Sunday, December 29, 2013

The "6 Hour" Jacket

Two days before I left for Christmas I had to hurry up and make a jacket to give to my lovely wife as a Christmas present. I did all of my cutting and prepping (interfacing, etc.) on one day and sewed for 6 hours the next day to put it together and finish it. Here's the final result. I made this lovely shawl collar jacket in a gorgeous brown suiting. Not bad huh? Needless to say she loved it! I never like to go home empty handed. Whether I'm sewing for my wife or daughter I've got to bring home something custom made (smile). What about you, did you get any custom sewn gifts this Christmas season???

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!!

Hello All! I'm out of town visiting family and friends but wanted to stop in to wish you and yours a VERY, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Enjoy!!!!
Yours Truly,
Gentleman Jim

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tailored Pant DVD Cart Open to EVERYONE!!!!/ Basic Alteration DVD 50% off again!!!

Hello Everyone!!!! Hope you're preparing for the holidays and everything is well with you and yours. Well the Shopping Cart is OPEN to EVERYONE to Pre-Order Ladies Tailored Pant Construction DVD. See ordering instruction on the left side of the blog

For 25% off coupon holders Only: I unfortunately couldn't get the 25% off coupon to work---with the shopping cart. So here's Plan B....... So whenever you're ready to purchase the Tailored Pants dvd just email me the 25% off coupon code and I'll email you back a Paypal invoice reflecting the 25% off discount and the price of shipping for your region!!! Again, if you have the 25% off coupon just email it to me at and I'll email your discounted Paypal invoice. So sorry for the hassle but we're not going to let a little coupon snafu spoil the show!

Last but not least, the Basic Alteration DVD is back on sale again for 50% off. It would make an excellent stocking stuffer!!!! This sale is only until the end of the month so get yours today!!!! Remember, same shipping rules apply---$4.95 for U.S. ; Canada and all other countries please email me so I can send Paypal invoice with your correct shipping rate---$10.75 Canada & $13.75 for all other countries.

You know I love having special goodies for you the special folk in my life!!!! Enjoy the specials!!!
~Gentleman Jim

Monday, December 16, 2013

Paying Tribute to my Mentor Part II

There's something about the holidays that makes me sentimental and reflective. It's a wonderful time to look back and count one's blessings! You may recall in my November 11 post HERE that I spoke about what a significant impact my mentor, Orie Walls made on my life and how he really helped me become the tailor and businessman I am today. Here's a little more of my story and how it unfolded in a little tailoring shop on the streets of NY so many years ago. Here's my very candid story and what it was like when I really got my start. You know I love talking and sharing with you. Thanks for letting me do so. Enjoy:) ~Gentleman Jim
Also, don't forget my newest DVD "Ladies Tailored Pants Construction" is available for Pre-order. See the upper left side of my blog for more details--- 25%Off coupon holders---the shopping cart will be open to you beginning Wednesday. Stay tuned for further instructions!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Video:Tailored Pants Construction DVD Pre-Sale is ON!!!!

Ok, the moment is here and I'm excited!!!! I put in alot of hard work and I know you'll just love it! My Tailored Pants Construction DVD is available for Pre-Sale!!! But there is just one catch I'm afraid. I'm still trying to sort out some shopping cart issues for all of you who have the 25% off coupon. So the video is available for pre-sale at the regular price of $29.95 for those without coupons until I can upgrade the cart . Those who have 25% Off coupons, please know your DVD has already been reserved for you and as soon as the shopping cart is updated I'll notify you. For all others, buy as many Tailored Pants Construction DVD's to your hearts content (smile)!
 Also, shipping/handling rates are $4.95 for U.S only and $13.75 anywhere outside the U.S. See the shipping directions on the left side of my blog which state----If you live within the U.S. use the PayPal cart to check out. If you live outside of the U.S. you'll need to email me requesting an invoice with the proper shipping rate.

Ok, here's my personal message......

The DVD should be available in the next couple of weeks provided there are no unusual delays.  Again, I'm excited to be bringing this wonderful product to you and you have my sincerest thanks on behalf of me and my production team!!!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tailored Pants Construction DVD Update.....

