Vintage pattern book summary

This took longer than you’d think but here’s a list of books I photographed -most of them in their entirety- from the Library of Congress on my recent trip. Other than the first title listed below, I haven’t included any notes but I’m sure to update this later. Let me know which look appealing. Note how long most of the titles are; often the authors made their own name part of the title. Pretty funny I think. I’ve dispensed with the usual protocol of underlining the titles because the line after line of underline makes the copy hard to read.

_Anthropometrische Trigonometrie der Zuschneidekunst, Zunächst für Herrenkleidermacher_ by Gustav Adolf Muller 1860

Of them all, I think the above book (in German) is the most rare. It was housed in special collections and took me several days to get it. Extremely delicate, print bleed through, I didn’t copy the whole thing but did photograph most of the drafts, technically folios, oversized and folded out. It was published in Dresden and considering the destruction that city endured during WWII, it is possible this is the only copy in existance. Tragedy if so and tragedy nonetheless as I think it deserves some exposure, some very unique things about it. I think it’d be an interesting reprint but I can’t imagine how one could go about copying the book without damaging it. Sadly, being in German, I suppose it’s doomed to reside at the Library of Congress where no one will ever appreciate it.

_Bayne’s Self-Instruction Book for Dress Cutting by The French Glove Fitting Tailor System by Exact Measure. A Manual for the Use of Bayne’s Paris Scale._ Copyright 1883 by J. Reid Bayne

_The Elliptic System comprising Elliptic Instrument and Rule of Graduated Division Including Quarto Size Plates On Which Are Diagrams of Various Forms, Figures and Models_ by James Chappell 1860

_The Grading of Patterns_ by Fred Brammer copyright 1941
Also by Fred Brammer, _Pattern-Making for Garment-Workers_ also copyright 1941

_Stone’s Scientific System of Grading Patterns for Men’s Garments by the Proportions of Heights and Widths of the Human Form_ by Charles Stone 1912

_Stone’s Advanced Superlative Trouser System, Based upon the Proportions of the Human Form_ by Charles Stone, 1913

_Carlstrom’s Proportions of the Human Form. A Scientific Treatise on Proportions as They Apply to Garment Construction_ by John Carlstrom 1905

_Standardisation, Simplification, Specialization in the Clothing Industry_ Bureau of Labor Statistics, Productivity and Technical Assistance Division (no date)

_V.B. Depierris & Co.’s French Rule of Proportions: Being Adapted to all the Variety of Forms and Fashions, Without the Trouble of Applying any Measuring Apparatus, or Taking but One Simple Extra Measure_. 1841 [as if the author thought the long title was insufficient to give it some class, the front matter was in French]

_Dr. Wampen’s World Renowned System of Anthropometry as Simplified and Americanized by J. Happle-Hutcheson, With His Latest Improved Set of Thirty-Six Unit Graduated Scales_ by Happle-Hutcheson 1903

_Mahan’s Protractor and Proof systems of Garment Cutting_. Francis Mahan, 1839

_Manual on True Guide to Practical Cutting Every Style of Garment to Fit the Human Form_. William Glencross 1866

_A scientific guide to practical cutting_. William Glencross 1873

_The Science of Gynametry_ by Mrs. M.V. Coleman 1887

_Clute’s Actual Measurement System and Key to Scientific Dress Making, No Pasteboard Charts, Slips, Scales or Proportionate Measures But Simply Apply These Instructions to a Tailor’s Square_ by J.Redfield Clute 1891

_The “Keystone” Systems, Coats, Vests and Trousers_ by charles Hecklinger 1903

_The Tailor’s Guide Containing Systems of Draughting Frock and Sack Coats, Pants, Vests and Shirts. With Valuable Improvements, Warranted Superior to Anything Ever Offered to the Trade_ by L.E. Cole 1868

_Divisional and Exact Measurement Systems for Garment Cutting_ by William O Linthicum 1872

_Madison’s Complete Grading System, Improved and Extended_ by James Otis Madison 1910

[Chech drafting book] _Chekhoslovat︠s︡kai︠a︡ sistema kroi︠a︡ muzhskoĭ odezhdy_ by Vladimir Konstantinovich Bychkov, 1961.

_The Science of Grading Patterns for Men’s, Boys and Children’s clothing_ by Harry Simons 1916

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  1. Kathleen says:


    Yep, gynametry. I was browsing the subject index and happened upon this one. Based on the title alone, I HAD to get it. It’s a riot. Gynametry is never used in the entire text and remains undefined. This book was mostly religious (dressing poorly is literally sinful and “ungodly”), based on bible verses. If there was any method to the book at all (other than biblical), it was based on drafting according to wrist measurement with inferences made with regard to your shoulder line based on toe length. I kid you not.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    The scrolls!!! The long awaited scrolls are here!!!!!
    Quick question, since the book is in German, will your comments be too?!… (couldn’t help myself)

    Anxiously anticipating the next posts- no pressure, don’t rush, take your time, hurry up :)

  3. AnnK says:

    Gynametry sent me right to the giant Webster’s Third Unabridged. It’s not there, of course, but nearly every word that begins with gyna or gynec refers to ‘woman’. Gynandry means intersexuality (as well as hermaphroditism) so I’m wondering if the author might be using one of the first references to unisex clothing. Could it be possible?

    ps: By the way Julia, excellent pun!

