tailored jacket: finished

My tailored jacket is done! Actually, it’s been done for a little while now; the weather was just way too warm over the summer to think about, or model, a tailored wool jacket. This is where I left off, with the shell of the jacket sewn, and all the horsehair canvas sewn in to the front, lapels pad-stitched, and edges reinforced with twill-tape. Sadly, there are no fun pictures this time of the inside of the jacket, since it’s all safely hidden inside the lining.

The next step after the shell was sewn, was to attach the facing pieces to the front edges of the jacket. Making a tailored garment means doing a lot of little steps to ensure the best possible fit. One of those steps was to make the facing just a little too long, and make sure the excess ends up right where the collar turns (right over the buttons). We did the same with the twill-tape, and it leaves just a little extra room for the collar to turn nicely, without pulling tight. It’s a small and subtle thing, but the small and subtle things really add up in the end. I plan to use this trick on future jackets – whenever I can remember it, that is!


Non-functioning vent, bound buttonholes, and gorgeous, engraved coconut-buttons.

The vent on the sleeves aren’t actually functioning vents, as they are just sewn shut on the inside. They do have an awfully nice mitered corner on the inside, so if you catch a glimpse of the diagonal seam from the corner, it looks quite professional! The sleeve is a two-piece sleeve, which honestly isn’t any more difficult to sew than a one-piece sleeve. I think it can make certain styles of jackets look more tailored – in fact, I’m working on another jacket with two-piece sleeves right now.

After stitching the shoulder seams together, we pad-stitched the under-collar in pretty much the same way the lapel was pad-stitched. The difference was that we stitched the horsehair to black wool felt, which essentially is the under-collar for this jacket. The top collar was then sewn to the jacket, and secured to the under-collar using a blanket-stitch. There was a lot of hand-sewing at this point!


Getting the lining in the jacket was less difficult than I thought it would be. The pattern is more or less the same than for the outside, with some modifications. The lining in jackets and coats are traditionally slightly larger than the jacket itself, so that it can move around without pulling on the outside fabric. While we machine-sewed the lining together, and to the facing, most of attaching the lining to the jacket was done by hand; the hem and the neck-edge, and also, closing up the lining at one of the arm-holes. I used a wonderful, slightly heavier, slightly textured, cream-colored silk, and it behaved quite nicely while sewing.

The last day of class was spent finishing the jacket, starting with sewing on the buttons. Getting the lining in place made a big difference – all of a sudden the jacket was practically done! We also finished the bound buttonhole, which involved cutting an x-shaped slit through the facing, right behind the buttonholes on the front. It was a little unnerving to cut into a jacket that was as good as finished, but when the little flaps were folded under and hand-stitched down, the jacket was truly all done.

What’cha looking at? My well-fitting jacket perchance?

A couple more pictures here.

10 responses to “tailored jacket: finished

  1. Yay, nice work! Looks like it fits beautifully. All those little details make so much difference don’t they? I finished my tailoring studio a few weeks ago, am pretty glad not to be sewing any more wool in summer!

  2. It looks lovely! like everything else you make. The fit and the color looks really good on you.

  3. I love it, Birgitte:)
    I didn´t really get how you made the buttonholes on the front, but would love to learn it though. It is all so – well, neat! Oh, my favorite seamstress strikes again. And I shall not say this only once.

    • Thanks everybody, I really appreciate your comments!

      Dorte – perhaps I will do a step-by-step little tutorial..? I’m sure there are a million of them out there on the vast inter-net, but it could be fun to do one!

  4. It’s really, really nice, and looks very well sewn. I started to make a blazer a couple years ago and got stuck when I was about to attach the lining and make the button-holes. Such a hurdle… Well done!

    • I have to admit Karin, the completion was certainly helped by the fact that this jacket was done for a class! We had wonderful guidance along the way.

      Regardless, thanks for your comment!

      Dorte – see you on the other side! ;)

  5. I’ll eagerly wait for your tutorial, my love. I am currently not able to do anything but writing on my thesis, so I sigh next to my sewing machine and get high on sewing blogs. haha. stay tuned for life after MA.

  6. That’s interesting you say linings are larger than the shell. The only book on the market that explains it and in the terms you describe, is mine. And I bang on about it on my site a lot. I used to get a lot of flack for saying it but I’m glad to see word is being disseminated in schools… I wonder if instructors at your school have mentioned either as useful source material?

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