Jump to content


Photo

Do beginners underestimate the difficulty?


  • Please log in to reply
100 replies to this topic

Poll: Underestimating the task (61 member(s) have cast votes)

Do beginners underestimate the difficulty of learning to cut and make up a coat?

  1. No, beginners have realistic expectations of the level of difficulty (3 votes [4.92%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.92%

  2. Voted Beginners have a fair expectation of the level of difficulty (10 votes [16.39%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.39%

  3. Yes, beginners significantly underestimate the level of difficulty (48 votes [78.69%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 78.69%

How many hours should a novice set aside to draft and make up a basic lounge jacket?

  1. 40-80 hours (8 votes [13.11%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.11%

  2. 81-120 hours (13 votes [21.31%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.31%

  3. 121-160 hours (7 votes [11.48%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 11.48%

  4. 161-200 hours (7 votes [11.48%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 11.48%

  5. 201-240 hours (12 votes [19.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.67%

  6. Voted 241-280 hours (3 votes [4.92%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.92%

  7. 281-320 hours (5 votes [8.20%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 8.20%

  8. 321-360 hours (6 votes [9.84%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.84%

How many coats should a beginner have made before professionally making coats for others?

  1. 3 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. 4 (1 votes [2.08%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.08%

  3. 5 (2 votes [4.17%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.17%

  4. 6 (5 votes [10.42%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 10.42%

  5. 7 (1 votes [2.08%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.08%

  6. 8 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  7. 9 (1 votes [2.08%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.08%

  8. 10 (11 votes [22.92%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 22.92%

  9. 11 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  10. 12 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  11. 13 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  12. 14 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  13. 15 (9 votes [18.75%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 18.75%

  14. 16 (1 votes [2.08%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.08%

  15. 17 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  16. 18 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  17. 19 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  18. 20 (2 votes [4.17%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.17%

  19. Voted >20 (15 votes [31.25%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 31.25%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 Sator

Sator

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 04 August 2010 - 12:59 PM

Do you think that beginners underestimate the level of difficulty associated with learning to draft, fit and make up lounge coats to a reasonable professional standard? By lounge coat I mean a very basic and simple man's model without unusual or fancy features that increase the level of complexity. Women are also harder to fit and there are more seams on a lady's coat.

How many hours do you think that a beginner should plan to set aside to learn how to draft and make up a basic lounge coat on their own. I mean without help and learning only from books and the internet.

Lastly, how many practice coats do you have to have made before you are ready to start offering to draft, fit and make up coats for clients on your own?

#2 k03san

k03san

    Umsie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sweden

Posted 04 August 2010 - 08:14 PM

I consider myself as a complete beginner when it comes to tailoring. However, I have sewn a lot during the past eight years.

I want to improve my skills further, but I have found that it is really hard for a beginner to find information about proper techniques (until you find C&T). Further, finding the right supplies and decent cloth has been a challenge that I did not foresee. I started out by asking in my local sewing supplies store, expecting them be able to procure supplies such as sleeve heads, canvas and quality thread for me. This was not the case; and I was told that such supplies were not used today.

I have started the process of learning to make tailored garments (as opposed to making home-made clothes) by focusing on trousers. I am struggling with finding the perfect fit, but with the help of Cabrera I think I am getting closer.

As a beginner I think it is hard to foresee the pitfalls, however if you are attempting it seriously, I do think that you expect it to be both complex and difficult.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge.

#3 J. Maclochlainn

J. Maclochlainn

    Master

  • Senior Professional
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,127 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 August 2010 - 09:21 PM

Great poll and thread Sator, I was thinking about writing an article here for beginners, and I might still do. This will definitely put into focus the true reality of tailoring.

In my historical tailoring articles, I always tell people not to be afraid of tailoring, but instead they should have a healthy respect for the art and science of it all and not underestimate the workmanship and time needed to achieve these results. Too many times people get cocky by being able to crank out passable coats via commercial patterns and think tailoring is just an extension of these skills. No one truly realizes the truth until they attempt to tailor for the first time. Commercial patterns are dumbed down, they use over simplified factory methods and mathematically matched seams in an over all general and typically 2 sizes too big garment. They do this to hide any characteristics of ill fit and poor craftsmanship.

The poll really puts the amount of time and number of garments into perspective. The beginner should take note, the poll reflects our experience and/or the experience of teaching and working with others. The amount of time depends upon your skill level, material and resolve to do the work proper, neat and to a high standard.
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#4 jukes

jukes

    Pro

  • Senior Professional
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,164 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London Suburbs

Posted 04 August 2010 - 10:15 PM

A big problem with beginners is that they jump straight in by trying to make a coat. Without first sitting and learning the hand stitches, learning how to use an iron properly, making all different types of pockets, how to sew a trouser fly correctly, etc etc etc, once the basics are learn t, its trousers, waistcoat, coat, overcoat. Once all that has been absorbed, then think about drafting, cutting.

