Now, I’m delighted to say, there is one good thing that’s come out of the past horrible chest-infection-ridden days – Moshe said he’s happy for me to get started on his coat. In other words, he’s happy for me to measure him up, and to get that coat done. The fact that one of our good friends rocked up to our house for dinner last Saturday night sporting a similar warm and fabulous coat probably had nothing to do with it, right??? But hey, I’m just happy to be getting started!
First thing I did was to look through my library shelf of sewing books. I’ve sewn coats and jackets before, but I’ve not made a tailored mens coat before, and I’ve been searching and searching for information on how to do it right. After all, I’ve got the most beautiful fabrics lined up, you know the 80% wool/20% cashmere grey with the gorgeous lining I’d bought from Tessuti. In case you missed it, I blogged about them here.
Except I’ve decided to ditch that Burda pattern I was going to use, because when Vogue Patterns came out with this more classic style, I thought it suited both Moshe and the fabrics I’d chosen better.
Now, here’s what I’m really excited about. I pulled a book off the shelf that’s just loaded with all the information I think I’m looking for. I’ve spent the past couple nights sitting on the couch with Moshe, watching episodes of Suits, and thumbing my way through the book, and I’m so excited. This book is unbelievable. I’m so very grateful to Peter from Male Pattern Boldness for recommending it to me!
Three Methods of Tailoring
I decided to start from the beginning of the book, and work my way through it as I follow the instructions that came with the Vogue pattern. First up, the book talks about “The Standards of Tailoring”, outlining the 3 different methods available for tailoring a garment – custom, machine, and fusible. It says that custom tailoring requires the most handwork, but I like that, so I think I’m going to go with that method, although I may end up using a combination of custom (ie. handstitching) and machine tailoring. I love the fact that I’ll be learning techniques that I should have asked my father to teach me while he was still alive, given he was a professional tailor, but I never did ask him. I didn’t think I needed to, since I didn’t ever plan on sewing for men. Shockingly short-sighted, I know. But oh well. Now, I want to know how to work with that hair canvas, and how to roll a collar properly. And this book has everything laid out for me to learn. So, here goes.
Selecting a Pattern
I’m pretty comfortable with the pattern I’ve chosen. It has a tailored collar, set-in sleeves, a back seam, it’s full-lined, a current yet classic style, among other required attributes, so we’re all good in this department. On to the next step.
Selecting a Tailoring Fabric
Now I’m pretty sure that what I paid for at Tessuti for my fabric kinda ensures its tailoring qualifications, but I decided to take it through the paces.
a) fibre content – with all natural fibres, it’ll press and shape well, and can be shrunk to reduce excess ease (although that one scares me a little!), and stitches will blend well into the fibres. Its colour is dark, it’s a medium weight, with surface texture, and a medium weave. All boxes ticked.
b) the “feel” tests – here I have to show you in photos:
Now, the next step is choosing my interfacing. Here’s where I have to leave this post because it’s just after 7pm on Sunday night as I’m writing this, and I need to make some phone calls to find where I can buy me some hair canvas, lambswool, and any other interfacing I am going to need. Not actually convinced I need hair canvas for this soft cashmere/wool coat, but that’s one of the things I need to find out.
Do you know where I can get that stuff in Melbourne? Please let me know in the comments if you do. I’ll be forever grateful.
Have a good one!