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

trousers patterns alterations

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#1 Schneidergott

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 12:22 AM

I took the time to put together a simple guide regarding what to do before you ask for help on the forum. It is in no way complete (if it was I could publish it as  a book and make money from it).

In case you wonder "Why?", the answer is quite simple. I frequently get frustrated when I see posts regarding more or less the same problem, mostly related to making trousers. And I'm not the only one, many professionals simply give up when they see either no progress or the OPs prefer to take the advice of another amateur.

 

Anyway, here it is:

 

For aspiring „tailors“ out there:

 


 

We’ve had quite a few threads that covered the subject of trouser making which, sadly, got blown up beyond proportion and either lead nowhere or weren't used as a reference for others.

 

One of the reasons for that was (and still is) the often lack of understanding how the different elements in the process of making a garment work.

 

Let’s start with the pattern. I have no idea why someone with often zero experience would want to draft a pattern from scratch. Chances are they’ll end up with a pattern full of flaws, because they got their measurements and/ or the formulas wrong and end up with a big mess and leave it to forum members to sort it out.

 

So here is my advice (for “normal” figures):

 

  1. Buy a commercial pattern. They are available online or in specialized shops/ stores. It doesn’t matter which company made it, just make sure it has your size on it. Online sources for decent multisize patterns are:

http://muellersohn.c...nittmusterbogen

http://www.shobenfas...block-patterns/

Amazon and other (online) shops selling BURDA, Butterick, Vogue and so on.

  1. Pick the size that is closest to yours. Go for the larger one of your measurements, meaning that if (for trousers) your waist is size 50 (EU), but your hips are size 52(EU), go for the size 52(EU). And vice versa.

          It’s easier to take a garment/ pattern in than letting it out.

 

  1. Choose materials that are easier to work with. Don’t copy the pattern using flimsy paper, go for stronger stuff that keeps its shape and that you don’t have to pin to the cloth. Use weights to keep the pattern in place on the cloth. No need to buy expensive stuff for that. The cheapest weights are (for example) strong freezer bags filled with sand. For durability use 2 bags for one weight and seal them tightly. If you are more the DIY type, you can use clean old yoghurt cups and fill them with a ready to use concrete mix. You have the option to paint the weights in your favourite colour. Glue some felt to the bottom to avoid damage to paper or cloth.

 

  1. Transfer all the marks to “your” pattern. This makes it easier to apply alterations later on.

 

  1. Take proper measurements, which in most cases means let someone do it for you. Preferably in front of a big mirror as to check whether the tape is actually in the right place. There are threads about taking your measurements here on the forum or just search the internet.

 

  1. Compare and transfer your measurements to that given in the pattern size chart and see point 2).

          Müller (Rundschau) patterns come without instructions, since they are meant for professionals. Others (like BURDA, Butterick/ Vogue have a little booklet with instructions that include pattern alterations.             There is also quite a large number of books available that cover this subject.

          Since you have a proper pattern you have lines to work with that are based on a tried and tested system. Once you get the important measures right (waist, hips and rise) you can then proceed to adjust             the secondary ones (like leg length and width).

 

  1. Buy cloth that allows you to work with it. Stay away from stuff that has too much synthetics in it. Go for a high wool content.

 

  1. Check your pattern. The seams should have the same lengths, only exception in the inside leg seam. Here the back trouser is at least 5 mm shorter than the front. This amount is added through ironwork. Make sure you have enough ease built in. For example you need a minimum of 6 cm ease in the hips for a plain front trouser and a normal figure. For pleated trousers add the amount in the pleat. This number can go up and may need redistribution according to figure features (strong hips, butt shape and so on). Whether you put the seam allowances onto the pattern pieces or you keep it net is up to you. Rundschau mentions the amount of seam allowance on the pattern (when included usually 0, 75 cm), others give a hint in their manuals. Just make sure it’s a constant amount along each seam, for example 2 cm all along the inside and outside leg. Don’t leave too big inlays at the centre front and centre back, as they will create tightness when sewn.