#5 J. Maclochlainn

J. Maclochlainn

    Master

  • Senior Professional
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,127 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 August 2010 - 10:59 PM

Amen Jukes :im Not Worthy:
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#6 amateursarto

amateursarto

    Pro

  • Senior Apprentice
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 559 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:STL, MO, USA
  • Interests:shirt and tie making, tailoring

Posted 05 August 2010 - 12:29 AM

i think newbs, (like me), do underestimate the difficulty of tailoring. we also don't have the resources readily at hand that once were available easily. when it comes to jumping right in with a coat, what some pros don't realize is that some of us know that because of various factors, (age, time constraints, etc), don't expect to produce a fully tailored garment. for folks like me, it's a hobby that enjoy very much, but because i can't dedicate 40-80 hours to making a coat, i look to produce something that's really good, but not so time consuming. for that reason, i think, some of us, may skip ahead to something that's over of our heads.
AMATEURSARTO

#7 J. Maclochlainn

J. Maclochlainn

    Master

  • Senior Professional
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,127 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 August 2010 - 12:33 AM

You see that's what confuses me, why not spend 40-80 hours (or more) on making a coat properly, with love and to the best of ones ability? Seriously, use good materials, a fashionably neutral pattern, leave a couple of inlays in and you have a coat that will literally last you a lifetime.
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#8 amateursarto

amateursarto

    Pro

  • Senior Apprentice
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 559 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:STL, MO, USA
  • Interests:shirt and tie making, tailoring

Posted 05 August 2010 - 01:12 AM

I think what you describe is what I plan to do on my first suit. in fact i probably spend at least that amount of time making my son's suits. i guess what bugs me about all of this is the condescending and sometimes condemning nature of some of the posts when newbs deviate from the suggested (and best) way of doing things.
AMATEURSARTO

#9 Martin Stall

Martin Stall

    Wizard

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 979 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Spain

Posted 05 August 2010 - 01:20 AM

All I want to add here for now, is a quote from my teacher, the wonderful and great mr Dahoe. He beat me around the head with it every single day, repeatedly:

"People underestimate this job"

Fifteen years later, I am beginning to see the sheer depth and truth of it. By the way: I nowadays include myself in the nomer: "people".
Sure, I believe your work rocks, but... have you considered, how are you going to sell that stuff?

http: under construction...

#10 J. Maclochlainn

J. Maclochlainn

    Master

  • Senior Professional
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,127 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 August 2010 - 01:24 AM

i guess what bugs me about all of this is the condescending and sometimes condemning nature of some of the posts when newbs deviate from the suggested (and best) way of doing things.


Well I think it's frustration, we have been there, we know. It's a bit of a kick to the bollocks when someone says "HI, teach me something" then we take the time to help to the best of our abilities, being limited by the technologie only for them to say "ok, whatever, I'm going to do it the complete and opposite way you tell me" then you have RR, god bless him, but damn! We all went out of our way practically spoon feeding him and yet he got to the point of demanding more and in the 4 months we went round and round with him he never so much as picked up a needle, and yet lectured us on what we need to do here.

I understand the new people are excited and want to strike out big, but the fact remains that "THIS IS A TRADE LEARNED OVER MANY YEARS". So the beginners need to understand we are not saying things to be mean, but trying to be honest and be a grounding force to the ambitions of a cub. Don't take advantage of us or our time, do not demand to learn how to set sleeves before you can even do a fore-stitch and show us something and we will return the favour in kind. :thumbsup:
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#11 Martin Stall

Martin Stall

    Wizard

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 979 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Spain

Posted 05 August 2010 - 01:29 AM

Oh no, not another RR reference....
Sure, I believe your work rocks, but... have you considered, how are you going to sell that stuff?

http: under construction...

#12 J. Maclochlainn

J. Maclochlainn

    Master

  • Senior Professional
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,127 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 August 2010 - 01:33 AM

I miss the wee bugger :)
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#13 Martin Stall

Martin Stall

    Wizard

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 979 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Spain

Posted 05 August 2010 - 01:39 AM

Meh, you're a softie.

You miss him? You mean you lack aggravation? I thought you were married :Big Grin:
Sure, I believe your work rocks, but... have you considered, how are you going to sell that stuff?

http: under construction...

#14 amateursarto

amateursarto

    Pro

  • Senior Apprentice
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 559 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:STL, MO, USA
  • Interests:shirt and tie making, tailoring

Posted 05 August 2010 - 01:39 AM

I see what you mean, but has that been what most of us newbs have done? also, if you don't answer those who are wasting your time, the thread dies.
AMATEURSARTO

#15 amateursarto

amateursarto

    Pro

  • Senior Apprentice
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 559 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:STL, MO, USA
  • Interests:shirt and tie making, tailoring

Posted 05 August 2010 - 01:55 AM

J, What would your article on this subject include? I'd really like to hear what it was like for you all (the pros) starting out on your first projects.
AMATEURSARTO

#16 J. Maclochlainn

J. Maclochlainn

    Master

  • Senior Professional
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,127 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 August 2010 - 02:27 AM

No, we have some beginners that have dug right in and it's great, they post pics and say hey what's wrong here. They treat it as a learning experience.

