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My intrepid assistant.

The Couture Jacket

Why haven't you been cooking as much lately?  Why are your fingers all scarred and bloody you ask. And why do you constantly stare at my jacket seams all the time??  You might well ask.

I have always loved sewing, and I've made a few complex projects in my day, gowns, tutus, coats, more tutus. In recent years, there's been little enough time for sewing, but a renewed interest in couture led me to  my latest project: tailored menswear-- completely customized for the wearer, top-quality fabric, sewn by hand, impeccably matched patterns, hand canvassed, and including whatever small details the wearer would like.

Below, a glimpse inside my atelier. (Click on any image to see it larger.)

My Couture Atelier, with silent assistant.
Pattern pieces should be ironed flat, and pinned down. Lest they run away.
Where would you like the pockets? Here? No, here?
More than half the time in couture construction will go into pressing.
The test garment comes apart and becomes my pattern.
The fabric is a blend of wool and cashmere and at $90/yard, I'm measuring thrice, cutting once.
The first cut is the deepest.
Here we go...
Pressing is extremely important.
Oh, wait, this kind of pressing.
Much time went into hand stitching the canvas, a layer which gives shape to the coat.
The lapels are carefully pad-stitched by hand, to give them shape and structure.
I steamed the lapels over a rolled up towel to create a soft effect.
The collar (also hand-shaped) and the lapel, before they are lightly steamed to smooth, but not flatten, the lines.
Pockets were a pain.  Inside the front, the strip on the right keeps the pocket from sagging.
Sewing the welts onto the front pocket. Once you start cutting you're  committed.
The inside with the pocket sewn on.
The (almost) finished pocket. I added a flap since I thought the welt slit alone looked too much like a tuxedo pocket.
Another pocket on the inside. We made one on each side.
The finished jacket is still "settling," but Eric says it's the most comfortable thing he's ever had on.
Probably the most useful book on tailoring I've ever come across.  Clearly written with LOTS of great photos.

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