Waistcoat Making, the Savile Row Style

Syllabus: Waistcoat Making, the Savile Row Style

Level 1 

Novice skills

Instructor Information

Instructor: Rory Duffy

Email: Roryduffybespoke@gmail.com

Online Contact Skype: duffyrory

Course Duration

Three classes per week, for one hour, over a four week period.

Course Information

The word waistcoat derives from the cutting of the coat at the waist level, tailors use to cut the men's formal coats well below the waist. the term "waistcoat" might, therefore, have derived from the wastage of the old coat.

As a bespoke garment, the waistcoat is often overlooked. It combines all of the skills found in coat making and so offers a simpler method to hone one's skills before attempting more complex garments. 

The Handcraft Tailor Academy through its book ‘Pattern Drafting for Bespoke Menswear, the Imperial System’ offers a complete drafting system focused on cutting the Morning coat with easy to follow instructions.

The first class is focused on teaching the student how to cut the Morning in measurements of their choosing. Supported by a trimming package provided by Dugdale Brothers, the student follows along in their own time a step by step guide on how to make a true gentleman’s bespoke garment.

Using traditional sewing techniques taught by our course instructor Rory Duffy a Savile Row trained Master Tailor, the student combines both machine and hand sewing taught in a way that is easy to understand. No detail is overlooked and no questions will remain unanswered.

Goals and Expectations

The purpose of this course is to arm the student with the knowledge they require to make the garment, some student progress quicker than others. It's not a race to the finish, it's about understanding and learning the techniques require so when the student has mastered the techniques they can complete the garment in their own time. Equipped with the recording from each lesson some will complete the project within weeks of course completion and others within a few months.

All students past and present can reach out to the course instructor for guidance under our one-year mentorship program.

All courses offered to students as one to one training.

Course Materials

Dugdale Brothers offer all the trimming required for every course. Other tools such as thimbles, shears and needles can be purchased separately. The student must also have access to an industrial or domestic sewing machine and domestic iron.

Pressing equipment such as a tailors ham or chest board and sleeve board who also be a huge benefit. This equipment can be sourced on eBay or Amazon.

Course schedule

  • Week 1

Lesson 1: Pattern drafting

Using your own measurements the instructor will demonstrate how to cut the back and fore-part to fit the student or their subject.

Lesson 2:  Cut in cloth

The demonstration will show how to lay the pattern on the cloth, add inlays and cut out the fabric

Lesson 3: Trimming the coat

The demonstration will show how to cut the canvas, linings and pocket pieces.

  • Week 2

Lesson 4: Mark stitching and cutting the canvases

Also known as tailor's tacks or thread marks, are used to transfer the pattern from one side of the cloth to both layers.

Lesson 5: Sewing the straight seams, canvas darts and pocket preparations

Lesson 6: Welt pockets

The same method as used in both the outbreast of the Morning Coat and Lounge Coat is first practised on the waistcoat.

  • Week 3:

Lesson 7: Canvassing off

Once the pockets are sewn in the canvas is attached to the foreparts.

Lesson 8: Making the fitting

The foreparts are basted to the back so a check fitting can be made.

Lesson 9: Shaping and taping

The front edges are shaped and a bias lining draws the edge as is done on the Morning coat and lounge coat.

  • Week 4

Lesson 10: Facing and foreparts lining

Using the traditional method of attaching a facing the front edge seam is hand-sewn. One of the few techniques of a bygone era revitalised in waistcoat making.

Lesson 11: Bagging out the back lining

In one straight shot, the waistcoat is transformed from a lined garment to the finished garment.

Lesson 12: Finishing and Press off

A number of hand sewing techniques are used to finish the waistcoat including the buttonhole.

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