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Tailoring Women's Wear Part 2

By Di, May 3 2017 03:32PM

I like to make the pockets after adding the body canvas to the main fabric. You have to trim away some of the canvas so the pockets are only stitched through the fabric. There are two advantages to doing it this way, both improving the overall look of the garment when things are put in the pockets. One advantage is when finished the pocket bags can be secured to the inside of the canvas giving the pockets more support, stopping them dragging on the fabric. The other reason is the pocket bags are now between the canvas and the lining so when in use the main fabric isn't distorted as it's protected by the canvas.

When making pocket flaps I like to make the under flap slightly smaller so that when finished the seam rolls slightly to the underside.

One of my pockets is a standard double welt, the other was made into the angled seam between the front/lower body and the upper side body. The process for both is similar, but the ends of the welts for the lower pocket where basted and secured into the side seam when the fronts and backs were joined later on.

When making welt pockets, after sewing round the shape, cutting the opening and turning through I like to press the seams open. This uses one layer of fabric to fold the welt around, providing support, but not too much bulk. After machining the pocket bags I layer the fabrics above each pocket to avoid a harsh edge when pressing. Next I herringbone stitch the pocket bags to the body canvas above the opening. This means the weight when using the pocket is actually taken by the canvas, stopping the pockets from sagging.


With the pockets finished I turn to the lapel and roll line. I cut a piece of cotton Silesia to go between the lapel fabric and the layer of canvas. It provides additional support without adding stiffness. Starting at the roll line the lapel is pad stitched, rolling the fabric over the left hand whilst stitching. This action shortens the under layer and the roll is held in place by the stitches. Then the roll line is stabilised by adding a piece of cotton tape that will extend onto the roll line of the collar. The tape is cut slightly too short, laying flat at each end with the centre section of the garment eased to fit over the full breast area. This will help the lapel lie flat and not gape. Sorry I don't have any photos of this!

One of the most time consuming tasks when hand tailoring is preparing the front edges. The fold line needs to be thread traced, just through the main cloth and the canvas trimmed back 5mm short of the fold line. I use bias tape that is place on the fabric edge overlapping the canvas. It's tacked to the main fabric along the fold line, then herringbone stitched to the canvas. The edge is folded in and tacked again, before a second row of herringbone stitch is done. The corner of the lapel was mitred and stitched down.

The back is relatively straightforward. I had to match the seams and try to get a balanced check when making the darts. Taking photos always seems to focus my eye on the bits that aren't quite as I'd like them, two stripes that come together that looks like a broad white stripe, but I don't think it's obvious when I wear it.


The back doesn't have a traditional vent. I designed it so the hem drops slightly all the way from the front opening to the centre back, where I've inserted a contrast element.

The back lining is made up next with ease built into the centre back seam. Its then hand basted to the wrong side of the jacket back.


In part 3 I'll show you how to prepare the front facings, make the inner pockets, add the lining to the front, before joining the front and back.


1 comments
May 9 2017 09:01AM by Mandy

I love the look of your jacket. You have matched the pattern beautifully too, of course. Thanks for all these notes. They are so useful to consider when thinking of embarking on a jacket or coat.

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