For the February theme month #sewmenswearforeveryone I’ll give you a round-up of tutorials of some traditional tailoring techniques. It’s a selection (*) because you can imagine there are a zillion tutorials about these techniques out there.
The first thing I encountered when doing my research were references to the two books of Roberto Cabrera: ‘Classic Tailoring Techniques for Menswear’ and ‘Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Women’s Wear (F.I.T. Collection)’. You can consult and read the one on Women’s Wear online.
Another way of discovering which techniques are used on a tailored jacket is by deconstructing it! On ‘Gertie’s blog for better sewing’ you’ll find a detailed photo story of the deconstruction of a 40s jacket. It’s like a backwards tutorial!
Traditional tailoring techniques for jackets and coats
Collars and lapels
Collars and lapels benefit from using horsehair canvas for interfacing. To attach the horsehair canvas you use pad-stitching.
- Tailoring How-To: The Pad Stitch & Prepping Collar Pieces by wearinghistoryblog
- Tailoring the coat front by Gertie
- Pad-stitching by Sempstress
- Pad-stitching (with demo) by Garb for Guys
- Video on pad-stitching by Edith Carnley
- The art of the hand-tailored buttonhole by James Williams
- How to sew a bound buttonhole by Threads
- Tutorial: bound buttonholes by Colette Patterns
- How to sew bound buttonholes by Last Stitch
The Back Stay
A back stay prevents the coat from stretching out across the shoulders.
- How To Sew A Back Stay by Did you make that?
- Back Stay Tutorial by Lolita Patterns
- Tailoring your coat back by Gertie
When you use traditional tailoring techniques linings are always hand sewn in. This is not the machine-bagging method.
- Inserting a Jacket Lining By Hand by Alison Smith
- Lining by Colette Patterns
- How to Construct a Single Welt Pocket by In-House Patterns
- Welt Pockets by Colette Patterns
- Sewing a welt pocket with flap by Ready to Sew
- Learn How to Sew Double Welt Pockets With THis Step-By-Step Tutorial by Andrea Brown
- How to make a double welt pocket using the 5 lines method by So Sew Easy
- Tutorial: Jetted Pocket/Double Welt Pocket with Flap by Itch to Stitch
Traditional tailoring techniques for dresses and trousers
Seams and Interfacings
To add extra stability to seams you can use linen stay tape. If you want your stay tape to match your garment fabric you can use the fabric’s selvedge.
You can also use horsehair canvas instead of a fusible interface.
- How to make your own stay tape for stabilising seams by Pattern Fantastique
- Lonsdale Sew-Along #6: Optional! Adding Stay Tape by Sewaholic
Tailored dresses and trousers need a blind hem. Not sewed by machine but by hand.
- 5 ways to hand stitch a hem by Colette
- Which Hand Hem Stitch Is Best for My Project? by Heather Feather
I hope this overview of tailoring techniques inspires you to experiment a little. If you have links to other great tutorials you can always post them in the comments.
(*) The selection of which techniques to include in this post is based on the blog-post of Julia Garza, Truly Handmade: Traditional Tailoring Techniques to Learn
Wis is a sewist from Ghent (Belgium), and blogs at What I Sew. She can be found on Instagram here.
I can’t wait to read them all!
I strongly want to sew a coat for myself and I’m intrigued by the traditional way to do it, even if the style mustn’t be classic at all.
Thank you so much Wis!
So many amazing blog posts and helpful tips! I’m sewing a bolery style blazer for a friend and will try to use many techniques shown here to get it as perfect as I can. Thank you!
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Thanks for the list Wis. Also – the book by Thomas Von Nordheim is a great one for tailored jackets. Its called Vintage Couture Tailoring 🙂
Thanks for the input Kate!