Blog: handcraft

Bespoke - The making of a Savile Row coat - Part 20

Second fitting!

So, I've changed a few details: I've let out the back at the waist a bit, somewhere around 1/8" to 1/4" and I also corrected a minor glitch in the back hem, it's parallel now. I also corrected the right sleeve and gave it an extra inch, now it's the correct length, I suppose.

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Now, this might actually surprise you, but I am still not 100% happy with the results so far... I still see some folds in the back, around the upper arms - they have to go. The rest: Arms, front: I'm OK with that. Rory wrote in our forum that it'll take you 3 coats to get it all right ... so, there'll be enough fodder for this blog for years to come!

Bespoke - The making of a Savile Row coat - Part 16+

Pre-fit - and the way to where we are now

I haven't posted much since March 18th. Partially due to work and also some excruciating back pains. After the so-called canvassing preparations, the actual canvassing was due.

This canvassing is a very important step, as the canvas-construct I made (See Bespoke - The making of a Savile Row coat - Part 15 will now be attached to the cloth. Mistakes will result in wrinkles and possibly even pleats. And it looks shite too.

I guess I did okay: Bild ohne Beschreibung

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After that, I sewed the edges of the forepart, so they show what the fore part-edges will look like later. The same was done with the bottom hem, so I can check the actual length of the coat.

After that, time to put the back and the foreparts together, first the sides and then the shoulders. Then one of the most important pieces of the coat was drafted and constructed: The undercollar. Took me 3 days to pad it. If you look closely on the next photos of the front, you see blue stitches on the collar. There must have been a few hundred at least!

Yesterday night, I basted the sleeves, so they are prepared for attaching to the body.

This afternoon, I basted in the collar and connected it to the lapels - also a very important step, as this defines how the lapels will roll: Will they stop just above, below or at the button?

It took me four attempts to get it where it is now...

So, lo and behold: A first "Pre-fitting", without sleeves, to find out if the body is going in the right direction...

Right side: Bild ohne Beschreibung

Left side: Bild ohne Beschreibung

Back side: Bild ohne Beschreibung

Front side: Bild ohne Beschreibung Bild ohne Beschreibung

Thanks to Vicki (Best wife of all) for taking the pictures and her patience hearing me yap about sewing this coat since weeks! Schliepdisch!

Bespoke - The making of a Savile Row coat - Part 15

Canvassing preparations, part 1

Due to some back issues and a lot of other things, I haven't been too active over the last days.

You might remember from my entry here: "Focus or fuck up" that there's also some canvas and hair cloth involved in this coat, apart from the black stuff, called domette.

After getting new canvas and cutting it correctly this time, the 2 different sorts of canvas and the domette need to be put together, like this: Bild ohne Beschreibung Bild ohne Beschreibung

  • If you are wondering, where the second piece of canvas is... It's covered by the black domette.

The chest canvas brings a certain "stiffness" or "springiness" along, in one direction it is similarly limp or weak as any other normal fabric. But "against the grain" (so, perpendicular to the grain), it kind of refuses to fold completely. With the hair cloth (so called because of goat's, or in this case, horse's hair is woven into it) this effect is even stronger.

So, sewing those two together as shown above, results in this - if you try to fold the canvas vertically:

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After having both sides done (I had to redo most of the 2nd part, as I there seemed to have been a pleat in the hair cloth), parts had to be cut and sewn together again... Now it looks a bit like Frankenstein's coat... Let's hope there'll be no thunderstorm tonight ... who knows what'll happen if it comes to live!

Bild ohne BeschreibungBild ohne Beschreibung Now, on to pressing, modifiying pockets and then the really, really terrifying stuff starts...

Bespoke - The making of a Savile Row coat - Part 14

Outbreast pocket - done!

Despite my back trying to make me crawl on all four for the rest of the week, I managed to finish the outbreast - and last "external" pocket. Not much text - you can find me on the couch! Bild ohne Beschreibung

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Bespoke - The making of a Savile Row coat - Part 13

Finished the side pockets (cross pockets)

Today I finished the cross pockets. The ones on the sides, with the flaps. And on the right side, the cross pocket has an integrated ticket pocket!

Here you go: Bild ohne Beschreibung

The outside - the white stitches will be removed later on!

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If you look closely, you can see the small pocket within the pocket.

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On top you see the outline of the ticket pocket.

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And there you have'em: Both fore parts with their cross pockets! Apart from the ticket pocket, some other details: - The flap can be put inside the pocket. The inside is broad enough and slightly slanted on the back side, so the flap will fit inside without having to wrinkle it - The corners are all rounded, to avoid collecting lint in the corners - The front of the pocket insides have an additional, horizontal, pleat in them. So if you'd put something bulky inside those pockets, the pleat would open up!