Tailored Clothes

From time to time I am asked to make custom clothes tailored to the client.
Sometimes I am asked to reproduce much loved but aging wool clothes that fit well.
This season I was asked to reproduce pleated wool pants without a pattern.
I had the Kenneth D King CD book on Making Patterns from Existing Garments so it was a great aid!
Here is a link to his site for books and CDs
After using silk organza to trace all the lines and pockets and darts I was able to make a paper pattern which in turn produced a test sloper and then the finished wool pants.They are lined and have bound buttonhole pockets.
I placed the silk organza over freezer paper to trace the lines. Using a gridded mat underneath gave me grain lines to follow. You can barely see the yellow tracing lines for the back of the pants as well as the ones I used for the front pleated section. You can trace 2 sections on one piece of organza...ok you can trace many sections if you use different colored pencils.
Here are the front panels to the jacket. They have been interfaced with tricot and also a weft insertion fusible. There are bound buttonhole pockets. This jacket is being made from Vogue 2986 Michael Kors pattern. A test sloper jacket was made from checked homespun fabric to check for grain lines and fit before the wool was cut out.
The back was also interfaced with a half back or hair canvas to keep its shape when being hung on the hanger. The client did not want the hair canvas to continue under the arms or across the front as would be the norm. The edges of all the wool will be pinked as will the lining edges and the lower edge of the hair canvas.
As it progesses, the jacket grows sleeves, now hand basted in and a lining placed temporarily to make sure of the fit and ease within.
I found this lining pattern was a bit skimpy so alterations had to be made. The sleeves have no interfacing as per the client's wishes but I did fuse some weft interfacing just at the cap for stability and good shape later.
This pattern had the upper and lower collar cut on bias with both having separate collar bands. Now the pattern also did not call for interfacing of the bands nor undercollar but I added it for good measure. The upper collar was not much bigger than the under collar so alterations were made. The upper collar and lower collar were interfaced with fusible tricot.
I followed Kenneth D King's advice on making a 3 layered shoulder pad unit. They were all cut from hair canvas and stitched together to form a nice curve. I saw him demonstrate this on HGTV and it was pretty easy to make it and then layer the shoulder pad into it for a perfect sturdy shoulder.
To ease the sleeve cap to fit the armhole I found this great felted wool online and it worked great! I cut a bias strip 2 by 8 inches and pulled the wool very tight as I stitched the sleeve cap next to the feed dogs and voila' - the sleeve cap measured exactly 6.7 inches from dot to dot.
Here is the link to the felted
wool site.
You can buy it by the yard in
neutral and colors.
The owner is Melvina and she
is such a help
since I was buying something
from her rugmaking
site Holly Hock Hill Designs
but for jackets!
The armhole needs to be taped before sleeve insertion and this will help the whole circular area from being stretched out. Then the sleeves will be machine stitched, the shoulder pad units attached and the lining attached by hand
Here is a cool trick from Kenneth D. King's CD Book on Tailoring:
Bind the raw edge of the front facing with a bit of the lining fabric and wrap it to the underside and stitch in the ditch for a flat and pretty edge. Can you see the little bit under the edge of the hem?
A custom jacket deserves a custom label with the client's name. I order mine from Charm Woven Labels in Burbank, Calif. They have a website and gorgeous woven labels for all needs.
Here is the link to their site.
And the finished jacket with buttons.

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