Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Women’s Wear PDF by Patricia Flaherty Meyers and Roberto Cabrera


Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Women’s Wear 
by Patricia Flaherty Meyers and Roberto Cabrera

Classic tailoring techniques

When I took my first tailoring course with Roberto Cabrera, and watched him so effortlessly transform a length of fabric into a beautifully living suit, I was both delighted and overwhelmed. What Professor Cabrera was offering to us was the sum total of his forty years of tailoring experience—construction techniques nowhere detailed in the available tailoring textbooks.

The question was how to absorb all of this information before it disappeared again at the end of the course. This book, Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Women’s Wear is ourjoint attempt to present these tailoring techniques in a detailed and precise manner, so that they can be understood and performed by any serious student—from novice tailors to home sewers ready for the next challenge.

This book is a sequel to and an expansion of our earlier work, Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Men’s Wear. Since women’s tailoring is an adaptation of an art which originally belonged exclusively to men’s wear, many construction procedures outlined in our first book are repeated here with only slight adjustments—pockets, lapels, vents, etc.

We include construction techniques for three jacket styles, and for three variations on the straight skirt, in order to respond to the almost endless variety of style and detail in women’s wear. To afford yourself the best opportunity for success, we suggest that you complete the construction of the classic jacket and the basic straight skirt before moving on to the variations of each.

Although pattemmaking is an integral part of the art of tailoring, this book, as its title indicates, concentrates on the construction techniques used in classic tailoring and deals with pattemmaking only indirectly in Chapters 2, The Pattern, and 3, The Fit.

We offer our sincere gratitude to those students and colleagues whose encouragement and assistance facilitated the presentation of this work- Patricia De Georges, Sarita de Castro, Mary Gray, Suzanne Galimir, Coli Cabrera, Joan Kinateder, Edward Barnes, Betty Novak and her students at Sew and Show, On-ke Wilde, Steven Stipelman, Randy Dana, and Orchard Street’s S. Beckenstein Inc. A special word of thanks to William Fioravanti Inc., and to Robin Ryan and Dara Lamb of Darabin Ltd., who most graciously allowed us to photograph their work.


