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Subject: Textile Related Books FAQ: Part 2 of 3

This article was archived around: 27 Mar 1998 13:02:59 -0800

All FAQs in Directory: crafts/textiles/books
All FAQs posted in: alt.sewing, rec.crafts.textiles.sewing, rec.crafts.textiles.quilting, rec.crafts.textiles.misc
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: crafts/textiles/books/part2 Last-modified: 5 Sep 1996
(c) All the material in these faqs are copyrighted by the owner of the FAQs (which may change). Free use is encouraged. These FAQs are not to be reused for profit. This copyright must be kept with the FAQ used in it's entirety. Sewing books on specialty topics: NT: Notes on Tailoring Note about Tailoring: There are three general methods for tailoring jackets: -) classic or custom method: uses horsehair canvas and hand pad stitches to shape the front and collars. Labor intensive, but beautiful results -) Machine method: Uses a sewing machine to attach interfacing and shape a collar and the front. -) Contemporary methods: Uses fusible interfacing to shape the front of the jacket and the collar Other aspects of tailoring, such as attaching the lining and making the buttonholes, have several methods. Often the methods are labelled as either classic or contemporary. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Some books (Tailoring in {SRL,T:} and {TT&CT:}) cover all three; some books only cover one or two methods. Furthermore, there have been many articles on tailoring subjects. Many articles in Threads cover tailoring (including an examination of a quality men's suit in an early issue!). Many articles in Sandra Betzina's {SB:} books cover tailoring and include good tips and suggestions. In the July 1992 issue, Vogue Patterns started a four article series discussing tailoring. SRL,T: Singer Reference Library: Tailoring. I bought this book when I needed to make my first tailored suit in about three days. This book is suitable as a step by step introduction to tailoring women's jackets for someone who is an intermediate sewer. The book discusses the three methods for tailoring the collar and lapels: the traditional hand pad stitches, a more modern machine stitching method, and the contmporary methods using fusible interfacing. Whenever applicable, the book presents the three methods, starting with the traditional hand methods and ending with the contemporary fusible methods. The book also discusses traditional and contempory methods for attaching the lining, setting in sleeves and making buttonholes. The _Tailoring_ book covers only jackets and really concentrates on women's jackets although it does mention men's jackets. It covers a traditional collar and a shawl collar. If you read through the book carefully (before you start!), you can throw away the original pattern instructions and construct a well tailored suit jacket. You may need a fitting book to help solve non-trivial fitting problems. If you combine this book with a more complete Tailoring book (e.g. Ledbetter and Lansing's book) you will have a very good introduction to a complete set of tailoring procedures. TT&CT: Tailoring: Traditional and Contemporary Techniques. This is a very good and complete guide to tailoring. However it is NOT for beginners! If you have some experience sewing and want to get into tailoring, I would recommend getting the Singer book on Tailoring {SRL,T:} and this book. This book is a complete reference on all aspects of tailoring, whereas the Singer book is a good introduction with nice pictures to show you many details. _TT&CT_ covers all the traditional and contemporary methods discussed in Singer's book and goes into more detail for most topics. The illustrations are simple pen drawings with 2-4 illustrations on each page. TT&CT is a dense book and slow going if you try to read it cover to cover. However if you have time, skim the book and then use it as a constant reference while making a tailored suit. The book is well laid out, has room for notes in the margins and includes 30 pages of fitting and construstruction critiques (i.e. a check list of common problems to be used during all phases of construction). Tailoring: Traditional and Contemporary Techniques. N. Marie Letbetter and Linda Thiel Lansing. copyright 1981. Renston Publishing Company. about ?$30?. ISBN: 0-8359-7534-7. 