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Learning to Tailor by Self Tuition- (Beginners Please Read)


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#19 Qirrel

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 06:16 AM

Huddersfield accept private customers. Just apply for an account at their site.
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#20 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:42 AM

Yes, if you contact Huddersfield for practice cloth ask Rian if they have any Fents (aka Left-overs) they typically have ends of rolls or returned goods that you can get at a lower price for cheaper just to practice on. These pieces are typically short, you might get an odd waistcoat out of them, but they range from 1/2 yard to a yard long.
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#21 Wictor

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:23 AM

Thanks for all the answers! I live in Västerås, a city in Sweden. I've only found polyester/cotton and poly/wool fabrics here!

I will make an account at Huddersfield immediately and ask Rian for frents. Thanks for the suggestion!

Edited by Wictor, 17 June 2011 - 04:46 AM.

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#22 Sator

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 01:49 AM

Time to bump this thread.

We seem to have had another epidemic of home sewing beginners wanting to learn coatmaking as the first step.

I don't know what we have to do to get you to listen. In all apprenticeships, you will start with making trousers and waistcoats. Skirts are an even better place to start. Likewise, you will learn to draft starting with basic garments. So what makes you think that you will manage to skip the basics and go straight for the most difficult thing of them all? Doubly so if you are teaching yourself.

I can tell you that coatmaking at home is like home dentistry. To learn to do it to a professional standard at home alone as a hobby project is pretty much close to impossible. If you did, it would take up so much of your time that it would be prohibitive.

So beginners PLEASE listen to the advice you get here and try your hand at trousers, skirts and waistcoats. Not only is the goal achievable, you might even have fun and end up with a garment that is wearable. PLEASE don't torture yourself by drowning in the deep end trying to learn coatmaking. It isn't worth it. That's why not a single homesewing beginner teaching themselves has even come close to finishing a coat to bespoke tailoring standards on this forum.

Also, nothing results in a flurry of complaints from the pros into my private message box than learners who ignore all the advice they receive. Well, here is the first bit of advice: start with basic garments and work you way up to more complex ones. Anyone who ignores that advice is probably going to ignore all the other advice they receive. Please don't ask the moderators to upgrade your status to Advance Apprentice so you can ask questions about coatmaking until you have mastered cutting and making more basic garments.

So please listen: start with basic garments like skirts, trousers and waistcoats. Do NOT progress on until you have mastered the basics.

And trust me, these rules are here to help you. You will be glad that you set yourself more realistic and achievable goals. You will understand why every apprentice will be taught by their master to start with basic garments first.

#23 tailleuse

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:21 AM

Time to bump this thread.

We seem to have had another epidemic of home sewing beginners wanting to learn coatmaking as the first step.

I don't know what we have to do to get you to listen. In all apprenticeships, you will start with making trousers and waistcoats. Skirts are an even better place to start. Likewise, you will learn to draft starting with basic garments. So what makes you think that you will manage to skip the basics and go straight for the most difficult thing of them all? Doubly so if you are teaching yourself.



So do I get a prize? I've never once raised the issue of coatmaking. Posted Image

BTW, I was reading the very informative thread about dkst's coats in the Advanced Apprentice forum, to which I cannot contribute, which is why I'm discussing it here. He made one particularly interesting comment in saying that he adhered to a philosophy of "See one, do one, teach one," and that this was "old school." I would never apply that approach to tailoring, or many other areas of expertise. It's also not old school. Real old school is to watch the Master at work and perform small tasks until the Master (who, one assumes, is wise, fair, and a superb teacher) approves. Posted Image

But I certainly recognize dkst's attitude because it's very American (I assume he's Canadian, so shall I say "North American"?). His attitude is also not that surprising for a 25-year-old. Especially one who is an amateur.

Although I understand some of the professionals' concerns and don't question their advice to master the basics first, I do admire the dkst's commitment and ambition, especially since he has limited time to devote to this endeavor. Teaching oneself tailoring is a lot harder than trying to write the Great American Novel/Screenplay, which is what many people of my acquaintance were doing during their free time back when I was that age.


