Bellows Pocket Tutorial

Bellows Pocket Tutorial - free sewing tutorial!The last time I made a chambray Archer button up, I modified the original pockets to bellows pockets with flaps. This was my first attempt to make bellows pockets and was surprised how easy they were. You just need to be precise with the measurements and pressing, and the rest come together nicely. I like bellows pockets for the functionality (my iPhone fits in my pocket easily!) and sporty vibe. I took some photos while sewing and here is a quick tutorial on how to make them.
Bellows Pocket Tutorial 1First you need to modify the pattern. Start with pocket pattern without any seam allowances on the sides and bottom. You can keep the top seam allowances as they are (usually folded over twice) but make sure to clip as pictured above to avoid bulk. For sides and bottom, first add for “gusset” width. I added 3cm all around. Then add 1cm seam allowances, so you will be adding 4cm around on sides and bottom.

Fold the top twice, press well and stitch.Bellows Pocket Tutorial 2 Bellows Pocket Tutorial 3 Bellows Pocket Tutorial 4Here is the tricky part. Fold the bottom corner diagonally, meeting the pressed line you made in step 3. It’s similar to making a mitered cornerBellows Pocket Tutorial 5Bellows Pocket Tutorial 6 Bellows Pocket Tutorial 7Bellows Pocket Tutorial 8Before you pin the pocket to the shirt, I would transfer the line for pocket placement with a tailor’s chalk so you will know exactly where to place the pocket. Bellows Pocket Tutorial 9 Bellows Pocket Sewing Tutorial via Vivat Veritas Blogマチ付きポケットの作り方です。

ちょっとスポーティ感をプラスしてくれるポケットなので、色々なアイテムにつけてアレンジできそうです。chie sig2Find me elsewhere:

Crossover Back Chambray Shirt

DIY crossover back chambray shirtI bought two meters of chambray fabric at Nippori Tomato during the Summer, thinking of making a dress shirt for Andy. After my failed attempt (talked about here), I lost the motivation to make anything for him. On top of that, he was just given around 30 new(used of course) pieces from his friend. Even his male friend could not stand seeing him wear the same old t-shirts and sweatpants. So I thought it would be good timing to just take the fabric and make something for myself.

Again, I based this shirt on Grainline Studio’s Archer button up. This is my sixth time using this pattern (my other versions 1, 2, 3, 4. The pattern fits me well and making button up is a perfect in-between project. It is intricate enough to be interesting to sew but not time consuming enough to be too daunting to start, like coat.

To change things up a bit, I modified it to make cross over back. The inspiration comes from my Fall Sewing List, particularly Antonio Berardi poplin shirt. It retails $735!
Grainline Studio Archer Button Up Chambray Version Handmade chambray button down with a cross over backThe adjustment is easy, as described below. Instead of making the center front folded, the back panel separated in two. I added 5cm in center back, and using curved ruler, cut slightly curved line toward the hem. I also lengthen the hem by about 7cm. I folded the hem twice the center back, crossed over and attached to back yoke. DSC_1918 copyCross over back modificationAnother modification I made was the pockets. I experimented with the pocket flaps in the past in my silk version. On top of the added flaps, I made the pocket bellows pocket. I love to add little details like this to a simple button up. Also enjoyed learning new skills.

Finally, I did all the button holes by hand. I did one in the past, but working on 8 button holes by hand took longer than I planned!

Next up in my sewing cue is khaki parka using BurdaStyle pattern! Some sneak peak on my instagram.


Chambray button down via Vivat Veritas BlogHappy Halloween via Vivat Veritas Blogchie sig2

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Wedding Welcome Bears

Handmade Wedding Welcome Bears by Vivat Veritas Blog

I’ve had this blog since 2008, and this is the first stuffed animal project I’m posting in nine years! This was such a fun project to work on. It was refreshing to be sewing these cute bears which is different from garment sewing. No need to worry about the fitting!

I don’t know about other countries, but in Japan, it is very common to have a “welcome doll” of some sort at the wedding. They are usually sitting next at the reception area of the wedding. I have two friends’ weddings coming up in November and was asked to make them.

I googled “Teddy Bear Patterns” (テディベア 型紙)in Japanese and came up with this. For some reasons, the letters are not readable, but I just needed the patterns so it didn’t really matter. The fabric is a white fur bought in Okadaya. I’m a big fan of Okadaya online. It ships for 390 yen (about 3 USD) within Japan, and depending on their sale’s schedule, they reduce the shipping cost to half the price. It is cheaper than getting to Okadaya’s physical store in Shinjuku by train and I usually end up buying other stuff that I don’t plan on like extra fabrics or chocolate. Anyway, totally recommended if you live in Japan.

I bought 20cm of the fur and it made four bears and I still have some left. I used 2mm stitch length to sew the pieces in machine. Making four bears took much longer than I anticipated since it involved a fair amount of hand sewing like enclosing the opening for head, body, legs and arms.

Cutting out stuffed bear piecesTeddy Bear Making Cutting Out PiecesBuilding a bear via Vivat Veritas BlogAttaching eyes to teddy bear Teddy Bear in ProcessThe most fun part of this project was to make tiny dresses and vests! So fun. It reminded me of my childhood days when I was obsessed with my dolls (mine was called Jenny) and her dresses that my mom made. I just used left over satin and laces that were laying around.Tiny teddy bear wedding dress Wedding welcom bears2

Attaching pearl beads to imitate pearl necklace.Attaching white pearls to teddy bear dressSince I was making two of each bears (male and female), I made paper patters for the clothes. That way, I don’t have to guess the length and fit for the second time. Bear vest patternsBride Bear via Vivat Veritas Blog

Tada! They are so adorable. Kiko liked them and she was sad when I told her they were not for her. Maybe I should make one for her. I found a doll pattern shop on Etsy, called Gingermelon. I might make some for Kiko. Wedding welcom bear




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