Friday 25 December 2009

For the tailor who has everything

It’s Christmas!

Yes, it’s that time of year and I asked Santa to bring me a few extra tools and tailoring equipment to help me in the coming year.

In our household we have two present opening sessions on Christmas morning: the first is from the stockings at the end of our bed, so are small, modest gifts; followed later by the bigger presents from under the tree.

Talking of which – do you like our tree? (see right)

So here’s my selection from the stocking.

Going clockwise from bottom left, a pair of wavy-cutting scissors, which I will use to make the edges of interfacing have a softer edge, avoiding hard lines appearing on the right-side of garments; a bamboo point turner, which I need to turn the points of collars and lapels. I did have a plastic one, but it broke very quickly, and I’m hoping a wooden one will last much longer; a seam gauge used for making sure the seam allowance is kept to an even amount. It can also be used to quickly compare and reference small measurements, without the need to really note a millimetre dimension; an upholstery tape measure, which is 120 inches long, unlike a dressmaking one which is only 60 inches. I will use this when doing Tennant Coats which are often 60 inches hemmed, so I need a longer tape measure to to coat plus a decent hem allowance; and lastly some new pins. These may appear to be a trivial present, but it is important to refresh my supply of pins on a regular basis, as they can become blunted and can then damage fabric when they are pushed through, so the best thing to do is change them all once a year, making Christmas the ideal landmark to do it.

Later in our day I got my main pressies – only one of which was for my tailoring.
I had used a book at my college course, which my tutor suggested I could use to cut a pattern for the collar of my Tennant Suit.
Well, we used it to cut the pattern, and it fitted perfect first time. I was impressed.
The Book, Metric Pattern Cutting For Menswear, was first published in 1980.
The version I had used at college was the Third Edition (see right).

You can still get it, but at inflated prices.

Luckily, however, the book has been further revised, and the Fourth Edition (see left) was published in 2006 and can be picked up brand new for under £20.

Every pound a pound well spent.

Having been shown how to use this book to achieve good results, I’ll be using this a lot in the coming months as project present themselves, and hopefully I’ll be able to show you how it fits in with my work.

I’m looking forward to what the New Year has to bring . . .


  1. Someone got a good haul this year!

    Nice to know you had a good Christmas.

    I finally received a revised magnoli time lord tie for one of my presents :D!

  2. I love your tree! It's very warm and cheery looking, which is important at Christmas, especially when it's cold out. I also admire your orchids.

    I did not receive any Who-related gifts this year, but I did buy myself a pair of off-white hi-tops from ebay! Gallifrey One, here I come.