First I had to correct a minor problem with the back of the suit, which involved re-cutting a new panel for the area above the belt. I was trying to get round it, but had to bite the bullet.
Here is where I cut it from:
Pair 3 -I used the fronts from the pair that had provided the front panels of the suit.
36 x 34
The reason I recut was to correct the grain direction of the fabric, which should run slightly diagonally from the waist to the shoulder, not the centre back.
You live and learn.
I start with the front panels, and stitch the chest darts, which run vertically from the upper chest down to just above the pockets (see right - the first line of stitching!).
Once this is pressed out, and the fronts are interfaced as per the Hand Tailoring I outlined recently, I can think about making and setting the breast pocket.
This has to be constructed very carefully, as it must span precisely three pinstripes.
The trick is to stitch up the centre behind the pleat at just the right place so a pinstripe lines both front edges of the folds (see left, top).
I then press the edges under, again lining along the pinstripes, with a one inch roll-fold at the top.
This is then pinned in place, aligning it with the pinstripes on the body of the jacket (see left, middle).
There is a level of compromise here as the chest dart expires under the pocket. This means it is possible to square the pocket to the pinstripes on one side only (take a sneak at the finished pocket and look at the right-hand edge to see what I mean).
Finally the pocket is top-stitched in place, with a sort of stretched triangle of strengthening at the top corners (see left, bottom).
First I sew the flap together from two pieces of fabric, leaving it open at the top (see right, top).
This is then clipped at the corner points and the seams graded before turning and pressing it flat.
To stop the attaching edge bulking, I overlock the open end (rather than double-fold it) and then stitch it in place above the pocket (see right, bottom).
Once flapped into position I then firmly press the edge and it happily sits in the right place.
The white stitching around the pocket is tack stitches I have put to keep the body of the jacket and the horsehair interfacing together while I work – these will obviously be removed before I finish!