Author Topic: Haslam System of Dresscutting  (Read 11595 times)

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Offline Dondi

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Haslam System of Dresscutting
« on: June 06, 2010, 06:41:59 PM »
Hello all!  I am new here although I have been lurking for a while.  There are some fantastic seamstresses on this site and I am looking forward to learning a great deal. 

On a whim, I purchased the Haslam System of Dresscutting, Haslam Chart & Foundation Draftings which the description states is used for Vintage Pattern Making for 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s Fashions.  Does anyone own and use this system?  I am assuming that it is similar to the Lutterloh system and would love to hear any thoughts, reviews, etc. anyone may have to offer.

I would describe myself as an advanced beginner as far as skills go.  Am I in over my head with this system?
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Offline sdBev

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2010, 08:46:53 PM »
Dondi I can't answer your questions, but I can WELCOME you to Stitcher's Guild!  I'm sure there is someone more knowledgeable that me who will answer you and I know one of the Admin's will be by shortly to provide you with more links and help with our site.  don't forget to share your sewing machine(s) and room(s).  We've 2 threads for that http://artisanssquare.com/sg/index.php/topic,4495.0.html Dang I can't find the other one.  :redgrin: But my search skills aren't too great.  Maybe you'll have better luck searching for the sewing machine thread.

Offline Quincunx

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 08:12:06 AM »
I have a template for a similar yet competing system ("Dreadnought", photos here) but none of the accompanying instructions.  Haven't been able to make sense of the curved center front which the unadorned Dreadnought template makes, when all of the tiny, unreadable Haslam pages I could find scanned have a straight center front seam.  Are the patterns drafted with the assumption that the side seam is unchanging and that all the modifications should be made at center front and back?  It puzzles me.
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Offline xtiand

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2010, 07:17:12 PM »
I have the Haslam system, I was given a large set of booklets by the parents of a child I taught, they saw it at an antique fair and thought I'd enjoy looking at it. I made some of the children's clothes and a couple of blouses for myself. I love the 40's and 50's style clothing and am going to make a suit for the autumn. I'm far from expert but if I can help in any way just ask.

Offline Robin K

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 04:22:34 PM »
Hello Dondi.  I don't have this system but it's on my "wish list" at Amazon!  I'd be very interested to hear about your progress -- I draft patterns but haven't ventured into the vintage area yet.  I've often wondered whether drafting systems have changed radically over the years to accommodate our changing figure types, fabric choices, modern equipment, etc.  Please keep us posted.

Roibn

Offline FrancesGrimble

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2010, 03:15:50 AM »
I haven't used Lutterloh, but I think it's basically a system for enlarging patterns by radial projection.

Haslam, on the contrary, is a "chart" system. A chart is a 19th- and early 20th-century term for what we'd call a sloper or block pattern. Charts came as a cardboard or wooden set of the most basic pattern pieces in the most common cut for the given era. (Which, by the way, changed periodically, so a chart for one era is likely to have too early or late a cut for another era.) Usually charts were for bodices, because bodices required the most fitting, but a few skirt charts were manufactured. The charts had a means of grading the pattern to different standard sizes, usually lines and holes to aid the dressmaker in tracing the right outline and dart placement. Charts were manufactured partly for home dressmakers who made clothes for several different family members, but especially for professional dressmakers without much real training, or the time or money to obtain it. In the 19th century dressmaking was a common fallback profession for women suddenly thrown on the job market by widowhood or orphanhood, so this situation was more common than you might think.

With chart systems you are basically developing patterns from a sloper. Manufacturers, to a greater or lesser degree, published instruction booklets and/or magazines to aid in this process, as did Haslam. Charts (and the related booklets) appear fairly often on eBay, so a persistent search is likely to eventually get you a Haslam chart. Make sure it looks like all the pieces are there.

Another type of system is a kind of chart made of strips of metal that can be adjusted to size with screws.  The most popular and long-lived was the McDowell system and I've seen a fair number of them on eBay over time.

