Tailoring: How do you actually make your jackets?

“So, as simple as you can, how do you actually make a jacket?”

First we catch a mythical creature seen in Alice in Wonderland…

It is known as the Jabberwocky,

Here is a jabberwocky made jacket in it’s prime, just before it turns brown or black:


Jabberwockies were created when Chewy and one of the Game of Thrones dragons entered the same studio, 

Once we catch it, we have to do the sacred jacket ritual of…

Not doing any of that whatsoever.

Whilst there may be a mythical creature that we can make 100 leather jackets from we prefer the traditional method…

In simple terms:

Design it

Pattern it

Fit it 

Adjust it

Cut it

Make it 

Of course, that all happens with a NEW item, if we’ve already figured out the design we get to skip a couple of steps, we simply pick the correct sized pattern, cut it out and sew the jacket together. Easy as pie, or cake or something like that.

Our items are made in England so this post will cover what we actually do in our factory…

Stage 1) Design it

We have to be really careful here…

…Because people steal our stuff…

…And we like our stuff.

So, our example is a Raiders jacket, sketched in 2007 and since had the design changed:

Scan_20150625 (11

 There’s not a lot of method to the madness.

We literally sketch what we want to see in real life,

Then scribble loads of notes on it which on make sense in tailor world…

Here’s an example to help:

Apple Story

We’re aware that apple factories are actually orchards.

We just like apples and funny explanations…

…It really is that simple though, we think, we draw, we do

(It’s not simple at all, if I don’t retract that a tailor will kill me in my sleep.)

cat murderer

We need to urgently move on from this creepiness.

Stage 2) Pattern it

A really important bit of cardboard which we lose on a daily basis because we have 5 billion patterns and it’s confusing.

*People are currently running round the factory to find one*

*That’s not even a joke, as I’m writing this we have actually lost a pattern*

A pattern is what makes the jacket style and sizing.

All our patterns are made by a lovely lady called Sally,

She works freelance because she can’t deal with us full-time,

She says our constant apple demands are just too much to handle.

She makes good patterns though.

Which is great because the pattern is the most important part of a jacket operation…

…If the pattern is wrong, all the jackets made from it will follow suit.

This is how your jacket starts:

Stage 3) Fit it

Instead of spontaneously making a jacket straight away we make a toile,

A toile is a cotton rough made to the sizing and design of the pattern,

Custom Order

Above is a RAF jacket we made

Below is the Escape from New York replica jacket (the very first toile)

Escape from New York Jacket

Stage 4) Adjust it

We look adoringly at the toile on the mannequin and think to ourselves;

“That’s way too big for a size 44”

“Does that collar make my mannequin look fat?”

“I don’t know about this design, shall we make an apple instead?”

Basically, we look at the jacket toile and adjust it to make it more accurate and in general a better jacket, this information is sent back to the pattern cutter and the pattern is adjusted.

Stage 5) Cut it

The pattern is ready.

The toile a beautiful sight.

The design team are happy.

Now we can give it to a tailor.

Here’s a little tip about our tailors: They’re the best and they’re always smiling but sometimes, just sometimes, you give them one too many jobs in one day, they look at you, scissors in hand and you think “this is it, this is where it all ends”…

…But they normally don’t ACTUALLY harm you, just give the death stare.

A skin is picked and the pattern is laid across the skin and chalk is used to draw around the patterns and mark the skin to where needs to be cut.

Cutting is of course more complex than that, you have to check skin quality, match the grain equally, match the weight of each skin, make sure there’s no scars and much much more…

…But if we taught you everything you’d open “Leather Wested Co” and put us out of business and we’d be really sad.

Tailors don’t like it when you hover over them with a camera so I’m going to need you to use your imagination a little bit instead of having a picture of them cutting the skin…

Here’s what the pieces start to look like when they are cut:


In all honesty,

I was really shocked when I saw things like this turned into a jacket within a few days…

…My first few weeks at Wested were spent looking under desks for pixie dust, unicorns, fairies and other creatures that could create magic.

I found out tailors are just under-appreciated geniuses. 

Stage 6) Make it, aka magic.

This is what comes from those little yellow pieces:

freddy mercury

Wow, right?

Magical tailors with magical machines and magical brains making us magical clothing

I love a story with a happy ending.


Thanks for reading,

The next blog is……

Temple of Doom vs Raiders

But we won’t do it unless you visit our stuff….


We’re looking for guest bloggers, if you’re interested in a collaboration or writing something for us then give us an email!

It could be anything from a review linking to your own blog to a piece of writing you want to share with the world and feel we can help you with…



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