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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 27 Jan, 2011 6:17 pm    Post subject: Swordsman's jacket by Jess Finley review.         Reply with quote

Just received my Wrestling coat made by Jessica Finley ( Note she is considering renaming it a swordsman's jacket because of feedback from me and others that although it is perfect for use as a wrestling jacket it can also be of more general usefulness as a swordsman jacket ).

Here is a link to the original review by Bill Grandy that motivated me to order a slightly modified version where the collar was made higher and stiffer for use with a gorget or bevor and extra padding for the upper chest as a light weight gambison for light bouting and also serving as under armour as an arming jacket under maille or plate:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

Here is a slightly edited copy/paste of my e-mail I sent to Jessica today when I received the jacket with some of my initial impressions of it. ( I got her permission to copy/paste the e-mail ):

Jess;

I was a little worried the first few seconds there before I started lacing it up as it seemed like it might be a little small around the waist ( I have gained a few pound since my longsword group folded but I started losing some of the weight recently ).

But, " OUF " (French for " RELIEF " ) it feels perfect when laced up Happy : It actually works very well tightly fitting and as a light gambison or arming coat it should be perfect with maille or plate armour.

The " customized " high collar does leave a gap at the Adam's apple in front of the throat: I don't know if this was your intent, but in any case this works out also perfectly since a gorget or bevor will close this gap without issues and the fact that the collar is stiff enough to be freestanding, even without a closure, is also " perfect " for my intended use ( Or one of them that is, since I am going to be wearing this around the house a lot and I think it look good enough and not so " odd " in style that wearing it for the gym or just as " normal " clothing is very tempting as I really want to show it off ).

One thing is that I have a low tolerance for wearing a tie or a shirt with the top button buttoned: I always felt that this as uncomfortable " choking " ! So the open front of the collar works for me, but I mention it in case your intent was for a complete closure for the neck. ( Just have a really thick neck I guess ..... LOL ).

Now the final fit feels like it's a comfortable hugging of the body with no " slop " in the fit and this is perfect for an arming jacket: The lacing also gives a lot of latitude for changes in weight.

The fit for the arms is " PERFECT " as mobility is completely free of any pulling or tugging and it gives the same freedom of motion as wearing nothing at all. :^).

The fabric is very sturdy and although not soft like a cashmere sweater it certainly is not something like scratchy wool.

Oh, the heating in my house isn't too efficient and this feels warm enough to wear instead of a sweater and I'll probably sleep with it on .... Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

The colour is a nice deep black and the cut of the Wrestling jacket is very aesthetically pleasing: I actually wonder if a modified version of it couldn't catch on as every day street clothes and it's not so " medieval " that one would look as if one was going to a medieval fair.

I think I have figured out the lacing pattern you suggest in the printout sent with the jacket and it works very well ( Nice touch that. :^D ).

Thanks again, and the wait was worth it and although it's original purpose is for a wrestling jacked I'm going to get a great deal of other uses from it and it does seem perfect for wrestling and as modern wear but still having a period feel and look to it.

The price is very reasonnable considering the quality of the work and materials and your customer service and " professionalism " in all aspects of the ordering, designing, customizing and shipping was AAAA+ and it's a pleasure to deal with someone who does business with what one could almost call Medieval and Knightly honour.

Cheers.
Jean



Note I think that Jessica has a lot of talent here as a designer and great skill in the execution of the work and I recommend her work highly. She can also modify the design to better meet other uses like a gambison or arming jacket and I'm guessing that she could custom make other things with the price proportional to any extra work involved.

Link to Jessica's site and the ordering info and current cue of orders:
http://greatplainsfechtschule.webs.com/finleycustomuniforms.htm

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Michael B.




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Jan, 2011 10:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I concur with your assessment good sir! Just got back from the second week of class getting tossed around in it.
Michael B.

"In the sword you shall have trust and belief, so that blood runs not over your eyes..." Hans Tolhoffer
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David Teague




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PostPosted: Fri 28 Jan, 2011 12:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael B. wrote:
I concur with your assessment good sir! Just got back from the second week of class getting tossed around in it.