I love Victorian and Edwardian drafting systems, but I think apportioning scale systems are easier to use than charts. The patterns are provided complete in the publications (except for trimmings and sometimes small simple pattern pieces such as waistbands). The grading/sizing is done with apportioning scales, a set of special rulers with units that are not any standard system (that is, not imperial or metric), but unique to that apportioning scale system. The scales for smaller sizes have smaller units, and the ones for larger sizes have larger units. The patterns are printed with numbers, and you pick the scale corresponding to your size in inches (for example, the bust size for bodices), and use it to enlarge the pattern, following the printed numbers.

Apportioning scales also pop up on eBay fairly often. There were a number of Victorian and Edwardian apportioning scale systems--including two with the exact same marketing slogan, "The only system not a chart!" You need the scales that go with the instruction books and/or magazines for that specific system.

Fran
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Offline Kathleen Fasanella

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2010, 04:19:49 AM »
The grading/sizing is done with apportioning scales, a set of special rulers with units that are not any standard system (that is, not imperial or metric), but unique to that apportioning scale system. The scales for smaller sizes have smaller units, and the ones for larger sizes have larger units. The patterns are printed with numbers, and you pick the scale corresponding to your size in inches (for example, the bust size for bodices), and use it to enlarge the pattern, following the printed numbers.

Apportioning scales also pop up on eBay fairly often. There were a number of Victorian and Edwardian apportioning scale systems--including two with the exact same marketing slogan, "The only system not a chart!" You need the scales that go with the instruction books and/or magazines for that specific system.
These were common internationally and also used in men's wear. I took many photos of these, the rarest of ones was a book with fold out rulers printed in Berlin in the 1870's. It's a long story how they were destroyed in ww2 but there's only three known copies in existence, I found this one at the library of congress.

From the apportioning scale system came an iterative drafting system acclimated to imperial measures. It was known colloquially as "scale". True it existed alongside apportioning systems but when the latter fell out of favor (the proprietary rules), scale gained prominence. It's a system I've been studying for years. It's  system of aliquot parts based on anthropometric features. It works best for men generally but people who are height and weight proportionate specifically. I use every time I draft. It's instinctive now.
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Offline FrancesGrimble

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2010, 06:16:28 PM »

These were common internationally and also used in men's wear.

I took many photos of these, the rarest of ones was a book with fold out rulers printed in Berlin in the 1870's. It's a long story how they were destroyed in ww2 but there's only three known copies in existence, I found this one at the library of congress.

From the apportioning scale system came an iterative drafting system acclimated to imperial measures. It was known colloquially as "scale". True it existed alongside apportioning systems but when the latter fell out of favor (the proprietary rules), scale gained prominence. It's a system I've been studying for years. It's  system of aliquot parts based on anthropometric features. It works best for men generally but people who are height and weight proportionate specifically. I use every time I draft. It's instinctive now.

Yes, I know about the international and inter-gender use of the scales. I've been studying them since the 1970s, which is when I started collecting them.  They have been used since the late 18th century.

I found my first pattern books of them when walking by a corner cafe in San Francisco, where someone was holding a seedy informal outdoor garage sale with a bunch of pathetic items no one would want. Except for a big stack of magazines with Edwardian patterns, which my husband (then my college boyfriend) pointed out. I was studying both history and clothing design, and he thought I'd be interested. I was thrilled, I bought them. My husband was then a grad student with BAs in math and computer science, and he started work on reconstructing the scales, which the seller of the magazines did not have.  I bought a set of the original scales years later and found out that my husband's reconstructions were completely accurate. I used a selection of those patterns in my first book that contained apportioning scales and patterns for them, The Edwardian Modiste.

Is the men's set you are referring to Heinrich Klemm's? Klemm's tailoring establishment and publishing house were based in Dresden. Klemm collected rare books, not all on tailoring by any means, and they wound up in a library there. Dresden of course was heavily bombed during World War 2, and the contents of the library were partly destroyed. However, Klemm was internationally famous--I see period references to him from all over Europe--and his books were internationally distributed. (Also occasionally plagiarized.) I have original copies of most of his books and editions from about 1870 on, and several original sets of his scales. I think Klemm is the best author and publisher of 19th-century patterns that I've ever encountered. The only one of his works I have found and not bought over the years is the one on designing clothes for the inmates of lunatic asylums. I used many of Klemm's patterns in my two-volume book Fashions of the Gilded Age. Klemm also taught what we'd call flat pattern design and his books contain many patterns and instructions for that also.

