Menswear for Everyone: Round-Up of Tailoring Techniques

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.

Cover of two tailoring techniques books by Roberto Cabrera

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!

Picture of an old jacket that has been unpicked to show the canvas and batting inside

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.

Close up of pad stitching in progress


Close up of a buttonhole in progress

The Back Stay

A back stay prevents the coat from stretching out across the shoulders.

Photograph of the back of a coat with interfacing to form a back stay


When you use traditional tailoring techniques linings are always hand sewn in. This is not the machine-bagging method.

Photograph of hand stitching a black and white dot lining in a pale green coat

Welt Pockets

Photograph of a woman putting her hand in the pocket of her grey jacket which has a welt pocket

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.


Tailored dresses and trousers need a blind hem. Not sewed by machine but by hand.

Three photographs of two contrasting fabrics that have been overlocked or serged together and are being used to show different seaming approaches

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.

Happy Tailoring!

(*) 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.