Hello you all! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I want to catch you up on the status of my Pants DVD. I first and foremost want to APOLOGIZE for the delay in it's release. There was an unexpected production hiccup that shifted the schedule back a couple of weeks. If all continues to go well the DVD will be able to be shipped in the next couple of weeks.

One thing I can definitely guarantee is that this DVD will be worth the wait! My goal in producing any of my DVD's is to give you the best possible product. This "Tailored Pant Construction" DVD is no different!!! It is full of my "signature time management methods" that will cut down on construction time TREMENDOUSLY and ensure professional results. You'll be able to sew up a tailored pair of pants and be amazed at your results.

Since we're only a few weeks away from the DVD release I wanted to go ahead and jump start the Pre-Sale  which will start on Monday, December 9th. The DVD will sale for $29.95 but for those of you who received the 25% off coupon during the October Basic Alteration sale will be able to redeem your coupon. Additional details about the DVD, it's content,  purchasing, coupon redemption will be released on Monday. I'm SO excited again to bring this superb instruction to you. Have a great weekend and talk to you on Monday!!!!

PS. I've been bombarded with working on the DVD and with clients and students. My load is lessening so expect more regular blog posts. I love sharing with you and hearing from you!!!

~Gentleman Jim

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Two more Vests......

Hello All! First of all I'd like to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving! Here's 2 of my latest vests I completed for a client. I love working with plaids and stripes! Note how well the stripes match up---even through the collar and single welt pocket. I have a special technique and I look forward to sharing in a future video. I've just received a few more requests for client suits, pants etc so expect more client work posts soon. I can't wait to share:)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Finished Calvary Twill Sports Coat!!!!

I've been done for well over a week, just was trying to carve out some time to tell you about it. Remember the Calvary Twill Sports Coat I started tailoring for my client that I talked about HERE. Well the Sports Coat is complete and went together without a hitch!  And my client was thoroughly pleased with the results. Here are some pictures of the final product.......

Calvary Twill Sports Coat on Mannequin

 Calvary Twill Sports Coat on Hanger

Calvary Twill Sports Coat on Happy Client!

I ALWAYS enjoy tailoring a coat from start to finish. I strive to give my clients the best product. Looks like my work is done here for now (smile)
~Gentleman Jim

Friday, November 15, 2013

Before and After: Coat to Vest Conversion

I love re-purposing old clothing pieces and I love to do it for my clients. Here's one of my recent alterations. A client brought in her Mothers old coat made out of Persian Lamb with Mink sleeves and Mink collar. The coat was getting old and a bit brittle (a common problem of old animal skins) so my client wanted it converted into a vest. I gladly obliged her. So here's the before and after pics. It turned out quite lovely if I do say so myself:)



Here's my client wearing it. She loves it!!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Paying Tribute to my Mentor--Part I

Hello Everyone! It's that time of year where I like to really reflect over all the blessings I've had throughout my 69 years! I'm thankful to have a wonderful family, friends and YOU!!!! I'm also blessed that I've had to spend the last 50+ years Tailoring, something I love with all my heart! Well in my reflection I can't help but think of all who helped influence me and get me to where I am in my career today. His name is Orie Walls and he was mentor and friend, dramatically shaping me as a business man and tailor. I write about him in my biography "Across 125th Street" which is the reference to where I worked in Orie's Tailoring shop which was within close proximity to the legendary Apollo theater. During this time I had the privilege of learning how a tailoring business worked and working with famous stars such as James Brown, Jackie Robinson, the Isley Brothers, etc.

(My mentor Orie Walls)

I'd love to share with you the story about Orie and some of my adventures working for him but I will save some of that for the next post. What I want to emphasize is the importance of mentorship. How important it is to pour into the lives of others and to have someone to do the same for you. The implications are life changing!!! I ran across this article that sums it up nicely
 and gives helpful information if anyone is interested in finding or becoming a mentor.