 

  1. Keep in mind that your first attempts may not be satisfying, but even professionals use fittings to get things right.

 

  1. If something is off, try to figure out what went wrong. If necessary, go back to the start and repeat the entire process to check for mistakes you might have made.

 

  1. Transfer lines and marks onto the cloth. Important ones are: centre front (fly), waist (top of trousers), crease line all the way down, knee level, hem line. These will come in handy when assessing possible fit problems (balance, tightness, and lengths).

 

  1. Work with precision. Use the marks as guides when putting the pieces together. Don’t worry about pockets in a mock up. First you need to get the fit right.

 

  1. Put a zipper into the front fly and attach the waistband. Make sure it cannot stretch. Either press the seams open or baste them down to one side. Either way, the garment should look clean without puckers and unnecessary pleats.

Have pictures taken during the fitting. Check for distortions, pulls or ripples. The direction of those will (literally) point you in the right direction.

 

Easiest things to check are:

 

Run of front crease. It should be straight from top to hem. If it isn’t there is something wrong with the leg width (the line is pulled other towards the outside leg seam or into the crotch) or the balance (line is swinging away from the centre of the foot).

Hollow areas usually appear along with tight areas.

 

Most common flaws are (showing up on their own or in combinations):

  1. Tightness over the hips, which will make the waist area above look full.
  2. Waist attached to the band without ease or stretched out. The waist should have at least 1 cm ease (compared to the finished waistband) on each side and needs to be fulled onto the waistband shortly before and behind the side seam. This will give room for the hip bone. If more is needed, put in a small dart half way between front crease and side seam. Just make sure it doesn’t interfere with the pocket.
  3. “Whiskers” at the front fork indicate that the fork is too tight. Often comes along with:

 

3a) The centre back seam pulled into the crack. Let out front fork/ inside leg seam at the top and give the seam a nice run down to the knee.

3b) Short rise and long rise (rise is the difference between outside and inside leg measures). Simply means that it’s not in the right place, either too high up or too far down.

  1. Diagonal pulls from the top of front thigh down to the back of calves. This indicates a lack of length for strong calves. Can be fixed with ironwork, if cloth allows it.
  2. Horizontal folds under the butt. They can have at least 2 causes.
  1. Wrong balance (back trousers too long above the hip)
  2. Centre back seam too angled/ long.
  3. Rise too short, fullness for the hips/ thighs doesn’t go to the right place and is blocked in the fork.

Keep in mind that a very clean trouser leg will mean that the trousers will be uncomfortable when sitting or using stairs. You will need a certain amount of fullness and length in the fork and seat for comfort. 


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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.


#2 SPOOKIETOO

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 05:43 AM

SG - I don't know whether to say "Amen!" or "Hallelujah!"

So just a great big THANK YOU! :-)



#3 Henry Hall

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 06:59 AM

Well, people can click the like button, but not a few are those who have benefited from just such threads containing Q&As that have arisen before. Reading old threads doesn't always address a particular problem. Now what are new people going to do, muddle along alone for fear of forum repetition? Very clever.


Edited by Henry Hall, 08 June 2015 - 07:00 AM.

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Each phenomenon which is taken up should be treated with as much thoroughness as possible at that standpoint... One thing at a time and that done well!

 

- Otto Jespersen (How to Teach a Foreign Language).


#4 Alievens

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 07:10 AM

Great post! Thanks

 

Just a general thought and not necessarily related to SG's post:

 

I think that without those recent posts about fitting trousers, it would have been rather quiet in here.

I'm sure a lot of people have been enjoying them, I certainly learned a few interesting bits here and there.

 

I'm quoting a post Sator made a couple of years ago.

 

Just a little word to all of our members. 

Education is something that is really important. So, if you are a learner, whether on your own or as part of an apprenticeship please feel free to join in on the discussion. Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how basic or silly they may seem. Tailors please encourage apprentices to participate. Please don't feel the Professional and Technical Forum is only for seasoned pros either, as we have plenty of home sewers here as well. 

