Tailoring vs. dressmaking / couture

Discussion in 'Careers, Education & the Business of Fashion' started by gius, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    Just thought it would be interesting to talk about the two
    the differences...
    since it's known they're both basically done by hand/or mostly

    haute couture
    for a man and woman

    I found 'couturier' in the dictionary and it defined it as 'dressmaker'
     
  2. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    Tailoring in men's

    I read there are two types, known in tailoring for menswear

    There is bespoke,
    which is drafting a pattern from the client's measurements
    all from scratch

    And then made-to-measure,
    which is a basic pattern altered to fit the client

    ----

    From my experience (i have tried both, in a sense)
    Bespoke is maybe less trouble. You start from scratch and you look at the client's measurements, which guides you to methods to create a better fit.

    made-to-measure seems to be fine too though... Often after altering a basic pattern, it seems to look like the bespoke pattern, but it takes longer I find. you alter, put it on the muslin, try it on and make changes to the pattern, redo it in muslin... again and again.
     
  3. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    Dress making

    In haute couture
    there are two 'workshops' in the atelier

    -tailoring
    -and couture/dress making


    I don't know what the difference is with women's and men's tailoring. Maybe use of materials? Techniques? I am going to research more about that.

    ----

    From what I've seen, tailoring is about using heavy fabrics, particularly wool, and making suits/jackets. It is more structured, with use of interfacing and padding. Pressing is important to mold the fabric into the desired shapes. Wool is often used because it is possible to shrink the fabric, and if you can shrink it over a form, it is possible for it to hold that shape.

    Couture you use especially light fabrics and making dresses, skirts and blouses. You often rely on a "backing" or lining, to keep the garment's silhouette/shape and aso details in place (for example, keeping a blouse that's intended to be tucked into trousers, from shifting when you move.. moving arms up and so on...).

    Any other ideas?
     
  4. daniellat

    daniellat Fashion Designer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    i find tailoring very interesting but is too much structure for me. I like couture better because it involves a lot of creativity, im good at sewing by hand but its just too slow.

    Tailoring on the other hand is more traditional and although i love men in suits, i find it very boring to design. Although womens tailoring its pretty cool, it has most of the traditional tailoring techniques but with an extra kick. I dont know i just love womenswear in general. I have some files and websites about tailoring, i ll see what i can find thats intereset enough to post it here.
     
  5. MaverickMalone

    MaverickMalone New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting thread *bookmarking*
     
  6. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    pocket science :) the different kinds of pockets ?

    so you have tried tailoring before, daniella?
    it's too structured?

    i started tailoring last tuesday
    a women's suit jacket.
    it's quite loose, non-restricting
    it feels like a regular jacket, just in a heavier fabric

    after doing both now (couture + tailoring), i feel they basically have the same ideas.. creating hidden structures on the inside.. hand finishing...
     
  7. daniellat

    daniellat Fashion Designer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    i have tailored but not for a long time it was more of an intense course of womens suit patternmaking but had nothing to do with the old tehcniques like canvas interfacing you mention, although i have heard about it and pretty much know how it works but never tried myself.

    i only made a waistcoat, a jacket and a coat all my own designs and learned all the basic patterns and modifications, pocket types and sleeves modifications, i think i still have my pocket catalog around. ill take pictures =)

    But it was great i learned a lot, there were hmm like probably 20-25 different styles. The fabrics all different from other types of womenswear were the best part. sewing the lining on a sports jacket, not so much.
     
  8. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    it might just be up to your design to decide what kind of interfacings, fabrics you use

    i have seen books with lists of different kinds of interfacings
    like muslin, french canvas (a linen), hair canvas...


    does anyone know if hair canvas is washable?
     
    #8 gius, Apr 26, 2009
    Last edited by moderator : Apr 30, 2009
  9. Jamess

    Jamess New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    I remember Raf Simons saying about Jil Sander FW08-09 that he gave the dresses to the tailors to make, and the suits to the dressmakers. One of my favourite collections ever!

    If you want to learn anything about bespoke menswear theres a fantastic blog at www.englishcut.com

    The guy who writes it is a tailor on Saville Row, a lot of the entries concern the business but there are also some interesting ones about construction of a men's suit and the making of it. Traditionally its done in several stages by different people (a cutter, a tailor...) who only specialise in that one area. I guess it might work the same in couture for womenswear.

    I was reading about 'bespoke' recently, but Im more interested in the techniques behind standard sizing in ready-to-wear, and how to achieve the effect of a well fitting garment on different body types, even if the fit is not perfect. If anyone can recommend any reading or knows anything about manufacture at that level...
    I'de be interested to know the difference in standard sizing between high-end ready-to-wear manufacture and high-street... How does a brand like Lanvin for example establish their standard sizing?
    Maybe thats for a different thread!
     
