There is so little by way of educational material available to the aspiring tailor, and my feelings on this are mixed. I really do think it’s a craft that is best learnt at the hands of an experienced teacher so the few books available should be used as guides for someone undergoing an apprenticeship and not for those who wish to teach themselves. That said, not everyone has access to an experienced tailor and I suppose they have no choice but to turn to the scant material available so the latest arrival to the self-tutelage sphere will be welcome to many.
Andrew Ramroop, of the justly famous Maurice Sedwell of Savile Row, has teamed up with Mastered.com to produce an online, self-guided course in tailoring. Video lessons and some very handsome photography are provided along with supporting print material. In a smart move, Mr. Ramroop shows a technique, then his assistant does it. This gives the viewer the benefit of seeing an experienced master do, and then seeing some of the mistakes that he or she is likely to make and the corrections as suggested by the teacher. Of course, not every possible misstep is covered, but students are encouraged to upload photos or other evidence of their work for evaluation by Mr. Ramroop. Certainly not failsafe but better than a book alone.
Coincidentally, I was recently talking to the owner of a custom clothiers shop in NYC last week, and he told me that he’s thinking about shutting down the tailoring side of his business next year (after being in business for about 50 years) because he can’t find people who can make clothes as good as he needs. His current head tailor is 85 years old and won’t be around forever, but finding a replacement has been tough. I hear this a lot from custom clothing shops, although some – such as Rubinacci – seem to be able to attract talent without any issue.
Not sure if Ramroop’s program is good enough to land you a job somewhere, but it’s nice to see such a training program pop up for people who are passionate about this craft.
We at B&TAILOR spend most of our time getting the fit of the shoulder and the balance of the jacket right, during fittings (especially at baste and forward fittings).
What I mean by the shoulder fit? The shoulder of the jacket being laid at an angle perpendicular to the ‘overall’ angle of the wearer’s shoulder, and this angle is not 2 dimensional. It also has to account for the wearer’s clavicle shapes and positions but also adjoining flesh and its position and angles in respect to the rest of the upper body. Any bumps or hollows will have to be also accounted for and smoothed out the best they can be.
The balance of the jacket does not simply mean that either end is too short or too long (that is only one of the consequences of the incorrectly balanced jacket). The correct balance is achieved, in a simplistic sense, when a jacket is in perfect balance with the wearer’s stance, perfectly accounting for his or her posture (forward, back or neutral) and the body contours- so that the jacket sits squarely and firmly on the wearer from the collar to the shoulders to the rest, and all the panels of the jacket is in the right angle/position to the body.
The main reason that we do fittings is to achieve the above plus the sleeve pitch (will be discussed on a separate post) right, every time and all the time - one of the main differences to MTM garments that are pre-made.
I have described the both shoulder fit and the balance in a way that I personally think that it would make sense to a lot of people however there are many more aspects of the fit and balance that warrant further discussions (for people who are more interested in such topics).
I am planning to illustrate the above in more depth with actual baste fitting examples in future.
I love how Over the Garden Wall makes you ask the big questions in life, like does your name truly represent all that you are? Does what you do make you who you are? And most importantly, why did the midwife cough out a fish?
basically i figured i should expand my evillious art to something more than lemy dying 500 times, so i used a playlist and a random number generator to do what i like to call evillious roulette. it was fun ye. until i got this for the second result