Sunday, January 9, 2022

Weekend Review: Singer Tailoring

Singer Sewing Reference Library: Tailoring 
Minnetonka, MN: Cy DeCosse, c1988
127 p.

This is another classic book in a classic series. The Singer Sewing Reference Library is a great resource, and I've got all my copies in this series via thrift stores. It was published in the 80s so the photos are a little dated, but there are lots of them and they illustrate solid techniques. 

This volume came in very useful as I was working on my green jacket recently. Though my project was not as detailed or complex as a fully tailored jacket, this book gave me help understanding the construction and especially of course the lining, as you might guess if you read my jacket post! 

Like all of these books, this one is clearly laid out, with information on different levels of tailoring, depending on how far you're taking it. Each option is clearly explained with, as noted, tons of photos to help you grasp the concepts. Of course, because it's older, there are new options for things like fusible interfacings, but the core information is great and can easily be adapted to the materials we have available now. 

The book is broken up into sections - first, how to select the right pattern and kind of tailoring to match -- and then the fabrics and notions you'll need for your selection. Then comes a section on tools and equipment, followed by prep work - how to ready your interfacings, linings and fabrics, including questions of fit and muslining. 

The second part of the book is dedicated to tailoring and finishing. From detailed sections on construction and shaping all parts of a jacket, to clear information about linings/interlinings, buttonholes and topstitching, you will find everything you need here. 

It's quite detailed and a bit overwhelming, really, to see all the steps to a properly and fully tailored jacket. I'm not quite there yet! But it's also fascinating and inspiring to think about getting there. This book is jam-packed with practical and useful information and I am glad I was able to use some of it already. I like the 80s vibe of the photos but even if you don't, you'll get a lot of use from this one if you are also interested in tailoring. 


  1. I have the Singer Sewing Series (purchased via subscription in the very early 90s) and find them invaluable. The publisher, Cy de Cosse, has reprinted some of the titles with newer photos and without the Singer title. Cy de Cosse owns the copyright so they were most likely licensed to Singer for a specific period of time. Under any name they are good books to own with the caveat that if it looks like the Singer book it probably is.
    Theresa in Tucson

    1. They are really solid books! It's good to know that there are newer copies around out there - I always keep my eye out for these, there are such good details in them.


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