General Tailoring Supplies 2
Understructure Supplies 4
Hand Stitching 5
Saddle Stitch 5
Prick Stitch 5
Back Stitch 5
Running Stitch 5
Slip Stitch 6
Cross Stitch 6
Double Cross Stitch 6
Overcast Stitch / Whip Stitch 6
Diagonal Stitch / Pad Stitch 6
Blanket Stitch 6
Hem Stitch 6
Pressing Supplies 7
Pressing Techniques 8
Tailoring Supply Sources 8
The Jacket Pattern 9
The Skirt Pattern 1
1The Pants Pattern 1
1 Preliminary Pattern
Adjustments 1  
1. Jacket Roll Line 12
2. Shoulder Seams 12
3. Vents 12
4. Revised Facing Pattern 13
5. Pants Cuffs 14
Lengthening or Shortening
Patterns 14
3. THE FIT 15
Measurements 15
How to Take Measurements 16  
Center Back/Neck to
Waist 16
2. Center Back/Neck to
Hip 16
3. Back 16
4. Shoulder 16
5. Sleeve Length 16
6. Bust 17
7. Bust Level 17
8. Waist 17
9. Hip Level 17
10. Hips 17
Skirt Length 1
12. The Fly
” 18
13. Pants Inseam 18
14. Pants Outseam 18
15. Knee Width 18
16. Width of Pants at Hem 18
The Muslin Fitting 19
The Muslin Jacket 20
Lapels—Too Wide/Too
Narrow 20
Lapels—Too Long/Too
Short 21
Jacket Balance 21
Stooped Posture 22
Overly Erect Posture 22
Low Shoulder 23
Bust—Very Full 26
Bust—Very Flat 27
Misplaced Front Dart 28
Front Dart—Too Long/Too
Short 29
Too Loose/Too Tight Above
Waist 30
Too Loose/Too Tight Below
Waist 31
Shoulder—Too Wide/Too
Narrow 32
Sloped Shoulder 33
Square Shoulder 34
Neckline—Too High/Too
Low 35
Tight Neckline 36
Loose Neckline 36
Armhole—Too High/Too
Low 37
The Muslin Skirt 38
Too Tight/Too Loose
Across Hips 39
Waistband—Too Loose/Too
Tight 40
Waistline—Too Little/Too Much
Ease 41
Swayback 42
One Hip Higher than
the Other 44
Hips Thrust Forward 44
Flat Seat 44
Protruding Stomach/
Buttocks 45
The Muslin Pants 46
Waistband—Too Loose/Too
Tight 47
Waistline—Too Little/Too Much
Ease 48
Too Tight Across Hips 49
Too Loose Across Hips 50
Protruding High Hips 51
Crotch—Too Short/Too
Long 51
Bowlegs/Knock-knees 52
Flat Seat 54
Prominent Seat 55
Protruding Stomach 56
Rise—Too Long/Too Short 56
4. FABRIC 57
Selecting the Fabric 57
Properties of Woven Fabrics 58
The Grain 58
Straightening the Grain 60
Shrinkage 61
The Nap 62
Oaktag Patterns 63
Chalkmarking, Cutting, Tailor
Tacking 66
Plaids or Stripes 70
Darts and Seams 76
The Jacket Pockets 78
The Welt Pocket 78
Welt Pocket (Plaids/Stripes) 83
The Double-Piping Pocket 83
Double-piping Pocket
(Plaids/Stripes) 88
The Cash Pocket 89
The Double-piping Pocket with
Flap 91
Double-piping Pocket with Flap
(Plaids/Stripes) 94
The Patch Pocket 95
Patch Pocket (Plaids/Stripes) 99
Preparing the Canvas 100
The Pad Stitch 102
Assembling the Canvas and
Jacket 103
Padstitching the Lapels 107
The Taping 110
First Fitting 113
The Facing 114
Attaching Facing by
Machine 115
Attaching Facing by
Hand 121
The Facing Pocket 125
The Lining 1 28
The Lining Pocket 134
The Shoulder Seams 1 36
The Shoulder Pads 137
Inserting Shoulder Pads 140
The Collar 142
Constructing the
Undercollar 144
Constructing the
Topcollar 150
Plaid and Striped Collars 155
The Collar Draft 156
The Sleeve 162
Reinforcing the Armholes 162
The Muslin Sleeve 164
The Sleeve Vents 168
Sleeves without Vents 1 70
Lining the Sleeve 1 70
Setting the Sleeve 173
Tacking the Armholes 174
The Sleeve Head 176
The Plaid Sleeve 177
Buttons and Buttonholes 177
Constructing the Buttonholes 179
The Handworked
Buttonhole 179
The Bound Keyhole
Buttonhole 181
The Bias Bound
Buttonhole 182
Setting the Buttons 184
Final Pressing 186
The Unlined Jacket 187
Darts in the Unlined
Jacket 187
Pockets in the Unlined
Jacket 188
The Facing in the Unlined
Jacket 191
Covering Shoulder Pads in
the Unlined Jacket 191
The Peplum Jacket 194
The Full Canvas
Interlining 195
The Peplum 196
The Peplum
Reinforcement 197
Assembling the Peplum
Jacket 198
The Peplum Jacket Lining 201
The Mandarin Collar 203
Constructing the Mandarin
Collar 205
Attaching the Mandarin
Collar 206
The Peplum Jacket Sleeve 207
7. SKIRTS 208
1 . Basic Straight Skirt 208
Curved Double-Piping Skirt
Pocket 212
Side Zipper Closing 218
Hong Kong Piping Hem
Finish 219
Overlap Vent at Center
Back 221
The Skirt Hem 222
Waistband backed with
Grosgrain Ribbon 224
2. Straight Skirt with
Shirring 226
Kick Pleat at Center
Back 227
The Crescent Pocket 229
Shirring at the Center
Front 232
Assembling Skirt and
Skirt Lining 232
The Self-backed
Waistband 234
3. Skirt with Pleats 236
Three Pleats from Waist to Hem
at Left Front 236
The Side Seam Pocket 241
Assembling Skirt and
Skirt Lining 244
The Grosgrain
Waistband 245
8. PANTS 248
The Pants Pockets 248
The Slant Pocket 249
The Side Pocket 253
The Western Pocket 257
The Back Pocket 262
The Pants Fly 265
The Pants Side Seams 268
Belt Loops 270
The Pants Waistband 271
The Pants Lining 272
The Pants Hem 274
The Heel Stay 275
The Pants Cuffs 276
Pleated Pants 277
Tapering the Jacket Lapels 282
Adjusting the Sleeve Length 284
Re-lining the Jacket 286
Altering the Jacket Width 287
Altering Skirts 289
Adjusting the Pants Waistline 289
Tapering the Pants Leg 290
Adjusting the Pants Length 290
Western Yoke 291
Western Facing 293
Western Shaper 293
Back Pocket Piping 295
Slant Yoke 295
Side & Slant Pocket Facing
Back Pocket Facing 297
Shoulder Pad 299
Crescent Pocket Yoke 301
Crescent Pocket Facing 303
Facing Pocket 305
About the Authors 307

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