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!

Friday, July 5, 2013

The best laid plans or where is my fabric?

Tuesday morning arrived, and I was ready to start right in on cutting that three piece suit that was added to my workload.
Well, you know how things go when you are under the gun, not much time left....of course the fabric that was shipped was not what was ordered.
Change of plans for Tuesday, so the fabric was reordered, and I changed focus to the period costumes that  needed my attention. Wednesday came and went. Thursday at 2 p.m. the correct fabric arrived! So off it went to be pressed and bolted and I started cutting. At the end of the day I had the trousers and jacket cut, today I cut the waistcoat and the little bits like pocketing and welts and the like, and by the end of day Monday, we will have the suit basted up and ready for a fitting. A bit of teamwork makes it all possible: someone makes up the sleeves and back, someone else the fronts, someone else is making the trousers and a fourth person is basting up the waistcoat. Once the fitting is over, one person will continue with the jacket, one the waistcoat and a third on the trousers. Then I will also be able to cut the second suit, and hope that after the first one, I should have minimal alterations.

In the meantime, I had a couple of fittings and we can now go ahead and finish many things, such as these trousers. They have the main components installed, but the waist, hems and CB seam are just basted for the fitting.

 There's a lot going on in these trousers.
They are double reverse pleated, with slanted or quarter top pockets, with a grown on waistband. They have two back pockets, and they finish with cuffed bottoms. They will  also get belt loops, set down from the top edge by a half an inch for a narrow belt.

It is interesting what the camera picks up, and I can see that the left pocket edge is smooth and the right side shows ripples. It wasn't apparent to me in the fitting, but I can guess that it is the effect of directional stitching. On one side the stitching was done from top to bottom and the other from bottom to top. In a twill fabric like this, it can be just enough to cause this effect. I will have to hang them vertically to see if it shows up then.

A quick peek on the inside reveals the back pocket bag finishing as well as the inside waistbanding.We finish the waistband and centre back of trousers differently than commercial trousers to make it easier to alter when pulled from stock. After all, once the show is down, they go into stock and may be used over and over on different people.