A place for current and future students of trouser making, esp. those following the techniques and ideas of David Page Coffin, and the many examples in his multimedia workshop in a book/DVD package, Making Trousers, to gather for previews, announcements and discussion. Welcome!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Um, where's the fitting info?

An important point, probably not well-enough made yet:

My book covers only construction details, including many pocket, waistband, closure and other interior details and variations, and there's no fitting info in it at all. It starts with the assumption that you've got a well-fitting basic pant pattern already.

I know that many sewers still struggle with pant fitting, but I decided to leave fitting out of my work since it is so extensively covered in virtually all the other pants books out there, none of which go into construction to the extent I think necessary, and none of which offer a detailed look at the wide range of RTW and custom pant-making details, as I consider essential to well-informed results. If I'd included fitting, I'd never have had room for all the variations I wanted to include, and I'd have been merely repeating what other more expert fitting and pattern-drafting authorities have already well said!

If you've got any pants that already fit you well enough, stay tuned for my video on easily copying them.

No doubt many of you have already looked elsewhere for help with your pants-fitting questions, but I've heard only good things about the two fitting books I recommend and give links to in the widget at right: Don McCunn's pattern drafting book (and his online classes and Yahoo group about pattern making), and Pati Palmer's book on pants.

My own solution was simply to pay a local expert to help me come up with a fitting pants sloper, one-to-one and once-and-for-all, since I didn't want to be bogged down in fitting hassles; I just wanted to get busy with the fun part: making them! And as for writing about pants, what I wanted to do was cover all the stuff that I haven't seen elsewhere, not just rehash the basics.

If fitting remains the main thing you struggle with about making pants, sorry to disappoint! I hope you'll take a look at my book and DVD anyway!

And by all means feel free to post fitting questions or comments here, if you like. I may have an opinion or link that could help.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cover Update, more details

Here's the current state of the cover for Making Trousers; I'll post the whole thing, back, front and flaps, asap.

The DVD contents is also pretty much set; here's the TOC:

DVD Contents

Bonus Chapter: Keyhole Buttonholes

Video Tutorials:

Cutting Out Tips
Slant Pocket Variations 1
Slant Pocket Variations 2
Slant Pocket Variations 3
Piped Pocket
Side Pockets: Women’s Experiment
Finishing Front Pockets: Men’s Experiment
Welt Pocket: Men’s Experiment
Button Fly 1
Button Fly 2
Button Fly: Men’s Casual
Shortening Zippers: Men’s Experiment
Zipper Fly: Men’s Experiment
Zipper Fly: Women’s Experiment
Hooks: Men’s Experiment
Eyes: Men’s Experiment
Hook-and-Eye Tip
Cut-On Front Bands: Men’s Casual
Cut-On Back Bands: Men’s Casual
Shaped Band 1: Women’s Experiment
Shaped Band 2: Women’s Experiment
Shaping Tabs: Men’s Experiment
Tabbed Bands 1: Men’s Experiment
Tabbed Bands 2: Men’s Experiment
Tabbed Bands 3: Men’s Experiment
Back Bands: Men’s Experiment
Finishing: Men’s Experiment
Adjustable Waists
Hemostat Tip
Sewing On a Button
Keyhole Buttonholes
Stitching Tips

RTW- & Custom-Garment Galleries

Project (or Author's)-Garment Galleries

Printable Patterns

Sources, Further Reading & Extended links

The videos, of course, are the most obviously interesting part, and as you can see, there are a LOT of them; nearly 2 hours worth. They were intended to be simple demos of the book techniques, but turned out more like documentaries of the projects I settled on as sample garments for the book techniques. And since I couldn't resist trying out variations and new ideas as I made these, the videos turned into more of a sequel than a retelling.

The still-picture galleries were a big help to have available as the book pages developed. Basically, every time a page layout issue made me wish a picture could be shown bigger, or that more pictures could be included without running over the page limits, I would simply remember that I could put whatever images I wanted, as big as possible, on the DVD. So, I was able to include a quite huge collection, over 180 large images, including details of many RTW and custom-made garments that aren't mentioned at all in the book.

These garment-interior images, which basically come from me rummaging around in my own and other people's closets and collections, and taking snaps, reveal the vast range of finishing techniques and details designers of generally very expensive garments (plus some interesting every-day stuff, too—my contribution) choose to include in their wares; very instructive, I think, for folks choosing to make their own. I'm planning to post some of these here, with commentary, and will encourage readers to post their own detail images, with questions and comments, of course.

Overall, my hope for this blog is that it can become a forum of sorts, after the book is out, where readers and I can share current projects and techniques, tips and sources, inspirations, links, and whatever else seems fun and useful to folks who like to make great clothes. Before the book arrives, I'll post preview snippets, teasers and supplemental tidbits, and welcome any and all comments and questions.

Thanks to everyone who bothers to read this; I hope you'll join me!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Coming Soon!

So, work is wrapping on this book/DVD package that I've been creating over the last year or so, a massive update and expansion on the CD-book I made a while back, On Making Pants, and I'm SO looking forward to telling everyone more about it. With this post, I'm actually just creating the blog, so I can include the link along with the dozens of other links that will be on the DVD-ROM packaged with the book. Details, video clips and blog-only content VERY soon! Thanks for looking:)

Above is the placeholder image you'll find at amazon for the package; the real thing'll be MUCH nicer looking, I promise!