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Shirtmaking: Developing Skills For Fine Sewing Paperback – September 1, 1998
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From Library Journal
The author, associate editor of Threads magazine, states in the introduction that he makes shirts "for the pleasure of the process, rather than as a time-saving or money-saving necessity." Designed for the experienced sewer who desires to re-create the custom-fitted look of the expensive shirtmakers, this guide examines the anatomy of shirts, the steps in patternmaking, and the techniques in shirt construction for both men's and women's garments, whether Oxford cloth, silk, or wool. Line drawings detail fabric types; shirtmaker's tools; pattern detail; precision sewing procedures for collars, pockets, packets, and cuffs; as well as the many other aspects of the shirtmaking process. One section offers ideas for variations on the classic shirt theme. Details on monogramming and sources of supplies complete the work. A companion video (unseen), Shirtmaking with David Page Coffin (45 minutes,
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
David Page Coffin is a painter, garment designer, and author of three best-selling books. He spent 18 years as an editor of Threads magazine. For more about David and his work, visit www.shirtmakingwithdpc.com and dpc-watermedia.blogspot.com.
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Top customer reviews
David Coffin's accompanying DVD is excellent for watching technique as the author sews and explains what he is doing. It is only useful to me as an accompaniment to David Page Coffin's book by the same name. He tends to go through each technique a bit too fast to actually learn shirt making, but it is very useful.
If you really want to watch someone teach shirt making, I very strongly recommend the course taught by Pam Howard, called The Classic Tailored Shirt. In this class, she teaches shirt making, detail by detail in a course that you have the video for for life! I've watched it many times, as there is so much info packed in the roughly 6 hour course divided into about 8 lessons. If you can get the course on sale, it costs about the same as this DVD, but is infinitely more helpful and much more instructive. As great as Pam Howard is as an instructor, she tends to be old school and never uses a rotary cutter or specialty feet as David Coffin does, so having the two versions of shirt making, both his DVD and book, plus her course on Craftst.com is the best combination to around learn this skill.
Besides this book, the author monitors and answers quickly ANY questions about shirt-making on Facebook ("Shirtmaking with DPC") and has a video class on Craftsy (e.g. $17.95 on sale at times) that complements this book.
For those more interested in casual shirts, the author's other book "The Shirtmaking Workbook" (on Amazon too) is more general and is accompanied by a TON of links to his website and others regarding every aspect of shirt-making.
As other reviewers have stated, there aren't really any materials out there so singularly and comprehensively devoted to such a basic garment or written by men, so it is nice to have a guide that is straightforward and succinct, and most of all useful for making *men's* clothing. The techniques will improve your quality of work on all types of garments.
A quality tailored men's shirt is timeless, and though the book was originally published in 1993, Shirtmaking illustrates shirts as they have evolved throughout the last couple centuries or so, and you'll see there is no difference between a high-end shirt from 40-50 years ago and one today. Trends come and go, but the shirts you make will be stylish for years to come, provided your waistline stays the same.
There are a generous number of well drawn patterns for the various parts of a shirt.
However the textual instructions on how to actually go about making a shirt are muddled and confusing to say the least.
The book is liberally illustrated with many small diagrammatic line drawings, almost to the point of being punctuation, some are a real help to understanding the process, but many are totally confusing. The publicity material for the book states that the drawings were redrawn from the author-artist's own work using a computer program. I fear that the computer graphic artist had little or no knowledge of, or sympathy with, the craft of sewing. Judging by the few remaining beautifully executed decorative drawings, it would have been much better to have left the author's own, traditionally drawn, working drawings and illustrations unchanged.
Some of the techniques described are, so I am told, distinctly abnormal when compared to those used in the clothing industry.
In order to finish making the shirt I was working on, I had to search for tutorial videos on Youtube, and then to buy the very short and somewhat incomplete DVD which the author has also made available as a companion to his book.
The book was first published in 1993, and there have been 6 reprints, but no further editions. Thus you should be aware that while you are going to purchase a nice new book, it is still, essentially, a twenty year old book, although printed recently.
I would score this book halfway between "I don't like it" and "It's okay", because it did not do for me what I hoped it would do.
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The materials of fine shirts
The shirtmakers tools
The classic shirt.....Read more