A new jacket: The basted fitting

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I returned to Cad and the Dandy over the weekend for the basted fitting of my new jacket. It's looking great, the cloth looks even better in a larger volume as the loud black and white check blends into a soft grey at a distance. Cad and the Dandy have, by now, got a pretty good idea of my fit, and fewer changes are needed. All the same, it's nice to have the opportunity to check everything. The shoulder width in particular is very hard to alter once the jacket has been made up, and moving the buttonholes is close to impossible, so the basted fitting is a particularly good opportunity to check these.

Even the lapel width could be tweaked at this point, but I'm perfectly happy with it as-is. In the end, the only changes necessary were to mark the shoulder position accurately, and to pin the chest to exactly where I want it. Getting these fine adjustments right without a basted fitting is difficult or impossible, and it is why it makes such a difference. Adjustments to a finished suit can make large improvements, but there is a limit to what they can fix.

After this, the whole jacket is ripped apart again, and sent to a coatmaker to finish. A handmade suit takes around 50 hours of work, and most of that is in the coat. It will, therefore, be at least a couple of weeks before I'm likely to get this back. A painful wait, I think.