After an unusually long respite, I now question myself on my organization and planning skills. But I say to you “What does tailoring have in common with quilting?” Is there a special skill required besides a single straight stitch, what mathematical calculations or algebraic algorithms are required to become skilled in the art of piecing squares and triangles, binding edges, planning fabric, and sorting techniques. Could they be one in the same when time is considered. I know precision is a necessary component in the equation. Yet, now, I am convinced that there is more.
The suit Jacket was finished in March and engagement photos were taken then as well. But it’s no secret, by now, that I didn’t finish for his birthday! (I intended to finish Last Year 2014!!!) I had all intentions of doing something fast and furious. This time, I think maybe I bit off more than I could chew given the timeframe and all the holiday affair, moving my sewing room, and, of course his brides wedding dress. I believe I know what I’m doing, but am I a perfectionist to a fault? I saw several other options for designing his jacket and pants, and they all included unlined, patch pocketed, floppy lapeled renditions of a mans sport coat. None of which I wanted to make. Here ye, here ye, though I did often try to figure a way off the path I had already started, a direction of which there was no return. The jacket was cut to be a fully lined, multi-pocketed, pad stitched, lapeled, sport coat with working sleeve vents and tail. I was in it to win it now. Yet, I also had an “heirloom gown” that had to be completed. More on that later. Just know, however, that both were for my son and his bride-to-be. Both equally as important.
|The scraps after cutting the suit, and I still need to work a waistband out of this, plus welt pockets. EEEK!!!|
Taking off from the gates in such a rushed unorganized manner did cost me dearly. Number one and most importantly, I ran out of fabric to properly cut all the pieces for the entire suit. The fabric, a bamboo linen blend was originally purchased for a women’s suit. Thus, I only had four yards. I usually buy five. Number two, I did not plan which techniques would work best with the style jacket I was making. I usually just stick to the old “long” way of doing things, no tricks, no short cuts, just straight forward simple techniques. But this time, I stirred too far into unfamiliar territory in an effort to finish quickly, trying methods from popular names currently on the sewing horizon. Number three, my tailoring supplies were no longer plentiful since I hadn’t truly done a men’s suit in over 15 years. Why I have stayed away from such a fine art for such a long time, I couldn’t say. What I can say, however, is it hurt my pride for sure, to flutter along so amateurishly. Especially since I had always prided myself for how quickly I could finish any suit, and the fact, I actually have professional training and college in this field, just added salt to the wound. Does the old saying ring true in this instance: “It’s like riding a bike?” Finally, number four, I had not secured all the findings needed to finish. i.e. buttons, linings, etc. All the gory details are in this first post here, and the second post here.
I don’t know why he just wasn’t excited to be fitting his jacket…does he suspect it will still be another few months before I get around to finishing.
With the last post, part three, here, regarding the construction of this suit I left you with a “few, yes a few task remaining undone. Today you shall get the rest in all its glory and this than shall bring this saga to a close. I owe you at least that much.
- Shaping and pad stitching of the lapel, roll line and front, (est. 3-4 hours if I’m lucky) This took more like 15-20 hours, give more for stopping and starting to work on other things and to give my hands a much needed break from the chore.
- The hair canvas was basted in and roll lines were drawn on to match.
The pad stitching was done over a “sausage” I created by wrapping a rolled towel inside of a cut of cotton broadcloth.
- I drew in my pad stitching lines to remind me when to tighten the stitching for the “roll”. The breast pocket looks a little off because I still needed to stitch it down…I loosened it because I had to flatten it out after I had it hanging over the “bust” on my dress form, which gave it “breast”…lol. after that, I padded out the form to avoid womanly bulges.
- Sew in the lining and hem- by hand! (est. time: 1-2 hours because my hand hurts when I do hand stitching, so I have to take lots of breaks.) HA!!! Did I say 1-2 hours..who was I kidding!!! This was a big stretch to say the least.
I decided to include the red piping because it just looks nice in RTW and so I wanted that look here.
- install inside breast pocket (est. 1-2hours, if I’m not distracted.)
- Collars and buttonholes (est time: “I DON’T KNOW!”) By now the planning and prepping to make the wedding dress is in full affect and the jacket has been put on serious hold. It is now December, time to prep for holiday affairs and finalize wedding dress fabric orders, sew muslins and have fittings, while the bride is in town for the holidays.
- Underneath the lapel, the pad stitched pricks.
- Set-in sleeves of body and lining (est. 1-2 hours) It is now February I have moved to my new sewing space that now gives me room to breath and work on the wedding gown. I have got to hurry, because I have some traveling planned and they have their engagement photo shoot date already set.
- I am sewing in the collars and making sure it is all flat and non-bulky. A hard task since I have been handling this for so long. Some things have shifted or I just forgot what the heck I was doing. Who knows? (bug eyes rolling in my head!)
- Shoulder pads (1 hour maybe) Well, this is probably the only thing that took the estimated amount of time. Go figure. I had to make these. Forgot to take pics…just take my word for it, they are in there.
- Sew in the lining and hem- by hand! (est. time: 1-2 hours because my hand hurts when I do hand stitching, so I have to take lots of breaks.) Lots of breaks were indeed taken…say about 1 week at a time. hehe!.
- I guess he will get the pants in January, or in time for Easter. LOL. Insert:::::Loud Laughter!!!! followed by rolling on the floor with tears in my eyes. It is now November, and they have yet to get done. HeHe. I hope he never mentions them!!!
Fitting was extremely limited for me. I was very adamant with him to come over and fit this along the way, yet I did not prevail. His bride won out on his limited amount of time available for me to work with him. Prepping for the wedding was starting to test all our patience, and time. So I just closed it up and “LET it be DONE!!” It is now March 2015!!! How about that!!.
I did go back and move the top button and added a longer shank so it would not cause a pull under the roll line.
The back is slightly big. But no time to fix it and for being on hiatus from tailoring menswear for 15 years, I think I did a Damn Good job!!!! Now put that in a pipe and smoke it!!! I”M BACK!!!!
I was really excited that he would be wearing his new jacket for the engagement pictures. I ended up truly being an integral part of the entire wedding from engagement all the way to the alter. I love what I do, especially when it makes my family happy.
Thus, I ask again, how very related is tailoring to quilting? They seem one in the same where planning and preparation is concerned. Most importantly, in this instance, finishing after such a long journey is euphoric.
Until next time….keep on sewing.
About the author Andrea