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Tailoring for Women

Tailoring for Women

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Tailoring for Women

423 pagine
2 ore
Jan 8, 2021


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Jan 8, 2021

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Tailoring for Women - Gertrude Mason





To make a coat successfully a woman requires first of all an inspiration to create; and the joy of creating comes from having made a coat that brings distinction, individuality, and charm to her person. Before this can be accomplished there are some simple fundamental rules which have to be observed.

1. She should know her type, her size, and her colouring.

2. She should be familiar with the fashionable colours and the texture of materials that are suitable to her age and size.

3. She should have a knowledge of the illusions effected by the use of vertical, horizontal, diagonal, and curved lines.


Woman, generally speaking, is classified under five distinct physical types:—

Type 1.—The short woman, slight of build.

She requires lines that will create the impression that she is not so small, and lines that will add height as well. For this reason she should select a full-length coat in preference to a three-quarter length one, and wear large collars, wide lapels and cuffs, and a belt.

Type 2.—The short, heavily built woman, larger in the hips in proportion to the bust, and with a high waist line.

This type should be careful in selecting her style, as she must strive to give the impression of being taller and slimmer. She should select a coat with as many vertical seams as fashion will allow, for the appearance of increased length and decreased width is brought about by the seams of the coat being placed fairly close together.

Type 3.—The medium-sized woman, with bust a little smaller than the hips and with a normal waist line.

Women of this type have fewer worries about lines than any other class, for they can wear any style of the moment.

Type 4.—The tall, thin woman, with bust and hip measurement practically the same, and with a lower waist line than that of the average figure.

This type requires lines that take away from the height and give width in the right place. Therefore a coat with a curved seam at the back would not only break up the height but give an appearance of width. Styles with pleated sections and godets should be selected as they are ideal for balancing up a tall figure and giving a graceful line. Strappings of cloth and trimmings of fur going around the body are also becoming to this type.

Type 5.—The tall, heavily proportioned woman, with erect carriage and a bust as large, or larger, than the hips, a low waist line and a large waist line measurement.

Women of this build should select a semi-fitting coat with a seam running through the shoulder at front and back. Vertical lines, by means of seams, or some form of ornamentation, such as braid, machine stitching, strappings of cloth, etc., will give necessary emphasis to the figure, and a relatively smaller appearance where needed.


The style of the coat determines the material. It is advisable, therefore, to decide on the style before purchasing the material, as material has a definite responsibility in expressing correctly the lines of a coat. Having chosen a style careful consideration should be given to the choice of material, especially the practical side of selecting that most suited to the particular mode in view. The weight, the texture, the colour, all have a part in determining the beauty of the finished coat.

It should be borne in mind that :—

(a) A bright colour rarely looks well in anything but high-grade material.

(b) Neutral colours are always smart, economical, and in good taste.

(c) All dark colours have a tendency to reduce the wearer’s size.

(d) Light colours have the contrary effect of adding to the size of the wearer.

The particular make or finish of material has also a distinct bearing on appearance. For instance, cloths with a rough surface such as Harris tweed, homespuns, etc., and materials with a high lustre make the figure appear larger than would a material with a plain, or dull finish.

Plaid, bordered material, or materials with a pronounced check also increase the appearance of size; and their effect is overpowering on the small woman. These materials are at their best when used for the figure of medium height and proportions.

The material for a coat should be of good quality. The majority of women are so well trained in economics nowadays that they will understand that economy is based not on what one spends—but on the rightness of what one buys. A poor, flimsy, or loosely woven material will give much trouble in the making, and will never look really tailored even when new. Cheap, unsatisfactory coats are always an extravagance.


A well-cut pattern is absolutely essential to the success of a coat. However carefully the style and material have been selected, and the stitching executed, they cannot compensate for a bad cut. The worker should not consider time or money wasted in procuring a good pattern. It is so easy nowadays to buy a coat pattern of any size or style that many think it a waste of time and energy to draft a pattern from measurements, but the ability to do so is almost essential to anyone aspiring to a proper knowledge of coat cutting. For technical teaching undoubtedly the best method is to construct the pattern to suit the measurements of the figure it is intended to fit. It is obviously more intelligent and more economical. Drafting patterns to measurements trains both eye and hand to greater accuracy, and the eye to a keener appreciation of line, and the connection between patterns and their relation to the figure is elucidated and emphasised.

There are numerous systems of coat drafting, several of which are too complicated to be easily understood by the average student and home dressmaker. The coat drafts illustrated in this book are adapted from the bodice block used in dressmaking. They are constructed on direct and proportional measures and embody all the principles of recognised tailor systems. From the author’s long and varied experience in teaching tailoring to women and girls, they have been found to answer perfectly both in cut and fit for all types of figures. They have the additional educational advantage that all details and lines of the patterns can be easily explained and demonstrated on the figure by the instructor; and therefore can be understood and intelligently practised by the student.


