Hombre pants

16 02 2014

These go with the Hombre jacket I made for Bolognese bass player Mattia Bigi.

Copy of IMG_00004608


He suggested the design and the [incredibly difficult-to-make] piped F-holes.

F Hole, Gretsch G6120 Chet Atkins

I used this Gretsch Chet Atkins G6120 as a template.

zz locos

If you’re in Italy…Mattia and ZZ Locos are looking for you.

I’m Your Guy

12 08 2013

Looking good, Rusty Ford!


Outside of Saskatoon

12 07 2013

The Good Family played the Starlight in Waterloo, May 30, 2013. They put on a great show for a really mixed crowd. Some there for Dallas and Travis and the Sadies, and plenty of Good Brothers fans looking (unsuccessfully) to hear “Fox On The Run”. This one, written by Bruce and Larry, also features Larry on the banjo.

doin the wrong things right

I was talking to my friend Shelley after, who remembered seeing the Good Brothers at an Ontario festival in the late 70s, when she was 8 or 9. I saw them then too, at the Exhibition in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Doin’ The Wrong Things Right was on the charts, and they were in the middle of an eight year run as  Canadian country group of the year.


Dallas and Travis have worn these Tony Alamo outfits the Goods got in 1970s Nashville. I spoke with Richard Hydell last year, who once worked for the now-imprisoned-in-perpetuity Alamo, and he told me how he would get westernwear made in California for the store on Lower Broadway, since there was not much to buy in Nashville at the time.

travis and dallas good

Dallas and Travis always wear jackets on stage and  I was happy to do up one of Dallas’s last year, with the Louvin’s Satan embroidered on the back.

satan studio

Once I got the pentagram design right, everything went great. There’s a 666 on the other front yoke.

new front

The Good Family show was the first time I really saw him wear it. You can see him sparkling a little in the corner of the video. I hope Charlie, and perhaps more so, Ira, have seen it too.

Louvin Brothers.Satan is Real

The Good Family, featuring Travis, also did the Louvin’s “There’s A Higher Power”, off Satan Is Real, a Sadies live staple.

good family dakota may 9 2013

This is from one of their two Dakota tavern shows, also in May. They’re playing the Stewart Park Festival in Perth Ontario, July 19.

Sadies by Agatha Donkar

jacket and pants

27 05 2013


IMG_00002316spsl pant

collar and sleeves

27 05 2013


The undercollar is linen canvas and felt stitched together and shaped.


The exact proportions don’t have to be decided until it’s on the jacket.


The top collar is cut to shape as it is basted and stitched to the undercollar and lapel.


The shoulder pad is sewn to the canvas before the sleeve is put on.


The whole sleeve is made, with the lining, and attached.


canvas and facing

19 05 2013

Basting holds the canvas in place during the process of fixing it to the jacket.

IMG_00002118The canvas is layers of different materials, including haircloth and felt. I usually buy readymade ones several sizes too big, and customize to fit.



Of course, there is no hand sewing like this in an off-the-rack jacket. Even what is called a “custom” or “made to measure” jacket these days is unlikely to have any handstitching on it at all, except for the buttons.

Copy of P1100297Copy of P1100300

I use quite a lot of vintage silk thread, made in Canada. There’s also synthetic ‘silcora’, white cotton for basting, heavier silk for buttonholes, cotton “gimp” for inside the buttonholes.

Copy of P1100304

On this jacket, the pickstitching and arrow tacks are Gutermann, just to get the right colour. I use various kinds of new poly thread for the machine stitched seams.

Copy of P1100322

The facing finishes the front edge and makes the lapel. It’s set up and held in place with more basting, and attached to the canvas on the inside. Ease and tension on the cloth is used along with handstitching and pressing to build the shape exactly as it should be, a process that begins with a customized pattern and continues with fittings as the jacket is constructed.


I always use bemburg lining, which is made of rayon. It is slippery and kind of hard to work with, but there’s nothing else like it.


Another try-on at this stage will make sure the armhole is just right. The high armhole in a true bespoke suit like this gives better movement when the sleeve is on. That is really good for guitar players like Steve, who will be wearing this jacket very soon!


piping and tacks

13 05 2013

Copy of IMG_00002104

Almost ready for the canvas.


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