(104). We love cutting patterns for vintage menswear. Its to do with the quality, style and functionality that used to be taken for granted in mens clothing. The dictionary definitions of vintage tend to refer to quality and lasting value, rather than simply being old fashioned. But for an item to be classed as vintage it should technically be fifty to one hundred years old.
For anyone interested in making their own vintage replica patterns, we offer a 1-1 pattern cutting class in which we can do just that.
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There are many websites and bloggs dedicated to vintage menswear, or specific branches of vintage menswear :- tailoring; workwear; military wear and sportswear are all popular genres. Enthusiasts on these sites are very precise about how a garment should be in order to be authentic.
While they love the originals, they love a faithful reproduction almost as much. Any slight difference is spotted, remarked upon and discussed in detail.
These enthusiasts are generally more interested in the detail rather than the accuracy of the fit. We try as much as possible to get both spot on. If we think that the shape can be tweaked for a slightly better fit or balance, I may well do this as long as the client is in agreement.
If we are asked to recreate a vintage pattern we will always try as far as possible to obtain an original garment to base my pattern on. We dont need to take the garment apart – We just use accurate measurements and our own extensive knowledge and experience to fill in the missing details. Measurements alone cannot tell you what the pattern shape should be. If required by the client we can also make a sample.
We prefer to use an original garment because reproductions are often made by people who are not expert pattern makers, so you can find that you are putting all their mistakes into the new pattern. And the reproduction itself may be a copy of a previous reproduction with all the faults from that.
The original patterns are usually made by very experienced specialist pattern cutters, using blocks that have been developed and perfected over decades.
The A2 flight jacket for example, is a very popular WW2 jacket that many companies copy. But the fit is often altered considerably in order to comply to their own customers shape. Sometimes a new suffix would be added to the name in order to differentiate from the original.
It can be a very expensive process of trial and error to get a pattern right if you dont really know what you are doing. Making vintage leather or sheepskin flying jackets can be particularly expensive because of the cost of the leather and the complexity of the garment…
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