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Making a sport coat yourself. Is it possible?

onion

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I recently took a Tim Hamilton sport coat over to my parents house, to get their opinion on the fit. My mom asked me how much the sport coat cost, and I told her they retail for around $1000. She then told me that was insane, and a huge rip off, and said that she could (and is willing to) make me a sport coat of the exact same or better material, fully lined, and vented, for less than 1/4 the price. (She actually said she would only charge for material, assuming she can complete it.) I told her this is a very difficult task, but she seemed very confident that she could do it, saying she would even reproduce the working buttonholes on the cuff.

She has made blankets, jackets (with and without lining), dresses, pants, almost all my alterations, etc, and has been tailoring in her spare time for 40+ years.

She plans to use a template for the coat.

Here are my questions:
1. Even with a template, is this going to be more than an amateur tailor is capable of?
2. Where do you find templates? More specifically, where do you find modern cut templates?
3. If no template is available, is going bespoke completely out of the question?
4. What kind of material would be good for the exterior of the jacket? (I would like a medium weight fabric)
5. What would be good for the lining? I was thinking 100% silk. Is silk more difficult to work with than say polyester?
6. Overall, what is the hardest part in constructing a sport coat?
7. Any other tips or suggestions you can give?
 

FidelCashflow

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My understanding has always been that men's tailoring... especially men's jackets is a whole different ball game from tailoring women's clothes, alterations, etc. I'm sure if someone with a background like your mother could do it if she really set her mind to it and did her homework on it, but I'm guessing it would take a few tries to get it right.

We already have one forumite who makes his own bespoke shoes, I would love to see someone who has homemade jackets.
 

Tomasso

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Me thinks that she'd be in way over her head if she's never done it before.
 

antirabbit

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will it be fully canvassed?

The guts of a mens jacket vs. the guts of a typical womans jacket are way different.
 

MaxJones

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If she's interested in doing it then why not? You'll be out $250 and she'll miss a little CSI, but what does that matter?

I say go for it and post picks. It will be an education.
 

garmentmerchant

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+100000 to all Mom may be a hell of a seamstress but a fully canvassed sport coat is tottally different then tailoring anything else. I wish i still could find the thread there was a guy who went over the steps, and he has been making bespoke clothes(as a trade) since he was a child. It is truely an art in and of itself
 

voxsartoria

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Originally Posted by onion
1. Even with a template, is this going to be more than an amateur tailor is capable of?
2. Where do you find templates? More specifically, where do you find modern cut templates?


Here's one...it's life sized:



You need two pieces just cut from this template. Then you sew around the edges, taking great care not to sew through where your head, hands, feet, and wee wee have to poke out.

Originally Posted by onion
7. Any other tips or suggestions you can give?

You mentioned blankets, and those are an excellent starting point. Ed Morel, a senior member of this forum, often uses blankets for the materials in his jackets. His verdict: "Comfy!"


- B
 

voxsartoria

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Originally Posted by LabelKing
One would imagine she also needs to be a very talented cutter as well.

"Oh, mommmmmiieeeee..."




- B
 

robin

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Who knows, maybe she moonlights in Martin Greenfield's shop?

Onion,

I'd say to let her go ahead with it even if you never wear it. Doing an unstructured, unlined coat might be the easiest, and by template I assume she'd use one of those patterns that you can find in packs at hobby shops: http://i3.iofferphoto.com/img/item/3.../o_vog2585.jpg
 
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cheap fabric first. Even professional tailors rarely get it spot-on first time round....buy her the 10 buck a meter Chinese fabric, and see how she goes. If it fails, no harm done. It it goes well, elevate...
 

voxsartoria

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Well, if you're serious, why not start by buying your mother something like this as a thank you present:



She might find it interesting.


- B
 

onion

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Originally Posted by antirabbit
will it be fully canvassed?

The guts of a mens jacket vs. the guts of a typical womans jacket are way different.


It would not be canvassed. It would also have no shoulder pads, which I feel is another difficult process in itself. Also it would have nothing other than patch pockets.

Also my mom has made women's blazers (Hildog style). While different, they still have a lot in common.

Originally Posted by MaxJones
If she's interested in doing it then why not? You'll be out $250 and she'll miss a little CSI, but what does that matter?

I say go for it and post picks. It will be an education.


No, no. I told my mom there was no way she could do it. Thus she said I would only have to pay for materials upon completion. I'm out nothing if she fails miserably.
 

edmorel

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Originally Posted by onion
It would not be canvassed. It would also have no shoulder pads, which I feel is another difficult process in itself. Also it would have nothing other than patch pockets.

Also my mom has made women's blazers (Hildog style). While different, they still have a lot in common.


Hildog Clinton?
 

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