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Review of the Revised Classic Tailoring Techniques for Menswear by Roberto Cabrera

Roberto Cabrera Denis Antoine Jeffery Diduch classic tailoring techniques bespoke tailoring techniques tailoring texts

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#1 tailleuse

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Posted 02 May 2015 - 08:09 AM

The long-awaited (at least by me :)) review of the long-awaited revision of Classic Tailoring Techniques for Menswear, regarded as "the definitive English-language textbook on traditional tailoring techniques (at least of those currently being published)."  Jeffery Diduch, a forum member, wrote it. His summary:

 

I have often said that learning tailoring from a book is somewhat akin to learning to play piano from a book, but for those who have no access to a teacher this is as good a place to start as any, and it is certainly a very good accompaniment to any formal course of study.

 

After looking at the preview on Amazon a couple of weeks ago, I PM-ed another member that as an owner of the older Cabrera menswear and womens wear books I saw no reason to rush out and buy this version, although I definitely wouldn't mind having it someday.

 

Going forward in this forum, it might help to refer to the older menswear edition as "Old Cabrera", "First Edition Cabrera", or "Original Cabrera" and this version as "New Cabrera", "Revised Cabrera", "Second Edition Cabrera", or "Cabrera-Antoine."


Edited by tailleuse, 06 May 2015 - 01:06 AM.

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#2 greger

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Posted 02 May 2015 - 10:19 AM

Did Cabrera have any say in the new edition? Wonder if he is still A
alive. If he is sitting on a cloud looking down I wonder what he is thinking about it. ☺
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#3 tailleuse

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Posted 02 May 2015 - 11:25 AM

Did Cabrera have any say in the new edition? Wonder if he is still A
alive. If he is sitting on a cloud looking down I wonder what he is thinking about it. ☺

 

I believe last year that someone in this forum said he had died a few months before.  I've looked for obituaries, but come up dry. I've taken classes at FIT off and on for a while, but have never encountered anyone who knew Roberto Cabrera, or his co-author, Patricia Flaherty Meyers, who I assume was a tailoring enthusiast who worked in early childhood education.  His book, while in the FIT library, is not required in tailoring or menswear classes, but construction classes at FIT almost never have a required book: the class follows the teacher's preferred method. 

 

It would be interesting to know what Cabrera thinks.  I also wonder how the publisher decided on Denis Antoine as the reviser/co-author.  Based on this review, he seems to have done a very decent job -- I'm just curious what the process was.


Edited by tailleuse, 02 May 2015 - 11:32 AM.

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#4 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 02 May 2015 - 12:38 PM

To learn tailoring from a book is almost impossible, or you are somehow supersmart.


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#5 tombennett

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Posted 03 May 2015 - 01:55 AM

I've just bought this book as I have no access to courses, teachers, mentors etc.  I do have this forum for which I am truly thankful but to have some images of what steps to take is quite useful, it saves me having to ask very busy forum members every little detail.  It is a bit pricey I suppose but then a course isn't cheep either, nevertheless, a lovely pair of hand tailored trousers is priceless.  So if the book does help people like me then I believe it is a worthy investment.  I suppose I have a slight advantage as I did, briefly study tailoring though this is old and fragmented knowledge.

 

tom.


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#6 tailleuse

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Posted 03 May 2015 - 08:39 AM

I've just bought this book as I have no access to courses, teachers, mentors etc.  I do have this forum for which I am truly thankful but to have some images of what steps to take is quite useful, it saves me having to ask very busy forum members every little detail.  It is a bit pricey I suppose but then a course isn't cheep either, nevertheless, a lovely pair of hand tailored trousers is priceless.  So if the book does help people like me then I believe it is a worthy investment.  I suppose I have a slight advantage as I did, briefly study tailoring though this is old and fragmented knowledge.

 

tom.

 

You have to do what you can do. I'm sure that having some past exposure will help.

 

To learn tailoring from a book is almost impossible, or you are somehow supersmart.

 

Jeffery made it clear that to learn from a book alone is not optimal, but to use a decent book is better than nothing.  I personally couldn't learn a craft as complex as tailoring without background IRL.  But it's nice to have a reference.  Now that I have a little experience, books like this make much more sense, as do some of the more arcane threads in this forum.