385 pages. CTT: Classic Tailoring Techniques: A construction Guide for Women's Wear Classic Tailoring Techniques: A construction Guide for Men's Wear both books by Roberto Cabrera and Patricia Flaherty Meyers copyright 1984 by Fairchild Publications both books available from Unicorn as of 4/92 (see sewing FAQ for more info) These books discuss the classic techniques that use horsehair canvas and hand pad stitching for shaping. The books do not discuss machine or fusible methods. The Women's book includes chapters on: 1) general tailoring supplies, equipemtnt and techniques 2) chooseing a pattern and making preliminary adjustments such as the roll line, vents or cuffs 3) fit: taking measurements, making a muslin, fit adjustments for the muslin, 4) selecting and preparing fabric 5) layout and cutting, with a section devoted to stripes and plaids 6) details of the jacket, many types of pockets, attaching and adjusting a muslin sleeve and then attaching the final sleeve, linings and facings, a peplum 7) skirts, basic straight with various options, strait skirts with shiring or pleats 8) pants 9) alterations to labels, sleeves, lining, waistline and pants. If you do not plan to use classic construction techniques, you may find some useful chapters in the Women's Wear book such as: discussions on bound buttonholes, method of attaching and customizing the fit of a sleeve, discussions of shoulder pads, many types of pockets on the jacket and in the lining, notes on a peplum jacket, sections on skirts and pants, many types of pockets for the skirt and pants, and the sections on fit and alterations. Several of the sections in the Men's Wear book are very similar to the sections in the Women's Wear book. But the Men's Wear book includes quite a bit of information specific to Men's Wear and if you plan to do extensive tailoring for both sexes, you may wish to read both books. The Men's Wear book includes sections on measurements, pattern adjustments and fit for men's jackets, vests and pants. Most sections include detailed information about working with stripes or plaids. There is a long chapter (>100 pages) describing the steps in making the jacket, darts and pockets, making a custom collar, making custom sleeves, fitting a muslin sleeve to guarentee the correct hang, and the lining and lining pockets. The section on the pants includes several types of pockets, and customizations in the crotch and fly that are traditional in men's tailored pants. The Singer book on Tailoring {SRL,T:} has a very good introduction to the classic method. If you plan to use classic methods, the {CTT:} books provide many details that the Singer book does not discuss. The {CTT:} books could be used with {TT&CT:} since they describes some details that are not in {TT&CT:} and they have a more casual writing style with more illustrations. Both {CTT:} books are illustrated with simple pencil drawings and a few black and white photographs. The illustrations in {CTT:} are generally adequate and the descriptions are usually clear. The {CTT:} books have some very good tips and illustrations for working with plaids and stripes. Both {CTT:} books are easier to read than {TT&CT:}, but {TT&CT:} is a more thorough general reference. Most importantly, the {CTT:} books cover *only* the classic or custom methods of tailoring. See also: Tailoring Suits: The Professional Way. Clarence Paulin. {TS:} See also: The two Power Sewing {SB:} books by Sandra Betzina. Each book has quite a few articles on topics related to tailoring. The Singer book _Tailoring_ and the two Betzina books would make a very good reference set for making tailored suits and jackets. Both books concentrate on sewing women's clothing. See also: Many sewing reference books include a section on tailoring. C: Couture: Couture: The Art of Fine Sewing. by Roberta Carr. published by Palmer/Pletsch. 1993. About $30, 208 pages, hardbound. I (da faq keeper) purchased Carr's book immediately. I found the photography to be gorgeous. The first section of the book describes the haute coutre houses in the early part of the century. I found it's history to be facinating. I loved reading the narratives of the coutre clothes that Carr had designed for herself. I had not used the book for any technical knowledge, so here is another person's opinion on the technical aspect: I found many useful tips in _Couture_, but Carr did not include the extremely step-by-step instructions that I expected. The photos of garments are beautiful, but there are no in-progress photos. The chapter on bias discusses bias cut skirts, godets and bias binding. There are no sections that discuss designing entire garments with bias cuts (ala Madame Madeleine Vionnet). _Couture_ includes alot of good tips and many good ideas. It is not a comprehensive reference of techniques, but rather an annotated sketchbook of ideas. Note: Robbie Fanning and Claire B. Shaeffer are both writing books on couture techniques. As of spring 1993, Shaeffer's book is expected to be published by Taunton Press in about early 1994. Shaeffer has written a number of very good, very detailed articles on couture techniques for Threads. PP: Sew Any Patch Pocket (Claire B. Shaeffer) Covers many variations of patch pockets (however