I think it's safe to say that of the seven classes I've taken so far at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Ladies Tailoring III has been the most technically challenging.
I completed Ladies Tailoring I, in which we made two skirts, last Spring. I'd signed up for Ladies Tailoring II (pants and vest) for this fall, but there weren't enough students registered so it got cancelled. I was able to get a waiver to jump to Ladies Tailoring III, which was being offered. (We were originally ten students; one dropped out.) The class ended last night.
Ladies Tailoring III was focused on making a tailored wool jacket the old-fashioned way. Nearly everything, with the exception of major seams and darts, was stitched by hand. We even made our own shoulder pads.
Naturally, one's first wool tailored jacket is not going to be perfect; mine is essentially a test garment. Still, I did my best and the jacket -- a women's size 8 -- looks pretty good. And it actually fits me, even if it buttons on the wrong side. It's a bit short, perhaps, but I don't think it screams ladies jacket, do you?
My fabric is a worsted wool houndstooth I bought years ago at Metro Textiles, originally to make a suit for Michael. Needless to say that never happened; I would never have been able to pull it off at that stage of my sewing career anyway. Even now, this fabric, which Kashi claimed was Loro Piana, was often challenging to work with -- it's prone to fraying and very fine. Still, it pressed beautifully with our professional irons at school.
Thousands of hand stitches went into the making of this jacket, half of them basting stitches which, naturally, ended up getting pulled out.
|Pad stitching in lapel -- these are permanent stitches.|
The only real shortcut we made was having our buttonholes done at Jonathan Embroidery. Our professor recognizes that it takes many, many practice buttonholes to make a good one and he didn't want us ruining our jackets.
I am SO relieved to be finished, readers. Luckily, I was able to keep up during class so I wasn't stuck playing last-minute catch-up. A few of the students in my class weren't able to finish completely. Below are a few of our jackets.
A few details from mine:
I am signed up to take Tailoring IV this Spring (where we'll make a coat) but there are only four students registered as of today, so I suspect it will be cancelled. That's okay, though -- I have other classes to keep me busy, and I'd love to take what I've learned and make a tailored wool jacket for myself. We'll see.
I own a lot of tailoring books, but the one our professor followed (with a few minor changes) was Roberto Cabrera's Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Women's Wear. We weren't required to purchase it but it sure came in handy -- it's excellent.
I feel a little tailored out at the moment, but I'm sure the feeling will pass.
Have a great day, everybody!