 

 

Maybe things have changed a lot, but it's sad to see the enthusiasm gets dampened so often with the idea that the tailoring craft cannot be learned without hands-on experience with a master. It may be true, but at least let everyone have fun trying!


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#5 Schneidergott

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 09:25 AM

My point was mainly about attempting to draft from scratch instead of starting with a ready made pattern.

What is the point of that? Tailors develop their own draft up to a point where they fully understand what needs to be done for a certain figure type. And that can take years.

 

 

 

Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how basic or silly they may seem.

 

I can only speak for myself, but seeing the same questions asked over and over again by different people is rather frustrating. It has little to nothing to do with damping enthusiasm of the members.

 

I don't mind people trying to draft their own patterns, anyone is welcome to do so, but not before they understand the basics. And the questions asked indicate that they don't.

We've had several threads about trouser making with often numerous pages of attempts to fix the problems, which in most cases were caused by not fully understanding the draft and the necessary manipulations.

 

So, before you post here asking for help try to figure things out by/ for yourself. It may take some time to do so, but if those seeking answers aren't willing to spend their time, why should the professionals give up theirs?

There is a lot of free information available, either here on this forum or in others. There are also books on drafting and fitting.


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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.


#6 Henry Hall

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 09:52 AM

We've had several threads about trouser making with often numerous pages of attempts to fix the problems, which in most cases were caused by not fully understanding the draft and the necessary manipulations.

 

So, before you post here asking for help try to figure things out by/ for yourself. It may take some time to do so, but if those seeking answers aren't willing to spend their time, why should the professionals give up theirs?

There is a lot of free information available, either here on this forum or in others. There are also books on drafting and fitting.

 

I suppose that's a fair point.


Each phenomenon which is taken up should be treated with as much thoroughness as possible at that standpoint... One thing at a time and that done well!

 

- Otto Jespersen (How to Teach a Foreign Language).


#7 hutch48

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 02:40 PM

I am much inclined to agree with Sator here, if this forum became an elitist pecking order venue, it would die very quickly yet with the arrangement of highly experience commercially successful tailors helping out where they can if they have the time seems to work well and there is room for a variety of people with different ranges of experience that regularly make contributions to other members. If the world was restricted to 1930s designed 3 piece men's business suits that fitted like a sack of spuds, then treading down the well worn path of out of date ideas would bore everyone to tears yet a vast number of very experienced tailors make many more things than old style business suits for men.

 

Sator's trailing caption, "Tradition is about passing the flame, and not worshipping the ashes." is much of how I see a specialised forum of this type. There has always been a "trial and error" component in design in almost any field, give it a blast, see if it works and if it doesn't, fix it and try again. Technology change occurs in almost every field, tailoring is no exception and it ranges from fabrics, machinery, pattern design, haberdashery supplies etc etc etc .... Then there is garment types, sports wear, bridal wear, business suits for the ladies, swim wear, stretch wear, utility style garments, dress making and so on and each is a specialised field well suited to highly skilled people making good quality garments. Why abandon the vast majority of clothing construction techniques when its the case that the more the merrier.

 

The real competition is between mass produced junk from the slave labour pits of Indo-China and good quality garments made by skilled people and while period costumes like 1930s designed men's business suits has it place, thank God we are not saddled with stuff like that any longer. Many of the senior members with very long periods of work in the field are at the higher end of their life and will not last forever, far better to have enough people to learn the skill that they can pass down than let their skill fade away as they do.



#8 Schneidergott

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 04:20 PM

A little "history" lesson for those who weren't around when this forum came to life.

 

Sator started it after the tailor section on The London Lounge was shut down by it's owner because he thought it would take up too much space and lead nowhere anyway.

 

This forum was intended to be a source of knowledge and a place for professional, open discussions for tailors, their apprentices and customers.

