Previously, we wrote about what makes bespoke tailoring so different from regular tailoring. We also followed the process on how a bespoke suit is made, right up until the the measurements are transferred into the paper patterns. So let’s continue where we left off last.
(4) Cutting Out The Paper Patterns
Previously converting the measurements onto the paper as a visual pattern. It’s now time to cut out the paper pattern. This set of paper patterns is unique to the specific garment, for the specific customer. No two sets are exactly the same. It is these paper patterns that forms the templates to cut the fabric for the individual customers. This paper pattern will be reused for future orders, should the customer decide to come back to bespeak another order.
Keeping these paper patterns is one of the main differentiating factor between bespoke tailoring and “regular” tailoring.
(5) Transferring Paper Pattern Template Into Fabric
Using the paper pattern template, the shape is then transferred onto the selected fabric, using tailor’s chalk. It is with these traced patterns that the piece of fabric will then be cut out. This will result in jig-saw puzzle-like pieces of fabric. They then sew the pieces together to form the final three-dimensional garment.
(6) Cutting The Pattern On The Fabric
Technically speaking, cutting the pattern from the traced out fabric isn’t exactly a separate step. It’s more of an extended step from tracing the pattern from the template onto the actual fabric. But considering that this is the part that takes lot’s of experience to master, we’ll take it as a separate step completely.
If you wanna know just how experienced the tailor is, it’s by judging how good the cutting of the fabric is. What separates a good tailor from a great tailor is the amount of wastage from the tracing and cutting of the fabric. The more experienced he/she is, the less wastage from the cutting that they can achieve.
(7) Basting (Work-In-Progress)
The basted fabric (pieces of the jig-saw puzzle assembled temporarily) will from the shape of the finished garment, minus all of the permanent stitching and detailed finishing.
Once complete, the basted garment will resemble the finished garment… somewhat… The overall shape is there, minus all the details. It’s sufficient for the customer to “wear” for the next stage.
No measurement is 100% perfect. There’s always minor adjustments to make. That’s where the fitting stage comes in. The customer comes back to the tailor to fitting session, and puts on the basted garment.
The master tailor will mark out all the minor adjustments to be made, before permanently sewing it up. It may take up to three fitting sessions, before the master tailor is totally satisfied. The final result? Well, the finished garment will fit the customer like a glove.
(9) Finishing And Delivery
Once all the minor adjustments are made, and the garment is permanently sewed up, it’s then finally delivered to the customer. It’s the smile of the customer when finally receiving the finished garment that will result in the pride of the tailor… Yet another satisfied customer…
But Bespoke Tailoring Is More Than Just Making Suits
Many people simply assume that bespoke tailoring is merely making custom suits for the customers. It’s actually more than just that. Inspiring the customer with confidence is just as important. Hence, the shop front of the bespoke tailor should reflect more than just a workstation for cutting, sewing, and converting two-dimensional fabrics into three-dimensional garments.
And having a conducive place to sit down to discuss how and what to make will help put the customer at ease. True bespoke tailoring differs from “regular” tailors by the amount of time building the relationship. It’s not all about the sales, but more of providing what the customers really want. And that includes things that the customers don’t even know themselves that they wanted then.
Of course, having plenty of samples will help put the customers in the right frame of mind. Allowing the customers to touch, hold, and even getting them to try on the sample garments will work wonders. And of course, a neatly arranged display that mimics what their own private wardrobe would look like at home.
The Devil Is In The Details
It’s nearly impossible for customers to fully imagine what detailed features they want on their finished garment. Hence, samples will help the customers better visualise the complete ensemble.
Like this example of handmade Milanese lapel buttonhole, a subtle feature, but screams of craftsmanship and attention to details. Pair that with the distinctive Barchetta breast pocket, and you’ll know you’re not just another guy in a suit. Only bespoke tailoring can offer these luxurious details. Your neighbourhood men’s wear tailor aren’t gonna spend so much time and effort on something so “trivial”. Something that most people won’t even notice at a glance.
Especially when it comes to details about internal features that are invisible in the finished garment. Take the example of the hand-canvassed jacket above. It’s a luxury feature. One known only to the customer himself. Well, perhaps other men’s wear connoisseurs who know their stuff too. But seriously, how many of us are?
Express Of Special Appreciation
We would like to thank Sayap Bespoke Tailor PLT for helping us to make this article a success.
And yes, Sayap is one of the very few true bespoke tailoring house, currently based in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. We wish you all the best in your expansion plans. First objective nationwide, then the region, and by then, the world is your oyster…