A Bibliography for the Cutter and Tailor
Posted 04 April 2009 - 03:18 PM
We live in an age where the art of the cutter is constantly under threat. Many cutters fail to even pass on their skills to apprentices, thus carrying their secrets to their graves. Even fewer have bothered to publish their knowledge for the sake of future generations.
I have put together a bibliography of publications of texts for cutter and fitter. Most of these are for cutters, and fewer publications discuss in detail the fitting of coats. I have placed the listings in partly order of publication date and partly in order of relevance.
Rundschau (professional tailoring journal published by M. Müller & Sons)
Exists in separate editions for men and women. More details on subscribing can be found here - including how to subscribe to English and Dutch language versions. It is the only surviving major journal on cutting and tailoring still publishing in the world, and readers should consider supporting them.
Doyle, Robert: The Art of the Tailor, Sartorial Press Publications, Stratford, Ontario; 2005. ISBN 0-9683039-2-7
Despite severe limitation due to the age of the material used, it remains one of the more voluminous textbooks on cutting and tailoring currently still in print. The author's own ideas are generally regarded by some as being problematic, but the entire book is rather crudely cobbled together from content of some of the better of the historical textbooks and journals. In particular, most of the content of 1949 edition of The Modern Tailor, Outfitter and Clothier has been reproduced verbatim here. The table of contents can be viewed here.
Available from the Sartorial Press website: http://www.sartorial...ook_titles.html
Whife, Archibald. A (ed.): The Modern Tailor, Outfitter and Clothier. Fourth Edition. Vol I-III. The Caxton Publishing Company, Ltd. London, 1949
Despite serious shortcomings, this is arguably the most important English language textbook on cutting and tailoring published during the 20th century, if only for the sheer range of topics covered. The general editor of earlier editions was A.S. Bridgeland for the 1928, 1933 and 1936 editions. A 5th edition was published by A.A. Whife in the 1950s. The MTOC is cobbled together from other Tailor & Cutter books on cutting and tailoring plus the addition of other material on salesmanship, window dressing etc. Some of these books received updates after they stopped printing the MTOC. More discussion can be found here. There is little on men's cutting and tailoring beyond volume one.
Whife, Archibald A.: A First Course in Gentlemen’s Garment Cutting. The Tailor and Cutter Ltd. London circa 1955.
The same text on cutting as that found in the 1949 edition of MTOC with some updates.
Whife, Archibald A: Cutting from Block Patterns (Gentlemen’s Jackets, Waistcoats, Trousers, etc.). The Tailor and Cutter Ltd., London, circ 1960.
A textbook devoted to manipulating block patterns to generate bespoke patterns for lounge coats, waistcoats and trousers. It goes way beyond A First Course in Gentlemen’s Garment Cutting (and hence MTOC). Perhaps, Whife's best book on men's cutting.
Sytner, Reuben. The Art of Fitting Gentlemen's Garments. The Tailor and Cutter Ltd., London, 1955/1967
An exceptional textbook devoted to the fitting of lounge coats. It is generous illustrated with black and white photographs. The 1967 edition has a foreword by Whife. Was not incorporated into MTOC.
Thickett, Percival: The Cutter’s Practical Guide to Defects and Remedies in Fit and Style. The Cutter and Tailor Ltd., London, circ. 1949
A superb book on correcting defects. A sizeable proportion of one of the editions circa 1949 is incorporated into MTOC, 1949. There appear to be multiple editions of this text, although the date of publication and the edition are not mentioned.
The American Gentleman Pattern Grader. American Gentleman Publishing Corp., Washington DC, 1st Ed.,1948.
A book devoted to pattern grading for lounge coats, reefers, raglans, body coats, trousers, breeches, waistcoats
Regal’s American Garment Cutter. American Gentlemen’s Publishing Corp., Washington DC, 4th Ed,1933.
One of the classic American cutting textbooks. It represents the source textbook for cutting in the styles depicted in magazines such as Apparel Arts and Esquire from the same period.
Poole, BW: The Science of Pattern Construction for Garment Makers. The New Era Publishing Co., Ltd., London, 1st edition, 1927
The first edition runs to some 439 pages. It is encyclopaedic with an excellent analysis of the problems related to balance. This is one of the better historic textbooks of cutting, although limited by its age. There is also a 1936 second edition.
Older Historical Texts
The older the text, the more they become a collector's antiquated curiosity than something useful to the modern cutter, who should always use a much more modern cutting text. Beginner's are strictly advised to avoid older texts as modern methods of working do not apply to these older texts, which are also technically highly problematic - like antique machines, they are more for the curious collector.
Thornton, JP: The International System of Garment Cutting. The Thornton Institute, London, 1st Ed., circa 1911.
