Arlen's Handmade Suit Part 3: Inside the Jacket

None of the links in this post are affiliate links. They are simply links to the various supplies and fabrics I have picked up for Arlen’s suit!

I feel as if each step of this process has been the scariest and most daunting. Each time I jump one hurdle, I am immediately confronted with another that pushes me outside of my comfort zone. But that is also kind of exciting.


With sewing, it has been a while since I have been uncomfortable with what I am working on. 


Of course, when I choose to get uncomfortable, I dive in head first and really go down the most difficult path. I believe I have mentioned or alluded to this before. Basically, there are three types of interfacing methods for crafting a suit: Custom, Machine, and Fusible. Custom interfacing requires the most hand stitching work; Machine utilizes the sewing machine for various aspects; and Fusible is the one I think many of us are most accustomed to, relying on interfacing that has set in glue.

Guess which method I wound up choosing?

 

An excerpt from the book that got me through this project 100%. 

 

Apart from the fact that I don’t particularly love fusible interfacing (though I did wind up using some for the welt pockets of this jacket to limit the amount of bulk in that area), I really wanted this jacket to stand the test of time. I knew up front that no matter which direction I chose, I would be putting in a lot of hours to craft it to be the best I could possibly make it with my current skill set. 

So, I reasoned that if I would be spending a ton of time working towards a well-fitted suit, I should probably take the extra time to make sure I was crafting it to be a long lasting garment. And going the custom route seemed to be the best to achieve that goal. 

I honestly put off actually getting started with the hand sewing part of the interfacing for the longest time. I think after I fitted Arlen’s suit jacket, it took me another few months to cut out the fabric pieces. I was afraid of messing up (which I did) and running out of fabric (which I might). 

Once everything was cut, it took me some time to figure out which pieces of interfacing went where and how I needed to cut those out. I think I was in a distracted and stressed out state when I did this because honestly, the book on tailoring that I had purchased for this project outlined each step rather clearly. My brain just felt foggy. 

And again, once everything was cut out, it took me until just this year to begin hand sewing the interfacings to the jacket which is humorous to me know because guess how long it took me to hand sew all the interfacings into place and then sew up the outer shell of the jacket? 


One collective week.

And I’m not talking about 8-hour days, either. I am talking about the few hours after dinner that I had to myself each night. I don’t even know if it took one full week (I worked on the jacket every few days), I just remember it being over really quickly once I got the swing of things. It’s incredible how much a relaxed state of mind can make a project sooooo much easier. 

Would you like to take a closer look inside?

The under-collar was my first attempt at pad stitching. I used a silk/ wool blended thread that was horrible. Just the absolute wrong kind of thread. I quickly switched to 100% silk thread I picked up from Mood Fabrics online. 

 

This is where the bulk of the work came in. I learned how to catch stitch, pad stitch (correctly), fell stitch, and apply permanent tailor’s basting. It was a lot to pick up but I really got the hang of it by the second side!
Pad stitching up close.

 

After I got up my nerve to hand stitch what needed hand stitching, I was on a roll. I wound up basting in the sleeves and trying the jacket on Arlen just to make sure things were sitting correctly. And I have to say… It is one sexy jacket! 

I am so proud of how the work has come together thus far to produce a really well-fitted jacket! There are a few spots I am keeping an eye on that may need further adjusting (ahem - armscye I am looking at you), but now I can take a deep breath before tackling another of my least favorite things : Part 4 - Welt Pocket Nightmares!

If you have any questions about the inside of the jacket, feel free to drop me a comment below! It's difficult to capture everything that went in to the construction of this from the inside.

4 comments

Brittani (Pattern Maker)

Thank you so much Margie! Yes, so much love has gone into this one project and it’s all been worth it, the little mistakes and challenges and triumphs and all! He tried it on for my again yesterday with the sleeves fully set in and pockets all sewn up and it looks pretty amazing, especially considering this was my first jacket ever :) Thank you so much for your vote of confidence and encouragement- I can’t wait to share more of the process with you!

Margie Cook

Congratulations on conquering your fear of handstitching the beautiful jacket! I have to say you did a fantastic job! I know that it’s not just the job of sewing but the love that is put in every stitch. Can’t wait to see it when it is completed. Rarely do I see anyone who wants to make special garments anymore. Be proud of yourself. Enjoy your adventure.

Brittani (Pattern Maker)

Hi Giulia!

I am going to email you directly to answer your questions! It sounds like you are where I was when I first started which is so exciting but also the toughest part (so many options!)

Giulia Battiston

Many questions! :)
The interface is sewn only to the whitish fabric that fully lines the main fabric? Or did you anywhere catch stitch the main fabric? I’m trying to substitute iron stabilizer with hand stitched one so I’m very curious about the possibilities… On cuffs and collars an extra layer of stable fabric does the job but I’m trying to figure out what to do on pockets or on areas that need stability but are not enclosed by seams (that could catch the stabilising fabric)…would love to see the outside of your stabilized areas ❤️

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