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Jacket in the making


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#1 Gruto

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:38 PM

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I'm invited to follow the making of a SB blazer by a young tailor in Copenhagen. Good news, since bespoke tailoring is almost as dead as a dodo in Copenhagen and the rest of Denmark.

What's particulary interesting to me is that the tailor starts with a fitting in a cotton/linen cloth. I have read about that method but never seen it IRL. What do you think of it - how useful is it?

You can see more pictures at http://stiljournalen...mott-del-1.html

Edited by Gruto, 16 July 2010 - 12:10 AM.

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#2 Nishijin

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 12:38 AM

I always test my pattern with a muslin when :
- customer has a "difficult" morphology (as I have little experience, this means nearly every customer :hmm: )
- cloth is in limited length so I cannot make a mistake

A muslin fitting is very useful, I know at least one tailor in Paris who use them also. It does not mean first fitting in real cloth will be perfect, but there usually are very little corrections to make.

For women, I would never try without a muslin first.

This being said, I do not use dressmakers' muslin, as this tailor seems to do. I use cheap cloth having a hand more similar to intended cloth.
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#3 jcsprowls

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 02:47 AM

I prefer muslins, too. Although, I use a similar weight of wool, not cotton to prove the custom pattern.
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#4 Sator

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 08:00 AM

Thanks for sharing this, and it's great that you are doing something to help revive bespoke tailoring in Denmark.

A toile like this is something most men's tailors skip because it adds extra time and effort. The real cloth also behaves quite differently so you still need to do fittings all over again. That said, it seems even some very experienced tailors still like to have this extra layer of security.

I suspect the tailor has a dressmaking background, where this sort of muslin is traditionally used.

#5 Terri

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:10 AM

I like to make a toile- it is immensely useful for difficult figures and you can make more design and fitting changes in many cases.

I like to use a heavier fabric than the weight of muslin shown. I would use at least a 6 oz drill, or a cheap wool blend for the toile.

This year I had the opportunity to see the real time difference between making a toile and not. The same person made each one of these three jackets from start to finish.

The first was a baste up in the real fabric, the canvas was basted in but the pockets were just marked. The sleeves were not in, but were prepped and pinned in the fitting. Undercollar, hems basted. 55 hours.

The second was a jacket basted up in the real fabric, pockets were in, canvas basted in but not taped, edges and hems turned back, sleeves basted in.50 hours.

The third was a jacket that had a toile first, then made up for a fitting in the real fabric with the pockets in, facings on, hems, sleeves, lining and undercollar basted on. 45 hours to finish.

So I think that there is a common misunderstanding about the toile adding time to the overall project.

#6 Sator

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:17 AM

I like to use a moderately heavy denim for my toiles. I have found that I can stretch and shrink it extremely well with the iron in a way that mimics wool. This is especially important to be able to do if you plan to incorporate a high degree of manipulation when making up eg a Crooked Cut that needs lots of stretching at the front of scye, and shrinking in at the lapels to restore the neckpoint to its correct place. If you fail to do this on your toile, the balance will be out.

#7 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:47 AM

I'm old skool, slap on some inlays and rock it to forward baste :girl_devil:

Talk to your customer, allow them to relax, observe them, how they stand, how they move, then take careful measures measures and this is all you need.

@Terri, I'm a little surprised at these numbers you give. 55 hours for basically a shell, no pockets, only basted?
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#8 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:48 AM

I like to use a moderately heavy denim for my toiles.


Wow, I could never use denim, my fingers would get so sore trying to sew through that.
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#9 Sator

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:54 AM

Wow, I could never use denim, my fingers would get so sore trying to sew through that.


It's actually not that bad to handsew, and is much easier to work with than a shifty feather weight worsted. And in any case, on something that is going in the bin, you would machine sew as much of it as you can.

#10 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 10:12 AM

What? I was thinking of making you a denim jacket or duster for when you go walk about :)

Seriously? doesn't that defeat the purpose? let's make the toile one way, and then make the coat the other way and expect the pattern to come together the same? At the risk of sounding argumentative, that's rubbish! That's like polishing your car with an electric buffer as practice for when you hand buff the car later.
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#11 Kerry

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 10:14 AM

@Terri, I'm a little surprised at these numbers you give. 55 hours for basically a shell, no pockets, only basted?


I think that Terri was referring to the level of fitting and how far the jacket was constructed. The further you prepare (in some cases) can be wasted as it only gets undone and changed. Of course a perfect pattern and cut with no alterations will make anyone's dayPosted Image.

Making a toille first and then a complete jacket start to finish uninterrupted can be quicker than ripping back a fitting and making the changes.

#12 Sator

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 10:31 AM

Nobody is saying that you can skip the fittings on the coat if you make a toile. You still have your inlays and your fittings once you proceed to the real garment because the real cloth never quite behaves the same not matter how you sew it. The point is whether the toile is sufficient of an approximation that you may even be able to skip to the forward fitting. Sewing the toile is much quicker than making up a skeleton baste, and you can freely do things during your fitting like mark it with a permanent ink that never rubs off.

#13 Terri

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 10:41 AM

@Terri, I'm a little surprised at these numbers you give. 55 hours for basically a shell, no pockets, only basted?


No- my gosh! the hours are for the total from the start to the finished jacket. The descriptions are just the rough idea of each fitting stage.

#14 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 10:45 AM

You scared me there :p I was going to see if I can get a job there if your time schedules were that lax LOL
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#15 jcsprowls

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 10:48 AM

Making a toile first and then a complete jacket start to finish uninterrupted can be quicker than ripping back a fitting and making the changes.

It is *loads* faster to prove the pattern before you do it "fer reelz".

On the point of choosing the fabric to use for your muslin. I'll say it again: use the same weight/composition as your finished garment. I use goods that are 2 or 3 seasons old - it's about 60% cheaper than current season's goods.

If you want to know one of my real insider secrets: I always prove a pattern in plaid. Every pattern I make has horizontal and vertical matching embedded. The problems with balance and the gaping vents on mrmanners's coat would have been painfully evident and virtually eliminated if a plaid muslin were made to prove the pattern before cutting into the Minnis goods.

Edited by jcsprowls, 16 July 2010 - 10:50 AM.

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#16 Terri

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 10:52 AM

Sewing the toile is much quicker than making up a skeleton baste


Exactly, and for me, I often don't have anything to go on but measurements that someone else may have taken, photos front back and side, if I am lucky, and not much time to leisurely observe when there may be over twenty scheduled fittings in a day.
I am not using block patterns and I draft everything from "scratch" so to speak. The only time I re-use patterns is if I have the same person in for more than one look. Even year to year, people change shape and the design requirements are different, so a toile can save up to 10 hours of labour in the long run.

#17 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 10:56 AM

I rarely do a full baste, I typically go straight to forward baste and has always worked fine for me and my clients. A little extra time just looking at the client does a lot. But this will not work in a busy theatre ( or slow one) and def will not work in JC's application.

Edited by J. Maclochlainn, 16 July 2010 - 10:58 AM.

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#18 Sator

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 12:01 PM

Cutting to the forward baste can work in a lot of cases, especially when you are executing the same basic cut on fairly proportionate figures, but there will always be particularly disproportionate figures on whom extra fittings are required. The question then is whether a toile will make fitting quicker or slower.

Also, a toile encourages both the cutter as well as clients to try out out cuts that deviate from the stock standard. Even something simple like hacking pockets cannot be changed once cut onto the actual cloth.




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