Sunday, July 21, 2013

Suits: the finishing details

Well, we are reaching the finishing stage for our suits. I thought I would share a few photos of the finishing details here.

Marking the lapel buttonhole, ready to go to the machine. You can see the way the under collar has been hand stitched onto the jacket and how the collar end has been finished
Here is a view of the inside of the back neck. I cut two piece top collars nowadays because a lot of the fabrics we use don't respond to being stretched and shrunk. This one actually is a stretch wool! A challenge to work with, but if carefully handled you get results like this.

A close up of the finished jacket front.
Here is a view of the top collar of a linen jacket, nicely matching at the centre back. This one had top stitching details on the patch pockets and the front edges.
Front view

Back view.


Here is a silk, linen and wool windowpane check jacket with a notch collar and patch pockets.
This one turned out very nicely. I am not sure how well it will stand up to wear and tear, but for now it looks great.
This one needs a final press and we don't have a stand that shows it well. Wait! did I forget to put the lapel buttonholes in?
No, I think they're in, just very subtle. DB in a tone on tone stripe wool. I guess I will check the jacket tomorrow just to be sure.
This one is one of the last minute additions, in the fitting it went from a two button to three ( good thing we hadn't taped off the roll line and had the front edge still basted! ) a ticket pocket was also added at that time. This is a black wool tone on tone herringbone stripe. These shoulders have a flatter look that the other jackets, the seam allowances have been pressed open at the shoulder/crown of the sleeve, to give less shoulder expression. They have just a little sleeve head of soft lambswool instead of a canvas sleevehead.

Tomorrow, we have to get the last jacket wearable for Tuesday, finish a couple pairs of trousers and get back to finishing our doublets and robes which need to be loaded out by Friday. It will be another busy week, and I am looking forward to the deadlines being over!


  1. I love the shoulder line of the silk suit. This is a beautiful cut altogether.

    1. thanks, I am very happy with these suits myself. One of my favourite periods too.

  2. Beautiful collar on the jacket. Many of my collars seem to have a buckle of extra fabric on the back of the neck (RTW). Do you know a good reference on how to get rid of this? Is it a relatively easy alteration? Thanks.

  3. Excess below the collar which shows as horizontal buckling of the fabric usually indicates that the shoulder line of the coat is too sloped in comparison with the person wearing it. If the jacket has thick shoulder pads, they can be removed and replaced with thinner ones. If the padding is minimal, and doesn't need reducing, the fix involves unpicking the undercollar, and part of the shoulder seam from the neck towards the shoulder, then remarking the neckline and shoulder line lower. Then restitching it all up again and reattaching the collar.
    This is for a minimal and straightforward problem, without other issues like full blades for example.

  4. Hi Terri!
    I've been reading your blog for a while know, trying to understand and learn the pattern drafting. I'm a hobby-tailor so I want to learn the pattern drafting by my self, and not buy a already made pattern. I'm looking for a suit pattern, and first of all the jacket.

    So, where did you learn pattern drafting, is there any pattern drafting books you can recommend?

    1. Oh, there is so much to pattern drafting that isn't really in the books! I began learning one on one with a master tailor, but did not have enough time with them. I then struggled through the Modern Tailor Outfitter and Clothier, some older texts, modern ones such as Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear, and the Rundschau methods. I also know how to drape and have a drawing and sculpture background which helps. From all of these plus many years of fitting people of all sizes, I have learned to understand the mechanics of many drafts and could analyze why they work or don't work. I have developed my own drafting method that I can modify at will, knowing what will happen if I change one thing or another.
      The older texts presume a level of understanding of construction that they do not explain, so I would not use them to start.
      I would recommend checking out the basic jacket drafts of the older Rundschau system as a good pace to start. There are some available on The cutter and tailor forum, but please be aware that as a novice, coat making is deemed to be something for the more experienced and questions about how to go about it are not supported if you are inexperienced. You should be able to make trousers and shirts and waistcoats proficiently before you will get support for jacket questions.

      I hope this helps.