The first appointment with new customers will entail taking around 30 separate measurements from which we work. These will be taken by either Edwin or Matthew and with another person assisting in recording all the measurements so no mistakes are made.
Style and Cloth Consultation:
This is generally done at the same time as the measurements. Regular customers that are unable to see us in person for an appointment, can be accommodated via email or a phone call to discuss their requirements and sample cloth patterns are sent out, so they can decide at their own leisure, what to choose for their next commission.
Once we have taken all of the measurements and various figuration details at the original appointment, we will draft a unique paper pattern using all of those details and a refined system that is unique in its self and very unlike ones used elsewhere on Savile Row.
Rather than using a block pattern and adjusting it, we start from scratch and draft using a technique called "Rock-of-Eye" which is done by free hand and using the cutters own interpretations.
One completed this paper pattern will remain with us for the duration of our working relationship with the customer.
Whenever alterations are made to any garments, either finished or at the fitting stage, these will then be applied directly to the paper pattern so as to keep it up to date.
Once the cloth has been selected, we take the paper pattern for that individual and lay it out on the cloth which is know as "The Lay".
The pattern is then chalked around and the cloth cut by hand using traditional cutters shears. Inlays are left to allow for any alterations in future, if the customers weight fluctuates.
This involves adding extra materials for the tailor in terms of canvasses, linen & linings amongst other materials. These are all used in the inside construction and help create the unique steed silhouette.
The garment is assigned to a particular highly skilled, Savile Row tailor where it is tailored by hand and prepared for the first fitting. That tailor will then stay with the customer during their time at Steed, thus giving consistency to the look and feel of all the customers future garments.
At this stage we will make any alterations that may be needed, taking into account the customers posture. However you do find as soon as you place a customer in a mirror they stand upright and unnatural so we generally get chatting and make them feel more comfortable and relax before starting the process of looking at what alterations may be needed.
Typical alterations made here are just a slight nip in the waist to give a bit more waist suppression or "snap", sleeve length and to narrow the shoulders slightly. Our shoulders always come up on the wider side of things as it is much easier to work backwards and gives both us and the customer a better visual idea as to how the finished garment will look.
Ripping Down and Marking Up:
The garment is completely taken apart, re-cut and given back to the tailor to be prepared for the next fitting or in some cases to be finished and ready for the hand finisher.
Previous alterations and amendments are refined, giving the suit its exceptional fit and comfort. The suit is checked for break over shoe, waist of trouser, drape, neck point and cuffs etc.
Predominately done by a tailoress, the edges of the jacket will all be stitched by hand and in this cases of it being a tweed, we will use what is called a "swelled edge". Whereby it will be sewn approx 3/8" (1cm) in from the edge, unlike most suit jackets and blazers, which would be sewn virtually on the edge.
In both cases the purpose of this stitch is to stop the edges rolling. The "swelled edge" is mainly a distinguishing feature of tweed jackets, due to the thickness of the cloth but could be utilised as a style feature if required.
Along with the edge stitching, the buttonholes, felling of the lining and the undercollar will all be done by hand to prepare the jacket for pressing and buttoning, before delivery to the customer.
Button & Press:
Once back from the finisher the garment is ready to be buttoned and pressed before being picked up or sent out to the customer.
Pressing is a very underestimated factor in the make-up of the garment and under-pressing is vital, which means that the tailor should always press the "job" as he goes along, which will help with the final press.
The suit is now ready for the final fitting and is either sent out to the customer, if they are over-seas & gives them a chance to wear it before visiting us on our next trip or see us at either of our shops in Carlisle, Cumbria or London, Savile Row.
If the suit is sent out then we'll arrange an appointment on our next trip, when it's convenient for the customer so Edwin or Matthew can see the finished article.