When a job comes down to the workroom wrapped in a bundle, there is a small amount of cloth left inside. This spare piece of cloth is what we use to cut the ‘fit ups’. These are all the components needed to make up the pockets (jettings, flaps, outbreast welt and facing). We cut these without a pattern, just using a ruler, chalk and the forepart as a guide.
Once they are cut we then go on to make the flaps. Every customer is different, so we judge the size of the pocket by the size of the jacket. It is essential to have a sharp piece of chalk and a ruler when marking up the flaps in order to get precise lines to follow. Getting the perfect round on the front of the flap is also important. We use a circle shaped disc to get this desired shape.
Not every tool we use in the workroom is what you would expect. Sometimes everyday objects can help with certain parts of the making. For example a plastic lid might have the perfect round for using to trace the front of the flap. Also we use a touch screen pen to help poke through the back corner of the flap. Some tailors use what is called a Bodkin, but these can be hard to come by nowadays!
When the jettings have been sewn they are then cut and pressed on an edge board using a dry iron. We also apply a small amount of water by dabbing it onto the back of the jetting and again apply the dry iron. Adding this small amount of water enables a really clean press. The jettings are then turned through, basted and we then go onto finish the pockets putting in the flaps and attaching the pocketing.
For me, putting in the pockets is one of the most rewarding aspects of the making. You can really see a jacket come to life once the pockets are in.