Or are you referring to Gustav (I think that's his first name, will have to check) Engelmann or Rudolf Maurer?  Engelmann was one of Klemm's proteges and taught in Klemm's tailoring/pattern-drafting academy, which survived Klemm's death in 1883 by some decades. I collect Engelmann's books too. Maurer is from a different business. I've bought most of Maurer's books, except those published by his son in the 1930s and 40s, this being after my main period of interest. But Maurer's are  all for men except for the usual small selection of women's patterns (riding habit, a few tailored skirts and jackets), that appear in most late 19th-century tailoring manuals. Klemm had a much broader view, publishing a wide selection of non-tailored women's patterns, including undergarments.

I have drafted many patterns with apportioning scales for my own use. The fit varies from system to system. Or rather, it varies with the patterns drafted for that system. The apportioning scales merely provide a mathematical method of enlarging the patterns, only without the drafter having to do the arithmetic. Klemm's patterns run taller than some of the American patterns for apportioning scale systems that I use. With Klemm's I always have to shorten the back waist length. But I'm short and otherwise, have common female proportions--average bust, a bit of a pear on the hips. In other words, I don't have a "male" figure by any means. On me the fit of apportioning scale patterns is usually at least as good as what I get from modern Vogue, Simplicity, etc. Which is what most of my readers say.

The thing is, discussing whether apportioning scale patterns as a whole "fit well," is like discussing whether full-sized, cut paper patterns as a whole "fit well." Including cut paper patterns published ever since there were any (the earliest cut paper patterns I've traced are from 1820s France).  It's all in how the publisher originally drafted and graded the patterns--not in the publication method.

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Offline Kathleen Fasanella

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2010, 06:46:25 PM »
The title I was referring to (had to go look it up) was Anthropometrische Trigonometrie by Gustav Muller, close to Maurer but perhaps not the same person you meant. Copyright date is 1860, not 1870 as I said and published in Dresden. Yes, I've heard of that particular Dresden library fire, a private collection, was it not?

If anyone is interested in the apportioning scale systems, here's one photo from Muller's book.


The full size version of this photo (820 KB) is here.
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Offline FrancesGrimble

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2010, 07:00:53 PM »
Yes, I have several of Gustav Mueller's scales, books, etc. (Rudolf Maurer is a different author.) To be honest, I don't know where you got the idea that there are only three sets in existence. With Victorian era publications that is usually quite unlikely. It's hard to tell what library holdings are, since Worldcat only lists what the libraries are willing to ILL (inter-library loan), which according to my library distributor is only about a third of what their holdings. And a many small US historical society libraries, and many foreign libraries, are not even in the Worldcat database. However, if you look at what is available  ILL versus what is available on the used book market (including bookstores, eBay, garage sales, etc.), it's usually significantly easier to buy antique books than to borrow them. For foreign books, the country of publication is your most likely source, but actually, publications circulated very widely and anything can pop up for sale anywhere. I have hundreds of them, and yes I've been collecting them for over 30 years, but I'm still finding new ones all the time. I love it!

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Offline SewingLibrarian

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2010, 08:08:43 PM »
As a librarian I have to jump in here to say that while the public version of WorldCat may show only the holdings that can be lent through Interlibrary Loan, the OCLC catalog on which WorldCat is based shows complete holdings of most libraries. And your librarian should be able to access the OCLC catalog IF your library is a member. That is, if your library uses OCLC for its own cataloging, the catalogers can see the holdings of ALL the libraries that hold that item. Frances Grimble is correct that many smaller institutions are not on OCLC, however, because the cost of membership is quite high. And it started out as an American system and is still, I believe, heavily Anglo-American in scope. Of course, American and British libraries own much foreign material.
This whole discussion is quite fascinating as I have never known much about how dressmakers and tailors worked in the "old days."
Linda

Offline FrancesGrimble

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2010, 12:31:12 AM »
I am fond of using this version of WorldCat:

http://www.worldcat.org/wcpa/search?

to fish for titles of old books to look for and hopefully buy. I've never been sure whether libraries have a fuller version of WorldCat--now I know.