neither Diane nor I was able to find directions for the pocket on the front cover!). I found layout slightly ackward, but reasonable and not too repetitive. The third section of the book includes all of the directions that apply to all pockets (e.g. methods of applying facing, methods of sewing the pocket to the garment, etc). The middle section is a collection of pockets with the basic directions for each pocket. The directions for each pocket usually refer to the instructions in the third section so you will have to flip back and forth a few times. This book has numerous variations and this is it's strongest point. Shaeffer includes half a dozen (or more?) ways to face and line a pocket! She also has 3 or 4 ways of attaching invisable patch pockets and several options for bellows-style pockets. Illustrations are pen drawings and are sufficient and plentiful. paperback, approx $12. SASiP: Sew Any Set-In Pocket (Claire B. Shaeffer) Covers 46 designs of set-in pockets. The first half of the book covers inseam pockets while the second half covers slash pockets. Both include pocket variations from designer ready to wear. 118p softbound b&w illustrations. Published by Chilton Book Co., 1994. $14.95 ($18.95 Canada) 1-800-695-1214 phone 1-215-964-4745 fax S: Shirtmaking. David Page Coffin A Tauntaun Press publication. I got the video and the book together. I enjoyed watching the video because he's very good at the instructions. The book is well laid out with good illustrations. He has some common techniques presented in an easy to read fashion. I'll be trying them out on some shirts I just cut out. NSBC: Notes on Sewing Books for Kids [carolyn@bucket.rain.com (Carolyn Peterson)] I think _Let's Sew_ is a good beginning sewing book. After an older teen or adult has the basics down from this book and wants to do more on their own, I suggest _Mother Pletsch's Painless Sewing with Pretty Pati's Perfect Pattern Primer_ by Pati Palmer and Susan Pletsch (list $7.50). It expands on the basics with additional information about selecting thread, fabric, interfacings, etc. There is basic fitting information, more pressing techniques and more basic sewing tips. It could also be a good review and update on sewing techniques for someone who hasn't sewn for years, but wants to start again. MFSB: _My First Sewing Book--Hand Sewing_ by Winky Cherry. (list price $8.50) [carolyn@bucket.rain.com (Carolyn Peterson)] This book is written for the 5-11 year old child. The projects in it are made of 2 identical pieces of felt, which are whip stitched most of the way around the edges, stuffed and whip stitched shut. The projects are very appropriate for that age group. What I didn't like about the book: The sewing supply list includes thread snippers--it took a while to convince my 5 year old daughter that it was ok to use scissors to cut the thread. The recommended needles and thread were a nuisance to locate--finally just used regular thread and needles I had on hand. I didn't care for the instructions for knotting thread and finishing up. The book is written in an awkward rhyme. I am usually a big fan of Palmer/Pletsch books, but was disappointed with this one. It is the only one I have found that is geared toward a student that young, though. LS: _Let's Sew--A Beginner's Sewing Guide_ by Nancy Zieman. (list price $5.95) [carolyn@bucket.rain.com (Carolyn Peterson)] This book is written for the teenager and pre-teens. It starts out with a reasonable supply list (IMO), explains the parts of a sewing machine and a serger, covers some information about information on patterns and some information about selecting fabrics. The fabric information isn't extremely detailed, but has very basic information for a beginner. One odd point was the book jumping into how to lengthen and shorten patterns, with little or no other fitting information. The cutting and marking information is good, but I did feel *old* when I noticed tailor tacks weren't on the list of marking methods! I thought the sections on seaming, finishing seams and pressing were well done. It covered facings, casings, hemming, darts, gathering, a wrapped corner collar, zippers, tips for knits, closures, setting in sleeves and putting in waistbands. The book uses new sewing gadgets and techniques, to make things easier instead of insisting you learn the old, hard way first. Example: for hemming, it suggests you may want to machine stitch or fuse the hem on the first project. End of Part 2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ /\ /\ | lfabans@adobe.com (Lara Fabans) . . |-------------------------------------------------------------- = = | Adobe Systems, Inc Publishing Division v | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - -- - Lara Fabans - Adobe FrameMaker UNIX Platform QA 408-536-6610