Thursday, April 10, 2008

You say...I say...

You say, I say, but most importantly the pattern says...

There seemed to be some conversation in the comments section about whether the pockets are "faux welt pockets" or "slotted seams". And there was even a mention of a "strap seam", which btw, I have never heard of! So you guys sent me on a little quest...

See I anticipated the slotted seams comment because this is the pattern description,

"The front is cut in 3 sections with top stitching detail in seam."

Now technically this sounds like a slotted seam but in the drawings and execution it looks like a faux welt that is how I described it. Because to me a slotted seam is a fully opened seam with a piece of fabric beneath it. In this version, only a small section of the seam is left open. The rest of the seam is sewn shut.

So some definitions and how to execute each seam...This information is taken from, "Modern Dressmaking Made Easy" by Mary Brooks Picken.

Slot Seam. Baste as for plain seam, but do not stitch. Press open. Cut lengthwise strip 1" wider than the seam allowances. Place strip directly under the seam, and baste it in place. Stitch each side an even distance from the basted seam line. Remove seam bastings, and the slot or "inverted slot" seam is complete.

And Summerset mentioned a Strap Seam. Stitch seam; press it open. Take true bias or lengthwise strip of fabric, twice the width finished strap is to be. Turn edges; fasten together with diagonal-basting. Use matching thread. This basting remains in. Press strap; baste over the seam; stitch along both edges. Remove top basting; press seam from wrong side.

The diagram in the book shows how each seam is sewn. However, Ann of Gorgeous Things made a perfect modern day garment with slotted seams. She wrote this post on The Sewing Divas blog about making a skirt with slotted seams. If you notice, Ann used a different color to make the slotted seams really stand out in her garment.

Need more information, Threads Magazine has a wonderful article on slotted seams called, "The Unforgettable Slot Seam" written by Jeffrey Mayer in Issue No. 75 - March 1998. In the article there is a wonderful example of a slotted seam with a pocket in it.

Now to me, the definition and how to sew explanation in the Mary Brooks Pickens book, the wonderful garment made by Ann, and the Threads article all seem to say, that a slotted seam is totally open from one end of the seam to the other with a piece of fabric sewn/basted underneath. Again, yes this is the essence of the seams on my jacket, but the major difference is that only a small portion of the seam is in my book that does not make it a slotted seam.

Please feel free to agree or disagree, 'cause I still think of the seaming detail as faux welt pockets! *smile*


  1. Whatever.

    Regardless of what it's "supposed" to be called, it was a lovely designer touch for your jacket. Good for you, that you recognized a great technique and applied it to your garment. You rock.

  2. Fair enough - after looking at the research I suppose it is a matter of technical detail.

    In the end, it doesn't matter what it is called, the result is so well executed and makes for an interesting detail on your jacket. You've also decided to share it with us, so that we can add this interesting detail to our garments, too. Thanks!

  3. I couldn't tell one way or another, I just know it looks good and it works, lol
    have a happy weekend

  4. I do agree with you. A slotted seam is open on its entire length, not only on one portion and closed on the other portion.

  5. Faux welt pockets it is. Thanks for doing the research. I found it very interesting.

  6. You say to-may-to; I say to-mah-to. Let's call the whole thing a stylish addition to your jacket.

  7. *smile*, Geeze, a tempest in a teapot. A beautifully done designer touch, called by any name, is still Gaw-geous!
    And the beautiful thing about the English Language is that there are several different and perfectly appropriate words for many different things and actions.

  8. Oh dear, is that my comment you are talking about? I am sorry for questioning your name for this technique, I was just so excited to "recognize" something, and thought you might know if it had another name. Your faux pocket is definitely different from the whole open seam I was thinking of, I did look it up too, but I do think it is a relation- 2nd or 3rd cousin maybe?It is really pretty on your jacket what ever it is called.


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