- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Theatre Arts Books; 1 edition (January 7, 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0878300252
- ISBN-13: 978-0878300259
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,828,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Cut of Men's Clothes: 1600-1900 1st Edition
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"This is a practical book that gives complete plans for executing and tailoring a costume (there are 27 patterns). An invaluable aid to the student of costume design and execution."
-"Choice: Books for College Libraries
"Most works dealing with costumes discuss the actual styles of dress and. . . the basic cut and shape--the real foundation of any costume--is not always considered. This book does much to remedy this deficiency . . . The great importance of this work is in the many detailed cutting diagrams and tailors' patterns . . . There is also a list of artists, engraves, and illustrators for costume reference. A definitive work in its field, this is required on reference shelves of art museums, large public libraries, and art schools."
About the Author
Norah Waugh lectured and supervised practical work on historic costume in the Theatre Department of the Central School of Art and Design in London. In the late 1930s she was in charge of costume at the London Theatre Studio run by Michel Saint-Denis.
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This is more than just a picture book; there are illustrations of the patterns used in constructing the garments men wore over four centuries. If you're interested in drafting your own patterns, this becomes an invaluable resource. Novices beware,however. Don't expect McCall's or Butterick. There are only small-scale sketches of the major patterns pieces, with the barest hint of scale. There are no instructions for assembling the pieces; you are on your own (and, even though I've been making clothes for many, many years, I have found myself baffled at how certain pieces from Waugh's drawings are to be sewn together).
Another weakness is the lack of detail about certain items. I was recently commissioned to recreate shirts for Benjamin Franklin, circa 1780-90, so I naturally turned to Nora's book. No problem finding depictions of the shirt itself, but when it came to the neckwear, she didn't include anything that helped me.
It bears mentioning that since most of the garments that have survived to be examined in the 20th Century were made for the well-to-do, Ms. Waugh's book will not be a great place to look for peasant or working-class garb. In addition to surviving garments, she relies heavily on paintings, particularly portraits. Again, only the wealthy and/or noble were typically the subjects.
Nonetheless, if you are researching and/or attempting to construct period menswear, Norah Waugh's books are truly worth having.
This book is not for beginners. Don't expect to be able to just scale up one of the patterns and get sewing. Waugh assumes you know how to sew, make and alter patterns. The only techniques mentioned are ones we don't use commonly in modern sewing and those are really only touched on out of curiosity's sake.
The only real downside is the lack of back views of many garments. Some of the coats have back views, but many of the breeches and other garments are forgotten--possibly because they're not normally fancy--but for someone who is trying to get the fit right on a pair of breeches it would be very helpful!
I recommend it to historical costumers who are interested in accurate recreation and also to theatre costumers as a visual reference for a stage interpretation. Not for someone who wants a quick costume for the weekend or for a novice sewer.