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Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens + Tea = Happiness

I’m part of the Wellington Sewing Bloggers, a group of awesome Wellington-based (for the most part) women who sew, blog, and get together to eat cake, drink tea and talk about sewing and blogging.

For our latest get together, we outdid ourselves, with sewing, blogging, cake, tea, and KITTENS!

The Kitten Inn, a cat rescue charity, offers afternoon teas where you can play with their not-yet-adoptable kittens before and after your afternoon tea to help socialise them.  ZOMG!

Your tea money supports a good cause, the kittens get used to lots of people, you get to play with kittens, and if you’re really, really lucky, you manage to get away without the firm and absolute conviction that you must come back as soon as the lot of kittens you played with is old enough to be adopted out, in order to snag one for yourself!  😉

Those of us who were kitten inclined had a wonderful afternoon of kitten playtime, kitten cuddles, tea, cake, more kittens, photos of kittens, wishing we could adopt all the kittens…

And, I’m sure you’re all thinking ‘that’s nice, now MAKE WITH THE KITTEN PICTURES’

Can do!

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

Kittens Inn kittens thedreamstress.com

D’awww!

Sewing bloggers featured are Kirsten of FiftyTwoFancies, Hvitr of Historical Living with Hvitr, and Nina of SmashTheStash (there were lots more of us, that’s just who happened to be at a convenient angle to where I was sitting as I snapped photos 😉  )

I’m sure your all wondering what Felicity made of this.  She actually loves it when I come home smelling of other cats and kittens: it gives her something interesting to sniff and investigate.

Once she’s done sniffing, she wants a cuddle, just to be sure I love her best.

Felicity the Sewing Cat thedreamstress.com

Yes Felicity, I love you best.  No matter how old you get, you will always be my kitten!

Rate the Dress: ca 1880s precision pleats & points

Last week’s Rate the Dress was a 1910s lingerie frock with lace and embroidery embellishments.  And well, a LOT of you didn’t like it.  You didn’t think the different shades of white worked together, nor did the different textures of lace and embroidery.  But those of you who did like it, loved it.  Almost 20% of the ratings were perfect 10s, which is pretty darn good (but there were also two 2s, which is really bad…)  So, with a lot of mixed feelings, the dress got a mixed rating of 7.1 out of 10.

This ca. 1880s dress makes slight use of lace, in the form of a crisp lace jabot, which is echoed in colour and shape in the lace-like motifs of the trim (which may actually be lace – my very minimal Italian consists of knowing all the basic textile names, and google translate isn’t even that good, so all I could tell from the description was lace was mentioned a lot!) that frames the bodice and the tiers of the skirt.

What do you think? Will the crisp precision of this one better than last week’s soft (and far too random, in the overall opinion) lace dress?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt

A lot of people have asked about pockets for the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt.

Scroop Patterns Fantail Historical Skirt thedreamstress.com

I really wanted to include pockets in the pattern.  As I developed the pattern I tested multiple styles of pockets on the skirt: welt, in-seam, in-seam with standing welt, horizontal, back angled, front angled, patch.  Unfortunately none of them fit my requirements for being sympathetic to the aesthetic of the skirt, flattering on most body types, successful in all the fabrics that the skirt could be made out of, large enough to make the aesthetic and difficulty compromises worthwhile, and within the difficulty range of the pattern.  I didn’t want to include a pocket that compromised my vision for the pattern, just for the sake of having one.  So, the pattern is pocket-less.

Of all the ways I tried to include pockets, by far the most successful was the back-angled drop pocket set into the side panel.  They weren’t perfect: they do make the skirt a bit more casual, and you can’t put bulky things in them, so they didn’t quite make the level of pattern-inclusion, but they are nice and deep – you can even fit a passport in them!

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Here’s how to add your own!  