A rather voluminous text running to some 396 pages, which largely remains relevant today. Although rather dated in many ways, it is consider one of the classic cutting textbooks and is beautifully illustrated. It covers every conceivable garment from lounge coats, reefers, body coats, waistcoats and overcoats. Interesting discussions on fitting and balance.
Shep, RL (ed): The Great War, Styles and Patterns of the1910s. R.L. Shep Publications, Mendocino, California, 1998. ISBN 0-914046-26-8
A roughly cobbled together collection of excerpts from The American Garment Cutter for Women, 1913 plus mostly men’s tailoring patterns taken from The West End Gazette of London Fashions, 1915 & 1916 by J.P. Thornton. There are also miscellaneous reproductions of illustrations from period magazine advertisements. Men’s patterns include various police, military, livery, volunteer workers’ uniforms but also civilian patterns for a Chesterfield, DB reefer, riding coat, trench coat (then a military officer’s dress), golf jacket, morning coat, hunting frock coat, hunting cutaway, Raglan overcoat, Highland dress, and dress coat
Croonborg, Frederick T: The Blue Book of Men’s Tailoring – Grand Edition of Supreme System for Producing Men’s Garments (1907), originally published by Croonborg Sartorial Co. New York-Chicago 1907, Reproduced by RL Shep 2005; RL Shep (ed). ISBN 0-914046-30-6
Contains some discussion of how to make up coats in addition to cutting. There is a section on fitting. Includes a 7 page excerpt from The Blue Book of Etiquette for Men. Sack coats, trousers, dinner jackets, fancy waistcoats, morning coats, frock coats, dress coats, Chesterfield, Inverness cloak, frock overcoat (surtout). Largely of historic interest only.
Vincent, WDF: The Cutter’s Practical Guide. In ten volumes. The John Williamson Company, London, circa 1893.
I: Juvenile & young men’s garments
II: All kinds of body coats
III: Trouser cutting
IV: British liveries
VI: Ladies garments
VII: Remedy of defects
VIII: Economical cutting
IX: Lounges, reefers, patrol jackets, robes surplices, gowns, hoods etc
X: All kinds of waistcoats
This is a classical encyclopaedia of cutting, and the forerunner to the MTOC. Complete sets are rare collector item's, but are largely of historical interest only to the modern cutter. No reprints are currently available. The style of dress, morning and frock coats makes it a late Victorian to Edwardian text. However, it should be kept in mind that The Cutter’s Practical Guide was in publication both prior to Vincent, as well as after him and thus may not carry his name (with authorship remaining anonymous). Updated editions of a Pocket Edition CPG by F.R. Morris were in print up till the 1950-60s or so, but these had nothing to do with Vincent, the authorship having passed on to a newer generation.
Some of the volumes of earlier (late 19th century) editions of Vincent's CPG can be found here:
The Standard Work on Cutting Men’s Garments , 4th ed. Originally pub. 1886 by Jno J Mitchell, New York. ISBN 0-916896-33-1
Antiquated period text for morning coats, dress coats, frock coats, sack coats, overcoats. There is a section entitled “making up” concerning itself with issues of fitting coats. Of historic interest only.
Devere, Louis: The Handbook of Practical Cutting on the Centre Point System (London, 1866) revised and edited by RL Shep. RL Shep, Medocino, California, 1986. ISBN 0-914046-03-9
Devere studied in Paris under G. Compaing, who published L’Art du Tailleur in Paris, 1820. He presents his own unique system of cutting based on balance measures taken from waist height. Although extremely dated now, it was considered a major publication in its time. Too ancient to be recommended to the modern cutter, but makes a readable curiosity for the interested modern reader.
Salisbury, WS: Salisbury’s System of Actual Measurement and Drafting for all Styles of Coats upon Geometric Principles, New York 1866. Reprinted in Civil War Gentlemen: 1860 Apparel Arts and Uniforms by RL Shep, Mendicino, California, 1994. ISBN 0-914046-22-5
The patterns for frock coats, and early informal variants of the morning coat are only of historical interest. Salisbury’s American system is quite short and the Shep publication is fortified with reproductions of period fashion plates and a large section on military uniforms.
Minister, Edward: The Complete Guide to Practical Cutting (London, 1853) Vol 1 & II. Edited with notes by RL Shep, Mendocino, California, 1993. ISBN 0-914046-17-9
This became something of a mythical ancient textbook, and is published here with the original two volumes in one book. It is a voluminous and thorough publication by one of the pre-eminent tailors and authors of his time. It runs to over 350 pages. It was a landmark publication in the history of cutting although today it is strictly only of historic interest.
Posted 08 April 2009 - 06:23 PM
We live in an age where the art of the tailor is constantly under threat. Many tailors fail to even pass on their skills to apprentices, thus carrying their secrets to their graves. Even fewer have bothered to publish their knowledge for the sake of future generations.
