Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blue Book waistcoat

The Blue Book of Men's Tailoring- ahhh- one of those "go to" books for so many people.

Originally published in 1907 and reprinted in 1977 with the tag line "Theatrical Costumemaker's Pattern Book for Edwardian Men's Costumes" it seems to be one of the earlier republishing efforts directed specifically at recreating period dress, and as such seems to be held in high esteem by many people.

I like to look at it for reference to the pattern shapes, not for the drafting instructions, but I am revisiting it here for teaching purposes. I had heard of a menwear course somewhere that used it as their primary text and I was quite surprised and wondered if the students were successful, but that is another topic.

First thing to notice is that they measure the client over an existing waistcoat so you must allow a little more ease than a plain measurement just over the shirt. Little things like this are often missed because they are mentioned in the beginning of the chapter, so you have to read more than just the page containing the draft. It also helps to read the section on making up as well for clarification of other details. Details of ways of doing things that are often taken for granted in the book because a tailor of the time would have just known how and what to do. A little sleuthing in required when using most drafting references.

So I am using a size 108 (42) stand for my purposes and estimating a height of 176cm or 5'9"-5'10".
I've done it here in pen so it is a bit easier to see.
I just followed the draft as written, as most people are inclined to do, using some proportional measures from their charts for front length for instance, and we'll see in the next post what it looks like on the stand.

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