Friday, August 30, 2013

The 70's Postman Competition Suit

I appreciate the response to my 10 Alteration set DVD Giveaway! If you haven't had a chance to enter the giveaway go to this link HERE. I'm ALL TOO excited to be able to do so and I'm glad that it's brought us together so I can get to know you guys more. I look forward to all of our future interactions and being able to bring you the type of tailoring info that interests you.

The 70's was a wonderful decade! And it definitely had a style all it's own. I did alot of tailoring during those years. Unfortunately I didn't take alot of pictures of my work. I worked in a tailoring shop and just made wonderfully tailored clothes without the real thought of documenting it.  We made SO many suits!!! It's just what we did. Fortunately, I was able to go back in the New York Time archives to pull up an article on a project I'd been involved in. Now I wasn't mentioned in the article per se. I was supposed to remain "anonymous" so the gentleman wearing my clothes could get all of the credit. You see the Postal Service was running a competition to see which postal service worker could come up with the best fashion design. Check out the article.........

What a cool competition! My involvement started when Henry Ridges approached me about the project. Of course he didn't have any tailoring experience. We brainstormed a bit and the above suit was born. That style collar and overall suit shape was my signature at the time. What a transformation!!! It turned out great, huh? And Henry took home one of the prizes.  You have to admit he did look pretty sharp in his suit! And I was more than glad to offer my services for such a neat project. No credit needed! Have any of do some sewing for a competition. Did you enjoy it? Was it a good/bad experience?

Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm Giving Away My Alteration DVD Set to 10 Lucky People!!!!

That's right! I'm not just giving away 1, 2, 3 or 5 DVD's....
I'm giving away 10!!!!!!!!!!! That's right, 10!!!
This DVD set retails for $49.95 and is pretty popular!!!

I just want to thank you for opening your arms and welcoming me into the sewing blog community!!! As a sincere token of my deep gratitude I’d like to host my Alteration DVD GIVE-A-WAY. From what I understand give-away's are usually a fun thing to do in the blog world (smile). A few year’s back, when I had my shop in Atlanta I created a alterations DVD that showcased how I do some of the most common clothing alterations. You see at the time I noticed there weren't alot resources for the average sewer, shopowner, etc and wanted to help fill that void. This DVD is chalked full of  valuable information!!! I not only demonstrate each alteration clearly but I also give tips and techniques that simplify the process and yield professional results. This 2 DVD set is split into the following topics.....
Disc 1
-Sewing Exercise
-Pants: Men

Disc 2
-Lady's Pants
-Lady's shirts

This information is invaluable!!! Look at the "testimonials" page (under my blog title) to get helpful reviews. Imagine being able to properly alter your RTW clothing. Nothing beats impeccable fit. Maybe you can even start up a business doing so. The alterations business is very lucrative.  Anyway the tools you need are RIGHT HERE in this DVD.

So are you interested in winning one of my DVD's???? Then just do the following....

Giveaway Rules
1. Leave a comment on this post with your name. (This is a great time for me to get to know you.)
2. Announce this GIVEAWAY on your Blog and/or Facebook page and include a link to it. (We want to share the opportunity!!! Also please leave the name/link of your blog...I'd love to visit!!!)

I'll announce the winners on September 16th!!!

Thanks for joining in with the Give-A-Way fun!!! Also be on the look out for more helpful blog posts, new YouTube videos and even a DVD in the not too distant future!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tailor's Tip: Don't Clip those Darts!

(gray fabric overlayed with brown paper pattern. Note the middle of dart line is drawn on fabric in chalk, not the entire dart. Just mark dart legs (not pictured) and you're ready to fold on line and sew from dart leg to end of line point).

I know it's common practice for many sewers to clip their dart legs and mark all parts of the dark before sewing. Well I'm here to show you a better and easier way. Oftentimes when people clip the dart legs they weaken the fabric in the area and end up having to sew below the clipping. Instead of clipping your darts try only marking the legs at the fabric edge using chalk or other suitable medium and only drawing the length of the mid-dart line (the line that runs between the dart leg). On most commercial lines you may have to draw the middle line between the dart legs.  That way you can just fold the fabric on the line and sew from the dart legs down to the end of that line. You don't have to worry about any clippings. But if you feel you'd rather clip your darts by all mean do so slightly inside the dart markings that way you can sew the dart leg without any interference of the cut!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

3 Fundamental Sewing Tasks

In the world of tailoring sewing is comprised of 3 fundamental tasks. If you do these 3 things exceptionally well then you will never have less than stellar results. Sewing really isn’t all that complicated. When it comes down to it it’s all about technique. When you use the right techniques you get the right results. Sewers really have to change the way they look at sewing. I understand how easy it is to get distracted with all of the details that comprise sewing. But it’s always important to come back to the 3 fundamental tasks.  Are you ready for them??? I’m about to Wow your socks off! Here goes…..