I will return to my skirts now. Posted Image

Happy Independence Day! Posted Image

Edited by tailleuse, 04 July 2011 - 07:24 AM.

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Dignity. Always, dignity. (Singin' in the Rain)


#24 crussell

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 02:01 AM

How do you recommend measuring one's finger to determine one's thimble size? The thimble you posted looks great, but I have no idea which size to buy for myself.

Thanks for the help,
Christopher
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#25 tailleuse

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 11:43 PM

How do you recommend measuring one's finger to determine one's thimble size? The thimble you posted looks great, but I have no idea which size to buy for myself.

Thanks for the help,
Christopher




Here's a gauge that's based on American ring sizes. I don't know how helpful it will be. http://www.thimbles2...com/sizing.html

I buy thimbles from Steinlauf and Stoller. I think their thimbles use the English system. For reference, I'm a woman with fairly small hands, and I usually wear a 6 or a 7 in an open thimble. If you call them, they may tell you how to measure your finger. If you're lucky, you'll get a polite, helpful person on the phone. If not, rest assured it's not you.

http://www.steinlauf...oom%20Tools.htm

Dignity. Always, dignity. (Singin' in the Rain)


#26 Wictor

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:19 PM

Hello, I am havin a stupid question.. is silk only suitable for the decorations on a pair of trousers? And you use cotton on the side seams and the rest? I don't know from where but I've always thought that silk is a better choice. (Don't know why really)

I've practiced stitches with a cotton thread,but I am going to order stuff for my first attempt on a pair of trousers soon.. For buttonholes and decorative stitches - silk. But the rest?
You argue about cotton/poly, anyone that could give me tips on a specific thread. I am going to handsew everything if that matters.

The fabric I've thought of is "9437 - LIGHT GREY ENGLISH CLASSIC PLAIN (370-390 grams / 13-14 Oz)" from hdudersfield. (I'll make a pair of pants with cheaper fabric first)
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#27 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 07:56 AM

Hello Wictor,

If you are making the trousers entirely buy hand, then yeah silk all the way, but if you are machining the long-seams then mercerised cotton works just fine, but when closing the seat seam, close by hand with silk, some close this with button twist, but depends on the weight of the fabric. Anyway, the above is are just recommendations, when you are learning no need to spend more money than you have to on a garment you may or may-not be able to wear.
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#28 tailleuse

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 02:52 AM

Hello Wictor,

If you are making the trousers entirely buy hand, then yeah silk all the way, but if you are machining the long-seams then mercerised cotton works just fine, but when closing the seat seam, close by hand with silk, some close this with button twist, but depends on the weight of the fabric. Anyway, the above is are just recommendations, when you are learning no need to spend more money than you have to on a garment you may or may-not be able to wear.



Hi, J.M.:

Don't most tailors machine stitch the side seams these days?

Hope you are having a good summer.

Tailleuse


Dignity. Always, dignity. (Singin' in the Rain)


#29 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:49 AM

Depends, I do a combination of both. I machine sew from the bottoms to about an inch below the pocket on the side-seam and close by hand to the top. On the in-seam I machine to within about 6 or 8 inches of the crutch and then work fullness in. The last pair of trousers I made where completely by hand, the ones I am working on for Svenn now will have the other treatment.

I am of the opinion (right or wrong) that the closing seam of the seat always be sewn by hand in silk.
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#30 greger

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 09:40 AM

With a garment that is going into the washing machine I wouldn't use silk. If it is going to be dry cleaned silk may be the best, but not sure it is always best. With wool and other hair fibers cloth I would silk if you have silk thread.

Hand sewing the legs is good practice. Some say that from the crotch down 10-15 inches should be hand sewn if you are doing part of it by hand.
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#31 tailleuse

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:14 PM

Depends, I do a combination of both. I machine sew from the bottoms to about an inch below the pocket on the side-seam and close by hand to the top. On the in-seam I machine to within about 6 or 8 inches of the crutch and then work fullness in. The last pair of trousers I made where completely by hand, the ones I am working on for Svenn now will have the other treatment.

I am of the opinion (right or wrong) that the closing seam of the seat always be sewn by hand in silk.


