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The Savile Row Coat - Part 3

By Di, Feb 25 2016 03:10PM

After what seems like a very long time the fronts were 'finished' …. Well, I say finished, actually they are all tacked together, but the lapels and lining won't be hand finished until much later in the process.

Time to start the back and there isn't too much to do. The back was cut out so that the stripe looks continuous across the widest part of the back and at the hem. The fabric pieces were then used to cut the lining, adding ease at the centre back , neckline and shoulder seam.

With the centre back seams stitched (the lining actually by machine!) another new technique was used to give shape to the upper back to make room for the curvature of the human body. The back armscye was eased in using chain stitch, adjusting the tension to pull the fibres together.

This photo shows the back ready to press to shrink the fullness.

This shows the side seams thread basted. The other edges have bias strips of lining tacked in place to give body and weight to the hems and vents as well as strengthening the neckline and armhole. With the hem turned up and stitched the back lining is tacked to the body fabric.

When it comes to stitching the shoulder seam it's best if the stripes match at the sleeve end of the seam. As the back shoulder is wider than the front it needs to be eased in as the seam is tacked. Now the back can be stitched to the front.

Shaping and attaching the collar is the next major task. I used collar canvas and Melton for the under collar. Melton is a wool that looks slightly felted. There are no seam allowances on the under collar, although the outer long edge will be trimmed later. As I narrowed the lapels I was unsure about the best shape for the collar, so I cut it a bit longer to be sure I could create the best shape. The collar was pad stitched to create the roll line, then pressed and stretched along the outer edge.

The making and attaching the collar is completely different to the instructions that come with a dressmaking pattern. The collar canvas was placed to the right side of the jacket fabric so that the cut edge is on the outside of the jacket. The collar was stab stitched to the jacket neckline, the seam allowance of the lapel was cross stitched to the collar and the bridle pad stitched along the fold line.

It was now time to shape the front edge of the collar. It took quite a few attempts to get the angle to look right where it meets the lapel. I followed the tailors example, marking the canvas with a biro…..!

Matching the stripes on the upper collar to the lapels and centre back is almost impossible according to the Master Tailor…. So having stretched the collar's long edge I started at the back and tacked multiple rows of stitching to help the upper collar take the shape. The edge that meets the lapel is turned in and the long edge turned so that the top collar is slightly wider than the Melton. The front edge was turned under and everything tacked firmly. The hand stitching of the edges comes later.

By this stage it really is starting to look like a jacket and the next post will be about making and attaching the sleeves.

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The Savile Row Coat