I have put together a bibliography of publications of texts for cutter and tailor. Most of these are for cutters, and fewer publications discuss in detail the making up of coats. I have placed the listings in order of publication date.
Cabrera, Roberto: Classic Tailoring. Fairchild Publications, 1983. ISBN-10: 0870054317
An absolutely essential tailoring textbook giving clear, step-by-step instructions on how to make a coat, waistcoat and trousers. The great strength is the clarity of the text and diagrams. Although it only shows one way of doing things, it is a excellent foundation from which to learn more. It lacks any instructions on certain things such as ironwork and as way as containing only rudimentary instructions on how to account for disproportion. Nonetheless, this now classical book remains the first book that any beginner should purchase.
Tailoring. The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket. Creative Publishing International. Minneapolis, 2005
A rather basic book intended for home sewers. However, it has innumerable full sized colour photographs and extremely clear, step-by-step instructions. Essential introductory reading for the complete novice.
Poulin, Clarence: Tailoring Suits the Professional Way. Chas. A. Bennett Co. Inc. Publishers. Illinois, 1973
An indispensable American text whose strengths include the highly informative discussions on the fitting and making up of lounge coats and trousers. The instructions on making up make an excellent supplement to Cabrera. Try if possible to obtain the much improved third edition published in 1973, rather than the earlier 1952 or 1953 editions.
Hostek, Stanley: Men's Custom Tailored Coats. Self published, USA, 1970
An essential, modern self-published American text, that looks like a student handout from a college. The text is often in note form, making it more difficult to read than Cabrera. It contains some of the most thorough step-by-step descriptions of coat, trouser and waistcoat making ever put to print. All 234 pages are devoted entirely to the art of making up lounge coats.
Other books from the same author include titles on handsewing techniques, trouser and waistcoat making:
Men's Custom Tailored Pants
Men's Custom Tailored Vests
All of the series is available here:
They make an compelling addition to every library.
Doyle, Robert: The Art of the Tailor, Sartorial Press Publications, Stratford, Ontario; 2005. ISBN 0-9683039-2-7
Despite severe limitations due to the age of the most of the material, this is a thorough textbook of cutting and tailoring. Although some of Doyles own ideas have been questioned by some, the historical material from which it is cobbled together is occasionally quite good. In particular, most of the content of 1949 edition of The Modern Tailor, Outfitter and Clothier has been reproduced verbatim here, which includes the Dellafera-Whife book The Art of Garment Making. The table of contents can be viewed here: http://www.sartorial...art_content.php
Available from the Sartorial Press website: http://www.sartorial...ook_titles.html
Basic Tailoring. Time-Life Books, New York, 1974
This extremely well illustrated 208 page book can be purchased second hand very cheaply, as copies seemed to abound. It gives an good account of the basis process of fitting and making up a lounge coat and trousers. This makes it a good first choice for anyone on a budget, but can also be recommended irrespective of price. Intended for homesewers.
Dellafera, Phillip: The Art of Garment Making, Tailor and Cutter Ltd, London, 1948
This is a very important book in dealing with the process of making up coats as well in cutting the pattern. No date of publication is given but the cost of the book is given as “15/-“ for a 133 page book. All garments are entirely modern in their construction and stylistic features. Discussed are lounge coats, morning coats, dress coats, breeches, plus-fours, Raglans, waistcoats and Chesterfields. Most of the same content can be found in the Modern Tailor Outfitter and Clothier, 1949. Later editions of The Art of Garment Making were updated by A.A. Whife, who is then listed as the sole author of the book, even though the content is not always much different to Dellafera's version, with only minor additions and amendments having been added. Whife states that the 1962 edition is effectively the fourth edition of this book.
Coffin, David. Making Trousers for Men & Women: A Multimedia Sewing Workshop
A beautifully illustrated and extremely comprehensive book by our forum member David. Essential reading for beginners and advanced sewers alike. A must have for every library.
Posted 18 April 2009 - 05:25 AM
A link to Stanley Hostek's several books, all equally excellent. Esp. note his work on hand stitches; I've never seen anything even remotely as comprehensive.
Note that much of Stanley's work is reproduced exactly (as in Xeroxed) in Doyle's book, without any attribution that I could find (I don't own it, just looked at it). That annoyed me considerably, but I may well be missing something… Stanley's very much alive and well, still profiting modestly from the sale of his self-published books, and is still a priceless and generous resource for all aspiring tailors.
It's worth pointing out that the women's version of the Cabrera book duplicates almost all of the material in the men's version mentioned here, and adds a lot of other interesting material that isn't useful just for women's wear, including several additional pocket types, finishing an unlined jacket, pleating trousers, and more.
