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Waistcoat Making, 
the Savile Row Style

Since its first introduction by Charles II in the 17th century, the waistcoat has been the linchpin in a three-piece suit.


There are of course many ways to make a waistcoat, but only one is handcraft. The HTA uses the method which is most traditional when facecloths (thick felt like fabric) were used in its construction. The foreparts are almost completely made by hand. The only machine sewn stitches are in the dart and welt pockets.

The facing is applied by hand, padded to the canvas and slip stitched along the front edge – just as coat makers used to do. Inlay is allowed at the shoulder and neck point so that the garment can be crookened or straightened after it’s finished, just like the coat.


Bias tape is used on the front edge, hem and armhole to give it that three dimensional feel. The back is bagged out, the side-seams, shoulders, armhole and back neck are sewn as one - a skilful move and one hard to master.


Just like any handcraft garment, the waistcoat is hand finished with top stitching and buttonholes. It is a close link to the coat and tailcoat in its construction and is a great garment for the student to hone their hand sewing skills on before attempting the coat.

Students can opt to start the course online and complete it in-house, or vice-versa.

Online Tailoring Classes

Due to Covid-19, we are not holding in-house courses until further notice.

Stay healthy and stay safe! 

This course is available to take in-house on The Handcraft Tailor Academy campus.

Students have the option to start a course online and finish in-house and vice-versa.


Rory is a great bloke - spent time with him at his home outside Monaghan when he set up his
academy. I know his course has developed somewhat since I was there, more polished and in-depth, he is becoming an outstanding teacher and I know many people have benefited from his knowledge and expertise.

I already had an apprenticeship under my belt however though I had a three-decade hiatus working as a DJ and sound engineer. Latterly, after being involved in a fairly serious accident where I was left requiring an occupation which would suit my new disabilities. I decided to return to the world of tailoring as it is suited to someone with a lack of mobility. I realised that I would need to relearn the trade from the ground up, after many months trying to self-teach with the aid of some very helpful people at the cutter & tailor forum Rory launched his academy at which I jumped.


After a long telephone conversation with Rory I decided to travel to The Republic of Ireland to spend time him. Over 6 months he taught me how to cut, fit, and execute the making of a Savile Row Lounge Coat, alongside learning to cut trousers and waistcoats allowing me to become a more rounded tailor.

The new on-line course Rory is launching, of which I have had a sneak preview, looks very
impressive. I urge anyone looking to learn the finer details of British Coat-Making to contact Rory and apply.

- Tom Bennett (@lefthanded_tailor) TW Bennett LTD from the UK

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