The First Fitting

It’s all about the baste

We believe that the business of buying a bespoke suit should not be cloaked in mystery.  In our experience, a little knowledge of the bespoke process is a good thing as it helps you – the customer – to get the best out of it. The more relaxed you are about being able to let your cutter know what you would like the more likely the suit is going to be exactly what you require..

The first fitting

This is first fitting after being measured, it is also the first time you will see your garments taking shape. As your pattern is cut from scratch, the first fitting is a crucial stage in the bespoke process as it reinforces the fact that the garment is being made entirely in accordance with your personal measurements and specification. We are also lucky to be able to bring you these pictures of a first fitting. Many thanks to Freddie Fox Patrick’s customer in this case – photographs courtesy Guy Hills of Dashing Tweeds who also made the cloth.
Our Head Cutter Patrick Murphy takes you through what to expect.

The ‘baste’

The term ‘basting’ in tailoring refers to the loose temporary stitches that secure the cloth to the canvasses to make up the garments that you will try on at your first fitting. You may hear your cutter refer to the garments at this stage as ‘the baste’
The origins of the word are not entirely clear, it may have come from 14th Century French ‘bastir’ to build or Old High German ‘besten’ to sew with ‘bast’ – bast being a fibre such as flax or hemp.. It perhaps ultimately came from the Latin ‘bass’  – the bass part or the foundation.
It is not to be confused with the more widely known ‘baste’ – the act of moistening food while cooking!
It is recommended that you wear ‘smart’ clothing similar to the garments that are being made for you . If you attend this fitting wearing a T shirt and jeans, in most cases it will be more difficult for your cutter to assess such things as silhouette. It does make a difference – so go prepared!
Patrick Murphy says
” After your Pattern has been drafted the cloth is then cut and the garments are prepared for trying on. The coat’s hand padded natural canvasses, which are the foundation of the suit, are tacked to the foreparts, and the side seams, shoulders, sleeves and collar are basted together.
It is at this stage that most adjustments can be made so it is important that the customer lets the cutter know what he or she wants from the suit. It is also very helpful to your cutter if an appropriate shirt and footwear are worn for the fittings..’

© 2016 Davies and Son