And not as a help desk for amateurs. Like it or not.

 

Hutch, why would any professional give up their private and (often rare) free time and spend hours on end to scan and clean up images, translate pages of still valuable and often priceless information and post it here?

The few who did, did this to help the trade and preserve the age old knowledge for future tailors.


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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.


#9 hutch48

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 07:20 PM

SG,

 

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


Just a little word to all of our members. 

Education is something that is really important. So, if you are a learner, whether on your own or as part of an apprenticeship please feel free to join in on the discussion. Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how basic or silly they may seem. Tailors please encourage apprentices to participate. Please don't feel the Professional and Technical Forum is only for seasoned pros either, as we have plenty of home sewers here as well.

 

Then we have your above posting that seems to say the opposite. Now I don't see any problem with different people having different opinions and this is even among the moderators who of course all have different level of experience, different expertises and different amounts of available time but when it comes to what a person who is learning how to make particular types of garments reads a posting like your title piece in this topic, they will see the "Go away" message or the "we cannot be bothered" message which is very unfortunate as you lose people who often have the determination to learn something properly.

 

Now to address the very long thread that Tom posted, yes it does have many mistakes, both from Tom and various folks who have tried to help him but to be equally fair, Tom has done a lot of work and has gone to the effort to show the results and as he has kept modifying his pattern, he has continued to get improvements in the fit of his trousers. This type of information is invaluable for many other people who need to try and modify an existing pattern to fit as it shows them in stages where the problems are and a variety of suggestions on how to fix it. Now I have no doubt that technology on this level would drive a professional nuts as most professionals already know how to make a pattern fit a person of a different shape but it does have its place as people learning to make clothing are the ones who will replace the older members who will eventually pass away.

 

I have read around this forum reasonably well and I see people like Sator, yourself, DZ (apart from his unusual sense of humour), Mansie, the very complex period costumes that Terri makes and of course many others who have made the effort to make important material available to members but if you send the message to learners that they are a nuisance that you cannot be bothered with, you will see this forum die and the expertise available will be lost forever. What I am suggesting to you is a little more tolerance, even if the blunders drive you mad because there is enough expertise floating around here to help out when a task is being addressed the wrong way.

 

Let me share where I am coming from here, I fund and run a technical forum for computer programmers in what is probably the most complex and demanding area of computer programming, assembly language programming. I share the burden of running it with a number of older members who are at least as cantankerous as I am and we have among the best in the world helping out. There are time when you see code that is so bad or so poorly understood that you shudder yet the only way they get better is to help them out, show them better ways of doing things. Now it is common for there to be many different answers from a variety of people, some being better than others but its the case of the more, the merrier.

 

Running the forum and maintaining the Unix server takes up a bit too much of my time but it pays off in the forum having been very effective for over 10 years when most of the rest have died away. Collectively we have passed the sword to a following generation and many have produced very good fast code and know how very basic things work properly. I would hope that this forum can do the same, pass the flame, not worship the ashes.



#10 greger

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 07:50 PM

Didn't read everything SG wrote above. But, one problem of the past, and history repeats itself, is beginners asking questions without research and trial and error first. It seems a few expected somebody to come and sew for them, they were to lazy to even try. If it is already in a book why would someone write it again here. Just go check out the book from the library. I've asked the library to get books from other libraries, even as far away as England. Even used clothing stores, tailored shows up, so you can see what good hand sewing looks like. You can pull on it to see how it moves. Looking on the Internet this one tailor was pin fitting a coat, you see how the pins are used. Duffy has a picture or two pin fitting pants. The imagination should help solve a lot of problems. When traveling stop at tailor shops and and ask questions. Some will take you down a wild goose chase, but others can be very helpful. Like so many things of quality patience is part of learning. The impatience make garbage. Quality skills take work to achieve. Showing how to is very different from trying to explain. Although, some people learn better with words than visual. I have found myself writing stuff that I have already written here and decided I'm not a parrot. To clog up the website with repeats just make more work to find answers.

