Costumes and Performances by Tab Kimpton

A Tale of Two Doctors- Part 6- Canvas, horsehair and pad stitching.

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I’ve always wanted to do the fancy tailoring thing where you use a pick stitch to roll the lapel and get a smooth curve- well here it is!

I used the guide from this book

Christian and some friends got together and bought me it one year- thanks guys!

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First step was to cut all of the front facing of the lapel out of horse hair. You can buy this in fabric land- it’s not actually that pricey!

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I cut a nick in the top of the horse hair and added a vent to it.

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Then these shapes were stitched together over it.

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Pinned down

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The top of the second layer was then trimmed down.

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Then a 3rd section is laid over the top.

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Then a section of brushed cotton/cotton mull cut out and laid over.

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Trim the edge so it doesn’t interfere with the lapel.

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Then you pad stitch the hell out of it. What does this even give you, you ask? Basically this magically makes suits the curved shape of the human body. I was dubious even as I was following the instructions, but hot damn it really works!

 

If you’re not familiar with pad stitching then the Wearing history blog has a great tutorial on it:

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The tartan is then basted to the finished horsehair support. This is called the canvas- you can buy them premade if you want but it’s not really worth it.

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Then using a matching thread and I thimble I slowly stitched over the surface, rolling the lapel as I went. I decided to do one point every cm squared.

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As you can see it’s basically invisible on the tartan side!

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Then the awesome bit happens. If there’s one fancy tailoring bit you take away from this it’s adding bias taping to where you want the lapel to fold over. I tried lots of ways to sew this on with a machine but just hand stitch it, it’s far easier.

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The bias taping goes all the way down the crease of the lapel to 3cm up from the hem.

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When ironed open it gives the coat a beautiful crisp edge- no more randomly closing lapels!

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Then I sew all the other panels together!

 

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Tada! Next step is adding the collar!

 

 

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2 Responses

  1. Ian Michael MacPharlaine

    I retract my earlier statement. THIS would be where I would lose my cool and rage quit! lol

    Pad stitching looks difficult and complicated as hell!

    August 7, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    • Tab

      It’s not that complicated, just repetitive and time consuming!

      August 10, 2015 at 2:26 pm

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