Posted on Sunday the 24th February 2019 by Tip Top Sewing
Traditional tailoring is something I wanted to try last year. It’s a completely new world of sewing, which is full of hand stitching and other couture techniques. On top of that, it’s one of those areas where RTW prices are too high to be mentioned in magazines, which was an extra motivation behind my project.
I was offering my husband to sew him a jacket for quite a while but he never expressed much interest. It took him a couple of years to get to warm up to the idea, but when he did, I immediately dived into my new project.
The original idea was to sew an unlined sports jacket that will go with any shirt and chinos. I was thinking of using some linen suiting fabric, but couldn’t find the one I wanted. It was possible to pick a regular linen dress fabric, but I wanted to stay on the safe side and pick something from the suiting section. That’s when I spotted a beautiful herringbone wool and linen blend fabric, which looked perfect for the traditional tweed jacket. As soon as I got it I realized that lining is a must for my project. This suiting fabric is very loosely woven and doesn’t hold it’s shape very well. I’d assume that if left unlined it’ll stretch out quite a bit too. But in combination with some viscose or acetate lining, it works perfectly well. I pre-washed it even though I’m not going to throw the jacket in a washing machine. It’s a must since both linen and wool are very prone to shrinking, which can easily happen on a humid day, or while pressing and steaming seams.
The traditional jacket would become modern if I wouldn’t use Hair Canvas
. It was my first experience and I must say it took me quite a while to master all of the hand stitches you need to apply it. They aren’t difficult at all, but really time-consuming if you’ve never done it before. I interfaced half of the bodice, underarms and undercollar. I must confess that I did use some of the fusible interfacing for the hems and pockets. The back of the jacket is interfaced with some regular cotton poplin, which worked quite well. I’d prefer to have a bit more structure in that area but I had no choice but to rip off the hair canvas due to hairs poking through the lining (oops).
Speaking of lining - I used some medium weight viscose one from my stash for the body and thin Satin Stripe Patterned Acetate Lining Fabric
in Camel Gold for sleeves. Both worked perfectly for the task and I’d highly recommend using thicker ones for jackets.
I used Burda Style 02/2016 #140 pattern for my project. It has really good reviews and almost every seamstress was mentioning that she didn’t need any adjustments. Well, it wasn’t my case. I had to lengthen the pattern, shorten the sleeves and raise the armholes. The last issue is a very common one in RTW jackets or patterns - it’s designed to fit everyone, which means that the armholes are much bigger than most men need them to be. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but in reality, it pulls the jacket up with any tiniest arm movement.
After I learned a lot from my traditional tailoring experience I can’t wait to sew more jackets. It’s nice to see new suiting fabrics appearing on Minerva Crafts shop, which gives seamstresses an option to sew any jackets or suits we can possibly think of!