Friday, April 12, 2013

The Chambray Shirt : Part IV {How to Make Removable Faux Pocket Flaps}

There are lots of chambray shirts in stores that have been embellished with panels of patterned fabric, prints, or pockets and trimming in a darker shade of denim. I don't want to pay for another chambray shirt, so I found a way to jazz it up- just a little. These pocket flaps are really just big denim brooches; I can remove them whenever I need the shirt in its plain-jane state.

I : Make a pattern for your pocket flap, adding 1/4" all around for seam allowances, and cut out two pieces (a front and a back) for each flap.

II : Add sew-in or fusible interfacing to the back side of each front flap. I did this to keep the flap from bubbling, but it's optional. Don't include seam allowance in the interfacing so that your seams aren't too bulky.

III : Chalk mark your seam line in the areas that you want to embellish as a reference point for placing your designs. It's also helpful to chalk mark the seam line on the back if you're going to sew by hand.

IV : Embellish however you desire! I just added some round studs at the point, but you could embroider it, topstitch some lace or ribbon, sew on a snazzy button, etc.

V : Sew it up. Since my studs were so close to the seam line, I didn't want to risk hitting them with the machine needle, so first I sewed the point area by hand using a backstitch. I sewed the rest on the machine, leaving the top open to turn it right side out. Clip the corners and with a warm iron and press the seams to make them crisper. Turn it right side out and stitch the top shut with a slipstitch.

VI : I stitched safety pins in the corners of the back of one flap, but I found it looks best if you don't attach pins and just pin it from the back of your shirt. Maybe you can find some other type of pin, such as a lapel pin, to stitch into the back of your pocket flap that would look better.

VII : And you're done! I made two sets in different sizes. I added some colorful studs in a pattern to the smaller ones.

After I made these, I thought some pocket flaps made out of a pastel floral calico with some lace trim would look really good for a country look. And since my shirt is collarless, what about a denim collar necklace to go with it? I'll keep you all posted on whether or not that turns out...

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