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A "What to do before you ask for help on the forum" guide

trousers patterns alterations

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#19 tailleuse

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 11:58 AM

SG,
 
It seems to be a problem of mixed messages, on one hand we have the above quote from Sator,

 
J. Maclochlainn wrote, in 2011:
 
What this Forum is:

The forum was started in March of 2009 by Sator, a passionate enthusiast of tailoring, to give the trade a place to “talk shop”, to educate, and to learn from experienced tailors throughout the world. As the trade has declined over the years, the trade journals and sense of community has started to be lost as well. This forum is a step forward for a new and progressive community of, for, and by tailors. As such, the majority of the topics on this forum are advanced in nature and well beyond the skill set of the beginner. So with this in mind, new sections have been added as the forum grows for those just starting in the trade. The 
"The Apprentice Cutter and Tailor" <click> section was set up to allow those new to tailoring to be educated by either the pinned posts or by posing your question to other forum members. Remember, the only stupid question is the question not asked. When posting a question, be patient and humble with the replies, no one is getting paid to help you. I will tell you now, being demanding, a know-it-all, or telling the tailors how to teach WILL NOT gain you any favours and the gift cow will dry up as quickly as it produced!
 

What the Forum is not: 

While the purpose of the forum is to educate, be it for beginner or advanced practitioners of the trade, this is not your own personal tutorial site. In the past people have even made demands of the contributors. This is rude and frowned upon. Please realise many of the contributors to the forum are busy and make a living out of tailoring, their advice is given with the best intentions and from their own time. While the contributors are more than willing to answer your questions and help, remember that you can only be helped as far as you are willing to help yourself. With this said, please let me guide you in how to help yoursel
f.
 
http://www.cutterand...pic=2130&page=1  (emphasis in original)
 
 
I think the message has been clear all along.


Edited by tailleuse, 09 June 2015 - 12:04 PM.

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


#20 hutch48

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 03:00 PM

I think most know where SG is coming from in that it is a reasonable expectation that new members know how to do the basic things like using a sewing machine with competence, thread a needle, cut fabric accurately and so on and I would suggest that this area of new members is catered for with the Basic Apprentices Forum. For the professionals there area a range of professional sub forums that are free from what some might see as silly questions and to this extent I would suggest that the range of people is properly catered for. You don't need to be a genius to see that the professional sub forum are not a beehive of industry, it is the apprentices forum that sees the most action and new members and I would suggest this is why Sator welcomed new people learning tailoring.

 

Without new people coming in, the skills of older members and the work that some of them have done in making rare technical data available is wasted and this forum and its knowledge base will just fade away, a lose lose situation for both the professionals and learners. Where I see the problem is in the perceived cutoff area between professionals and amateurs as well as the definitions of what is professional and what is not. There are a wide range of people who do not own a successful business on Savile Row or a high end business in London, New York, Berlin, Hong Kong etc .... yet have many years experience in very highly skilled areas of clothing manufacturing so I would suggest that the real distinction is between high levels of experience and skill versus inexperience and lower skill levels.

 

From the many tailors I have known over the years who successfully run their own businesses, I have never seen elitism, just high workloads and variable levels of patience, real pros don't have to flaunt their credentials, they already know how to do most things well. Having restricted access sub forums is exactly the way to isolate amateur question from more complex tasks that require much higher skill levels. This much I know from running forum for years is that the wider the pool of answers, they more people learn and a lot more quickly. Dump a person struggling with a complex issue of whatever category with a "go search for it" or "go buy the right book" and you lose them. A phenomenon common in forums is fatigue and to this extent it is probably at work here where a number of people have had to do too much work over a long time and are running out of patience but dumping a person struggling with learning something with a "go away" or "do it yourself" is kicking them in the guts when they are struggling the hardest to learn something.

 

If a professional is suffering fatigue, then only talk to the "beautiful people" in the restricted forum and let other people who have the time to respond if they can be bothered. If you don't have a reason to read some of the posts, don't bother and it will save your eyesight and patience. With the variety of skills across the membership, you pick up useful things that are not always easy to access and this is among the advantages of a wide membership pool of skills. Just as an example, about a year ago I was looking for a different stretch fabric to make some inbetween season track pants and a number of members were kind enough to suggest a range of fabrics that were useful. This is how I discovered Ponte De Roma which is a very useful fabric for some tasks.