  4. Tatiana says:

    Probably, it means something like “Women’s proportion”?

    As for Gustav Adolf Muller, he is the founder of the pattermaking system calles Muller & Sohn (if I spell it correcly), his book, as far as I know, was republished many times, and the system itself been updated, so there is a modern version of this system. But (again as far as I know) this is not an industrial system, it is for individual patternmaking.

  5. Kathleen says:

    The Muller & Sohn company I’m familiar with (that you mention) is actually M. Muller (Michael) who wrote his first book in 1891. He was from Munich. The particular title I mentioned was written by Gustav Adolf Muller from Dresden in 1860. I think these are two different people (Muller is as common as Smith).

    In any event, if the book I mentioned, that written by Gustav Adolf Muller is available and widely reprinted, I’d consider it a personal favor if you’d point me to a source. It contains distinctly different material I’ve never seen anywhere, including the modern Muller editions. The modern Muller books are nice but Trigonometry and Anthropometry are far from being their most salient topic material :) :) :)

  6. Els says:

    Kathleen, I think you are right about the book “Anthropometrische Trigonometrie der Zuschneidekunst, Zunächst für Herrenkleidermacher_ by Gustav Adolf Muller 1860”.
    It is probably the only book left, I googled and found out that there was another copy which was probably lost in a library fire in 2004 in Germany.

    Anthropometrische Trigonometrie der…

    Gustaf Adolf Mueller was not the founder of the so called Rundschau@ pattern drafting method which is based on proportion and measuring calculation. The founder is Michael M. Mueller who invented this way of pattern drafting back in in 1895. This method of drafting patterns is updated of course but is still the most used in Europe not only for custom made patterns by tailors and dressmakers but also used in the industry using CAD.

  7. Irene Kehler says:

    Oooohhh! I can’t decide. They all look so exciting! A ‘superlative trouser system’??? Really!?

    I bow to everyone else’s superior knowledge, but I did want to say that I’m looking forward to seeing these posts. The more I read about patterns, the more I want to know. . . I have a fact addiction!

  8. Mimi says:

    Fascinating. You have hit on one of my great loves — vintage technical sewing books! The 1883 Bayne book interests me most.

    I also collect old books in this general category, and The Art of Garment Cutting Fitting and Making (Butterick Publishing 1894) is one of my great favorites. For altering patterns to fit “disproportionate” figures, economical use of fabric, best strategies for matching plaids and stripes, and a wide variety of creative and efficient pocket variations – I just love it. I asusme these books may also include such gems. I really adore the way the “how to” was written in those days. The authors really made a mission of making sure their instructions were clear, well illustrated, and agreed with a larger philosophy of fit, social appropriateness, and technique. Please do share — I can’t wait!


  9. Heidi says:

    That is what I know anout it:
    The first book which you could take serious was from Campaing printed 1836 in Paris. The drafts were founded on the centimeter measureband (not longer the paper strips for meausrements working after the golden rule as before).
    Not long after this a book which was printed in 1846, authors: H. Klemm together with his brother. The method described worked for 36 Body seizes. And usable for bodies, not average bodies too. Later followed Campaing again and Fontaine as well.
    G.A. Mueller (german) worked out together with F. Roussel (french)a method which calculated the human body in anatomical mathematical ways. They invented a system that the taylor could do a satisfying and fitting draft for every customer. Many systems are based on this method till now. It failed in the end because of the multipile measurements you have to take, which are very time comsuming and not error free.
    Mueller Munich system operates since 1890 (?) in production and custom tayloring (proportional and body measurements as well).
    Than there is F.H.O. Mueller, Frankfurt, too his system is called “der Meisterschnitt”.

  10. kate says:

    obdresstrics….excellent…..thanks for that.

    The Muller system made to be Australia in the 70’s. Two Sydney technical teachers were (apparently)sent to study the Muller system in Germany in the 70’s. They kindly wrote a local interpretation which was used as the patternmaking text for fashion students in New South Wales and Queensland during the 80’s and 90’s. It could still be used I guess.

    You can make a good block (as we say in Australia) from it. I think US pattern folk say sloper? (Where did that come from?)

    There is also the Optimas system in Germany. It has been developed by a collaboration of German pattern engineers, of which Eva Hillers is the contact. It has also been directly converted into a CAD block system by Grafis, and a very nicely engineered system it is too.

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