This week’s installment of “The Making of a Coat” opens with tailor Rory Duffy basting on a piece of cotton silesia pocketing to the back at the neckline. It’s a process analogous to the basting of linen stays to the foreparts where the hip pockets will attach, and undertaken for the same reason: to provide reinforcement at a point of heavy stress. The longevity of a handcraft bespoke garment derives in large part from the fact that wherever possible, its weight is not borne by the cloth, but by carefully constructed internal structure.
Turning to the foreparts, Duffy then connects the threadmarks which indicate his side seam runs. Four threadmarked points along these runs -- top of vent, waist, balance, and top of armhole -- are matched against the same points on the back, paying particular attention to the balance point at the bottom of the armhole, which will ultimately govern how the coat accommodates the posture of its wearer. These runs are then basted twice for strength and stability in the try-on. The first baste defines a ⅜” seam allowance on the back, which gets folded over against the forepart inlay. As he did previously with the center back seam, Duffy then stretches this inlay at the waist with heavy ironwork to prevent unsightly pulling when worn. The second baste secures this inlay flat to smoothly accommodate future alterations.
The side vents are then tacked, with the back flap being extended ⅜” (not ¾”, as in the video) to accommodate the coat’s flare over my own [ahem] “flair” while aligning evenly with the foreparts.