Archive.org recently added two tailoring books to its Internet library. Tailoring Suits the Professional Way, by Clarence Poulin, and Classic Tailoring Techniques, A Construction Guide for Men’s Wear by Roberto Cabrera and Patricia Flaherty Meyers are often cited in bibliographies and have a place at the top of recommended reading lists for tailors. Both have been out of print for years and they are much sought after. At archive.org one can peruse the books in their entirety and decided if an original hard copy is really needed. I decided to invest a small amount each month in archive.org because I use their library so often.
I printed out the instructions on pages 140-146, “Constructing the Fly and Top”, of Tailoring Suits, because the 1973 edition at archive.org looks a little easier to follow than my 1953 edition of Clarence Poulin’s book and I’d like to compare. In the 1973 edition the author spends more time on the woman’s suit coat (or jacket) rather than letting the man’s suffice for both. I happened upon my 1953 copy at a book sale over 20 years ago, not knowing if I would ever be able to do anything with it.
Clarence Poulin’s book has a very good illustration of the “drawing-in” stitch on page 104. There are also instructions on drafting and grading.
A few years ago I bought a copy of Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Women’s Wear, by Roberto Cabrera, Assistant Professor, Fashion Design Department, Fashion Institute of Technology, and Patricia Flaherty Meyers, Fairchild Publications, New York, 1984, 8th printing 2008. I am glad I purchased my used copy, but also very happy to find the Men’s Wear edition at archive.org.
Here is a little of the difference I’ve noted between the Women’s and Men’s editions. Women’s has: No vest pattern or measurements and no side vents on jacket. It does include Bound Keyhole Buttonhole, p. 181 and Bias Bound Buttonhole, p. 182; Unlined Jacket; Peplum Jacket with Full Canvas Interlining; Peplum Reinforcement; Jacket Lining; and Mandarin Collar, p. 194-207; and Shoulder Pads exactly as in Men’s.
Men’s has: Fly front on pants is treated differently. Has French Tab and French Fly. Haircloth and Flannel Cover Cloth in the canvas so instructions are more extensive here. Preparing the Canvas—quite a bit more here. Vest measurements are included. Lining is more extensively covered, includes breast pocket in the lining. Includes button placement for 6 button double breasted jacket. Pants and Vests are very extensively treated.
As an aspiring tailoress with an interest in history I am always on the lookout for ways to make my sewing experience more interesting. I like to be able to understand all aspects of tailoring from fit to finishing touches. I look forward to showcasing more Internet-accessible book titles about tailoring in the future.
Tailoring Suits the Professional Way, Clarence Poulin, 3rd edition, 1973
Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Men’s Wear, Roberto Cabrera/ Patricia Flaherty Meyers
“Still Life with Sewing Accessories” by Wilhelm Wittman, 1889, from de.wikipedia.org