The definitive work on old pattern-drafting systems is Claudia Kidwell's _Cutting a Fashionable Fit: Dressmakers' Drafting Systems in the United States_, published by the Smithsonian Institution Press in 1979. It includes extensive appendices of publications related to the systems, which Kidwell got from searching the Library of Congress catalogs as they were in the 1970s. (Meaning it's not a complete catalog of publications, especially foreign ones; but even the LOC does not keep every US publication submitted to it.) Once you have a title, you can then look for copies of that specific title.

The titles are not always obvious. One of my favorites is _The Archetypal Consummation_. It's not clear to me how this title relates to the book's contents as a garment-drafting manual, but it's certainly a heck of a marketing handle.

There are a lot of fascinating things about the old publications. One is the adoption of technology--the tape measure, apparently, came into use in the 1820s. There is an English tailor who claims he was the first tailor to adopt it (though such claims should always be taken with a grain of salt).  (I have his manual around somewhere, but I don't remember the title and author without digging around.)  He says he was a boarder in a lodging house. One of his fellow boarders was having a pair of boots custom made by mail. The bootmaker sent his customer a tape measure along with a set of directions for taking the necessary measurements. The tailor saw the tape measure and realized it had applications in his own profession.

Whether this tailor made the discovery or not, the 1820s date is corroborated, more or less, by French sources. I  translated several late 1820s manuals from French for _The Lady's Stratagem_. The author of two of them, a Madame Burtel, gives her readers instructions for using the pre-tape-measure system of cutting notches into a strip of paper to represent the person's measurements. The _Dictionnaire Technologique_, which was incrementally published between 1822 and 1835, says that tailors' shops had formerly been cluttered with these strips hung up all over (customers might not only return soon, some ordered garments by mail), but since the tape measure had been adopted (no mention of how this came about), things were much neater and more convenient.

Edward Giles's 1896 _History of the Art of Cutting in England_ is, as Victorian histories go, excellent. (It's probably easy to find--R. L. Shep reprinted it and although the reprint is now out of print, there should be plenty of copies still in existence.) Giles includes a lot of period quotes that among other things, demonstrate how the authors of Victorian pattern-drafting systems flamed each other. They were quite ready to market their own systems by heaping insults on all their competitors. Giles himself was more restrained, even though he also wrote several good manuals for what his own "West End System."

"System" was a selling marketing word. Everybody had a "system," whether it was a patent tool or tools, or a method of drafting based on standard measurements. "Scientific" was another selling marketing word. Almost everyone's drafting system was "scientific," "mathematical," "geometric," or even "trigonometric." None of which necessarily had much relation to that particular system. It was mostly just marketing buzz.




























Offline Kathleen Fasanella

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2010, 01:07:20 AM »
Re: Fran's mention of marketing buzz in old books. When I was doing research at the LOC, here's some excerpts of what I wrote then:

Quote
Speaking of, there’s a lot of competing advice in that market in that day, just as there is now. Apparently, merchant tailors tended to rally around personalities, those who could scrape up enough of a following to interest a publisher in their most excellent superlative drafting method book. It doesn’t seem to be any different today so I guess sewing expert gurus are nothing new. That’s the other thing that’s funny. The book titles. oh boy. Many of the book titles are a whole paragraph long. Things like Most excellent, newly approved and scientific hereto unknown method of draughting (or drafting) designed to give superlative superior results for distinguished clients of discriminating tastes, no less than that of which is employed by superior scientific most excellent and superlative tailors and easy too, learnable in fifteen minutes or less with only one measurement (the wrist) required and no tools. Honest. I mean, I barely exaggerated. The only thing that varied is whether a proprietary tool (always patented) was required.

Strangely enough, I’ve found that sewing books are a relatively new phenomenon, only becoming accessible in the late forties and fifties. Who knew? It seems the earliest sewing related books are the ones put out by the Institute of Women’s Domestic Science at the turn of the century. Sewing books per se, appear to be unknown prior to that. Interesting.

Anyway, I’ve got a whole passle of books I’ve photographed. Many of them pamphlets really, sixteen pages long with five of those pages being a preface or introduction by the author. They’re pretty funny. Without fail, each of these authors is absolutely correct, unerringly so, in thought, word and deed. Believe me, I’ve never felt like such a sinner but apparently, my clothing sins qualify me for a one-way ticket straight to hell. And I thought the fashion police (aka fashists) of today were bad. Oh my oh my. I’m cooked.