And I got the honor of tossing. Hehehehe Happy

This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
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Jessica Finley




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PostPosted: Fri 28 Jan, 2011 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, Jean, for this wonderful review! I am so pleased that after the mail snafu, you finally did get your jacket and that it is what you were hoping for!

I am currently working on some differing "levels" of this jacket, which would allow a student to get a wrestling appropriate uniform for less investment, though of course, at that price point a garment couldn't be semi-custom like Jean's jacket.

I am also experimenting with differing closures, which are more modern and "guy-friendly". Big Grin

As Jean mentioned, I also do take commissions for different garments, such as arming coats, gambesons, surcoats... and others! If you were wanting a custom garment but didn't know where to go... drop me a line. Over the years I have made everything from simple medieval shirts to plunderhosen. (and I still think Bill Grandy needs a pair of those)

Sincerely,
Jess

Selohaar Fechtschule, Free Scholar
http://www.selohaar.org/fechtschule

Fühlen Designs, Owner/Designer/Seamstress
http://fuhlendesigns.com
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Fri 28 Jan, 2011 8:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jessica Finley wrote:
Thank you, Jean, for this wonderful review! I am so pleased that after the mail snafu, you finally did get your jacket and that it is what you were hoping for!


Sincerely,
Jess


NOTE: The mail SNAFU was completely my fault as I made a typo when I sent my address to Jessica and the package was returned to her and had to be re-shipped by her. Sad


Oh, I noticed that the seams of the wrestling/swordsman's coat seemed particularly robust and I sent an e-mail with questions about this to Jess: Here is a copy/paste of her reply with her permission since this explains it very well and is better than my explaining it as I don't know much about stitching and tailoring or how to do it but I can certainly say that the the seams are not going to tear easily.

COPY/PASTE:
Quote:
Yes, the seams are "doubled up."

In fact...
First I sew a zig-zag seam along the cut edge to prevent it from unraveling in the wash.
Second I sew the primary seam on top of the binding, which permanently marries the two pieces.
Third, I sew the secondary seam along the outside edge of the binding, which spreads the pressure between the primary and secondary seams when pulled on.

This is all done in upholstery thread... which is nigh near impossible to break.

I have about 20 of these things in service right now, and have only a single report of a seam breaking. I am unclear what happened in that case, but it resulted in a 1" split in the seam... which the customer had easily fixed by a friend and the jacket has continued use afterwards with no further reported problems.

In the case of your jacket, if you look carefully along one of the side seams, the fabric attempted to pull out of the seam upon pressure (I tend to pressure test these before they go out.) I added zig-zag seams over the top of that section, so that you did NOT encounter what the aforementioned customer did. And, again, as I say... if you EVER run into trouble, I am happy to fix any problems with the jacket for free... just cover the shipping.

Sincerely,
Jess


Again, after wearing it for more than 12 hours continuously I have found it very comfortable as well as well made. Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 28 Jan, 2011 10:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm glad to see these catching on. Jess really makes a quality product for practicing unarmed martial arts.

Jessica Finley wrote:
Over the years I have made everything from simple medieval shirts to plunderhosen. (and I still think Bill Grandy needs a pair of those)


That would be *awesome*. Happy

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Did a bit of solo sword training at the gym ( Got permission to use a training room normally used for various group exercise sessions when the room is free ), and after about an hour and a half I did get warm but the jacket breathes very well: It's certainly hotter to wear than a t-shirt but a lot less warm than my Revival Clothing Gambison ( This one also breathes well but one feels the heat and sweat more ).

Comfort during training is also something important to mention as well as comfort for extended hours of wear and I thought that this would be useful follow-up information. Wink Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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David Teague




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PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb, 2011 6:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
I'm glad to see these catching on. Jess really makes a quality product for practicing unarmed martial arts.


As I told her, she needs to find sub contractors who will sew her stuff and go over to just doing the cutting out of the products.
That's what a lot of fashion lines do.

Cheers,

David

This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
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Michael Ahrens




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PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2011 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jessica

I may just have you take measurments next month and make me one these. everyone seem to love them. I did not get a good look at CW.


