Author Topic: A Bibliography for Women's Tailoring  (Read 4432 times)

Henry Hall

  • Research
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 660
  • A very small jeff
A Bibliography for Women's Tailoring
« on: March 13, 2016, 12:31:02 PM »
Many excellent women's tailoring texts date from after the 1940s, in stark contrast to classical men's tailoring which enters into a slow death spiral.

Shaeffer, Claire. Couture Sewing. Taunton Press, Conneticut, 1993

Although a dressmaking text, it is included here for the interesting section on women’s tailored garments

Cabrera, Roberto and Flaherty-Meyers, Patricia: Classic Tailoring Techniques. A Construction Guide for Women's Wear. Fairchild Publications, New York, 1984

The women’s counterpart to Cabrera’s text on men’s tailoring.

Heath, Samuel. Coat and Skirt Making: Skirts, Trousers, Jackets, Coats. Granada Publishing, 6th Edition, London, 1981

A very good text covering the basics of cutting and making up of women’s tailored garments.

Ledbetter, Marie and Lansing, Linda Thiel. Tailoring, Traditional and Contemporary Techniques. Reston Publishing Company, Inc. Virginia, 1981.

A sound book covering the foundations of cutting and making up.

Margolis, Adele. The Complete Book of Tailoring. Doubleday & Company, Inc., New York, 1978

This seems to be regarded as something of a classic for home sewers. It gives clear instructions on coat making from the ground up. It runs to 462 pages in the 1978 edition.

Basic Tailoring. Time-Life Books, New York, 1974

This extremely well illustrated 208 page book can be purchased second hand very inexpensively, as copies seemed to abound. It gives an excellent account of the basis process of fitting and making up a lounge coat and trousers. This makes it a good first choice for anyone on a budget, but can also be recommended irrespective of price.

Moulton, Bertha. Garment-Cutting and Tailoring for Students. B.T. Batsford Ltd, London, 1967

Worthy of note for the range of garments it covers in the cutting section such as raglans, jodhpurs, riding breeches, hacking jackets, capes, hooded capes and panel coats.

Bane, Allyne. Tailoring. McGraw-Hill Company Inc., New York, 1958

Another sound text covering the basics of cutting and making up of women’s lounge jackets and tailored skirts

Poulin, Clarence: Tailoring Suits the Professional Way. Chas. A. Bennett Co. Inc. Publishers. Illinois, 1952

A quite compact American text whose strengths are the highly informative discussions on the fitting and making up of lounge coats and tailored skirts.

Morris, F.R. Ladies’ Garment Cutting and Making. The New Era Publishing Co. Ltd., London, circa 1940’s-50

This is one of the really classic texts for ladies’ garment cutting. It is a huge book running to 471 pages in the third edition. Part of the book is devoted to dressmaking but a substantial proportion of the book is dedicated to women’s tailoring. The entire book has been posted on the internet here:


Whife, Archibald. A (ed.): The Modern Tailor, Outfitter and Clothier. Fourth Edition. Vol I-III. The Caxton Publishing Company, Ltd. London, 1949

Arguably the most important English language textbook on cutting and tailoring published during the 20th century. The general editor of earlier edition was A.S. Bridgeland for the 1928, 1933 and 1936 editions. A 5th edition was published with A.A. Whife as its chief editor.

Holding, Thomas Hiram. The Direct System of Ladies’ Cutting. Originally published London, 1897. Reproduced by RL Shep, 1997.

No historical bibliography would be complete without Holding. It was around this time that women increasingly started to go to their men folk’s tailors. Holding notes that women preferred garments with masculine names and disliked any tailored garment that was too feminine.

Bekleidung. Schnittkonstruktions für Damenmode

Bd. 1 GrundlagenAuthor: Guido HofenbitzerVerlag: Europa Lehrmittel.

(Originally published by Sator at the C&T)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 12:33:30 PM by Henry Hall »
‘Being perfectly well-dressed gives one a tranquillity that no religion can bestow.’ - Ralph Waldo Emerson.


  • Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 473
  • Human Being
Re: A Bibliography for Women's Tailoring
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2016, 08:32:20 PM »
Nathalie Bray
Dress Fitting
It starts with draping pieces of fabric on a mannequin to get an understanding how fabric works and how to achieve a good pattern. It is essential and excellent.
Dress Pattern Designing: The Basic Principles of Cut and Fit
Basic (and working!) drafts for dress, skirt, blouse with dart manipulations, collars, and different kind of sleeves.
Just to be complete: More Dress Pattern Designing
Those books are classics from the 60ties. The more modern editions have supplements from Ann Haggar. You may get them cheap second hand.


  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 707
  • Bespoke Snippers
Re: A Bibliography for Women's Tailoring
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2016, 09:23:01 PM »
That book appears to still be available on Amazon.
The magnificent tools of the professional tailor  ;) ;D