One author (Otis Madison) is noteworthy because he states he’s never made a mistake in the three books of his I’ve seen and after he died, there was a big to-do because someone suggested he had in fact made an error but somebody (a sycophant but I prefer my word, psychofan) wrote an editorial stating that Otis Madison (so described as the Wampen of his day but you won’t know who that is so we’ll use the edu-lite comparative of Sandra Betzina and you’ll get my drift) had never made an error and made quite a big deal of it to such extent Seligman reprinted portions of the protest in his book (Cutting for all). Thus, browsing the Library of Congress, and judging from the readily accessible proofs, it seems incontrovertible that Jesus Christ didn’t die until the 1870’s and additionally by all accounts, was a finely skilled, superlative and most excellent pattern maker and not a carpenter at all. Realistically, the summary of the record would conclude that obstinacy has been an occupational hazard for the last 500 years or so.
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Offline sewsy

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2010, 01:55:46 AM »
Fran and Kathleen:

This discussion is so cool. Thanks to you both.

Offline FrancesGrimble

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2010, 02:01:52 AM »

Quote
<snip>  Apparently, merchant tailors tended to rally around personalities, those who could scrape up enough of a following to interest a publisher in their most excellent superlative drafting method book.

Most were just promoting their own systems. And in many cases, the publisher and author were the same. When the tailor or dressmaker ran a school, the manual (or manuals) served as a text, though it was typically marketed elsewhere for self-study as well. When the tailor or dressmaker also manufactured a patent tool, the instruction manual (which often included patterns) had to be packaged with the tool. Many manufacturers of tool systems, especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, additionally published magazines with more recent styles/patterns than those appearing in the instruction manuals packaged with the tool, because the tool was usually a one-time purchase and the styles/patterns in the instruction manual became outdated over time.

Quote
The book titles. oh boy. Many of the book titles are a whole paragraph long.

Yes. I translated the French 1820s sources for _The Lady's Stratagem_ into 1820s English. And then in the back, I put in a list of my own books with 1820s marketing prose. I just could not resist. Really, though, what they were doing was just shoving what we'd call jacket flap or back cover copy into the subtitle.

Quote

Strangely enough, I’ve found that sewing books are a relatively new phenomenon, only becoming accessible in the late forties and fifties. Who knew? It seems the earliest sewing related books are the ones put out by the Institute of Women’s Domestic Science at the turn of the century. Sewing books per se, appear to be unknown prior to that. Interesting.

I researched English, French, and American sources very heavily for _The Lady's Stratagem_ (I spent seven years working on it). The earliest English sewing manuals I found for the home dressmaker (as opposed to pattern-drafting manuals) were from the 1820s--a century earlier than the Women's Institute books. I also have some 1820s English texts aimed at the teachers of grade school children, though these focus heavily on how to teach very basic sewing and knitting.

I did not, however, research the Germans as heavily. Since they were the leaders in needlework publications throughout the 19th century, it is possible that there are pre-1820 German sewing manuals. I don't know. I hope so. I did find a German knitting manual from the late 18th century and a French translation of it from the very early 19th century.

There were also fashion magazines for the home dressmaker (ones that included more than fashion plates, a much earlier phenomenon) from at least 1833, when the _Journal des Demoiselles_ began publication. The earliest _Journals des Demoiselles_ included fold-out pattern sheets, largely for embroidery and accessories but some garments were included as well.

The first references I've found to separately purchased, pre-cut paper patterns were from the 1820s, but I don't have any cut paper patterns from as early as that in my collection.

A number of sewing manuals for home dressmakers were published in English in the 1830s and 1840s. I have a pretty good selection of these, possibly most of the ones published. In the 1850s there was an explosion in publications, partly due to higher literacy, partly due to a larger middle class, but largely due to the development of pulp paper. This included an explosion in fashion magazines and home-sewing manuals.  So you're most likely to find sewing manuals and drafting manuals from the 1850s on, and there are hundreds.