Here's one book I've found valuable that's not in Sator's list:
Liberty, J.E.; Practical Tailoring, Pitman Publishing Corp., 1933-1955
No cutting/drafting info, but much well-illustrated detail on tools, methods of work, stitches, iron use, pockets, and the construction of trousers, waistcoats, coats, jackets, overcoats, frock and morning coats. The language is arcane but decidedly useful.
- tailleuse, Ridgelap, BrantHoda and 7 others like this
Posted 18 April 2009 - 11:34 PM
Posted 24 April 2009 - 01:49 PM
Otherwise, compiling information in general, is useful for those without access to the original texts, but I don't find his book user friendly. There are also huge proofreading/editing mistakes that colleagues pointed out in the drafting instructions for his own drafts.
I work in the theatre and I cherish my OOP copy of the Modern Tailor Outfitter and Clothier that I found on Ebay. I also have in my collection,The Modern Mitchell System of Men's Designing, the Climax System for Cutting Gentlemen's Garments, The Blue Book of Men's Tailoring as well as more modern books such as Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear, and Fundamentals of Men's Fashion Design by Kawashima among others. All have their place and are useful to varying degrees.
- tailleuse and Gray Malkin like this
Posted 03 May 2009 - 01:57 PM
This book, first published about 1815, has been rewritten and published in 1995. It details the tailor's art, from hand stitching and repairing to drafting patterns from measurements, for coats, vest and trousers, from long held secrets of the tailor. The details for our button-fly trousers and 1838 Frock Coat, came from this book. A must have in your library.
Click Products. It is at the bottom of the list.
Another book is- Practical Tailoring by Joseph Ernest Liberty : the art and craft simply explained for the student and apprentice
(This is a book I would really like to have.)
Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:54 AM
Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:59 AM
I suspect that Archibald Whife updated the MTOC for the 1951 edition, but by how much I don't know.
Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:39 PM
Posted 08 July 2009 - 06:42 PM
I'll scan the edition/reprint history in from the book tonight - it shows that there was also a reprint in 1950, again, of the 1949 fourth edition.
So now we know.
- Gray Malkin likes this
Posted 31 July 2009 - 09:44 PM
very "crazy".. about pattern`s & tailoring...
I just wanted to say Hello..to Y all..& think..
this Sator`s Site (the Welcome-page) is one of the best
I`m seen so long..very "talking"..& Beautiful illustration..
I`ve collected a web-site archive which I hope
to share here with links.."fra un po avanti"..
I think I know one of the members from London Lounge..
..Schneidergott..but I`m not sure 100%..anyway I like
to thank him..once more for a very good book he scanned
and sent me..& if he isn`t the proper person ..hmm..thanx
..so not knowing where to post I give Y a link to one recent
find a German one but also in English..
..now it`s been already too many letters..so..
..Ps. ..how to insert pic`s here..?
Posted 27 August 2009 - 11:13 PM
Seam allowance question......
I have the book
Croonborg, Frederick T: The Blue Book of Men’s Tailoring – Grand Edition of Supreme System for Producing Men’s Garments (1907),
But have read it back to front and cannot find if there is seam allowance included in the patterns, and if so where the seam alowance is included.
Can anyone help?
Posted 28 August 2009 - 08:25 AM
Period seams were usually 1/4".
Posted 26 September 2009 - 04:07 AM
"Custom Tailoring" by Bruno Harasz. It covers trousers and coats of various make (with a main focus on different pockets).
Quite nice, actually!
"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"
Posted 28 September 2009 - 05:34 PM
Alterations Of Men's Clothing, by David Carlin - published 1950 by Fairchild Publications, Inc. Illustrated
Posted 28 September 2009 - 08:52 PM
The Modern Tailor Outfitter and Clothier by A. Whife,
The Blue Book of Men's Tailoring by Frederick T. Croonborg,
Men's Garments 1830 - 1900 by R. I. Davis
and The Cut of Men's Clothes 1600 - 1900 by Norah Waugh.
I find them all useful in different ways. I also have for reference to construction techniques:
Practical Tailoring by J. E. Liberty and
Tailoring: How to Mend Trousers, Vests and Coats by The Master Designer 1947 ed.
- Oliveira likes this
Posted 03 October 2009 - 02:41 AM
Posted 03 October 2009 - 05:10 AM
there is a book which i saw an ad for in an old trade mag that i bought on ebay, the practical tailor and cutter, published in the 50's by the ferris woolens company, chicago, ill, that i was wondering if anyone has any insight on. the book was published by the charles j stone foundation institute of chicago ill; it's entitled, master's design system--designing and cutting mens garments. it claims ot be a complete self instruction course on cutting mens garments. i have a chance to get it, but wanted ot know if its any good.
If it's any help the Charles J Stone book on trouser cutting is in the trouser and waistcoat forum, under the thread titled 'STONES ADVANCED SUPERLATIVE TROUSER SYSTEM'.
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