Menswear Snoop Shopping Fun
Quality menswear is such a treat for a sewer’s eyes! Cleaning through my computer, I came across this collection of photos I took in the Williamsburg area on a vacation 2 years ago. Enjoy these along with me as I feast my eyes once again…
Yarn-Dyed Plaids and Checks in Tailored Shirts
My fingers itch to feel the top quality fabric in these shirts. There is SO much work in a man’s tailored shirt!!! Each should be a minimum of $150-$200 if you ask me. It is absolutely WRONG to be able to purchase a tailored men’s shirt for $20!! Plain WRONG. Do you ever stop to think that in buying clothing so cheaply, you are contributing to slave labor? Add shipping of the products on top of it and it makes NO sense. I know that if I sat down to make a tailored man’s shirt, it would take me a full day of meticulous sewing – likely at least 6-8 hours. “What does a plumber or electrician bill per hour?” Is the skill of a seamstress worth any less? Even at the $20/hour for dressmaking we charged in my retail storefront back in 1990, that would make a shirt like these at the minimum $120 in labor. Plus the fine top quality yarn-dyed, top quality high thread count fabric that would sell for around $15/yard… OK, I’ll get off my soapbox, but please stop to think about it. On to some more inspiring pictures.
Worsted Wool Sport Jackets
I love to tailor, and do so appreciate seeing it so well done. Tour this jacket with me – oddly enough unlined, but I guess that makes sense for the ‘South’. Note how the back partial lining crosses in the back. A partial lining is needed at the least in order to stabilize the shoulder line (remember how many hours garments spend on stiff hangers instead of soft bodies), cover shoulder pads, and interfacing across the back. You can also see here the Hong Kong Finish on the center back seam.
This pocket is so nicely done and shows that the Tailor needs to decide where is most important to match… Do you see that the pocket flap (inserted up into what is actually a pocket-size bound buttonhole) is perfectly matched both vertically and horizontally, yet it doesn’t match from the flap upwards onto the front body. That is because of the darting, seaming in the front of the jacket itself. I always cut the pocket welts on the bias so I didn’t have to match those as well.
The jacket below was also beautifully matched. Especially note how the plaid matches across from the front onto the sleeve horizontally! You’ll have to look closely to see the patch pocket on this jacket, it is so beautifully matched.
I have some clues on how to do a nice patch pocket. Check it out by clicking on the image below.
To reinforce the top edges of the patch pocket, note the circle of wool fabric between my fingers on the inside of the jacket.
Harris Tweed Jacket
Many years ago, when I sold Leiter’s Dress Fabrics from my home, the collection would occassionally include some Harris Tweeds. These were usually just 28″ or so wide, and ‘itchy’ to me, but the coloration was SO amazing! The special thing about these tweeds is that they are still made in homes. Read more about them HERE.
Look for a label like this that designates a Harris Tweed. Also, find below a closeup of another Harris Tweed. If you’re ‘into’ fabrics, the picture of the ‘purple’ one below will give you another picture of what a Harris Tweed looks like, as will reading more at the link I gave above, and again HERE.
Check out this inside pocket on the Harris Tweed Jacket. There is such amazing attention to DETAIL all over this garment!
And another view – this time of inside the coat at the sleeve, and the extra ‘sweat panel’ – which is the only thing I can think of to call that extra flap of satin lining under the armpit. 🙂 The photo below also gives you a look at the other inside pocket.
I’m not quite sure what to call this garment, but it sure caught my eye! It looks very English to me.
A piped edge on the curved top of the pocket AND loose, ‘cargo’ type patch pockets. That’s a perfectly mitered corner on the wrong side by my thumb. Of course – matched to perfection!
And tab detail on the back to accomplish a closer fit. – but interestingly just a tab on one side, not both!
Honestly, I’ve never sewn any leather but a pig leather purse, so I’m always super impressed when I see a meticulously-made leather garment.
This fabric was SO soft! Being 70% poly and 30% nylon, it will wear like iron.
The store owner seemed to like it as well – look how many colors of that jacket there was in stock!
Thanks for taking time to read and look at my pics of fine menswear. Snoop shop for yourself as well . And, by the way … I’ve found shopowners really want to ‘show me around’ when they realize that I sew and appreciate excellent workmanship.