A two month intensive course to construct an historically-inspired, tailored novelty jacket by hand.
Over the course of six sessions we will construct a beautifully shaped, tailored novelty jacket, entirely by hand. For the student looking to expand upon skills built in other hand sewing classes, this unique class will cover pattern cutting and muslin, finding a good fit, seaming, tailoring, piping, buttonholes and button application as well as additional optional embellishments to make the jacket uniquely yours.
This jacket is developed specifically for Tatter using traditional techniques from several time periods. The main body is developed from an early 20th century female-presenting style. Originally, the bust dart was in the in the shoulder. In this design, it has been moved into the neckline to facilitate the use of a join-on collar and an angled dart, reminiscent of early 20th century British military uniforms.
The shoulder has been fashioned to the back of the body for a dramatic, Victorian feeling while the back collar has been cut in one with the back to bring in an element from an early 17th century jacket.
The entire body is lined in a cotton print to help bring a modern feel while the seam treatments are reminiscent of European folk costume. Of course fabric and embellishment choices are completely up to you.
The work is started in smaller sections which are then put together to form the larger jacket. Some of the construction methods are taken from surviving garments of the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as traditional tailoring methods of the 20th century.
The course allows the novice hand sewer to expand their skills in terms of stitches and techniques, as well as learn a few small tricks to achieve greater accuracy within the work.
From ironwork (the process of manipulating fabric with steam and heat), to buttonholes and decorative seam finishes, these six weeks will take you on a journey to make a jacket unlike anything you’ve worn before!
Saturdays October 9, 16, 23, 30, November 13, 20
2pm – 4pm ET*
Virtual class on Zoom, link will be sent the day before class.
What To Bring
Refer to the materials required list. Materials are also available as a kit in our online store here.
Basic seaming is helpful to take this course but beginning hand sewers are most welcome! We are also offering a primer session to familiarize with all of the stitches used to make this coat on Saturday, September 11 from 2pm – 4pm ET. You will automatically receive a link to this class when you sign up for this jacket course.
*All live session will be recorded and shared with those who register, for added scheduling convenience. Access to these recordings will stay live, long after the course ends.
If you would like to use your own materials you will need:
- 2 – 2 1/2 yds of 60” wide fabric. Preferably wool flannel, twill, or other firmly woven fall/winter textile
- 2 1/2-3 yds of lining material, 45” wide or 2-2 1/2 yds of 60” wide
- 1 – 1 1/2 yds of linen canvas or firm, crisp fabric for interlining the front and hems
- 1/2 yd of thin contrasting fabric for making the piping
- 4 yds of 1/8” cording for making the piping
- 1 spool of plain white thread for temporary basting
- 1 spool of heavy top stitching thread in a color to match the outer fabric for assembling the garment
- 1oz of 2/20 yarn. Silk is used in the photo sample. Other materials are crochet cotton, embroidery floss (three strands) or pearl cotton, size 5
- 7 buttons approximately 1” diameter (gold and matching blue buttons are shown on this page. Pick buttons that match your personality and style!)
- Buttonhole twist to match the color of the exterior or, if you prefer, a contrasting color as seen here.
- Two sets of #4 hooks and eyes for fastening the sleeve end
- Hand sewing needles in sizes to accommodate the various threads. Mathew typically uses quilter’s betweens, size 5 for larger threads and size 6 for thinner threads
- Scissors for cutting out and trimming
- Thread snips for working
- Smooth, flat working surface. There will be moments when we have to work with the garment flat on a hard surface. Directly on a carpeted floor will not work well.
- Steam Iron and Ironing board
- Small block of wood or a VERY clean, wooden rolling pin, for setting seams. If you have an actual clapper (available from tailor’s suppliers like WAWAK) even better!
- Thimble in a size which is correct for the middle finger of your dominant hand.
The course will take place over 2 months and will consist of:
– six live, virtual sessions with artist Mathew Gnagy
– access to a private platform group for questions, sharing, and additional access to the teacher.
As with all long-form Tatter classes, a community will naturally form as we make this custom garment. There will be tremendous support along the way from Mathew and your fellow sewists. Additionally, participants will have access to the private platform to share photos and questions between our virtual sessions.
If you would like to join but have minimal hand sewing experience, do not fear! We are offering the Hand Sewing Primer class for free when you register for this course. The primer will get you comfortable with the techniques used in the jacket.
Mathew Gnagy is the author of five books on knitting and historical techniques in tailoring. He has worked in many areas of costume and fashion, from pattern maker, to dresser, tailor, and more. He taught in the BFA fashion program at Parsons for several years and prior to that was one of their hand knitting instructors. Gnagy’s business focuses on teaching people lost hand-work skills in an effort to both keep those skills alive, and to serve as an empowering alternative to fast fashion, toxic immediacy, and body dysmorphia caused by the marketing tactics of the industry.