A Finely Tailored Jacket

It’s not often that I am in the presence of a finely tailored garment.

It’s a rare commodity these days.

But recently, a customer brought this gem to me to have it altered:

a finely tailored jacket from England, 1320

Those of you who live in the U.K. will appreciate this label:

Chelsea Design Co. label, a finely tailored jacket, 1323

It reads: Catherine Walker…The Chelsea Design Company

Catherine Walker designed clothing worn by Princes Diana and others.

Her designs were beautiful.

So, to have one of these pieces in my hands was a rare treat.

My customer is from the U.K. and purchased this jacket there many years ago.

It is timeless in style. A real classic.

It is a fine wool, gorgeous black in color.

The welt pockets were exquisite. Every stitch was perfect. The brass buttons were the real deal, nothing on this jacket was of sub standard.

What you see on the outside is beautiful, but the inside is what took my breath away!

Just look at the attention to detail.

Poke around these photos and see the hand stitching all over.

These aren’t your store bought shoulder pads. Look at the layers and layers of “batting”:

hand tailored shoulder pads, a finely tailored jacket, 1324

See the grey wool piece? That’s a sleeve head. You don’t see those very often.

grey sleeve head, finely tailored jacket, 1325

Look at the hand stitching up close!

hand stitched sleeve head, a finely tailored jacket, 1326

When I pulled back the lining, I saw the hand stitching through the shoulder pads:

hand picked shoulder pad, a finely tailored jacket, 1327

Why do I get so excited about these details?

Because I know the amount of time it takes to make a hand tailored garment like this.

I know how much better a garment like this fits.

The tailor custom made this jacket to fit my customer with precision and attention to detail.

I also appreciate the quality because I took a tailoring class in college and the professor was a stickler about mastering these details. I remember laboring over this class for an entire summer. I was told it should be the only class I take at one time.

It was good advice.

I just pulled out my class book:

my tailoring text from college, 1352

Aren’t you impressed I still have this puppy?

I kept it because I knew I’d reference the material now and then.

Having the book around has been invaluable.

I can look back through it when I need an overview on construction details like bound buttonholes.

Do they still make hair canvas interfacing?!

If you are in to construction of garments, you really should take a tailoring class.

You’d really enhance your sewing skills.

Check out the local college and see if they offer such a class.

I don’t teach tailoring on this website, but it really took my sewing to another level.

It will do the same for you.

Meanwhile, I do have some advanced alterations on this site. If you’re interested, check them all out by visiting the “Alterations” tab at the top of every page and click on the categories that interest you.

Then just practice on old garments or scraps of fabric and you’ll get proficient in no time!

Do you have a jacket that doesn’t fit on the shoulder well?

Then, you might want to check out How to alter the shoulders on a jacket or coat.

Are your sleeves too long and showing under your jacket?

Check out this post on How to Shorten Long Sleeves.

Even with little sewing experience, you can alter clothing and home decor like a professional. You just need the right instruction and how to!