  10. fashionified

    fashionified New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    the difference between women's and men's tailoring is basically in the pattern making. men and women have a completely different kind of pattern, and measurement. and we have different way modifying those patterns. they will have different darts and seamlines and such. because womens and mens body are different and we want to emphasise different part of the body. the materials that we use also different, there are some materials that can be used both ways, but most are different.

    i know this because i love tailoring and structured pieces, and im doing both menswear and womenswear. menswear suit is more complicated than womenswear, doing menswear is actually more difficult than doing womenswear, because there's a lot of things to consider, and a lot more detailing. the lingin would be different, the cut of the suit, the pockets, the shape, the shouder pad and all these, there are a lot of small details to be considered in menswear.
     
  11. daniellat

    daniellat Fashion Designer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    i hate menswear, specially tailoring a mens suit. it is so muhc more difficult than a womans suit. its complicated, the adjustments are so different and unlike womens it has to look traditional and oldschool and neat and it kills me:rolleyes:. but i do know appreciate a fine gentlemen in a suit:p
     
  12. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    i'm actually using women's wear pattern instructions to draft a pattern for myself :blush: i will let you know if the toile fits. so far it does give me a little bit of a bust, so i am shrinking the darts

    to be honest i'm not actually interested in making suits,
    i dont like the men's suits either --they are too sexy haha. i want something with ease and relaxed
    rather i really like the construction techniques used in tailoring and couture and want to apply them to my own designs.


    does anyone know if tailored suits are usually dry clean only???
    if they are washable maybe you would have to use synthetic materials, for the interfacing etc
     
  13. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    did you see anything special in the suits? they just seemed less structured but i couldnt tell if there was something new that the dressmakers did.

    as compared to the dresses, there were some interesting sculptures


    what you write about sizing, you could definitely start a new thread on that ;) from what i've read at tFS, the brands do research on their main customers
    and they modify the patterns to the general sizes of their target market
     
  14. daniellat

    daniellat Fashion Designer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    if the suit is dry clean only or not is entirely becaus eof the materials of the fabrics, i couldnt find if hair canvas was actually made of hair, everywhere says its from "natural fibers" but if it is from any type of hair it cant be washed which means it will shrink and not in a proportioned way. if it is made out of cotton or linen it shouldnt be a problem, same with the other fabrics, it doesnt mean it needs to be synthetic it just means it cant be from wool or similar. always check the tags! or ask someon if you are shopping for suit fabrics.
     
  15. Pastry

    Pastry Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4,438
    Likes Received:
    0
    The reason suit jackets are dry clean only is because of their contents and their structure.

    A traditional jacket obviously can't be washed because it's made out of wool. In addition, the pads, the interfacings, belgian linens, wiggans, felts, and the rest of the workings of a suit wouldn't deal with moisture and agitation well. Even if the jacket is not wool, is half-lined, doesn't have as much padding and is lighter it still shouldn't be exposed to water. I.E. even your H&M suit should not be washed.

    gius, If you're making something like a Lanvin jacket, which is stripped of EVERYTHING except the shell, then make sure the fusing you buy doesn't have water-soluble glue on it. And it's probably not a good idea to use shoulder pads, just use a sleeve head (not a wool one). And you have to watch out that your thread or fabric are compatible, otherwise, it'll come out puckered after the first wash.

    And obviously, pay attention to the lining. Don't, for the love of god, use acetate. And as soft and popular bemberg (rayon) lining may be, it might also get all funky in the wash. I guess that leaves you with polyester, which can actually look really nice if you choose the right kind.

    ..and did I go on for too long?:lol:
     
  16. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    not long at all ;) i was glad to read the whole thing

    we use bemberg for all of our linings here...
    it's not so forgiving ^_^ even my hand basting ruins it.. so it has to be perfect the first time

    anyway i always learned to pre-wash/pre-shrink everything
    you just soak it in cold water, let it air dry and press
    i think it's also called the London Shrinking Method

    the hair canvas i have says the contents.. it's about 53% hair, 20-something% rayon and another bit of cotton or nylon(?)
    i assume you could pre-shrink that too

    you could just use cold water no? hand wash the suit


    fusibles -
    how do i know if it's water-soluble
    i would have to just test a bunch ?
    i use bemberg facing as well.. woven rayon with an adhesive
    i assume it is washable since my instructor says you can use it, just not for large sections since it may fade in time

    i guess the wool padding will be another story
    since it's loose fibres, i dont know if you can pre-shrink that
    ive never seen a place that sells it made of cotton though



    p.s. is there a way to dry clean it yourself? :lol:
    i hate going to laundromats
     
  17. Pastry

    Pastry Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4,438
    Likes Received:
    0
    You never really know if it's water soluble or not. You can ask the sales person, but their knowledge is often...limited. I'd just test it.

    Preshrinking/washing if also a good idea (although I was under the impression that The London Shrinking Method was more of a textile manufacturer finish for worsteds); Anyways, it's all good for one garment, but for a production run the shrinkage is often built into the pattern.

