get removed after each seam receives their permanent stitches or at the very end of full garment construction.
The blue threads are basting threads that hold multiple layers of fabric together prior to putting in permanent stitches. So helpful as they allow you to not use any pins.
Silk Charmeuse Lining
We’re flipping up these flap pockets to show you the silk charmeuse lining. Some of the finest construction details are hidden away. This dress has patch pockets with flaps on the bodice and slash pockets on the skirt. Both lined with silk charmeuse.
Front Snap Closures
Snaps VS buttons?! What do you prefer in your sewing projects? The pattern asked for buttons but we opted for snaps to create a clean exterior placket.
Inverted Box Pleat
Creating body in a garment can be achieved in several ways. Gathers, pleats, tucks, godets, panels and more. For this vintage design, a mix of mild gathers along the waist and a center front inverted box pleat provided body in the skirt section. An inverted box pleat is like a secret box pleat. Only visible when wearer is in motion or opens it up.
Done and done! For the purpose of instructing, we have left all the thread markings and basting stitches in the final garment. Fun Fact: We have several garments in studio like this to aid with instructing our clients.
If you would like to learn more about couture hand sewing techniques feel free to contact the studio. It is easy enough to inject small bits of couture techniques in a project or go full out on a fully hand stitched garment. You decide!
Designed, photographed and written by Sheila Wong Studios.