Mike

Mike Ahrens
http://www.selohaar.org/

Staten Island German Martial Arts (S.I.G.M.A.)
http://www.sigmanewyork.webs.com/

Member of the 1st Universal Church of St. John Cantius Garand, Reformed (Gas Port)
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Jessica Finley




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PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2011 5:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike -

Drop me an email about the proposed project. I don't want to cross lines here with forum rules.

I believe you know where to find me. Wink

Selohaar Fechtschule, Free Scholar
http://www.selohaar.org/fechtschule

Fühlen Designs, Owner/Designer/Seamstress
http://fuhlendesigns.com
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Lafayette C Curtis




PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 1:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Teague wrote:
As I told her, she needs to find sub contractors who will sew her stuff and go over to just doing the cutting out of the products.

That's what a lot of fashion lines do.


I'd strongly second this advice--if she can find any qualified subcontractor at all. It may be easier to do in the US than here in Southeast Asia but I get the impression that people with the necessary sewing skills and the leisure to put those skills out for hire are rather hard to find anywhere.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 12:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another wearing experience: So far I have worn it with either an UNDERARMOUR brand long sleeved undershirt that wicks away sweat or and thicker hoody for more warmth and because I was assuming that the material might be " scratchy " if directly next to the skin.

I'm not really allergic to wool but some wools are scratchy and the strong weave of the Swordsman's shirt initially led me to believe that this would be more comfortable: By the way the swordsman's shirt is not made of wool so this is not an issue.

Last night I tried it without any undelayer and wore it for about 10 hours and from the first few seconds I noticed that it felt very comfortable and NOT scratchy at all and the longer I had it on the more certain I was that the material or the texture was comfortable for extended wear by itself.

In some cases wearing UNDERARMOUR might be good if one is expecting to sweat a lot as the wicking effect of this kind of wear does help keep you drier and cooler. The hoody is a little bulky but the Swordsman's shirt still fits me well but worn by itself it really fits perfectly and this is probably a better test of how well Jessica translated the measurements I sent her to a perfect custom fit.

So, so far I have worn it for many many hours at a time and did some very active training at the Gym wearing it, the only testing I haven't done yet is some sort of wrestling with it on but the very strong material and the way it is put together inspires great confidence in how it should perform based on other people's experience using it for wrestling.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Thu 03 Feb, 2011 12:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Michael Ahrens




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PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 12:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What who are you? I never heard of you before.


Mike

Jessica Finley wrote:
Mike -

Drop me an email about the proposed project. I don't want to cross lines here with forum rules.

I believe you know where to find me. Wink

Mike Ahrens
http://www.selohaar.org/

Staten Island German Martial Arts (S.I.G.M.A.)
http://www.sigmanewyork.webs.com/

Member of the 1st Universal Church of St. John Cantius Garand, Reformed (Gas Port)
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Michael Ahrens




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2011 3:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jessica

I do not need to email you, I will see you next month.


Mike

Mike Ahrens
http://www.selohaar.org/

Staten Island German Martial Arts (S.I.G.M.A.)
http://www.sigmanewyork.webs.com/

Member of the 1st Universal Church of St. John Cantius Garand, Reformed (Gas Port)
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb, 2011 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hope that Jessica gets some orders for these or anything else she can make as the quality of the work versus price can't be matched by anything else I have seen out there. Wink

If there is better it costs a lot more and if it cost the same it's not handwork or even close in quality and quality control + I like Jessica and I want to give this Topic and her work one last plug. Wink Laughing Out Loud ( Well, if I think of something new and important to say about it, I might post again ..... " One Never Should Say NEVER " .... Sounds like " BOND FILM " title. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud Cool ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Wed 02 Mar, 2011 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just went to her site and she seems to have gotten some new orders for this jacket and for some custom gambison as well. Wink Big Grin Cool

Yes a bit of another " Plug " for Jessica. Wink Laughing Out Loud

For those not going to the first post of this Topic here I repeat her contact information:

Link to Jessica's site and the ordering info:
http://greatplainsfechtschule.webs.com/finleycustomuniforms.htm

Again extremely happy with the jacket, her work and customer service.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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