Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guys who do (and DON'T) pad stitch

Why are these guys on today's post?  Because I bet none of them has ever pad stitched anything in their entire lives!  Maybe I'm dead wrong, but after spending hours with a needle and thread it seems highly unlikely. 

Pad stitching is a method of joining multiple layers of fabric so that they act as one, while at the same time maintaining their individual characteristics.  In short, it's the opposite of using fusibles.  The layers of the plastron are pad stitched together in alternating rows of diagonal stitching.  I used red thread in hopes that it would show up in my photos.  Mr. Cabrera is very reassuring about this whole process.  None of this is visible in the finished jacket.  He suggests stitches of about 3/8" but discourages too much fussing.  "DO NOT spend time measuring your stitches.  Just get a general sense of the size, and proceed."  I love this kind of direction!  

The outside of the canvas ends up covered with rows of diagonal stitches.  The inside flannel becomes  peppered with small stitches.  I tried to do this as loosely as possible so as to not make bulky ridges between the rows.  I still ended up with a ridged effect, but I'm not going to agonize over it.  I loved every bit of this process.  At times, I think I enjoy hand sewing more than running things through the sewing machine.  There's just a certain "connectedness" to the fabric that I enjoy.  Plus I feel connected to the entire history of garment construction as both utility and art.  Turn on the radio, or put on a LONG opera and pad stitch away.  

After a gentle pressing the canvas will be basted to the jacket front.  Oh Boy! 


  1. Oh my %$#@! word!! I had no idea how much stitching this was! My hat is off to you!