This is an exceptional book on designing and creating shirts. It assumes you know basic sewing; this is not a book about sewing. Coffin deconstructs shirts into five different ‘blocks’ or basic shapes: dress shirt, sport shirt, knit shirt, folk shirt, and shirt jacket. He also shows various collars-so many collars!-, cuffs and pockets with glorious details. By adding these collars & cuffs to the various blocks, you have nearly limitless options in your shirt- any of which, of course, can be used in a women’s blouse just as well.
He does show some sewing tips: sewing without pins (wow), stitching seams, how to fold and put together a placket, and the best way to turn a point- essential for nice looking collars. Along the way are example shirts, designer pages and what they’ve made, how to copy an existing shirt, and pages of helpful resources: books, classes, software, and websites. There is also bonus material- mainly patterns- that will be available online but as of today (6/22/2015) only some of it seems to be working.
This is one of those books that I know I’ll turn to again and again. While not a tailoring book, the author does give a lot of tips. One thing that fascinated me was how the Duke of Windsor’s collars were made- obviously of the highest quality but a method that looks incomplete from the wrong side! It has a purpose, of course- to reduce bulk. It’s things like that that make this book so interesting.
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