I see what you mean about letting threads die and there have been a few that have. Some of the ones that seemed to carry on were on subjects or feelings that are important for others here to learn. We are all learning here, and while I can not speak for others here, personally I apologise if I ever come off as "condescending and condemning" as I truly do not wish to be perceived this way. I know what it's like to learn from books and take upon the weight of centuries of tailoring experience and I have reinvented the wheel more than once. As the saying goes "A wise man learns from his mistakes, an even wiser man learns from the mistakes of others. Yes we all need to make mistakes to learn, but there are certain mistakes that make no difference either way and just hinders the learning process in a big waste of time.

I will make it clear, here and now, I fully believe in a systematic methodology to learning tailoring. I believe in learning fundamental skills before proceeding and this does not include home sewing skills. I also believe that any person truly willing to learn this art will look past the snippy remarks from the more experienced members of this forum and not become discouraged due to the simple truths given here. In the end I think it more detrimental to the learner to take on more than their skill set can manage and be discouraged and give up than just to slow down, listen and learn. A lot can be learned here just by taking the time to read, even before asking a question. There are great posts here by Jefferyd who is probably one of the most talented tailors in the world today, although he is no longer active here he gives wonderful advice and insight. There are many many posts by SG on many and varied topics, some are more advanced in nature but he gives a lot of knowledge that can be used by the beginner. You have Jukes and Mansie, these men were cutting and tailoring with obsidian shears and bone needles. JC, though we have had our digs is vastly knowledgeable and has been willing to take a moment and add his words of wisdom. Sator, well he's a theoretical one, deeply passionate, vastly book smart on the subject and a lot of his posts are well above entrylevel comprehension, but he is grounded in understanding the fundamental knowledge needed hence all the great beginning threads on making up he has taken the time to scan, he just needs to pick up a needle a little more often that's all :p For me, ignore me, I'm an opinionated loud mouth, but I have experience and I have taught myself and I have done well with it. You know why? because I learned from MY mistakes. The very first coat I attempted to tailor myself was a disaster and very nearly gave up. I realized then I did not have the skills to do this and then my next garment was a pair of trousers, I failed, then failed again, then I did it and moved on.

I will always hold the above views and will not sugar coat anything. This is not a costuming forum where everyone is nice and says "oh that's so lovely" through gritted teeth. This is a tailoring forum, the active members here, save for Sator, make a living from it in one capacity or another and their views and advice should be welcomed with an open mind and honest heart. Those new to tailoring are lied to constantly, I will never lie and will always give an honest opinion, if I didn't I would not be true to myself, true to my art and to the trade.

Edited by J. Maclochlainn, 05 August 2010 - 02:38 AM.

Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#17 sonny

sonny

    Umsie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 05 August 2010 - 04:23 AM

This is my first post. I have been reading the site for a few months and find it invaluable.
I started to play with tailoring a few years ago by taking appart an old bespoke suit I had and trying to copy it. Which i didnt do very well i can tell you!! The jacket ended up in the bin but the trousers were wearable.
I then dicovered Cabreras book which seems to be a stepping stone for most newcomers. It showed me the basics. This helped me progress. I made a few more suits which are OK and i wear regularly.
When i discovered this forum by chance it changed everything. I am now making up my fist coat from my own draft which i got from the forum. I will post some picture up as i progress. I have made a few mistakes with this one already mainly the breast pocket which is a bit too close to the sleeve seam as i altered the armhole.
It is great to have such great advice on hand.
Well done Sator and all of the other contributors.

#18 greger

greger

    Master

  • Senior Professional
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington, USA

Posted 05 August 2010 - 05:49 AM

AMATEURSARTO,


Time management is important. When you start out don't expect to finish the garment in a long time. Don't cheapen your learning by taking shortcuts. If you want to make a quick garment on the side, go ahead. But start out with one good one to learn from, and do that whole garment right.


Do every part perfect. That means undo your errors until you have it perfect. David Morgan has made many of the whips that Holly Wood has used for many decades and he wrote in one of his books that one person for learning will make ten whips and another will make one. Supposedly making ten whips and the tenth will be much better. But ten whips with the same errors means not better. Who wants ten poorly made whips. The person that makes one and takes apart his errors as he does them until the errors are gone will have a nice whip. The next whip will be so much faster in the making and even better, because now, he has real skills and he knows more of what he is doing and his aim of quality is so much higher.


And visit tailors. They can show you or even tell you something in 5 seconds that might take you 5 years to learn by yourself. What a tailor can show you in 30 seconds can save you from fumbling around for years and years. When being shown you see many things. How to do something and the difference between poorly made and quality. Seeing quality, instead of guessing at it, really makes a difference. Somethings take 5 minutes or more. But, tailoring is just a bunch of steps to achieve the mountain top. Just a visit now and then, so you don't waste his time and be a bother, and visit other tailors. Every tailor has his own opinions. Some tailors will mislead you, but, so what. Move along. Don't put in homemade or manufacturing methods in these garments you are learning from.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users