Again, I don't know how my life would've been different if I hadn't met Orie. What I do know is that my life has been rich because of it!!!! So I pay tribute to him this month.

If you're interested in reading my biography I'm running a special for the month. Get an Autographed copy of my autobiography "Across 125th Street: Where the Magic was Real" is on SALE for $15 (plus $4.95d/h) U.S. residents, all others outside the US please email me your address for a Paypal invoice reflecting international shipping rate of $14.50. You'll find it in the PayPal cart on the left. This book chronicles my tailoring adventures in NYC during the 60's and 70's.

Take care and I hope you're having a lovely week!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sale Re-Extension & Sports Coat Progress Pics Part II

I want you guys to know how much I appreciate you! Your requests for my DVD has left me no choice but to extend the sale a little longer. I don't want anyone to miss out! I'll do what I can to make sure each and every one of you get it for the cheapest price available. The 50% off  Basic Alteration DVD sale is extended until Wednesday at midnight! I'm really appreciating all of the great feedback you're giving me. It does my heart so good to know that you find the information really helpful. Thank You!!!!

Also here's more Sports Coat pic updates from the last post. Here's some more photos showing my progress. These are a bit time delayed so I'm just a couple more steps from completion. I'll show you those in a future post......
 (Inner construction. Hymo canvas, interfaced edges, and pockets visible)

(Interfaced edges upclose) 

 (Front jacket pieces edges entirely interfaced)

 (Lining and front facing as separate pieces before being attached to jacket front)

 (Attaching the front facing to the jacket fronts)

 (Padstitching on jacket front)

(Jacket assembled without sleeves)

Again, these are pics from last week. This Sports Coat is near completion. I'll show those pics shortly.
Take Care, Gentleman Jim

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sports Coat update & Pics/ DVD weekend sale extension

UPDATE 11/3/13: The 50% Off Basic Alteration DVD has been extended AGAIN to Monday at midnight EST. See details below......

Happy November! Where in the world is this year going? Months are passing fast! Well wanted to give you updates on the Calvary Twill Sports Coat that I blogged about HERE. Well between sewing students and the rest of my clients I finally got some time to really devote to it like I wanted. It's progressing quite nicely. Without any interruptions I can put one of these together super FAST! Here's some pics of my progress and the classic tailoring techniques I used.......

 (outer front view---sideways. I added the hymo canvas and it just needs to be cut down after I baste it in.)

(added hymo canvas and padding. Hand stitched the hymo canvas unit to the front of the coat. I interfaced back arm hole edge and hem. You can also see back of welt pocket lining)

(Front back of hymo canvas units I use. I can make these --it was how I was originally trained but I prefer to just buy them)

(Outside front view. I topstitched the besom pocket (most of you know it as well, but it's a besom pocket in the tailoring world) to keep it in tack. You can also see a single welt pocket above the dart near the armhole)

(As a tailor I assemble my coats different then most. Here's the view of the front facing and lining with the exterior sleeve. Notice anything interesting about the sleeve? It has a cuff in it that I've basted down just to keep from shifting while I complete the coat. My client likes this look. I like making custom pieces!)

This coat is coming along great! I just have to finish padstitching the lapel and do a few other things and I'll be ready to connect the interior/exterior pieces of the coat. I'll keep you posted. FYI I plan to do a Tailored Jacket Construction video in the not so distant future. I look forward to bringing you this information so you too can have superbly tailored jackets/coats.

Also, it's been a LONG week. I was a little to lazy to change the price in my Paypal cart so that's a benefit to you. If you're interested in getting my Basic Alteration DVD at 50% off you have until Sunday night Monday Night! Just go to the Paypal tab on the upper left of my blog Enjoy the extension!!! Note: Shipping $4.95 within US and if needed outside the US it's $13.75.

