It's finished!!!

The tailored jacket for Mandy is finished! Here's the break down:

Happy smiley Mandy in the first try on since the toiling stage, she has been so patient with me!
The theme for this jacket was menswear style smoking jacket and can be dressed up with tailored trousers and a blouse or dressed down with jeans like Mandy has done here or feminised back up with a pencil skirt.

Welt pockets in black with wool flap. Hand worked shoulders with sleeve head and shoulder pads. Made out of plum worsted wool with cotton sateen lapel and details in warm toned black. Lined by hand in silver grey paisley.

Back vent pleat in contrast black for extra movement and to balance the colours
Matt black glass buttons with contrast buttonholes.

Hand stamped and crafted label with year of making.

Almost there with the Tailored Saville Row Style Jacket for Mandy!

I'm back with another update on the tailored jacket for Mandy! It's going well, fought me a fair amount on the sleeves but that comes with the territory I guess. There will be no more uploads of the full jacket until its all done now! So you guys will just have to sit tight for a wee bit :)

Front view pinned to close at the moment and stay stitching around the whole of the collar. Pockets are all in though now :)

Thank goodness that this darling lady was around to test fit it for me and just so happens to be the same dimensions as Mandy :) Yippee!!!

Pinning the sleeve leaving slack around the sleeve head so it can be eased in. Easing in a sleeve is tricky but is better done by hand for more control. Your sleeve head will always be slightly larger than your arm scye, that's just so you get a little bit of room when it falls over that bend just past the seam before it falls straight down the arm, It's also perfect for when adding a sleeve head or booster or inlaying the shoulder pad into the shoulder seam. 

Pinning in a sleeve booster ready to be hand stitched, I like to slip stitch it to the actual seam stitching so it doesn't pull unnecessarily on the fabric.

Lining all ready and cut out ready to be sewn together, pressed and stitched to the jacket by hand :)
Keep checking back in here for more close up piccies of the finishing touches coming soon! (Or as soon as a I get to them ;)

Saville Row Style Tailored Jacket, Progress!

Welcome back to another tailored jacket update, I'm working the pockets this very evening!! 

Here is the whole back piece ready to be attached to the front shoulders and for the collar to be set in. Its backed with muslin and catch stitched long all seams and there is a piece of hair canvas across the shoulders for stability, this isn't always necessary but I just hate seeing a shoulder pad line.

These are pictures of my pad stitching the collar before it gets sewn into the rest of the garment. The vertical short rows of stitches encourage the collar to have a good sturdy stand without the need to do it as a separate panel and the horizontal long rows help curve the fall of the collar and they get narrower towards the corners to help stop them curling upwards. It, again, is one layer of muslin over one layer of canvas. I kept the canvas close to the wool so that over time it will felt together with wear and sculpt to the wearer. That's generally the point of canvas as well as adding stability to the jacket.

Its crucial to set the collar on a tailors ham with steam and allow it to cool and dry into that position. This gives the stand a good crease line to stick to.

Again, re-steaming the stand, as I had handled it a fair amount, just to make sure I get a smooth break line throughout the whole collar area.

All the work proudly on display just so it can get hidden later, I love knowing that its all there though, makes all the difference to how the outer shell sits on the body. This is also where you can make minor adjustments to balance out an misbalanced figure, but I'm not that good yet so I just follow as if its already a perfectly balanced body (which no-one is, we're all wonky old beans!)

Where I'm up to!! Just needs pockets, sleeves, button holes, finishing the cuffs, lining etc. So still lots to do before I get to give it to its new home!

Female Saville Row Style Tailored Jacket, where I'm up too

Welcome back, thought I would share with you where I am up to with Mandy's custom fitted tailored jacket.

Securing all my seams with a herringbone catch stitch. Make sure you do this, you don't want any of those nasty seam allowance sticking up and destroying your lovely smooth pressing later on, causing an awkward indent or shiny bit. Literally just removed and replaced a whole panel because of this. 

All muslin backing/interlining tacked in place and ready! A light way of adding more body to you project.

Inside out, looking loooovely!

Ooooo lots of lovely hair canvas is going in!!! This adds stability to the shoulder area and stops the jacket from collapsing in around the hollow below the collar bone, also supports the CF edge to stop it looking frumpy AND supports the shoulder pads, generally awesome stuff! Invisibly attached in and around the concealed neck dart and invisibly tacked to the main body of the garment.  

'Pain' stakingly pad stitching, if you can use a thimble then do so here, it hurts, like pain, for days...¬_¬
Doing this allows the lapel to anchor towards the chest so you won't get any curly notched collars or a shawl/rolled collar that just won't lay flat! Basically beats the fabric into submission, forcing it to lay where you want it to, permanently.

Just fell stitching some stay tape to the cf edge and breakline :) 
This is so satisfying! To anyone looking at me as I work it just looks like I'm doing nothing, for hours and days straight and then  pooooof! A tailored jacket emerges, I can't wait for that moment. Making it look effortless is something I'm working towards and that's hard.

Second toile fitting of Mandy's Saville Row style tailored jacket

Second toile fitting with Mandy!! Fabric all cut out and being stitched up as we speak! Remember to give me a like on the old Facebook page if you haven't already, I love it when people do that!

