There's no chance I'll remember how I made these when they have worn out, so I'm jotting down a few notes.
The parts of the knickers are two fronts, two backs, two patch pockets, two gussets, two gusset liners, two cord or baby elastics for the knees, one quarter-inch elastic for the waist. and one rectangular patch.
Though pre-graded flat fells are usually tolerant, it is important that the turn-ups on the gussets be exactly a quarter inch — the gusset liners aren't at all tolerant.
The seam allowance to be trimmed off a gusset liner is the one on the edge that is turned to the right side.
Yes, it would be much nicer to appliqué the gusset and the rectangular patch to the outside — but it just won't work that way. Install them on the inside and made sure that the right side of the gusset liner is on the outside.
The rectangular patch should be appliquéd at the same stage as appliquéing the patch pockets.
Cut out two fronts, two backs, two patch pockets, two gussets, two gusset liners, one rectangular patch.
(Also needed: strong cotton thread, basting thread, cord elastic for knees, quarter-inch elastic for waist)
Mark pocket location and notches. Any wash-out marks on edges should be backed up with short lines of running stitch in basting thread.
Use diluted bottle starch in a spray bottle to wet inseams and side seams on fronts, edges of pockets, three edges of rectangular patch, curved edge of gussets. Allow to dry.
Press a stingy quarter inch to the right side on inseams and side seams of fronts. Press an exact quarter inch to the right side on the curved edge of each gusset. Press a quarter inch to the wrong side at the top of each pocket.
Baste gusset lining to gusset, wrong side of lining to right side of gusset. Baste more than a quarter inch from the curved edge of the gusset lining to be sure of clearing the first stitching of the pre-graded flat fell.
Make pockets according to "The Easiest Way to Make a Durable Patch Pocket".
Sew pockets to the outside of both backs at marks. Sew rectangular patch to inside of right back where marked. Set the raw edge of the patch back from the raw edge of the gusset-hole a good quarter inch, so that the first stitching of the seam clears the patch. The pressed-to-the-side seam allowances will cover it.
Note: this patch would work *much* better on the right side. I think that next time, I'll press the gusset curves to the wrong side and lengthen the stitch to five to the inch before sewing in the gusset, then pick those stitches out after the top-stitching is done, which would leave a lap seam that looks like a flat-felled seam with the right side on both sides.
Pin the inseams with the raw edges meeting. After the first stitching of the pre-graded flat fell, trim out some of the seam allowances that will be covered by the hem and the seam allowances of the gussset.
Pin in the gussets. Match the grain line of the gusset to the middle of the inseam, then work from both ends toward the middle. Because of the curve, the gusset-hole must be stretched slightly as you pin. The back requires less stretching because more of it is on the bias. Use right-angle pins until you get the ease distributed properly, then pin for stitching. Weave the pins at least twice, so that you can pull a pin partway out as you work your way around the tight curve.
Stitch the gussets. After the first stitching of the pre-graded flat fell, decide which side of the center seam will be turned to the right side, then trim the allowances appropriately. On the turn-down side, trim off the entire allowance of the gusset lining, so that raw edges meet after the edge is turned. Cut right to the stitching from both sides when removing the seam allowance, but leave about half an inch tab when cutting the allowance free, so that you can take hold of threads with tweezers and pull them out of the stitching. Since linen ravels easily, this won't take long.
Hrrm. I *think* that if the gusset is sewn to the right side, it will be the gusset that needs to be trimmed away — and that would undo the seam entirely. But since the gusset doesn't have sewn-in creases, it's possible to pull threads out of two rows of stitching — particularly if one of them is only basted, and the gusset lining could be basted to the seam allowance of the gusset hole. I'll think about this in two years, when the gray knickers need to be replace.
Finish the flat-fell seam, pull out basting if appropriate, sew side seams (again trimming allowances after first stitching), sew center seam, hem waist and legs.
Baste the turn-under with a contrast thread at those points where you will leave a gap for inserting the elastic. This keeps the edge from fraying while you are putting the elastic in. Then, after mending the gap, leave the basting in. If you need to pull out the elastic for some reason, the mark will allow you to use the original gap instead of creating a new one.
Put a handkerchief in the left pocket and go for a ride.
12 May 2014
Oh, man, it is awkward flat-felling the side seam after the inseam is sewn, and it would have been nothing at all to sew that very short inseam after the side seam was sewn. Just how hard can it be to install the gusset after the leg is a tube?
I did finish them, but didn't get around to editing the pictures until today:
The backs! The backs! Turn the mock-fell's quarter inch to the right side on the back pieces.
Also note that the knees sag enough to cover the tops of knee hose — but I've been wearing my old black pair to church.
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