Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My Mom Saved My Baseball Cards and Threw Out My Bespoke Suit

In college I majored in costume construction, I made tutus, sketched costumes for opera, drafted patterns, made pleated skirts and measured and hand tailored an entire suit for myself.

Hand sewn button holes, hand rolled and pad-stitched lapels, chest padding ( which I didn’t really need as a 20 year old male), hand stitched twill taping, that suit had the works. By the time I finished it, it looked like hell but I was so proud. By the end of the class I received the top grade, calloused fore fingers and extremely strained vision.

After I graduated and moved to New York my mom (like moms do) cleaned out my room and accidentally threw out my suit.
I still have all my Johnny Bench, Rod Carew, Joe Morgan, Dr. J, and Earl Campbell cards but I sure miss that suit.

All I have left is a 1/4 scale size practice undercollar with full hand stitching. Notice the extreme evenness and consistency of the stitches, that ruined me for future sewing. I still only know one extremely involved way to sew, so to this day, I still don’t hem my own pants. I just don’t have the extra time it takes (about 72 hours!) to do the job.


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  1. Anonymous

    January 19, 2006 at 7:26 am

    That is some pad stitching O_o
    if you were a tailor by trade, you really wouldnt make any money…that would take you half a day!! And then there the chest, lapels….oh dear…2 days work :P

  2. The Sartorialist

    January 19, 2006 at 7:55 am


    My teacher insisted in 1/4 inch stitches

    Thats why I’m a photographer now.

    I must admit that after all this time that undercollar still rolls perfectly.

  3. sarno

    January 19, 2006 at 10:35 am

    mr. sartorialist, i was wondering if you could recommend a book and/or source for patterns for the construction of suit jackets?

  4. The Sartorialist

    January 19, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    We had a book but I don’t ever remember using it, we learned everything from our great teacher, Mrs. Karla Kunoff

    • Sue

      December 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Being in Karla Kunoff’s classes was one of the best experiences of my life as a seamstress.

  5. an english girl in new york

    October 5, 2007 at 8:21 am

    I’m so pedantic about sitches it’s not true. My mother better not throw out my dresses when I leave home.

  6. *sP

    October 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    almost too bad that this is not what is seen in suits, the foundation, the construction. it is where the true beauty is. i had a garment construction course and the professor demanded that a garment should look beautiful on the inside as well.

  7. azure

    March 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I love to sew by hand, especially since I’m afraid of using a sewing machine-the needle moves too fast for my comfort. I’ve made so many different things, some worked, some didn’t, but they all manifested after I moved out so the only person who could trash them was me.

  8. Michael

    February 12, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Hello Scott,

    I can feel the pain that you had, when your Mom threw out your sewed with hand stitched collars and everything! I made a sports coat myself with hand stitched collars and horsehair fabrics etc… I still have it today and I wear it with pride.

    Greetings from Munich


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