You’ll need:

  • Your Scroop Modern Fantail Skirt pattern
  • Measuring tools: a measuring tape, a ruler, and a French curve
  • Marking tools
  • Pattern tracing fabric, freezer paper, or some other paper/material to trace off extra pattern pieces.
  • Two 1.5cm wide strip of interfacing, between 30cm – 55cm long each, depending on the size of your skirt, to stabilise the top of the pocket.  I recommend a lightweight, woven interfacing, as this will provide more stability than a non-woven interfacing.
  • How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

 

Part 1: Drafting the pocket pattern:

We’ll be working with Piece B of the Modern Fantail:

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

I’m demonstrating on the size 38 (plain line), but the instructions work for all sizes.

You’ll be making three pieces: a lower skirt piece, an upper skirt piece with attached pocket, and a pocket facing:

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Measure down along your size line 1.5″/4cm the front edge of skirt Piece B (marked with 1 notch):

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Measure down 6″/15.5cm the back edge of skirt Piece B (marked with 2 notches):

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Draw a line connecting the two points:

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Draw another line, parallel to the first, 1 1/4″/3cm below it:

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

The top edge of your pocket will sit halfway between the two lines, as marked with the dashes below:

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Now you’re going to mark your pocket itself.  Place your hand along the front edge of piece B, below your lower line, and at least 3/4″/2cm in from the front edge.    Spread your hand, and draw a semi-circular pocket shape around your hand, with a good 3/4″/2cm clearance at all points.

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Use a French curve to smooth out your lines:

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Add notch points along the top line of your pocket diagram, and on at least two places along the curve of the pocket.

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Now you’re going to trace off your three pattern pieces.  I’m using pattern tracing fabric – it’s foldable, see-through, easy to work with, and iron-able on the absolute lowest heat setting, but use whatever works for you to trace off pattern pieces.

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Everything below the top drawn line is your lower skirt piece.  We’ll call it B1.

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Everthing from the top of the skirt panel, to the bottom drawn line and bottom of the pocket curve, is your upper skirt piece with pocket.  We’ll call it B2:

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

And everything from the top drawn line to the bottom of the pocket is your pocket facing piece.  We’ll call it B3:

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Be sure to include the notches, and grainlines, in your tracings:

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Once they are traced off, you can cut out your fabric (you’ll note I just folded down the top edge of my B pattern piece to form B1, instead of tracing it off):

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Transfer all of your notches and pattern markings to your pattern pieces.

Part 2: Sewing your pocket:

Fuse the interfacing strips to the wrong side of the piece B3, 5/8″/1.5cm down from the top edge.  This will stabilise the pocket, and keep it from stretching and sagging over time.

Adding pockets to the Scroop Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Place piece B3 on piece B1, right sides together, double-notches on the top straight edges matching.

Sew at 5/8″/1.5cm:

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Your stitching will sit just along the line of the interfacing:

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Open B3 pocket facing up and out, and understitch by stitching through the pocket facing and both seam allowances from the right side of the fabric, 1/8″/2-3mm out from the ditch of the seam.

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Tip: you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) press before understitching.  Instead, just stretch the seam open as you understitch.  This will do a better job of creating an open seam and a clean turning than pressing would.

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

 

Finish the seam allowances as desired:

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Press your pocket facing pieces B3 to the back of B1.

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Place pieces B2 on pieces B3, right sides of pockets together, notches matching around the pockets, and at the side seam.

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Stitch, sewing with the bottom skirt up, starting from the back side seam (marked with double notches), and sewing just to the left (skirt side) of the first line of stitching.  This does mean you’ll have to sew one skirt with the fabric squished between the needle and the body of the machine.

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Sink your needle and turn at the corner of the pocket.  I like to sew my pockets with small seam allowances, using the edge of my foot as a guide (and as you may notice, I also like using a satin stitch foot as a standard foot – a weird quirk of mine).

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

And here is what they will look like when you are done:

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

Finish the pocket seam allowances, and baste the loose edge of the pocket to the front side seam (marked with 1 notch).

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

And here are your side pieces, pockets assembles, and pieces all ready to go:

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

From here on out you can follow the standard Fantail skirt instructions, just as if these were a flat Piece B.

A red Miramar and a Scroop Fantail with pockets thedreamstress.com

Enjoy!

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com