Edited by tailleuse, 06 May 2015 - 01:08 AM.

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#7 tailleuse

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Posted 03 May 2015 - 08:45 AM

A couple of months ago, I expressed the hope that Sator and some of the other professional tailors would request a review copy of this book. I'd like to know what they think.


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#8 tailleuse

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 01:01 AM

The New York Public Library has ordered the book. I'm going to borrow it when it comes in. Presumably, other libraries also plan to add it.  It also couldn't hurt to make an acquisition request.


Edited by tailleuse, 06 May 2015 - 01:02 AM.

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#9 Claire Shaeffer

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 12:37 PM

If you are in the US, you can ask your local library to borrow the book through InterLibrary Loan. 

 

I bought a copy and have a short list of people I've offered to lend it to. 

 

I was asked to review it and declined. My knowledge of men's tailoring might fill a small thimble. It would have to be a dressmaker's thimble with a closed end. 


Edited by Claire Shaeffer, 10 May 2015 - 12:38 PM.

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#10 jukes

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 01:34 PM

Cabbreras book is a hybrid between the amateur and professional, using a commercial pattern to make a quality garment, a method which would rarely be learned in a professional environment. The book is aimed at the learner to gain basic knowledge and serves that purpose. There are very few books out there that cover the basics, which is why the book is so popular.
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#11 tailleuse

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 07:35 AM

Cabbreras book is a hybrid between the amateur and professional, using a commercial pattern to make a quality garment, a method which would rarely be learned in a professional environment.

 

In today's environment, almost no professional shop is going to take on a completely unschooled person, even a very young adult.  I assume that most students today learn the basics in a tailoring or fashion design class. The better classes use a pattern drafted by the instructor, who is a professional tailor. No fitting is involved, the classes cover construction only -- just mastering construction can take considerable time.   Only in an extremely rare and very advanced class or in an actual apprenticeship would people learn how to draft and fit (the tailoring way, not the menswear fashion design way,which involves developing slopers, and which students do learn in school, although they usually are designing for standard size men's forms.)

 

My point is that yes, it is a hybrid, but if you're pursuing a career as a tailor, absent connections, you're going to have to learn at least the basic techniques taught in Cabrera or get them from a class or private tutor before anyone will take you seriously.  My teacher started apprenticing at age 11. He worked for several hours after school for many years and was paid nothing. Needless to say, the world today is completely different. People start learning much later and they can't afford to, or won't work for nothing. Nor can professionals with active businesses afford to teach complete beginners, no matter how enthusiastic, for free.


Edited by tailleuse, 12 May 2015 - 04:27 AM.

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#12 Marco Lourenšo

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:08 AM

Hi Tailleuse, 

Did you compare 1st edition with the 2nd edition?

A friend of mine give me the 1st edition of this book, but I would like to know if it worth to by buy the last edition.

 

Thanks

 

The long-awaited (at least by me :)) review of the long-awaited revision of Classic Tailoring Techniques for Menswear, regarded as "the definitive English-language textbook on traditional tailoring techniques (at least of those currently being published)."  .

 

Going forward in this forum, it might help to refer to the older menswear edition as "Old Cabrera", "First Edition Cabrera", or "Original Cabrera" and this version as "New Cabrera", "Revised Cabrera", "Second Edition Cabrera", or "Cabrera-Antoine."



#13 greger

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 09:14 AM

Never seen the latest edition. Wonder if the local college has it. Guess I should look online to see who has it closest. 



#14 Henry Hall

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 12:45 PM

I finally had a look at this book in a library (had to wait for it to be returned). I stand by the opinion that there's no way the increase in price is justified. I'm just glad I bought the previous original edition at a mere £20.

 

The ironwork additions in the new book are not better than the ones you can find on this site extracted from old manuals - especially the German ones. It has an extra 40 pages, but they are largely taken up by the addition of new photos. The previous version really has enough in it to meet its aims. The sections on pocket making are useful in the Cabrera book because the diagrams are clear and the text is minimal.

 

I honestly believe that someone could do better with old Cabrera and the Poulin book for getting a foundation.


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Roberto Cabrera, Denis Antoine, Jeffery Diduch, classic tailoring techniques, bespoke tailoring techniques, tailoring texts

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