We had the opportunity to interview master tailor Jim McFarland, otherwise known as, Gentleman Jim on That Sewing Blab. The first things you notice about Gentleman Jim are his deep calm voice and his impeccably tailored, 40’s inspired outfits. But these quickly fade into the background when you hear him speak of his impressive work history, fascinating experiences in the fashion industry, and expansive knowledge of his craft.
Jim might have been in the industry for over 50 years but, for me, he is like a breath of fresh air. He brings expert tailoring and an appreciation for mastering the basics so that quality workmanship speaks loudly in an age of faster and faster fashion.
For those of you who do not know Gentleman Jim let me introduce him. His website, The Lost Art of Fine Tailoring, describes him as “a master tailor, pattern maker, designer, sewing instructor and clothing manufacturer.” He describes himself as “a brother from Harlem with a high school education.” And he sees himself as a recreator rather than a designer. But as you will learn from the interview he is all that and much, much more.
I first learned of Gentleman Jim from watching his YouTube show The Tailor and the Dressmaker. I had followed his co-host’s, Victoria Baylor, blog Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing and was thrilled to find their show as it is packed with lots of practical information in an easy to follow and entertaining way. They have two different expertise and points of view, nd it is in part this that makes the show comprehensive, educational entertaining while giving it a fresh feel. We interviewed Victoria in episode #5 of That Sewing Blab and you can watch that interview and read the accompanying blog post here.
I do not want to give too much away from Gentleman’s Jim’s That Sewing Blab interview. But to give you a bit of a teaser he discusses his education, the fashion industry now and then, the famous people he met working for his mentor Orie Wells, the courses he provides, the book he wrote, and some of his sewing philosophy.
If you want to learn more about Gentleman Jim please visit his blog, or YouTube channel. You can learn about tailor made clothing, his 3 principles of sewing, how to be more efficient and tip and tricks to make you a better sewist.
In the next episode of That Sewing Blab we interviewed Rob Appell of Man Sewing. It was a fun interview that made me want to include quilting in my list of hobbies.