Edited by greger, 08 June 2015 - 07:52 PM.

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#11 Henry Hall

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 09:00 PM

A little "history" lesson for those who weren't around when this forum came to life.

 

Sator started it after the tailor section on The London Lounge was shut down by it's owner because he thought it would take up too much space and lead nowhere anyway.

 

This forum was intended to be a source of knowledge and a place for professional, open discussions for tailors, their apprentices and customers.

And not as a help desk for amateurs. Like it or not.

 

Hutch, why would any professional give up their private and (often rare) free time and spend hours on end to scan and clean up images, translate pages of still valuable and often priceless information and post it here?

The few who did, did this to help the trade and preserve the age old knowledge for future tailors.

 

If professionals were already going to scan all the material for each other there is no extra effort involved in sharing the results with amateurs. In fact, a few amateurs here have also done work cleaning up scanned images (e.g. the now banned Ratspeed) that many people including professionals have eagerly consumed.

 

Until my account stopped working and Sator made me a new one, I was originally a member from late 2009 when there was no separate apprentices fora, only an addition to the bottom of the professional fora for amateurs. I'm sure the vision was that this would be a minor addition and that most forum activity would take place in the professional sections, but it didn't entirely work out that way. Clearly this forum was conceived as a rebirth of the Tailor and Cutter magazine ' for the trade', but the hunger for knowledge is not in the professional fora.

 

I actually see the point of the lead post to this thread in trying to prevent repetition and extra work for moderators. And Greger is probably right in that it clogs up the search and makes extra work. 


Each phenomenon which is taken up should be treated with as much thoroughness as possible at that standpoint... One thing at a time and that done well!

 

- Otto Jespersen (How to Teach a Foreign Language).


#12 Terri

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 09:11 PM

I agree with SG that if you have never sewn a garment before, never threaded a needle, never used a sewing machine - please start your learning curve with a commercial pattern of a simple garment.
Jumping into drafting first just makes the learning curve so steep that it is difficult to help. It is difficult enough to do in person and more over the internet.
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.
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#13 Henry Hall

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 12:41 AM

They can be deleted.


Each phenomenon which is taken up should be treated with as much thoroughness as possible at that standpoint... One thing at a time and that done well!

 

- Otto Jespersen (How to Teach a Foreign Language).


#14 lance

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 02:46 AM

I'm having trouble understanding the reasoning behind this post.

 

How many regular contributors to the Basic Apprentices forum ? Half a dozen ? How many posts a day ? Maybe one or two ? And this wastes professionals' precious time ? How long does it take to mentally note the names of the time wasters ?

 

Perhaps more pertinently, how many bona fide tailor's apprentices contribute here ? I would say zero. So, eliminate the amateurs and this forum will be killed stone dead. And this is the most active forum on here, check out the last update dates in the professional section. So what exactly will be left ? For sure, you won't be wasting much of your time.

 

As it happens I am a craftsman in another domain. Let me tell you that gifted and meticulous amateurs can produce better work than many so-called "professionals". What they can't do is to do it fast. Being a "professional" does not make someone good. I have seen on this very site Savile Row suits which I would be ashamed of myself.

 

Finally, the advice given to use commercial patterns is doubless sound, but I would be amazed if anyone followed it. You see, if we wanted to simply make Burda garments, we would not be here in the first place.


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#15 Schneidergott

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 04:59 AM

What I learned in the past years is that working tailors/ cutters don't like to share in public. Whether it's actually insecurity and fear to look foolish, or simply because they don't want to give away their hard earned knowledge and methods for free, I don't know. Most likely a bit of everything.

 

 

 

how many bona fide tailor's apprentices contribute here ?

 

Why would or should they contribute? They have their teachers/ masters to ask for advice or judge their progress. But I can assure you that they are not starting by drafting their own patterns. It's for a reason that the rule is: Learn how to make first and then proceed to cutting, and not the other way round. Some don't even make it to the cutting stage.

