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Dec 21, 2016

Ladies Tailoring III @ FIT: My Final Jacket


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!

22 comments:

  1. Beautifully done! You're turning into a master tailor!

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  2. I am blown away by the precision of your sewing. To what do you attribute this?

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  3. Impressive stitching,and the fit is quite good!

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  4. When I saw the picture I thought "how did he convince them to let him do a men's tailored jacket"! No it does not scream woman's jacket

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  5. Impeccable workmanship Peter! Thank you for sharing the photos of your classmates' jackets...they did a great job too.

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  6. I can't wait to see a man's jacket that you make after taking this class. That is stunning.

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  7. Great job! Love watching you sew!
    You are very fortunate to have available to you high level classes. For many of us it's just a dream...which includes taking vacation time, hotel stays and restaurant meals.
    It's lots of fun watching!

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  8. Beautifully done. I'm green with envy. Your blog is always a delight to follow and a great source in inspiration and aspiration.

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  9. Your jacket is beautifully made. I was lucky as a senior in high school to take such a class with all the pad stitching, etc. Those skills have served me well over the years, however; I have developed many shortcuts. I'm anxious to see you make one for yourself as, sadly, I feel this is definitely a woman's jacket. Thanks for your wonderful blog, Peter. Karen

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  10. It's a beautiful jacket and a beautiful fabric. If you are so inclined, I'd love to read a more detailed description of how you lined the back vent. I've made a lot of lined vented skirts, and I always get to a point where I kind of have to wing it because the lining needs to attach to the vent but I want it hanging free in the rest of the skirt. I'm sure you know the right way to do this.
    Thanks so much for blogging.

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  11. Excellent work, Peter. I just love following along on your classes at FIT.

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  12. Such beautiful work! Well done everyone!

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  13. Peter, you've done some amazing work this semester. Thanks for inspiring so many of us.

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  14. Roberto Cabrera's book is available from/through Amazon, used, at a reasonable price. For those of us who live and sew far from great classroom opportunities, good books are lifesavers!

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  15. Thank you for sharing so much, Peter. It is a joyful education to learn from my own past mistakes and to follow your much more efficient classes. Thank you, thank you.

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  16. That's a beautiful jacket, Peter. I so admire your tenacity and skill. I wish you and Michael a happy, productive, safe 2017. Anne-Marie

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  17. Utterly impressive!

    Looking forward to your version of 2017.

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  18. Congrats on the fab finish to your jacket, is great , have been following the progress of the jacket, so many skills mastered within this to use on your next makes , best wishes for fab 2017

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  19. So many people don't realize the level of workmanship that goes into a tailored jacket......especially non-sewers.

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  20. Wow, where do you find the time? Amazing, well done, learning is so fun.

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