The tailoring process: behind the scenes

18 September 2014

Bespoke tailored suits make perfect outfits for (almost) every occasion. Want to make an impact at your next business meeting? Need something to wear for an upcoming wedding? Are you looking for a well-fitted suit for a weekend away? Hemingway Tailors helps to create the perfect tailored suit for each of these occasions. We know that there’s no magic formula for a suit that works for every individual – we all have our own likes, dislikes, requirements and budgets to work with. The tailoring process isn’t only about creating a well-engineered garment – it’s also about understanding what the individual wants. Here are some of the processes that go into a Hemingway Tailors suit.

The initial consultation

There’s no point in crafting you a bespoke suit if we haven’t spoken to you about what you’d like. Book an appointment at our tailors in Leeds or London, or, if it’s easier for you, we offer a visiting tailor service. The tailoring process shouldn’t be seen as an inconvenience, so we’re more than happy to offer a consultation at whatever time is right for you – and wherever is right for you, too. At this consultation, we ask you about your preferences, and most importantly, when you plan to wear the suit. For example, if you need a suit for a beach wedding in Spain, you’ll need a very different garment than for a traditional church wedding in England. Our expert tailors then offer recommendations as to fabric types, fit and personalisation options. We don’t try and sell to you – we want to hold an open, relaxed discussion where you feel completely happy with every decision you’ve made.

Measurements

Following the consultation, the individual must then decide if they’d like to go ahead with the process. Either at the same consultation or during a second appointment, measurements are taken. Then, the crafting process can begin.

Construction

We can’t give away all of our trade secrets here, but we’re more than happy to provide a brief overview of some suit-making processes. First, when making bespoke suits we use your measurements to create a pattern from scratch, taking into account your body shape, your gait and even the way you tend to stand. Parts of the suit are then cut from the appropriate fabrics. Even this part of the process is highly skilled – some Savile Row cutters aren’t deemed accomplished until after five years in the role. Then, the pieces of cloth are tacked together to form the suit’s shape. 

Basted fitting

This version of the suit is then (usually) tested out by the client at a fitting. At this stage, the suit consists of the outer fabric and the canvas. You’ll see distinct black diagonal stitches on the exposed areas of canvas, and long white temporary tacks on the fabric. The tailor checks the fit and makes adjustments where necessary. The suit is then broken down again and re-stitched with the adjustments incorporated into the fit. Additional basted fittings may be required.

Later fittings

Other fittings take place when the majority of the suit’s elements are in place. These fittings may be used to finalise collar fit and sleeve length. From the initial consultation to the final result, bespoke 

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