 

Passing the flame is a viable task for those who don't want to see the old skills lost, turn away learners with elitist responses and its a sure fire way to fail.



#21 Schneidergott

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 03:42 PM

There's a big difference between home sewers/ hobby "tailors" and those who make a living out of it already or choose to do so in the future.

Again, and we are going in circles here, why should the latter give up their time and hard earned knowledge so that the former don't have to do their part?

You have this great source of information available, nothing is blocked, yet it's not enough.

If you are not willing to do your research, why should the professionals help you again, and again and again? The information already exists, here and elsewhere, use it!

Try to think for yourselves. Even though it's hard and obviously not that common anymore.


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"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"

http://www.dressedwell.net/ It's snarky, but fun.


#22 tailleuse

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 10:49 PM

That being said, I think Tom's thread has been informative for many, he certainly has documented his changes extensively and for that many beginners will gain some insight into the process.
Other posts or threads which cry out for help but never post any further with whether they followed through or not with the advice given are more of a problem.

 

FWIW, I think such threads are interesting. I don't study them, because I'm not drafting and after a while it's a MEGO.* But I always think that if I'm ever trying to draft trousers for a guy they'll be useful for reference.

 

Re issue two, sometimes the tailors offer conflicting (but I'm certain equally valid) suggestions.  Perhaps some people are simply too diplomatic to state whose approach was followed?  (But they could at least PM a note of thanks or acknowledgment to the person whose advice was taken.)

 

I've had this issue myself with fitting IRL. I had access to three different wonderful professionals, all of whom had different ideas of how something should fit and how I could obtain it.  Then there was my own inexperience. I'm still working on that muslin.

 

 

 

*My Eyes Glaze Over.


Edited by tailleuse, 10 June 2015 - 12:54 AM.

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


#23 tailleuse

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 11:01 PM

There's a big difference between home sewers/ hobby "tailors" and those who make a living out of it already or choose to do so in the future.

Again, and we are going in circles here, why should the latter give up their time and hard earned knowledge so that the former don't have to do their part?

You have this great source of information available, nothing is blocked, yet it's not enough.

If you are not willing to do your research, why should the professionals help you again, and again and again? The information already exists, here and elsewhere, use it!

Try to think for yourselves. Even though it's hard and obviously not that common anymore.

 

I think the forum has always been clear that a great deal of information and expertise is offered, but that there's a limit to what can be conveyed over the Internet. Most people need some assistance IRL.

 

With respect, SG, I don't think there's any reason to insult people. I believe most do try to think for themselves.  This isn't a home sewing forum, that's well-established, but you should see the questions on some of the sites I visit.  Literally five times a week someone has a bird's nest and can't figure it out even though the question's been answered 100 times.  Instead of starting with the obvious, simply holding the threads taut before beginning the sewing line, some people are advising the OP to take apart the bobbin mechanism.  I'm not kidding.

 

I hate to sound like a grumpy old lady, but some people have been raised to think that everything should be easy and they should be able to learn everything on their own terms, including ignoring basic instructions to be found in every tailoring book or class.  These are the people who think that if they spend an hour a day studying Spanish they'll be chatting fluently with the natives in Madrid in three months.


Edited by tailleuse, 09 June 2015 - 11:02 PM.

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


#24 cperry

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 03:16 AM

There is good and valuable info in SG's writeup. Minus the tension between pros and non pros, it could be a great help to all on the forum.

I see learning tailoring as similar to computer science, it's best to have a community of people helping each other. I was a technical writer for a while before retiring to homeschooling. There is a grand scenario between technical people and non-technical people. If they work together, the outcome could be a document that is understood by the 'learner' and a time saver for the pro.

SG's points are well-taken and it is a reality today that people are less willing to study and try their hand at things... I've read articles about how employers spend $$ to retrain people after they 'shut down' during their schooling. The fear of failure can be disabiling. There is a need for encouraging people to try, whether they fail or not.
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