Fran


Offline SewingLibrarian

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2010, 03:57:04 AM »
Fascinating!! Thanks to both Frances and Kathleen for this discussion. And I must admit "The Archetypal Consummation" conjures up pictures in my mind, but none of them have to do with sewing! Ha ha. I think I read once that tailors used a measuring method that had to do with tying knots in a long piece of string. Presumably, the measurements were taken in a set sequence so that one could count down and know which measurement was which?? Do either of you know about this? Imagine being without one's tape measure, a piece of equipment one takes for granted so often.
Linda

Offline fzxdoc

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2010, 12:50:51 PM »
Fascinating!! Thanks to both Frances and Kathleen for this discussion.

Ditto that! This is such a great discussion. I am enjoying every single post.

Frances, I own a copy of your book, The Edwardian Modiste. It is an amazing accomplishment. I referenced it greatly back in the day when I was sewing costumes for my DDs high school musicals.  I still take it off the shelf and enjoy thumbing through it, finding inspiration from the many detailed drawings.

Now I'm heading to your website to read about your other books. The Lady's Strategem sounds intriguing!

Kathryn
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 12:54:53 PM by fzxdoc »

Offline Kathleen Fasanella

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2010, 01:00:00 PM »
I think I read once that tailors used a measuring method that had to do with tying knots in a long piece of string. Presumably, the measurements were taken in a set sequence so that one could count down and know which measurement was which?? Do either of you know about this?
I've heard of this but it could just be anecdotes, Frances is the authority. I'm but a keenly interested novice. I have at least three of her books (and many others). I try to buy all the reprints of archaic texts put out by independents, I want to do my part in keeping them in business.

Thanks for letting me know that even tho Fran and I hijacked the thread, we weren't being obnoxious by terribly boring everyone.
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Offline Lisanne

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2010, 03:37:48 PM »
Very fascinating, but I'm puzzled by this remark :

quote
Strangely enough, I’ve found that sewing books are a relatively new phenomenon, only becoming accessible in the late forties and fifties. Who knew? It seems the earliest sewing related books are the ones put out by the Institute of Women’s Domestic Science at the turn of the century. Sewing books per se, appear to be unknown prior to that. Interesting.
Unquote

I'm puzzled as I collect them !

Looking at my note book of titles, here are some I've got  (I have a lot more but haven't noted the dates of them) :

Baldt  Clothing for Women 1916
Butterick  The Dressmaker 1911, 1921
Davis  The Elements of Modern Dressmaking  1906
Grenfell  Dressmaking 1892
Synge  Simple garments for children  1913

Difficult to believe such books were available in the UK but not the US ?
Does this make you feel special ;D  if not, try something else

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Easy Jackets - mainly links to jacket tutorials, in left menu
Celestine’s Sewing - learn to sew the Edwardian way
Aim for Quality - links to good on-line tutorials for sewing basics

Offline Kathleen Fasanella

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2010, 03:51:04 PM »
Frances posted a contrary opinion, previously.

I should have said "only becoming widely accessible in the late forties and fifties".

Also, I should have quantified what I meant by sewing books. I didn't include elementary or high school textbooks with the most basic of instruction. I meant books that were more comprehensive and covered a gamut of skills, being broader and more professional in topic selection.
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Offline Lisanne

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2010, 04:55:11 PM »
Ah Kathleen, yes that's where we differ.  I'm specifically collecting 'practical needlework' books for home sewing, and school textbooks, mainly from before WW I,  not many for the professional.

I collected a few 'cutting system' books but decided not to go that route !

The early sewing books make delightful social history.  I even have one for ophanages - costing and teaching orphan girls how to make the clothes they need for going into service.

But that's getting rather a long way from the initial topic of this thread !
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 05:02:40 PM by Lisanne »
Does this make you feel special ;D  if not, try something else

Sewingplums
Easy Jackets - mainly links to jacket tutorials, in left menu
Celestine’s Sewing - learn to sew the Edwardian way
Aim for Quality - links to good on-line tutorials for sewing basics

Offline FrancesGrimble

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2010, 06:44:10 PM »
During the 19th century, needlework was a standard part of every woman's role in life, unless her time was so taken up earning wages in a factory that she couldn't do much else. Members of the working classes not working in factories, for example farming families who could not do much agricultural labor in the evenings or during the winter, were expected to busily work to produce something for family use, or to sell later and add to the family income. This even included working-class males to some extent. They were taught basic knitting, mending, and sewing, which came in very handy for those who became sailors, soldiers, long-term bachelors, etc., and at home they helped the family to produce articles for sale.

