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Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by banksmiranda, Oct 4, 2003.
Fine recommendations - Classic Tailoring Techniques is particularly good because it has lots of pictures, and approaches the suit from a bit of an old school style (in the sense that it emphasizes standard practical issues, and there are no '80s big hair pictures.)
Another good one is "Couture Sewing Techniques" (author escapes me), which is for womenswear, so you don't get any patterns, but the hand sewing advice/techniques is very good. It also provided me with some insight into the "artsy" world of couture and countless ways to hide layers and build shape.
A query for Banksmiranda and anyone else:
Have you actually tried to make your own garments using these books, or do you use them to make yourself a more educated customer? If the former, what has been your experience in trying this; any lessons or learnings along with your tailoring background would be interesting.
For me it was learning through necessity, and also I'm of the mindset that if something is simple enough for someone else to do, I can do it myself. I can't be bothered to run to a tailor every time I needed a hem done or something stitched up, plus getting it done exactly the way you want is always a pain, so I started doing my own sewing. I remember starting with jeans - good for beginners since the thread is easy to find and it's hard to screw up (though tough if you don't have a free arm machine.) I've sewn pants, t-shirts, and I'm working on a shirt right now (can't find the time to finish it properly.) I've also done my own suit alterations (simple stuff like waist in/out, adjusting sleeves, etc.) and have knitted a bunch of sweaters and hats for myself as well.
I agree with BM that it takes patience and practice (and TIME.) to become proficient. Work on scrap pieces or old clothes until you get the hang of it. If you want an easy beginner's sewing project, I would suggest a pair of pants (something like sweats or casual pants with no back pockets) or a t-shirt. Then try a pair of dress pants (toughest part is not the sewing, but cutting the back pocket properly).
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