Don't worry, this is just a second toile (mock up) so the actual tailored jacket will be in a beautiful Worsted Burgundy/Plum wool. Stay tuned for a new video up detailing my collection so far

Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall. I love this women, she simply ooozed style!

This outfit was inspired by Lauren Bacall in the 1940's/50's. The colour palette was grey scale to echo classic Film Noir.

(I don't own this image and I forget where I got it from, google probably!)
(Again, I don't own this image, sorry guys!)


Pixel concept art for print
in the lining of the coat

Oil Cleansing Method

Hi guys! I did a guest blog post on Zoeliannex Blog. Its about using the Oil Cleasnisg Method, follow the link to have a jolly good old read!

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How to Run Your Own Fashion Show!!

This is the first part on how to run your own fashion show, hints, tips and what not to do's! Click below to watch. 
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Female Saville Row Style Tailored Jacket, Step-by-Step

Hello!! Welcome back guys, this is an indepth step-by-step of where I'm up to with the tailored jacket I'm making for the wonderful Mandy! Its pretty technical so get stuck in...

I store all of my patterns clearly labelled in Brown A4 Envelopes. When converting the Winnifred Aldrich pattern blocks I follow the instructions to compare own measurements with that of the 'general sizes' to give me the correct block size to draw up the start of my master. It may be an idea if you have oodles of time to convert you pattern blocks onto thin plastic or thin card to draw round again, this will shorten the process next time considerably.
I draw up my pattern blocks from my Winnifred Aldrich book, It's become a comforting habit to start this way with each project as this was how I was taught at both college and uni. I fought on Ebay for my very own copy of the same pattern drafting book. Its definitely worth the money, the instructions are clear and concise and give the best base pattern to work from for you to adjust to your own design specs. I drew up the Tailored Jacket block in a size 10 measurements and used the 'Mens Style' adjustments to start me off with my own design. The Size 10 specs weren't perfect for my model so I made the appropriate adjustments where necessary. One thing to warn you with is Winnifred Aldrich are "old style" sizes, so a size 10 block would be more like a very small 8. 

This is a close up of my neckline area where I was about to start work on tailoring the notched collar and positioning my break line.
I chose to use the gents collar instructions as this looked the most like my very rough tech drawings.
As you can clearly see, the red line indicates the final rever line and undercoller shape. These style lines can be drawn up freehand to your own design specs.

In the images above you can see my final first draft of the pattern ready to be transferred to Calico. You will need to trace this off of your master to preserve the original lines for adjustments later on, remember to add your seam allowance and any notch points and hem depth turn-ups. 

I used a pattern weight and chalk to mark out my patterns as I find this the most accurate way. Pins are okay but can be time consuming and the fabric moves as you are pinning so may not be as accurate. However if using a sheer or silk fabric, pinning may be your best option if used in conjunction with a pattern weight. 

Also you can see in the image above, I have staggered my snips across that curved seam. This allows the seam to be pressed flat and by staggering the snips you won't get weak parts across that line. When turned this should look smooth and not like a sharp point within the flow of the seam line. 

Also be sure to mark your grain lines on your pattern before you transfer into fabric, and clearly label your pattern pieces, you will need to come back later and adjust these again. It will get confusing days later when you have had some distance from the pattern cutting stage.

Don't be a slave to the mannequin! Get you first toile onto a body as soon and as much as you can. Real people don't behave the same as your nice sturdy mannequin, it will mislead you, leave the fine tuning of the pattern to your first fitting or when you can get it onto a real body. Also remember to leave space for shoulder pads like I have across the shoulders and take into account the layers that will be or are being worn underneath. 

Take as many notes at the fitting point as you can, even if its scribble and all squished on one page like mine here, you WILL forget what you have to do. When tailoring the first toile, remember to take away excess fit from with in the centre of the pattern, either horizontally like I did across the back shoulder yoke as the yoke was a little tall in length for my model. I also took fit vertically down the side seams and the centre back (CB). It is easier and more effective to take most of the fullness away at the CB and at the sides than it is at the front. However my models bust was fuller in comparison to her neckline and waist so we needed to take out some fullness under the bust down the seam to add some definition and more importantly we needed to add in a neck dart hidden under the lapel. A fuller bust forces the break line to poke away from the body, a neckline dart will help it lay flat against the neck and chest area. Always adjust the majority of fullness out of the back before touching the front and write on the toile what you have done and measurements as you go along ready to be transfered back to your master later on.

In this case we needed the collar to be reconstructed completely so I re-drew from the instructions a new collar design to the new break point. The break line is the place where a lapel will fold back on itself and the break point is the point at where that fold will start. The break line will continue and blend into the collar. I would then make all of my adjustments to the master pattern in a different colour and then re-trace the whole pattern again. The reason why we do this is if in the alteration process we cock it up we can trace back to the original point before the tailoring malfunction.

I will be test fitting the second toile soon hopefully with a nice sleeve to show you all and HOPEFULLY that will be the one before I move to final fabric, but I could be speking/typing too soon! Letys hope not I'm ready to work in the beautiful plum wool we have for this bad boy! Stay tuned!!

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