I'm not sure I saw this answer previously. Thanks. I like your icon. After seeing the figure in white, I saw it in blue, then I tried to focus on the white image again. Very hard.



Dignity. Always, dignity. (Singin' in the Rain)


#32 tailleuse

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:15 PM

With a garment that is going into the washing machine I wouldn't use silk. If it is going to be dry cleaned silk may be the best, but not sure it is always best. With wool and other hair fibers cloth I would silk if you have silk thread.

Hand sewing the legs is good practice. Some say that from the crotch down 10-15 inches should be hand sewn if you are doing part of it by hand.



Thanks for the response. This summer, as an experiment and for practice, I sewed an entire shift dress by hand except for the machine staystitching. I even hand overcast the seam allowances. What a lot of work that was.
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#33 Sator

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 11:49 PM

I think it is time to bump this thread again.

The moderator has became increasingly strict in applying the "walk before you run" rule. Please remember that this rule exists for two major reasons.

1. To protect you

It is not fun at all to make coats to professional standards. You will just kill yourself doing it only to find at the end that you have to throw hundreds of hours of work into the bin where it rightly belongs. This is really not much more fun than home dentistry. Please don't delude yourself into thinking that either published books or the forum have anywhere near enough information for you to follow like a cookbook. It will take another 6-12 years before there is sufficient build up of threads on the forum to use as anything resembling a full online reference source for all steps in coatmaking. Even if the forum had detailed instructions on how to do everything, it will still be like finding info on a golf forum on how to drive, putt and chip. Just because you know what to do or how to do it doesn't mean you will be any good at it without years of dedicated practice. If you start with simpler (ie more realistic) garments you have some sort of fighting chance of enjoying yourself and make something that you or someone else will be proud to wear.

2. To protect professional members

What takes a minute to show you in real life takes 45 minutes to demonstrate online. There are endless steps like this in coatmaking. It is way too much to ask professional members who are often posting during working hours (time is money) to spend this sort of time teaching you, and if pros are going to do this then you should have to earn this right after showing that you have the requisite background skills. Professional tailors don't want to feel like mountaineers showing total climbing novices how to kill themselves climbing Everest. Nor do professional mountaineers want to be inundated with questions from novices who have only ever climbed hills. This forum is intended first and foremost as a place for professionals, and it is my job to maintain the professional standards of this forum as best as I can, so it doesn't become just another homesewing forum.

#34 Sator

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 11:53 PM

The instructions you dreamed about:



What you think you will achieve:



What really happens:



#35 Guest_modeschaar_*

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 11:07 AM

All of this is fair and I'd say most people keep to the "walk-before-you-run" rule. Only a fool or a genius would jump straight into coat-making before trying anything else. I've been going at different sorts of trousers in my spare time for nearly nine months now (I got a job at an alteration tailor's...it's a start :yes:).

The set text is Cabrera, which concentrates a great deal of the book on making a coat from scratch, no wonder people get fired up about it. How about a guide for complete beginners on how to make the best use of Cabrera?

Edited by modeschaar, 07 January 2012 - 10:09 AM.


#36 tailleuse

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:50 AM






BUT I WANT TO MAKE A COAT!

While you may be enthusiastic and roaring to jump right into making a coat I strongly advise against this approach. The amount of work needed in order to get to the point of tailoring a coat is currently well beyond your skill set. Not trying to be mean just being honest. I know trousers are not as exciting, but a well executed trouser will give confidence and will make you stand out. People are so used to the ill fitting tubes the ready to wear markets call trousers people forget what a properly made and fitted trouser feels like and have become almost a second thought in planning ones wardrobe. Truth is, a good trouser should be the foundation of your wardrobe.
By the time you make a couple of trousers by this method you will be ready to move on to Waistcoats/ vests. Again, start with Cabrera and then move on. While not many people wear waistcoats today, they are making a comeback and will help provide applicable skills toward your goal of making a coat in a couple of years time. Yes really :D



Came across this post from the Anderson & Sheppard blog. An apprentice who had studied tailoring at a London college and arrived at A & S a while ago is finally getting to coats. He first worked on trousers, then progressed to waistcoats.

Dignity. Always, dignity. (Singin' in the Rain)





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