A Day in the Life of Steven Hitchcock……..
…..And today feels like I am going back to my earlier years. I have a new client whom I met in New York last month. He phoned me yesterday to tell me that he is unexpectedly in London on Wednesday and wondered how his order was progressing. I would normally have it ready for my June trip but as he is in town I decided to take the matter into my own hands and make the baste myself. I have cut the cloth from the paper pattern and am now at the sewing machine. I am determined to have it finished today, so will keep you updated. It is now 0930.
The picture immediately above is of the horsehair which helps to create the draped chest that I prefer and am well known for. This is a lot smaller than the majority of tailors as I like the coat to have a soft feel to the fronts of the coat. The back of the haircloth is cut at an angle to again create a soft coat and the perfect drape.At the bottom of the picture you can also see the high arm hole which is essential to the soft tailoring style. It is now 1030.
In the last picture I have cut around a 5" cut into the canvas and haircloth and opened them both out around an inch to create a longer edge over the shoulder ends. This will ensure that the canvas which is the foundation of my soft tailoring jacket stays tight at the neck point and lose over the shoulder ends.
I am now going to hand sew the haircloth to the canvas with the domette (felt) to ensure that the horsehair does not poke through. It is now 1100
Must keep going.
The next series of pictures show me hand sewing the haircloth to the canvas through the domette. After this I am pressing the canvas into the shape and then attaching it to the foreparts of the coat. This is a floating canvas which means when the coat is finished and the front edge, shoulders and sleeves are sewn in, we remove the white basting stitches which allow the canvas to float. It is now 1300. I have had a pasta delivery to keep me going. I would tell you what the weather is like outside in Savile Row but I probably will not find out until I leave the shop tonight.
I am now moving on and the latest pictures show me completing the jigsaw. I have hand sewn most of it and now and just have to sew the top collar, shoulders and sleeves. Time now is 1500. It is all going very well and I must say that I am having a great time although it is a bit manic!! I think I can now see the finish line.
Moving on again….. The pictures directly above show me basting together the shoulders, collars and sleeves to make up the coat baste. As you can see the pads we use are not traditional pads. These are made up from wadding and hand stitched to create the shape and they are much thinner and softer. This really makes a difference with the soft shoulders. The next picture clearly shows the fullness in the shoulders and this can only be created by hand. If it was machined it would not have the same effect. The 4th picture is the run for the collar which I have chalked in. I have then sewn the under collar to these marks. And now for the sleeves. You can see the high arm hole has now been created and it is starting to come together. The last picture shows me sewing in the sleeve. The time is now 1730.
And I have crossed the finishing line. The coat is hanging up in the fitting room ready and waiting for the client. If anyone is interested in the weather in Savile Row – I can confirm that it is now dark!!