 

Didn't read everything SG wrote above. But, one problem of the past, and history repeats itself, is beginners asking questions without research and trial and error first. It seems a few expected somebody to come and sew for them, they were to lazy to even try. If it is already in a book why would someone write it again here. Just go check out the book from the library. I've asked the library to get books from other libraries, even as far away as England. Even used clothing stores, tailored shows up, so you can see what good hand sewing looks like. You can pull on it to see how it moves. Looking on the Internet this one tailor was pin fitting a coat, you see how the pins are used. Duffy has a picture or two pin fitting pants. The imagination should help solve a lot of problems. When traveling stop at tailor shops and and ask questions. Some will take you down a wild goose chase, but others can be very helpful. Like so many things of quality patience is part of learning. The impatience make garbage. Quality skills take work to achieve. Showing how to is very different from trying to explain. Although, some people learn better with words than visual. I have found myself writing stuff that I have already written here and decided I'm not a parrot. To clog up the website with repeats just make more work to find answers.

 

More or less exactly the point I was trying to make. Don't start a project without proper research and preparation. You will save yourself and everyone trying to help at a later stage a lot of time, because the process can be traced back to the point where the mistake happened. If you don't even know how to measure correctly you will end up with a flawed pattern. If you never drafted before chances are you won't be able to spot if something is off, so what's the point in proceeding or doing it in the first place? 

 

 

 

You see, if we wanted to simply make Burda garments, we would not be here in the first place.

 

The Rundschau block patterns are exactly what you will get when drafting with the same measurements, so using them is pretty safe in the sense that the pieces will line up and give you a proper garment. Use it to hone your sewing skills first. Learn how and where to use the iron and, most importantly, follow the instructions as closely as possible.

I am aware that many home sewers who attempt to make garments for themselves do so because they are having trouble to find something in the shops that fit them. But, to be honest, if you are having that kind of trouble, you will need a highly manipulated/ adjusted pattern, which even professionals won't get right without fittings.


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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.


#16 tailleuse

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 10:11 AM

My point was mainly about attempting to draft from scratch instead of starting with a ready made pattern.

What is the point of that? Tailors develop their own draft up to a point where they fully understand what needs to be done for a certain figure type. And that can take years.

 

 

 

Very good post. One thing, though: I thought that at one point the forum suggested that people do their own drafting as an alternative to using a commercial pattern, which is why some people are drafting. J. Maclochlainn wrote:

 

Your First Garment.

Your First Garment should either be a skirt (recommended) or a pair of trousers. I had been an advocate to start out with a commercially available pattern, but I have come to realize much work would be needed to make them suitable for tailoring that you might as well draft your own. It can be a little daunting at first but like the stitches it gets easier with practice. Once you make up a few you will start to see how the pattern truly works and be able to adjust more readily. 

 

http://www.cutterandtailor.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=2130&page=1

 

 

I'm a nonprofessional, but I've always suggested using patterns first.  In the classes I've taken I've used a class pattern drafted by a tailor and I don't see any point in trying to drafting from scratch without first being able to make up garments really, really well.  I've worked on a few relatively simple women's garments whose patterns I've either made through rub-offs or were the result of a greatly modified commercial pattern, but I had help. For one thing, I can't measure myself properly.  For another, the little "school" pattern making I've had wouldn't have been enough for the work I needed to do on the patterns.

 

It also seems to me that many of the people here who post muslins made from a draft are exceptionally hard working and motivated. I'm always impressed that they can progress as far as they do working on their own.


Edited by tailleuse, 09 June 2015 - 12:11 PM.

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#17 tailleuse

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 10:23 AM

I'm having trouble understanding the reasoning behind this post.

 

How many regular contributors to the Basic Apprentices forum ? Half a dozen ? How many posts a day ? Maybe one or two ? And this wastes professionals' precious time ? How long does it take to mentally note the names of the time wasters ?