Have a great weekend
~Gentleman Jim

Monday, October 28, 2013

Last Call for DVD Purchases/ Vests

Can't believe October is almost over! Only 3 days left which means there's only 3 days left for my 50% Off Basic Alteration DVD sale & 25% off my upcoming Pants DVD. Can't guarantee I'll ever run a sale quite like this one again. To take advantage of it visit the Paypal button on the upper left side of my blog. If you're outside of the U.S. please drop me an email and I'll send you an invoice with the respective shipping rate. I want everyone to enjoy this spectacular savings I'm all too delighted to give you!

I've been a bit busy on my end. I'm working on my client sports coat, teaching students and doing alterations. On last week I made these 2 vests. Vests are my specialty. I love trying new styles and using different fabrics. Some of my clients have their own signature vests that I make for them on a regular basis.

As mentioned I'm working on a good bit of items and will have a good deal to show you soon. Can't wait.....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The "Scandal" Inspired Coat......

I have no shame in admitting that I'm Scandal fan. Every Thursday my daughter (who's a college student at FAMU) calls me and we watch and chat about the episode. It's one of our favorite things to do together. Well this season Olivia has been wearing some really nice coats and you know my daughter's putting in her requests with me. Well as you know I made her a Cashmere coat (see the last post) but I'm also thinking about making her another one. When I saw this pattern I immediately liked it.


 It has that Olivia Pope feel to it and even more importantly it's my daughter's style. What do you think? If I make it I will probably use a similar fabric to the one on the envelope. I'll keep you posted.......

Also, the 50% off Alteration DVD Sale ends in one week (Oct 31st)!!! If you act now you can get an added BONUS---25% off the upcoming Pants DVD (November release).  Trust me you don't want to miss this sale. So many people have bought and are enjoying the new found knowledge of being able to do their own alterations!!!!

Take Care, ~Gentleman Jim

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cutting Out/ Completing a Cashmere Coat- Video and Pics

Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to share with you a jacket I just cut out and sewed for my daughter. I originally wanted  to use this black cashmere fabric for a sports coat for myself but my daughter won out! I finished it the very next day! Here's a video of me cutting out the jacket pieces. I have a very specific method of cutting out any garment and I wanted to share that with you. Here it is....Also, check out the final coat pics below. The jacket turned out really nice and I know my daughter's going to love it!

Here's the Final Product..... Turned out really nice!

I sent a pic to my daughter and she then decided she wanted a belt. So I've now got to finish the belt, add belt loops and remove a few buttons. Anything for my baby girl:)
Have any of you started your Winter coat sewing yet???? Lastly, don't forget I'm still running my Basic Alteration DVD for 50% off and 25% off for my next upcoming pants DVD. This is an October special so get yours before the deal ends!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How I Learned Tailoring---An Amazing Story!

Hello Everyone! Quick Announcement-For those of you who ordered my DVD please be on the lookout. Those were mailed a few days ago and are on the way to you. There's still time to get my Alteration DVD for 50% off. I'm running that special ALL month long. See more details at my last post HERE.

Many of you have asked how I got my start in sewing. Well I wanted to share my unique experience with you in my own words. I was truly blessed to get my training at the High School level at a specialty school in lower Manhattan named the High School of Fashion Industries. I was superbly trained back then and emerged ready to go straight into industry. I guess with being a Master Tailor people assume that I went on to higher levels of education but truth be told as I tell everyone else "I'm just a Brother with a High School Education" but I have to admit it's an unique one at that (smile). I was very fortunate to have such a wonderful high school experience! Here a little more about my experience in this video. Please forgive the quality. I didn't realize the camera zoom function was so loud. Also enjoy some additional year book photos below. Hopefully this will give you a better idea of my humble beginnings and why I LOVE tailoring. I've truly been "married to the industry" for 50+ years and I've loved every minute of it!!!

Here's a Sneak peek into my yearbook..... check out the yearbook photo captions to see the types of classes offered. There was shoemaking, millnery, tailoring, upholstering etc---you name it in addition to our regular core classes--we still had to learn math, science, etc (smile)! My High School was a pretty unique place!

