In the previous episode of “The Making of a Coat,” tailor Rory Duffy removed the patch pockets basted onto my try-on in order to take in the chest darts. Reapplying them now provides him with an opportunity to address a problem he’d noticed in the fitting: because he’d originally basted the pockets on the flat surface of his bench, they weren’t allowing for the curvature of my hips, causing the foreparts to slightly bunch. This is resolved by simply rebasting the pockets broken over a sleeve board. We’ve seen before how Duffy uses sleeve and chest boards to press and repress the elements of the coat “half and half” between stages of construction to impart shape and check the relation between its layers: this is why. No shame in a mistake caught and fixed.
The final attachment of the pockets is done by hand with fine and strong silk thread. The corners are tacked with a series of sturdy stab stitches through the wool cloth, cotton pocket lining, and linen reinforcement, while the edges are secured with a minimum of seven pick stitches (“prick” stitches in English parlance) to the inch. As with the construction of the pockets themselves, this stage can be done by machine; Duffy chooses not to.
After a final pressing, the basting threads are removed, and the patch pockets become the first visible element of the coat to be completely finished.
- Text and video by Andrew Yamato
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