Make me a Master Tailor: I know how to plug in a sewing machine and use a cloth ruler. Assuming nothing more, where do I begin...
A chance encounter with the Book Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing
last week has lead to a weekend and more of sleepless nights, thinking about a possible career change.
I've always been very crafty (woodworking, knitting, cooking, baking, cake decorating, etc.) and meticulous in all of my work, but had never considered making clothes for myself, let alone others. After reading, er, devouring the book, my brain has literally run away with itself trying to come up with ways to ease into a more tactile and creatively oriented career. I know that the bespoke industry is no picnic as far as hours, pay, etc., but I'm very much interested in what 'I' would need to learn in order to be a "Success" technically, not so much financially. I'm not that interested in the fashion design aspect, but the creation of perfectly fitted, intricately constructed, and beautiful clothing. Primarily for Men (myself especially), but for anyone willing to have custom work done.
So with that said, I'm asking the hive mind for suggestions on:
- References. Books, magazines, websites, blogs, etc. to learn sewing, fitting, tailoring techniques from absolute beginner to professional levels. Especially, anything more focused on Men's clothing. I do realize from reading what I have been able to find, that most of this information isn't in book form, but gained through apprenticing, classroom, or on the job type of training.
- Educational programs. From DVDs to Design School, what would I need to look for to be taken seriously. Is there a certification process, some sort of art degree?
- Equipment. I essentially, just have my sister's sewing machine on loan for now, and a pair of scissors. It is a mid level machine in the $500 range, but I can't remember the model right now. I'd like to get some idea of what would be needed to do one-off, or very limited copies of tailored clothes. I am not really interested in doing "sewing room" work as a main focus. So I'm not sure what features are necessary, and what ones are not needed. I don't see a massive computerized embroidery robot with 5000 fonts and Disney characters in my future.
- What else? Free for all category or wish lists.
I have a good job with regular hours with enough extra income to "invest" in myself to turn a fantasy into reality, if the reality can be anything like the fantasy. I have 10-20 hours a week to develop skills and do practice work. I realize that this is a long term plan and so I want to lay a solid foundation going forward. Worst case scenario, I have some new shirts that I can wear under my suit jackets :)