When you noticed the hot unattended iron did you gasp? Not only does Brita iron her shoulder pads to shape and compress them, but during her apprenticeship it was expected the iron would always be in contact with the wool fabric!! I know, I nearly fainted too! But its the continued pressure and heat that keeps those edges crisp, moulding the fabric into shape. Here is the link to the first post about my tailoring holiday in the UK.
Ironing shoulder pads – new to me. Be gone 80s shoulders, hello fitted shoulder of my sartorial dreams! It had never occurred to me to shape them so they drape the garment closer to the body – nice touch eh? The straight edge of the shoulder pads are cut down after installation so they are the correct shape for the armscye. Pads are secured to the jacket all over the pad area rather than just at the shoulder seam line too. Bria says it can take 2 hours to set a sleeve and sometimes it takes 4 times till she’s happy with it!
Apparently “side seams and sleeve underarm seams don’t need to match”. In fact Brita was quite clear, sleeve placement depends entirely upon the pitch of the shoulder and arm position of the wearer. Its the comfort and look of the sleeve as applied to the jacket body that’s important, not matching seams. Cutter and Tailor forums are both goldmine and minefield dare I say, those guys can get so bitchy about a sleeve and shoulder set. Not matching the sleeve and side body seams was attributed to the Neapolitan sleeve, but for the life of me I can’t find that quote now. ‘Neapolitan’ also appears to refer to the amount of ease in the sleeve cap and whether or not the shoulder line is ‘roped’ (where the seam allowance falls toward the sleeve to give definition to the sleeve head) or natural (unroped) or somewhere in between. All the time and effort I could have saved myself had I not been wrangling sleeve seams to ‘match’ the side seam and shoulder point – agggh! Same for the under seam of the sleeve. My last jacket block was redrafted over and over to move the back princess seam and sleeve seam so they would match. The sleeve seam can end up very acutely angled at the top – let me tell you. Now I can just say “oh that, yeh, its neapolitan – didn’t you know?”, snicker snicker!
The fish? Thats the piece of canvas shaped like an ellipse placed at the back of the sleeve head. It helps support the sleeve and creates a lovely shape – I’d never seen that used before – have you?
This discussion by Geoffrey D regarding sleeve wadding is fascinating with quite nice diagrams. I like quite a structured sleeve head rather than a ‘natural’ one. I am probably a bit ‘nouveau something or other’ but to my eye it looks smart and I particularly dislike seeing a dip below the sleeve head, then the crown of the sleeve grabbing the top of the deltoid for dear life. Perhaps its becoming a more common sight because of tighter sleeves being more fashionable; give me a high and supported sleeve head that skims the deltoid any day!
Here is a very nice sleeve head tutorial by Sherry in Auckland from her blog Pattern – Scissors – Cloth, Sherry is just back after a 3 year blogging holiday. Well worth ‘following’ as she works in the industry or at least did when I met her. This is not the only way to apply a sleeve head and I think I recall Brita generally cuts the head down after it is installed rather than before.
This post is becoming epic, so I’d better just slip in some photos… but read on to see how my 3 days finished!
So here it is during the first fitting. We agreed to take out 1cm from the princess seam above apex to shoulder and move the shoulder in 1cm, also take a little out of the waist. The hem will be raised 1cm as pinned. Not bad for a first draft eh?
I was so impressed by the beautiful craftsmanship that I kinda worried that if I finished the jacket it wouldn’t live up to its potential – me being a novice and all. I mean whats the point if I go and shove the lining in all skewiff (also, no lining patterns, Brita makes hers from the finished jacket – de rigeur for men’s tailoring). I was petrified I’d bugger it up actually. So I opted to pay Brita to finish this beautiful bespoke tailored jacket – a great investment in British/German engineering don’t you think?
I look forward to sharing photos of the finished jacket when it arrives in the post. Please Mr Australia Post – don’t toss it into the back of your van like Princess’ floordrobe!