Burda 7194: Tailoring Menswear, the Saga Begins

I am working on a tailored suit for my son, JP.  I actually promised him a suit as a birthday gift back in 2009.  Of course I know this makes me look like a really bad procrastinator based on the timing of this project.  But let me assure you that I haven't just been twiddling my thumbs on this one,  I have been quite busy with so many projects, including having made him a shirt along with many other custom alterations.  So, don't think I totally neglected my baby boy.  Besides, like any good procrastinator I have thought through the entire process ahead of time, and now I am ready to put this behind me.
This is a model not my son...although my son may be more handsome.  
So, I hope you enjoy the process as I share my style of tailoring and the steps I take to get my kind of outcome.  Some of the process will be shortcuts, my way, and other parts you may be familiar with from the Internet or other books.  I don't really like to take very many shortcuts when I work with menswear, since they wear their clothes longer and harder than women.  

Either way, I am just going to work through my tasks and give you the pictures and points that help me to stay focused as I work. 

The Fitting:
After measuring his chest size(42) and taking the waist, I selected the pattern as listed on the envelope for the size 42 and pants size 38.  It seems that the pants run really small because of the European cut...slim fit.  I tissue fit the jacket front, back and side panel.
The jacket is pinned to the t-shirt

Here he has the pant muslin pinned tightly over the jeans.  I used a muslin to check the fit of the pants.  I had to make it work in this case..since he had just gotten off work and had road the motorcycle for an hour before making it to my house.  (I failed to inform him of the reason for his visit.)  Needless to say, he nor I were willing to venture into a messy fitting.  So, in the true spirit of the "make it work" process, I ripped the pant muslin apart and fitted over his jeans.  I knew how tight to allow it in order for me to check the fit, since the pants pattern is a slim "European" fit.    
Back of the jacket fitting.
I know, that what I'm looking for in the pant fit, is to have enough rise in the back and enough in the front of the crotch, and to check knee placement so I can get the flare correct in order for him to wear his cowboy boots with the suit.  My son!! I would not ever had imagined him loving cowboy boots.  Maybe it was all those years of us going to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Burda pattern changes and alterations. JP
I will tell you about all the pattern preparations needed for men's suits compared to the women's, and all the actual fitting alterations I had to do for JP in the next post.  But for now, here are a few other tidbits on this project.
Fabrication:  I had this really nice Linen/Bamboo in my stock of high end suitings. I say high end, because it is lux for real!!!  I bought it in Los Angeles on a sewing guild trip back in 2010.  I can't believe how I remember so much about my fabric purchases.  It seems that I have some kind of personal connection with every fiber in my stash.  This one almost didn't get used for JP's suit because I have hoarding tendencies.  Does anyone else have that problem?  Because it is a problem, if you are will to admit.


  1. I not only have fabric hoarding tendencies, I have stingy sewist tendencies. As in, oh yeah, I totally bought that for my kid but neeeeeeeeeeeeeeewp, she's gonna grow out of it soon so I'm totally making myself a dress out of it. SORRY KID! lol

    1. The stinginess has become even apparent to my 7yr old GD. you it's bad then.

  2. Don't feel bad about procrastinating. i am still working on the baby blanket for my nephew. He's 14 now.....

    1. LOLololol!!!! That's what I'm talking about. I knew I wasn't along.

  3. I'm excited to see how this comes along for you. I enjoy doing menswear but my guy is so figetty it's hilarious trying to do a fitting with him!
    Cowboy boots are awesome!


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