Why Custom Work cost what it does Part 1
Over the course the last few years I have had several discussions with people on the cost of clothing in this day and age, many ask why does custom cost so much? Or I get the usual statement "Well I can get that at one of the stores you see advertised for $150.00" My usual answer is well if you think you are getting a good deal then by all means please go ahead.
Bottom line you get what you pay for PERIOD.
I figured it was about time to tell our readers why custom suits cost what they do. When a custom suit is created for a client we don't go to the closet and pull out a standard 42 long that is close to what the client is in size and then grade it or tweak the pattern a little. With a truly custom suit the client is measured by the cutter. Then the client would then pick out a suit based on drawings or photos of the finished suit, the cutter would then pull the tailor's draft down and using that draft his clients pattern.
A tailors draft January 1937
The cutter having finished the draft cuts it out on heavy stock paper and hole punches it so it can hang with the rest of the patterns. Each piece of the pattern is label, numbers, and dated when it was drafted and off what draft.
Example (Robert Jones, 1 of 12, 08-02-2014 from T and C 04-14-1937) that way the pattern can be hung in the correct place on the rack. If the customer wants another suit the pattern is ready.
The next step is ironing out the fabric and laying it flat on the cutting table, then placing the pattern pieces to use the least amount of fabric but at the same time matching the pattern if there is one on the fabric. Each of the pattern pieces are traced around and notes added if need be, or inlays added if the customer requested them.
Once the suit is drafted it is cut out and the pieces pined together so the tailor's tacks can be added to the suit. You ask why do you put in tailor's tack and what do they do? The tailor's tacks mark the seams, where pockets go, ect, The reason the time is taken to put them in, once the pieces of the suit are cut apart the tack mark both pieces and you have identical markings on both pieces.