The Vintage Tailoring Thread

Discussion in 'Suits' started by herringbonekid, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    I have a question for you. I have a navy flannel sports-coat which belonged to my grandfather and dates presumably from the end of the sixties. The manifacture is extraordinary and the material is lovely: 3 buttons with rolled lapel, angled pockets and everything hand sewn (it is a bespoke garment). However, the lapels have the hideous 70-ish funky shape; they have nice proportions but the notch is awkwardly acute-angled. I know that's something nobody would notice, but it really gets on my nerves. I thought that a good fix would be “squaring out” the notch angle by cutting a triangle from the collar piece. Here's what I mean:
    [​IMG]

    The white part should be cut out and a new edge should be finished, so that the notch would then carry a decent angle. Have you ever had experience with similar alterations? Do you think it is doable?
     
  2. Patrick Hall

    Patrick Hall Practically Family

    Messages:
    541
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I had a similar operation done on a bespoke coat I received where the gorge was too high, and the peak of the peak lapel where it met the collar piece was over my collar bone and thus not lying flat on the coat front. I had the tailor convert the lapel to a "lazy" peak, which involved cutting the lapel away from the collar and adjusted the angle so that it was more horizontal. It was effective, but I will warn that the results are rather...handmade in a less desirable way. The reason is that the lazy peaks haven't been cut to identical angles. The notch seems a bit wider on the right lapel. I kind of like the quirkiness of the new lapels, but the results of such surgery are unpredictable, and you may like the unnatural state of the adjusted collar worse than the 70's-ish notch you have now.



    Here are the results of my lapel surgery. The lighting and the houndstooth in the flannel makes the lapel shape a little hard to make out:
    IMG_4711.jpg

    IMG_4711 2.jpg
     
  3. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    Thank you, Patrick, I see that indeed the angle looks different. I would cut the collar piece and not the lapel, though, but the danger of coming out with a bodge-up is comparable, I see.
    It's a pity, the jacket is really well made and the conditions are good too. It would be a shame if one of the too many lazy tailors I know ended up butchering it.
    Do you think the original lapel looks so bad as I think? Unfortunately that's a feature that dates a coat almost at a glance.
     
  4. Nobert

    Nobert Practically Family

    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    In the Maine Woods
    If I remember correctly, Herringbone Kid once posted that an acute notch created by a collar edge cut at an an oblique angle was a common feature on jackets of the 1920s as well. That may not be the look you want, but I guess it's not limited to the 1970s. Of course, I'm no expert on lapels, and if you look to your immediate left, you'll notice that the 1970s jacket I'm wearing in my profile picture has the same kind of notch, and it doesn't really bother me, so, consider the source.
     
  5. Patrick Hall

    Patrick Hall Practically Family

    Messages:
    541
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    It's hard for me to tell from that picture, because you have imposed the triangle showing how you would ask for the collar to be cut away on top of the image. But from what I can see, I don't think they look too egregiously of their era. I think an easier, less risky solution might be to blunt the edges of the notch slightly, on the collar and on the lapel, so the notch is more rounded. It saves the tailor from having to free-hand a new notch. I think that the distinctiveness of the 70's lapel comes from the fact that they are so straight, and very severe, equilateral notches.
     
  6. Kingsnake

    Kingsnake New in Town

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Germany
    Anyone here who knows if the Rock´n´Roll 50s Hollywood jackets had canveas or haircloth facing pad stitched to the collar and lapel? According to the pics of vintage items I doubt they have since they look too crumbled sometimes. And these were inexpensive leisure coats so there was no need for looking too correct all the time.
    I´m planing to tailor a few for myself again. Since I recently purchased a Strobel roll-pad stich machine I´m very tempted to use it but fear the jacket will loose the original drape if done so. Had made a few hollywood jackets years ago using fusibles but didn´t like the way the fusibles act (besides they´re not period correct).
    I have no access to an original jacket to check and see since I´m in Germany.
     
  7. PeterB

    PeterB One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi
    Kingsnake that is an interesting question. If memory serves I think they were pretty much unlined. More like a dressing gown construction . Check with GHT about it. He will probably know. He posts on the what are you wearing thread in the general attire forum.
     

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