 

Perhaps more pertinently, how many bona fide tailor's apprentices contribute here ? I would say zero. So, eliminate the amateurs and this forum will be killed stone dead. And this is the most active forum on here, check out the last update dates in the professional section. So what exactly will be left ? For sure, you won't be wasting much of your time.

 

As it happens I am a craftsman in another domain. Let me tell you that gifted and meticulous amateurs can produce better work than many so-called "professionals". What they can't do is to do it fast. Being a "professional" does not make someone good. I have seen on this very site Savile Row suits which I would be ashamed of myself.

 

Finally, the advice given to use commercial patterns is doubless sound, but I would be amazed if anyone followed it. You see, if we wanted to simply make Burda garments, we would not be here in the first place.

 

I actually am taking a series of classes that once was designed to enable a person to be hired as a tailor's apprentice.  It's taken forever because they keep getting cancelled when not enough people sign up. They are all construction classes. You learn construction first.  You keep developing your skills on the job, and then you learn to cut. In this forum, I've passed on what I've learned, which is strikingly similar to the instructions on how to teach yourself in the forum and in numerous books, but there are always people here who feel they know better.

 

Full-time tailoring and design students don't have time for fora like this and there's also the typical condescension that (usually) young students trying to launch a career demonstrate towards amateurs. They figure that if you really wanted to do this you'd be doing it.  They're going into debt in order to attend the best schools in the fashion centers of the world and doing internships, and learning fashion history, and fashion-related computer skills and  pulling all-nighters, why on earth would they even be thinking of you? I've known people even in middle age who turned their lives upside down in order to be able to do it.  It's only when people get older and more established that they think about giving back. And this kind of tailoring is dying out so a broader audience needs to be educated.

 

If you think that professionals and nonprofessionals are the same you're living in a dream world. First, there's the time element. If you're doing this for a living or are a student, you MUST spend huge amounts of time developing your skills, including doing many boring things that the average amateur lacks the inclination and time to do. Next, professionals have had IRL teachers.  Not everything can be learned online. Finally, there's access.  People who are professionals have access to information and supply networks that ordinary people don't have.

 

In the end, the denomination "professional" means nothing if your work is no good. Last week, I posted a link to a blog post showcasing some pretty awful work, but to suggest that in general a well-trained, experienced professional knows less than a talented amateur is silly.

 

I find such arrogance truly bizarre.


Edited by tailleuse, 10 June 2015 - 12:52 AM.

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#18 tailleuse

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 11:09 AM

Didn't read everything SG wrote above. But, one problem of the past, and history repeats itself, is beginners asking questions without research and trial and error first. It seems a few expected somebody to come and sew for them, they were to lazy to even try. If it is already in a book why would someone write it again here. Just go check out the book from the library. I've asked the library to get books from other libraries, even as far away as England. Even used clothing stores, tailored shows up, so you can see what good hand sewing looks like. You can pull on it to see how it moves. Looking on the Internet this one tailor was pin fitting a coat, you see how the pins are used. Duffy has a picture or two pin fitting pants. The imagination should help solve a lot of problems. When traveling stop at tailor shops and and ask questions. Some will take you down a wild goose chase, but others can be very helpful. Like so many things of quality patience is part of learning. The impatience make garbage. Quality skills take work to achieve. Showing how to is very different from trying to explain. Although, some people learn better with words than visual. I have found myself writing stuff that I have already written here and decided I'm not a parrot. To clog up the website with repeats just make more work to find answers.

 

I agree with most of what you say, but wanted to point out that sometimes people will come to the forum after having researched an issue and are posing their question here precisely because there are so many viable techniques and they can't decide what's best. People want to know what the tailors on this forum recommend for their particular problem. 

 

It's true that learners need to use their imaginations, but until they have sufficient sewing experience and success their intuitions aren't that helpful. Sometimes they can get further faster by simply asking.


Edited by tailleuse, 09 June 2015 - 12:05 PM.

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