A long awaited book, Pattern Drafting and Grading, Women’s and Misses’ Garment Design by Michael Rohr, is now online at archive.org. The 1961 edition includes styles popular in the 1950’s and early Sixties. On the second and third pages are a nice set of 1/4″ scale dress and sleeve foundation patterns which can be used to test out the designs. The styles are created as changes are made to the foundation patterns. For instance, the front and back bodice and the sleeve are manipulated in order to create a kimono style bodice.
I was very happy to see that parts of Mayer Rohr’s earlier editions were included in the 1961 edition beginning on about page 54. Mayer Rohr’s system of drafting used a slightly different process of measurements than those found at the beginning of Michael Rohr’s 1961 edition. Both of Mayer Rohr’s parents were tailors, his mother was a ladies’ tailor, and he continued in the family tradition. His first occupation was as a Cloak Cutter which included overcoats. He later became an educator, an author and a publisher. Mayer Rohr was born in 1888 and was in his early twenties about the time the garment industry started in earnest in New York City in 1905. The introduction to his circa 1935 edition of Pattern Drafting states that it was written for students as well as workers employed in the garment industry. At this time, and really since about 1915, there were public schools in NYC such as the Textile Evening School and the Central Needle Trades Evening School which endeavored to supply the garment manufacturing industry with well trained employees.
There are many interesting and useful patterns in this book. There is the hip length 1/4″ scale set of patterns for the front, back and sleeve on the last page. A pattern for a jacket and coat foundation showing how it is drafted from the bodice foundation on page 50. A neck and armhole guide on the last page and instructions on its use on page 48. Other useful instructions include: How to make shoulder pads, page 64. Jacket and coat shoulder pads, page 117. Cardigan jacket, page 119. Kimono sleeve, with and without gusset, page 92. Undergarment drafting, page 141.
Here is the link to the book:
Pattern Drafting And Grading By Michael Rohr, 1961
Another lovely book used in the New York school system in 1950 was Applied pattern designing, illustrated; based on the patternmaking methods of Abram Mayer. (Developed and written by Herbert Mayer; technical assistance in compiling the text by Allyne Bane. Illustrated by Eleanor Harrington and Eve Stockhold.) This book, online at hathitrust.org, shows how to drape and fit the dress form (or model) in order to produce foundation patterns which can then be manipulated into a desired design. Abraham Mayer was born about 1880 and was also employed as a Ladies’ Tailor before he became a designer. I believe Allyne Bane, who provided technical assistance, was studying at Columbia for her Master’s at the time. She later became a university professor and author of several wonderfully detailed books about dressmaking and tailoring.
Applied pattern designing, illustrated; based on the patternmaking methods of Abram Mayer.
I hope we all have a great new year full of many happy discoveries!
[Woman in dark dress holding up baby] circa 1915 by William Leroy Jacobs, 1869-1917 https://www.loc.gov/resource/cai.2a13589/