Have previously machined the forearm seams, Rory Duffy’s next step in making up the sleeve bastes is to press those seams open, and in so doing, to shrink away excess fabric which might otherwise cause unsightly breaks in the crook of the elbow. The curved hindarm seam is then basted twice—once from each side—to create a smooth line without the use of the iron, which could set a permanent crease that would show if the seam needs to be let out after the fitting. Similarly, the cuffs are folded back and steam-pressed but dried with a wooden banger instead of the cold iron to prevent hard creases. The scye inlay is then turned back and basted before the sleeves are pressed and laid aside to cool.
Duffy has previously explained how dense yet spongy wool flannels like the Ariston Napoli cloth we’re using in this coat are preferred by tailors for their ability to shrink and stretch as needed. These same qualities also help prevent it from taking unwanted permanent creases—a characteristic not shared by less forgiving cloths like mohair and cotton, as anyone who’s ever tried to let down a pair of jeans or chinos knows.