In order to draft a coat pattern it is necessary to have the measurements of the intended wearer. Measurements are of two kinds—length and width. The length measures are taken down the body at various places, the width measures are taken round. Only half of the front and back patterns are needed as the second half is practically the same as the first, hence only half the width measurements are actually used. (It is much safer to measure in full and halve numerically.)

For any system of cutting or pattern making accuracy in taking measures is of the utmost importance. However carefully and correctly the draft may be made it is little better than a stock size pattern if the measurements on which it is constructed are not precisely those of the figure.. If they are, then, with ordinary skill a good cut and fit will follow as a matter of course. Hence, quite as much care and thought should be devoted to taking measurements intelligently and accurately as to drafting and cutting out.


The person to be measured should stand naturally, on both feet, and a plain blouse or dress should be worn, any bulky tie, bow, or loose waist belt having been removed. Measurements taken over foundation garments that are old or loose fitting often cause the pattern to be too large. It is important that the true waist line of the person who is being measured should be defined, as all measurements are taken to and from the true waist line. To get this waist line fix a tape securely round the waist and push it well down, when it will fall naturally into the proper place and thus give a definite line to measure to and from. The right side of the figure only should be measured, unless there is a deformity, when the measurements on both sides should be taken. Certain measurements are common to all systems of pattern making, and for the coat drafts illustrated on pages 11 and 92 the following measurements will be required :—


1. Waist length (Fig. 1). From the nape bone to the waist line. It is the back length in dressmaking.

2. Scye depth (Fig. 2). From the nape bone to the level of scye at the back. (Scye means arm’s eye or armhole.)

FIG. 1

FIG. 2

To find level of scye at the back, hang the tape measure round the nape of the neck with ends hanging stole-wise in front (Fig. 3a). Pass ends under the arms and straight across the back (Figs. 3b and 3c).

3. Full length (Fig. 1) of particular coat taken from the nape bone.

FIG. 3a

FIG. 3b

FIG. 3c


4. Bust (Fig. 4) taken easily round the fullest part of the figure in front, up under the arms and across the back at scye level.

5. Back width (Fig. 5) taken at about half-way down depth of scye, with arms folded to widen back to full extent.

6. Chest width (Fig. 6) taken with shoulders thrown back at widest part of chest, at the same level as back.

7. Neck measure (Fig. 7) taken round base of throat rather snugly.

8. Hip measurement (Fig. 8) also called seat, taken 8 in. below the waist line.

FIG. 4

FIG. 5

FIG. 6



1. Inner seam length (Fig. 9), taken from armhole to wrist with arm outstretched.

2. Elbow length (Fig. 10), measured from armhole to elbow with arm bent.


1. Round armhole of pattern. Measure in two parts, i.e., round inner edge of back armhole, or scye, and then round the front scye, using the edge of the tape measure.

FIG. 7

FIG. 8

FIG. 9

FIG. 10

FIG. 11

2. Round elbow with arm bent (Fig. 11).

3. Round hand with thumb flat under the palm (Fig. 11).

Take these measures as shown in the accompanying diagrams.


Long Coat Fashions

A LONG coat either for summer or winter wear is an extremely popular type of overgarment. One reason why it meets with general approval and unanimous adoption is because it is becoming to all ages, and nearly all types of figures. Other reasons for its popularity are that it can be worn over any type of frock, is practical for travelling either by motor, rail, or air, looks extremely smart over a sports outfit and is quite suitable and stylish for general wear. The standard style or model is usually cut on straight lines with double-breasted, or single-breasted fronts, and fits close on the hips. Fur collar and cuffs, contrasting material on collar and cuffs, fur trimmings, narrow strappings of cloth, pleats, tucks, patch, jetted, and welt pockets, belts with fancy buckle fastenings, machine stitching, and buttons for ornamental purposes are utilised in their turn in order to add variety and provide a change from the standard style. The materials from which it is made include Scotch and Irish tweeds, covert coating, flannel suitings, velours, camel cloth, rainproof cloth, fabric fur, silk, repp, charmelaine, shantung, linen, etc. The lining is invariably of silk, or artificial silk. A long coat was at one time a very fully tailored garment, the making of which was considered quite beyond the capabilities of the average student or home dressmaker. Nowadays it is cut on very simple lines and only semi-tailored. Style A is the long coat draft of Fig. 12 which may be adapted to a variety of tailored styles, by which is meant that they resemble the man-tailored garment in the collar and lapels and general cut and finish. When choosing a style remember that a semi-fitting coat is much easier for the amateur

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