More Of What’s On At The Atelier

More progress on the Eton Jacket…and my fingers are just about done in! 😉



What’s On At The Atelier


Another Eaton jacket in the works…I’m incorporating more tailoring techniques in this one so we’ll see how it turns out. 🙂

Laying out some of the fashion fabric. The lighting is really poor- the fabric is actually a teal linen.

Chalking out the pieces- The pattern pieces are actually slopers so I have to manually add the seam allowance which in this case is 1/2 inch.

Creating the canvases for the front left and right.



At The Atelier- Design Creation, Part 6

In out last post, we assembled the pieces for both the exterior fashion layer and the interior lining/facing layers for the Eton jacket.

In full disclosure, we’d like to say that this project has been an interesting learning experience in that it’s demonstrated to us that there is a lot more involved to drafting a pattern than simply drawing lines on paper following some formula, cutting out the pieces, and putting it together. A lot more. The one thing that nobody really ever discussed in pattern drafting and overall development is that once a pattern is constructed and tested out with one or more toilles, there’s still the matter of working out just how exactly the garment is going to be constructed. Of course, it’s assumed that one just knows all the relevant techniques and that bears little or nor discussion but the reality is with historical garments, there’s a lot that’s become obscure or even lost over the years. Fortunately, there are a number of references out there so it’s not an impossible task but it’s one that’s going require a lot of practice and work to master. So with that said, let’s proceed to the next steps…🙂

We now arrive at one of the most crucial stages- assembling the jacket body.

A lot more pressing is in order but overall we’re pleased with how it came together.

And now onto constructing the cuffs:

The decision to utilize turn-back cuffs was purely an aesthetic one and we could have just as easily used a number of different styles… 🙂 Here’s  the  cuffs pinned to the sleeves:


And voila, sleeves!

And finally, the sleeves are attached and set in the proper position. All that remains is some final touch-ups.

(To be continued…)

At The Atelier- Design Creation, Part 5

In out last post, we completed construction on the canvases for the two front pieces of the Eton jacket and now it’s time to move on to completing the rest of it. As noted previously, this jacket pattern is one that we drafted utilizing a pattern drafting system developed by Charles Hecklinger in The Keystone Jacket and Dress Cutter.  So let’s move on…🙂

Turning to the sleeves, we note that these sleeves have near-90 degree elbow bends and curves which present some challenges for sewing. We found the most practical method to be to first sew and finish the inside seams first. Next, the outer seams are sewn up. We must emphasize that these require a high degree of clipping along the seam allowances and ironing in order to maintain smooth lines and preserve the shape. It’s a definitely more complicated than conventional straight sleeves.

And now, time to put together the lining:

We  decided  to use a moiré for the lining…

Above is the assembled back and side pieces…then the two fronts which combine the lining and facing fabrics:

And finally, assembling the outer layer:

And here’s the lining all assembled:

And finally the outer body:

We’re happy to say that all the pattern pieces fit together very nicely and only a minimum of adjustments were needed. It’s hanging very nicely on the mannequin and we look forward to finally putting the main body together. 🙂

(To be continued…)

At The Atelier- Design Creation, Part 4

In out last post, we started construction on the canvases for the two front pieces of the Eton jacket as well as provide some patterning and construction details on the collar. As noted previously, this jacket pattern is one that we drafted utilizing a pattern drafting system developed by Charles Hecklinger in The Keystone Jacket and Dress Cutter. So now we move a bit away from patterning and into the realm of tailoring- or at least “tailoring light.” Full disclosure here- we’re not trained tailors and a lot of this is new territory for us so there will be mistakes but that’s all part of the learning process. So let’s take a look…🙂

One of the most time-consuming and pain-staking parts of jacket construction is pad stitching the canvas around the lapels.  Essentially, pad stitching is used in conjunction with an interfacing, typically some sort of hair cloth, and the whole idea is to provide a shaped/formed base that will give the lapels some stiffness and definition; if you take a look at any well-tailored suit coat and you’ll notice that the lapels almost have a life on their own, maintaining their shape while giving definition to the jacket as it’s being worn.

The first step is to cut out the two pieces, basically covering the lapel area but making sure to cut away the seam allowance- to reduce bulk and make for clean edges, you don’t want to get the interfacing caught in the seams. These are pinned in. And next, on to pad stitching:

Pad stitching is meant as a way to bind the interfacing to the underlying canvas as well as the fashion fabric with a series of very small (in theory) stitches as a means of shaping and forming the lapels so that they roll smoothly and keep their form. The stitches are supposed to be almost unnoticeable on the fashion fabric side (but mistakes do happen, especially when dealing with a non-wool fashion fabric). Since the pad-stitched fashion fabric is going to not be visible, any flaws in the stitching are hidden. Below is a depiction of how the lapel will look from the front:

Not the most even pad stitching by any means…

Pad stitching can be tricky in gauging the stitches. Technically, at least according to most manuals we’ve come across, they should be about 1/2″ while ones closer to the edges should be 1/4″. To be sure, one can actually trace 1/2″ and 1/4″ grids with a ruler and chalk but we opted to not do this because of the irregular shape of the lapels (and it can be a real pain, especially towards the edges). Finally, once the pad stitching is complete, the perimeter of each lapel is outlined with tailor’s tape which is attached with a catch stitch. This will further give the lapels definition and a maintain a firm shape.

(To be continued…)