Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Exploring Bespoke 7: Ripping Down and Building Up Again

We continue our exploration of bespoke tailoring with Brita Hirsch. The garment is now taking shape and we reach the stage at which the detailed and careful work which distinguishes true bespoke becomes clear:
Brita Hirsch writes:
"In the last chapter we explored the role of the first, or ‘baste', fitting as the first and most important opportunity for the tailor to gauge the fit of the bespoke garment. Next up is ‘ripping down’, taking the whole thing apart again - without batting an eyelid. 

Why? Because, despite all those hours spent stitching together the coat or trouser by hand, we only did it for chance to get a good feeling for the fit, the information we need to get to work and start shaping the garment in earnest.
Your bespoke tailor or cutter will have taken the opportunity to observe posture and every detail, large or small, that needs adjusting after the fitting. Once taken apart, any chalk or pin mark, every mental note taken during the fitting is taken into account and translated into new seam lines, feature positions, lapel proportions, etc. The garment starts taking on its own personality.

Part of the process of preparing the garment for the next, the ‘forward’ fitting is to add pockets and facings, internal details and lining. All largely hand-sewn, this stage of the bespoke process is where the meticulous, time-consuming work is done. The character of the individual commissions begins to shine through.
Once all features have been added, the lining now hiding from view the inner workings, the tailor sets out to - once again - join together the pieces with rough baste stitching again. 
This time round the fit should be near perfect, all figurative variations captured. The fitting is to confirm all this and offer a chance for fine tuning and a word on the accessories. This is when you can pick your favourite buttons and discuss final detail with your tailor. After that, it’s time to relax, lean back and look forward to the finished article".
For other features in the Exploring Bespoke series here on the blog, click here.

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