First, the jacket. I found the perfect candidate at great shop called Bygones in Richmond, VA, over my holiday break. It's dated from the 40s, has a great tailored silhouette, but wasn't in great shape to wear. The fabric was corroded in spots and the lining was in tatters around the armholes. (You know I couldn't stand to completely take apart a stellar vintage garment!)
It has a lovely crisp notched collar, classic two-piece sleeves, princess seams, a strong shoulder line, and double flap pockets.
There's a side panel under the arm for extra shaping.
It has a felt undercollar (which is traditional in fine tailoring), and very crisp roll line on the lapel--you can see the dimples from the pad stitching on the back.
The lining is a pretty rose-colored silk.
I could hardly wait to start taking this thing apart. (It felt wrong, but oh so right.) As you can see, the lining was entirely sewn in by hand with a slipstitch.
Once I got the lining out, I could see the jacket body's inner construction. The front revealed two different weights of hair canvas, and some thin batting for upper chest padding, all stitched together with diagonal basting. The shoulder pads were handmade with wadding.
The pocket bags are made from tightly-woven pocketing fabric.
Next, I removed one of the facings for the Holy Grail of tailoring. There's twill tape on the edges and a wide strip of some sort of interfacing on the roll line. The whole thing is neatly pad stitched.
Now I could peek under the collar to see the pad stitching there.
A few other notes, if you're still reading at this point:
- Lining: seams and darts on each individual piece machine sewn, then hand stitched into jacket separately with a fell stitch. The handstitching tacks the lining down to jacket interior in several places. Lining sleeves set in by hand.
- Hem is pressed up and held in place with large catch stitches.
- Delicate hand pick stitches all around jacket front, lapels, and collar for crisp look.
- Felt undercollar applied by hand with fell stitches--felt undercollar has no seam allowances; raw edge is aligned with turned-under seam allowances of the upper collar.
My next step is to completely deconstruct the pieces to make a pattern from. More to come!