3 Fundamental Sewing tasks….
1.     Sew a straight line.
2.     Insert zippers.
3.     Sew in pockets.

Something tells me you were expecting fireworks (smile). You see, there’s no real magic to all of this.  When I teach my students these are some of the first tasks they learn. No matter how experienced with sewing they are I make them all start off by sewing a straight lines. From that they learn the importance of controlling their fabric and accurate sewing. This is no trivial task. This is the cornerstone of good sewing! Then I teach them how to insert zippers---both invisible and lapped. Once they've gotten that technique down then they learn how to insert pockets. They learn how to create welt and besom pockets. Once they've gotten good at these fundamentals and move on to sewing pants or a jacket they discover that they've learned most all they needed and will build off of it. Again in the world of tailoring if you do these 3 tasks very well you’ll find that overall you’ll sew exceptionally well. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Video Tutorial: How to Add Waistband, Ban Roll and Clamp Hook and Eyes to Trousers

Hello Everyone, here is my latest video tutorial. I told you I would provide helpful information to show you how tailor's deal with various aspects of clothing construction. This video picks up by showing you how I completely sew on my waistbands on trousers. The trousers, pockets and fly front have already been sewn up and the front and back of pants are only sew up on the side seams (inseam to back seam left open). You'll see how I apply the waistband, add Ban Roll (to stabilize it), add the clamp hook and eyes (not the sew-in kind) and finish it all up. The video is in 2 parts below. The only thing not show in me pressing the waistband over the ban roll.

Ready to view???? Wait just one more thing to clarify.....

As I mentioned above the back pants seam is left open.   I DO NOT sew the back seam of the pants until after I check the waist measurements and apply the waistband. Then I sew the back seam and waistband in one step, flip over the waistband and sew down. Alot of home sewers are instructed to sew one piece waistbands but as most of you know the back seam of pants is often an area where fit problems occur.  I always sew a 2 piece waistband since this is often an area on both men and women's pants that require alteration. You'll find that most high end pants are also constructed in this way. Also, I used the 1 1/4" Ban-roll in Women's Trousers. Remember I blogged about Ban-Roll HERE.

 Ok, here's the 2 videos. I hope these are really helpful to you. Please forgive the dark background at times. Next time I'll make sure to have a bit more light.

----Took a short break to go press the waisband over the ban-roll-----

Hope you enjoyed the videos and found them helpful. Let me know what you think!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Are You "Over-Using" Your Iron?

Thanks to all of you who have began following my blog. I look forward to giving you insight (and tips) into my world of tailoring. Now would be a great time to start. Allow me to share my insights to you on an important sewing tool---the iron. Now you already know how important an iron is in gaining professional results. My studio is outfitted with a gravity feed steam iron. As much as I love my iron and recognize how critical it is in getting professional results, I don’t actually don’t press after every sewn seam.

Now this may seem strange to some of you since you were taught/trained to practically press after you sew every seam. But as a Master Tailor, I’ve found this kind of practice is extremely time consuming and impractical. I stress this to all of my students.  If I got up to press ever seam when making a pair of pants with pockets and fly front, then it would take me 2 to 3 times as long then the normal 90 minutes it takes me (15 min for just the pocket and zipper and the remaining 75 minutes for completing the pants (adding waistband, belt loops, etc .) With good sewing and fabric handling techniques (using your fingers to firmly hold down seams) it's not necessary to press after every sewing step. When making pants I actually do all of my pressing at the very end. So I end up pressing the fly front, pockets and side and inner seams all in one shot. Can you see how that saves time? Again good sewing skills and fabric handling pretty much are the reasons why. And before you give me the bewildered look I definitely must mention that there are always exceptions to this rule. Of course if I'm tailoring a jacket I'll have to press the interfacing ahead of time and if I was working with an unruly fabric pressing would likely be necessary to control the fabric better. And of course if there is a series of intersecting seams it’s likely necessary to press them. And there are many other exception. But for the most part I'm strategic with my pressing and by consolidating those steps I'm able to finish sewing clothing faster without sacrificing great results. Give it a try. See if you can reduce your trips to the iron, retain your garment quality and as a result finish sewing projects much faster!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tailor Stereotypes

It's often said that you can tell a good hairdresser by how bad her hair looks. She spends all of her time taking care of her clients hair that there's little left for her to do her own. Of course that's not a proven truth and is mostly is a humorous stereotype. But what is true is that even though I spend countless of hours making clothes for others to look professional and their very best. There's just something refined about a fitted suit jacket on a man or woman. Or a nice tailored pair of pants. It can make them look and feel like a million bucks.
 I like to look the same way as well. So my uniform of choice is always a nice crisp shirt, polo, or vest and a pair of tailored pants. That's what I wear everyday and have been doing for decades. This is the professionalism I want all of my clients to see. I appreciate having the opportunity to help people look their very best. And I appreciate having the skill to be able to do the same for myself. Here'a  picture of a a full suit I made myself a few years back. As you can see suits and vests are indeed my specialty.
 I may not know of all of the "tailor stereotypes" that exist out there (I know the "always wearing the tape measure around the neck" is one) but what I do know is I love to do work for my clients and I equally love create for myself.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Video: A Formal Introduction and Some of my Work......

I'm delighted that I get to reach out to you by way of video to formally introduce myself. I made this video so we could get better acquainted. I have plans for other videos in the near future. I'm excited that I'll be able to share with you some of the tips and techniques I've acquired and created during my 52 years as a Master Tailor. There's so many things I want to share with you and look forward to doing so. Hope you'll keep visiting. Well here's my video.......

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Product No Waistband should be Without!

(Unrolling a strip of Ban-Roll in my studio)

One of the best waistband stabilizers on the market is a product called Ban-Roll.  It serves as an interlining that is a slightly rigid, canvas-like material used to prevent waistbands from curling or rolling over. It's a definite tailor supply and can be purchased from most tailor specialy/supply stores. It comes in various widths which is perfect for male or female pants. And for convenience and value can be purchased in a 50 yard role (pictured here). If you've never tried Ban-Roll I encourage you to give it a try. You won't be disappointed with the professional result it yields!!!