Hepville – customised & tailored vest

It’s been a few years since Hepville garments have featured on the blog, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to have another look at Bela’s tailoring given I’d recently had an old vest repaired and a new vest tailored by his expert hands.

Hepville vests – 2011 vs. 2016

Hepville has been specializing in early to mid-century inspired, tailored gentlemen’s clothing for some time now, and in the past couple of years the quality of garments has been further elevated due to Bela’s completion of formal training as a bespoke tailor.

A point of difference between Hepville and other heritage garment manufacturers is that Hepville is a one man operation that can take on bespoke & custom projects. Hepville is very much a passion project for Bela, and he cares much more about the artistry expressed through his tailoring than remuneration or sales…there is only so much work one man can take on anyway!

The two vests in the photo above? Each one is unique with completely custom patterns and make-ups. In comparison to other tailors, Bela has the rare ability to handle work-wear and heavy-duty fabrics, making bespoke denim & duck canvas garments a possibility.

Let’s take a look at the new duck canvas vest!

The Fit & Pattern

The vest was bespoke made to my height and upper body measurements, and the fit is very much spot on – as expected for tailored clothing. Bela took care to match the pattern of the jacket to my body shape as well, utilising measurements and photos from multiple angles – quite a feat considering we are on opposite sides of the world!

The pattern and details of the vest are a combination of turn of century and mid-century features, with the shape being closer to vests made between  the 1880s to 1910s. During the design process Bela and I brainstormed about the vest together, him translating and adjusting my fanciful ideas into workable realities.

This is a lapeled vest with cinch-back, welted pockets and centred & darted shoulders.

Materials

 The fabric used on this vest is a narrow loom, selvedged, 9 oz duck canvas, which has been hand-dyed in two different colours. When new, this is a relatively rigid and heavy fabric. The beige outer and the turquoise lining, both the same canvas, combine to make a rugged vest. This is not the average vest that is meant as part of a 3-piece, and can certainly hold its own independent of any jacket or coat.

As you can see in the above photos, there is some variegation and tonal differences in the canvas, which are the results of the hand-dye process.

The canvas has a smooth and surprisingly textured hand – it is at the same time much heftier than modern fabrics, yet more refined than traditional work-wear cloths.

The Corozo buttons are new-old stock from the 1930s, a special treat from Bela.

Details & Construct

As mentioned previously, this vest features details from various early time periods. All put together with a combination of single needle machining and hand-stitching of high quality polyester threads.

The lapel is shapely yet neat, the collar being completely hand-stitched.

Darted shoulders give a nicer shape, the shoulder seams being partially hand-stitched.

Welted pockets, internally lined with canvas. The NOS Corozo buttons are nicely hand-sewn.

Check out the very neat edges and button holes too!

Steel cinch back, yet again precisely put together.

Cross stitching with tonal threading makes a strong joint, yet ensures the back cinch is not too busy.

I cannot emphasize enough how precisely and carefully the vest had been constructed. Bela paid special attention to exactness in pattern drafting & matching, with pieces being carefully cut and ironed, and further cutting and special methods of folding applied when the pieces are layered and sewn.

Bela’s undivided attention and considered tailoring techniques result in a garment that is at a level beyond what workshops and factories can achieve – yes, beating out even the most revered Japanese heritage reproduction manufacturers!

Opinion

Recommended?  Of Course!

Bela is a vintage-inspired workwear tailor who is obsessional about his craft – the precision in his techniques and his pedantic approach when it comes to using only the best materials are readily apparent in the Hepville garments he creates.

Unless you are absolutely rigid in your demand for local production or are interested in workwear due to utilitarian philosophies, you might consider a Hepville garment as the next step in this hobby. With Hepville, the words “custom” and “bespoke” have true meaning, and with sensible decisions regarding fabric and design on your part, Bela will craft for you truly unique pieces which will last many years.

I’d highly recommend checking out the Hepville Etsy store, where a selection of standard patterns and even some ready-to-ship items are available. Alternatively, send Bela a message if you have a custom project in mind.

Fit pics to come in the next few weeks  🙂

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