Note: links to the preceding entries in this series -this being the fifth entry- appear at close. This will be the last because I can’t tell (beyond the Italian book) whether these entries are of any interest. Also, I’m pouting a bit that visitors didn’t seem to be as fond of the Union Special book as I was. Wah.
Before I tell you about today’s books, I wish to bring your attention to the jeans and jeans shorts drafts in the Italian book (page 111-113 of the pdf ). Keeping in mind the last copyright date is 2004, mono-butt is not in evidence here so I retain hopes of seeing jeans like this again in my lifetime. Preferably on me. Alternatively, I’d settle for having a butt like that but Santa has yet to bring me one in spite of repeated requests.
Amended 2/28/11: It seems this book has been removed from the archives site. As I mentioned previously, I thought that might happen.
One thing to keep in mind with these books is that the titles are so long that they are often cut short. Unfortunately, you may not know the specific content of a book unless you download it to read the title page. One example is a book by Daniel Ryan titled on the LOC page as Human Proportions in Growth Being the Complete Measurement of the Human Body. However, a closer examination (aforementioned download and reading the title page) shows the the tail end of the title was omitted. The omission was “for Every Age and Size During the Years of Juvenile Growth”. So what we really have here is a children’s drafting and proportions book. Maybe not the first but certainly one of them and definitely the most accessible of the earliest ones. Since children’s growth isn’t as dynamic as modern adult growth, the age of this text is not as important as you’d think. This could be an important work. I hope some of you will download this one and let me know what you think of it as you have time to go through it.
The modern designer: A Work Showing the Natural Way of Producing Garments that Are Perfectly Balanced (copyright 1900) is definitely worth a download if you’re interested in knowing how to draft sleeves according to the shape of the armhole (pg. 20) with radial grades following on the next page. I don’t know if the illustration at right is clear enough but the armhole shape lies next to the sleeve shape and is a near mirror image (!). Not saying it’s 100% and to take it to the bank but there’s bound to be some cues here.
I don’t know that the Parisian ladies’ tailoring system for designing, pattern cutting, fitting and making waists, skirts, dresses, suits and all outer garments; a means of self education and a guide for educational instruction in trade schools and domestic science institutions (1917) really is Parisian but it is interesting. Diagrams in this archaic process of drafting are not strictly aligned (justified) to an x-y grid as we do today but all lines are curved within the grid. I think most old school pattern makers will agree this is more accurate. The book’s strength lies in showing where the points of measure really lie on a finished pattern (pg 21 etc), at right being a sample illustration. These days, technicians (I’m obviously using that term loosely) measure garment attributes along even vertical and horizontal lines.
The American garment cutter for women’s garments (1913) may be of interest if you’re a sizing historian. Documented within are measures showing women’s hips as much as 6″ larger than their busts (pg 9-11). I also like the supplied proportional width and height charts on pages 10 and 11.
In the vein of drafting specifically for manufacturing is Short methods; a Treatise on Cutting, Designing & Manufacturing Men’s Clothing (1911). I wasn’t aware there was such a book and rather than wax eloquent about it (pout_on/ it’s not as though anyone appreciated my Union Special book review! /pout_off), leave it for you to determine its suitability for your library. Mention is made of grading systems, markers, time-keeping -even a cutting ticket- with no aspiration or presumption of custom tailoring. Few books (especially of this vintage) ever list grade rules or guidelines for them but this one does (pg 76). As with many of these books, there is no table of contents in the front matter but this one has an “index” that provides the same function (pg 125).
Today’s last title is The Tailors’ Director, containing an Important Discovery for Fitting the Human Shape by Anatomical Principles, Including Regimentals, Gentlemen’s Dress, Frock, Shooting and Over Coats [snipped because yes, there is still more to this title]. This book -copyright 1833- is funny because its author (John Jackson) is a akin to a verbal energizer bunny, devoting no less 15% of his page count criticizing other tailor-authors. He accuses them of being plagiarists and enumerates reasons why the powers that be deliberately spread “absurdities and impracticable theories” before he deigns to enlighten his reader. If you haven’t figured it out by now, humility is in short supply. Says author John Jackson:
The Author is fully sensible of the critical situation in which he places himself, by attempting to detect false Hypotheses, and venturing to correct and improve the popular Systems of others who are patronized by Tailors of established reputation; but the chief motive in this arduous undertaking being directed towards general improvement, the Trade will no doubt appreciate his industry and acknowledge his application, who has combined utility with simplicity.
I hope this series was as fun for you as it was for me.