J and J Minnis

J and J Minnis are one of the UK’s premier cloth merchants and naturally this cloth merchant, like all my merchants, are based in Gods own county of Yorkshire.

I have actually now fully finished the coat that is shown in the following pictures. This bespoke coat was commissioned by the girlfriend of a client of mine for his surprise Christmas present, he was already a client of mine so I did have in my possession his own unique personal pattern, which made my task somewhat easier. The picture below shows the cloth which a dark chocolate-brown, complex herringbone pattern with a lovely electric faint blue over check laid across. This picture shows a portion of the lapel and collar, the gorge seam, which has been very delicately hand sewn together. The cloth is of course from J and J Minnis.

J and J Minnis

Collar section of a clients coat in a cloth by J+J Minnis. The lapel and collar seam are sewn together by hand.

J and J Minnis

The next picture below shows a section of the right hand side of the coat front. You can clearly see the precise pattern matching that I have ensured I maintained with the pocket flap matching vertically and horizontally. I also really like the electric blue over check that runs over this cloth, so I decided to also carry the blue through the pocket jettings. These are the actual thin piping strips that for the actual mouth of the pocket. Apologies that the picture below is slightly out of focus, I take all my pictures with my iPhone whilst at work. They are not staged, they are simply taken ‘as is’ documenting my daily workings as a cut and make tailor.

J and J Minnis

You can see the precise flap pocket matching to maintain the cloth pattern.

The next picture below shows the right sleeve hand basted in place waiting to be fixed in place. The pattern matching has again been maintained both ways on the sleeve for my client. Cutting sleeves to match both ways is rarely, if at all, attempted by the ready to wear market and most ‘tailors’ will simply match the horizontal lines if you are lucky.

I once had a very experienced and well-respected Savile Row cutter from Huntsman’s ask me how I got my sleeves to match both ways on the particular jacket I was wearing when I met him when we went for a pint in a pub near Liverpool St Station in London…… For what it’s worth, I always try to match the sleeves both ways on every single coat I make that has a vertical and horizontal pattern.

J and J Minnis

Precise pattern matching of the sleeve vertically and horizontally.

The next pictures show a few of the other sections of this J and J Minnis bespoke coat I have recently made for a client.

J and J Minnis

Real horn buttons and real working button holes.

If you would like to commission a bespoke, or semi-bespoke piece from a cut and make artisan tailor I would love to hear from you. You can call into my workroom for a no obligation friendly. Or send me an email here des@dmerrion.com or telephone me on 07871877061 to discuss your tailoring requirements.

Mohair Suits

The weather has been so mild these past few months. And I have barely been able to get my clients to look past the lightweight and mid-weight cloth bunches. A cloth that I really do like and enjoy to make is mohair. However, it has to be mohair with at least 60% kid for its composition, not the 30% kid composition level. There is a difference between the quality of the two, and there is also a big difference in the price.


The picture below shows a portion of a clients bespoke mohair coat. This cloth is from Harrison’s bunches that I carry and is 40% Super 100’s wool with 60% kid mohair and is a lovely blue colour that is extremely versatile. This exact cloth has been very popular this year and I have probably made at least four coats for clients in this particular colour. This particular blue is a different cloth every day of the year and is radiant when the sunlight hits it.

Mohair suits

A clients Super 100’s wool and kid mohair coat.

Mohair Suits

Making mohair suits with at least 60% kid content is not easy. The cloth is very resilient to steam and it is also very difficult to stretch and shrink this cloth compared to say an 11oz all wool worsted cloth. Many tailors, and most factories won’t even touch it. It certainly takes a deft hand to make it to any kind of a decent standard.

The next picture below shows another kid mohair coat I have made for a client. This cloth is a lovely chocolate-brown colour and is finished with a brown velvet top collar. The velvet is from Scabal. This coat has a classic one button front complimented with beautiful real horn buttons on the front and at the cuff. The pockets are slanted, and this coat was 1970’s inspired so has a good belly to the lapel and a fish mouth lapel.

Mohair suits.

A 1970’s inspired mohair coat with a velvet collar, fish mouth lapel and belly lapels.

The next picture shows the true colour of the chocolate-brown mohair cloth of the coat above. This picture also shows one of the lapels before I baste it onto the coat to make the fronts, it has a ‘snowflake’ pattern kimono silk through the body of the coat for a truly individual touch. You can also see that I have made one of the inside breast pockets for the coat. This pocket is complimented with bartacks finished with white stitching. These are a style detail to just individualise the coat even more, that’s the beauty of bespoke you should be getting exactly what you want.

Mohair suits.

Mohair coat with a ‘snowflake’ kimono silk lining inside.

The picture below shows a closer shot of the fish mouth lapel.

Mohair Suits.

Fish mouth lapel on a mohair coat I am making.

The picture below shows the brown mohair coat at the forward fitting stage, waiting for the sleeves to be hand basted in.

Basted Fitting

The basted fitting is undoubtedly the safest route that makes the tailors many hours of labour successful.

One of the real beauties of going down the bespoke, or semi-bespoke option with me is the various basted fitting stages that I give my clients.

These basted fitting stages allow my clients to monitor their vision, and see how their ideas are taking shape and coming together. They also allow me as the cutter and tailor to keep an eye on the fit and the proportions of the garment I am making for my client.

Many tailors will only offer, or give their clients one fitting. This is often to achieve a fast turnaround time and most places that operate this way are not really giving you a tailor-made suit, it’s probably coming out a factory somewhere. However, I personally elect to give all my clients a minimum of two fittings, which consist of a skeleton baste and a forward fitting baste.

The skeleton baste is exactly as it suggests, the mere bare bones of the garment. On my skeleton baste fitting only the shell of the garment is assembled. Non of the pockets are made, nor is any other part of the coat. The skeleton baste should not have any pockets made on the coat, and it should have both the sleeves basted into the coat. You can’t give a correct fitting with a coat with only one sleeve in because the coat will be out of balance on the figure.

A coat fitting that has the pockets made and only one sleeve inserted may be a sure sign that you could be getting a factory made suit so beware.

Basted Fitting

Because nothing is fixed, or completed at the skeleton stage, the room for manoeuvre from this fitting stage is quite vast. More or less anything within reason can be adjusted or changed, and believe it or not clients do change their minds from time to time.

The picture below shows me in my Harris tweed jacket. The jacket is at the forward fitting stage.

Bespoke fitting

In my Harris tweed jacket I have cut and made. This is my forward fitting stage.

The picture above shows the forward fitting stage of a tweed coat I cut and made for myself. The forward fitting stage of all my clients coats will consist of all the pockets being fully made, the coat fronts fully made, all the inside linings inserted with the collar basted in place and the sleeves basted in place.

Essentially at this stage the coat will be merely waiting for the sleeves to be fixed and set and all the delicate hand sewing to be then completed. The following pictures show a few different angles of the inside sections of my coat waiting for the vast amounts of hand sewing required to finish it off.

Basted Fitting</

Basted fitting

Top collar and lapel seam have been hand sewn together in this picture

Basted fitting

Inside view of the coat. Linings waiting to be hand sewn.

Please feel free to contact me at des@dmerrion.com if I can assist you with any tailoring requirements you may have, I would love to hear from you.