    Either way, it's all different in the wash because there is agitation present. Wool fibres are scaly and they can potential interlock and felt together in water/movement. I mean, I'd be cautious with a wool garment and water..it's just not a great combo, it might stretch it out of shape. Even if it's cold water, I just don't think it will look the same. It will definitely look frizzier if it's a fine worsted wool.


    Regarding the sleeveheads, I have seen cotton ones sold, but they are traditionally lambs wool. In your case, just make your own. Cut a strip of your self fabric, on the bias, about 1.5-2 inches in width. It's sewn into the sleeve cap from front to back notch and it just supports the top of the sleeve. It works really well as long your shoulder is brought down to its natural slope: i.e. sits on your shoulder and doesn't need a pad.

    Seriously, for a washable jacket that is the only structure I would incorporate, no canvas or anything. If your fabric is fused appropriately, I think you will have no problem.
    Another thing you may consider if the width of your facings. If your fabric is light enough, you might want to completely face the entire front, right to the side seam (or side front seam) for added structure. Those jackets are also, I think, traditionally half-lined in the back. I do it anyway, because I don't enjoy the look of a fully-lined jacket.

    As my last thing, I will mention that I've seen a white linen Balenciaga jacket from the 1950's that was completely doubled. Granted it had a raglan sleeve, but there was virtually no interior structure. The inside "lining" was blind-stitched entirely by hand to the outside shell. It was a pretty good example of a "dressmaker's jacket" if you will.
     
  18. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    thanks so much for all the tips! ok :D i've let my mind mull over everything.. and i understand your point now :p you mean that because of all the layers, the moisture in between those layers it does no good to either.. who knows, maybe even grow some kind of mold... So, it's all not washable.
    plus a key part in each layer is the pressing. pressing each component to shape and that would mess up in the dryer.

    i could go on a little bit about the washing and drying of wool and the structure of worsteds..but it will probably get off-topic so i'll leave that for someplace else. :ninja:
    anyway the fact this type of garment is in layers is the main thing that poses the problem.



    i was taught that fusibles aren't always advisable for large sections in a garment because they fade in time and so on. but in collars and other small spots they are fine.

    but then look at this :eek: http://www.taunton.com/threads/pages/t00148.asp
    it's an article about an Armani jacket and the interfacing is used for the whole of the jacket front !

    it's an interesting thing i never considered in my lessons doing couture. i guess it was assumed everything is dry cleaned. or at least never washed. not really my style of clothing.
     
    #18 gius, Apr 30, 2009
    Last edited by moderator : Apr 30, 2009
  19. daniellat

    daniellat Fashion Designer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    wow thats a lot of information in the recent posts i just read lol.

    i personally always dry cleaned my jackets and coats. i dont do it really often do be honest but ive never considered wash them myself, it just never crossed my mind, i guess i grew up with the idea that suits go to the dry cleaners and thats it. but i guess i never really put it to test because most of the things i send to dry clean its becuase they are mostly made out of wool, so it makes sense.

    for the fusible itnerfacings its true, sometimes when the pieces are too big they start to hang. it happened with things ive made myself but i guess it is because i maybe bought something too cheap or i didnt the right way, i dont know but theyre not supposed to do that and i bet there are lots of things with fusibles that arent meant to go to the dry cleaners and arent supposed to hang either, so id ont know, ill have to ask around.

    i considered making a coat with hand stitched interfacing because its supposed to give a better shape and all but i guess im too lazy to do that, it just seems to be too much work for something you are not really seeing but i guess i think like that because ive never had a jacket like that to appreciate the differences between having that and not.

    But right now i couldnt picture myself going to the fabric shop, my creativity is pretty much on hold right now, im just watching tv all day long, i dont want to go out unless is really necessary.
     
  20. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    ^i've been ordering online ;) (you are in quarantine, aren't you.. no choice sort of..)

    that's the main reason i was wondering about stiff fabrics like canvas, etc. i wanted to interface a large part of a jacket, to create structure and prevent wrinkling, and i didn't want to use fusible for that reason.

    some people i've met don't like the idea of dry cleaners also because they don't know what chemicals are being put in them and also because it's hard for them to find a reliable dry cleaner. i've heard some horror stories...

    this is what we're doing for one jacket right now
    the facing doesn't go all the way to the side seam but it covers the whole neckline and extends a bit further. it's so that when the wearer wants to leave the jacket unbuttoned, that you wont see the interfacing.
    for the neckline, it is combined with the collar... but the rest of the facing on the front body, what would i do with that? i just overcast the edges and leave it hanging? i was told that when we put in buttonholes that will be the thing that holds it in place.
     
    #20 gius, Apr 30, 2009
    Last edited by moderator : Apr 30, 2009

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
monitoring_string = "058526dd2635cb6818386bfd373b82a4"