(Bet you can't spot me. Hint: I'm on the 2nd row)

Hope you enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane with me. I sure did enjoy sharing a part of my story and hopefully you have a better idea now of my roots. I'm so thankful to have had the education I've had. It was a good solid foundation to build off of. I encourage you to do the same. Take classes, read and build off of the sewing/tailoring information you know. In doing so you'll work toward perfecting your craft. It doesn't always take alot of fancy degrees and lots of years of schooling (nothing wrong with that at all) but better than those things is the determination to make it in the industry. If you're equipped with that you can't help but go far. I'm living proof. Thanks for your listening ear:)

~Jim McFarland

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SALE, SALE, SALE---my Alteration 2 DVD Set is 50% Off!!!

That's right you read that title right!!! Effective as of today my popular
  Alterations DVD 2 Disc set is 50% off!!! 
It's $24.95 (regularly $49.95)
Please note the $4.95 s/h fee is for U.S. residents only. All other country residents please email me your address at to get paypal invoice with respective shipping rates.

This DVD gives you the "in's and out's" on doing some of the most popular alterations on RTW. It's great instruction made easy.
 I just wanted to show my sincere appreciation for all of you guys' interest in my blog and my DVD giveaway. It only feels right to give back when you guys have showed me so much love!

And to make the sale a little more sweeter...
the First 100 people to purchase the Alteration DVD will get a coupon for 25% off the up and coming "Pants DVD" (set to be released at the end of November 2013) 
If you like the video's I'm been showing on pants HERE and HERE then the upcoming Pants DVD will be a real treat! It will cover how to make a tailored pant from start to finish. You'll learn invaluable information and likely get tips and tricks you haven't seen before!!!!

Now if you've already purchased the DVD at regular price please email me at to get a special coupon. We don't want anyone missing out on this sale!!! Also, the holidays are almost among us and this would make an excellent Christmas gift/ Stocking Stuffer! Hurry the sale ends October 31st.

Again, thanks so much! It's been a pleasure "meeting" you out here in blogland (smile)!!!
Sincerely, Gentleman Jim

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Current Project Sneak Peek: Making a Sports Coat

I just wanted you all to see what's on my cutting table. I'm currently working on 5 pieces for a client. That's a Sports Coat, a Suit, and 2 pairs of pants. Here's a pic of the Calvary Twill fabric I'm using for the Sport Coat. It's an amazing fabric and is the perfect weight! The color is a rich brown. You can see where I traced the Sports Coat pattern pieces in chalk and just have to cut them out. Of course tailoring is my SPECIALTY so  it's nothing for me to get a coat completely tailored and sewed up in several hours. I plan to show you some of the steps I use to help bring this coat to life. Be sure to stay tuned in. There's more to come......

 (Chalked pattern pieces up close. Notice how I place all of my pieces really close together to conserve fabric. That's always something to be mindful of!)

(I traced the pattern pieces onto the wrong side of the calvary twill. I flipped up fabric so you could see the right side and the signature twill weave.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Video: Tailored Jacket Construction Details

Hello All! As promised here's a video that gives a little more details about the jackets I made for my daughter in this POST. Both jackets are completely tailored and I just wanted you to get a better idea of the type of work that goes into my jackets. Remember it's always the best product and techniques that always yield a better looking garment! Hope you enjoy the video:)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tailor's Tip: Making a Quick Partial Pants Lining

You know lining pants is super easy and definitely extends the wear of your pants in critical areas. I line nearly all of my pants.  Here's a quick tip on how to make a partial pant lining (from waist to mid thigh). You don't even have to fiddle with the original pants pattern. Just work directly with your cut out pants fabric pieces!

1.  Just place your cut out pants (front and back) on top of your double layer lining fabric.
2.  Fold the pants leg up to where you want the lining to stop.
3.  Measure from waist to fold end on and from the crotch to fold end for both the front and back pattern pieces. Make sure they're both even so you know you're cutting the linings for both the front and back pattern pieces the same length.
4.  Trace the pattern onto the lining fabric or just cut it out.
5.  You can now add the lining to the pants fabric. You can serge it on to treat it as one fabric and continue with you pants construction.

You see making a partial pants lining is super easy!!!!