But for all social classes, needlework was strongly connected to women’s social, and even moral, image. Even middle- and upper-class women (and girls) were expected to ply the needle at every moment when they had nothing demonstrably better to do. During social calls they did “fancy needlework,” such as embroidery, tatting, fancy knitting (stockings were not allowed to be fancy), crochet, etc. However, in the presence of family and intimate female friends they did enormous amounts of “plain sewing,” producing underwear and household linens for the entire family. Added to this is the pre-Victorian and early Victorian custom of doing the household’s laundry only three or four times a year (the “great wash”). The middle and upper classes changed their underwear if not every day, at least every couple of days, meaning a family needed an enormous stock of it. And even women who did not make their own new dresses did a great deal of alterations and recutting. The material had already been used, so they were less concerned about spoiling it, and the material might well be recycled into less important garments such as home wear, petticoats, and children’s clothes.

What was happening is that as factories took over producing various forms of needlework, women were simply freed up to do other kinds of needlework. In the 18th century mechanization took over spinning and weaving, leaving women with more time to do sewing and fancy needlework. Then in the mid 19th century the sewing machine was not only invented but eagerly adopted, leaving women with more time to do their own dressmaking. Home dressmaking was certainly done earlier, but the sewing machine (with wood carvings and wrought iron suitable for display in the parlor), made it much easier. Women had been sewing, mending, and altering since they were small children, so the only really professional skill they needed was “cutting out”-- a term applied to not just laying out the fabric and taking the scissors to it, but to designing the garment and to pattern drafting.

But here, manufacturers and publishers were also eager to help, by supplying charts, apportioning scale systems, cut paper patterns, manuals on pattern drafting and dressmaking, and dress forms. Also, there were many women’s magazines (such as _Godey’s_, _Peterson’s_, _Harper’s Bazar_, and many others) that constantly supplied fashion plates, fashion descriptions, and patterns either overprinted on separate sheets, or printed in the magazine either to true scale or not. Pattern catalog magazines such as Butterick’s _Delineator_ expected readers to buy cut paper patterns separately, but these magazines too were replete with fashion descriptions and dressmaking hints. And all these magazines were full of ads for scissors, dress forms, trimmings, notions such as skirt binding braids, and everything else related to sewing. Many magazines, from time to time, published whole series of articles that when put together, amounted to a manual describing the process of making a dress from start to finish. Manuals on domestic economy also sometimes contained chapters on dressmaking.

In short, 19th-century women did a great deal of home dressmaking and they did not figure out how to do it on their own. Women in the working classes planning to become professional dressmakers or lady’s maids typically received some professional training (often an apprenticeship in a dressmaking establishment). However, a great many middle- and upper-class women also made clothes for themselves and their families. And they didn’t do it in a vacuum: An enormous number of resources were available to help.

Not all 19th-century dressmaking manuals are available on line, by any means. Nor are all the domestic manuals and fashion magazines that contain significant information. But here are a few that are:

_The Workwoman’s Guide_, 1840

http://books.google.com/books?id=JCsBAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=intitle:workwoman's+intitle:guide&hl=en&ei=YqIjTKXdDougnwforbQm&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

_The Hand-Book of Dress-Making_, 1845

http://books.google.com/books?id=gPgDAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=intitle:dress-making&hl=en&ei=2aIjTKLuM4X_ngflwJzBDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

_Miss Leslie’s Lady’s House-Book_, 1850

http://books.google.com/books?id=TXkDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA406&dq=intitle:dress-making&hl=en&ei=2aIjTKLuM4X_ngflwJzBDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

_The Lady’s Guide to Perfect Gentility_, 1856

http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=hearth;idno=6062485

_Cutting-Out and Dressmaking_, 1879

http://books.google.com/books?id=JokvAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=intitle:dressmaking&hl=en&ei=mqMjTOjCNMGFnAet-7gm&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

_The Home Needle_, 1882

http://books.google.com/books?id=syh_AAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=intitle:home+intitle:needle&hl=en&ei=WqUjTJH9Dd_tnQeI6dkB&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

_The Elements of Modern Dressmaking for Amateur and Professional Dressmakers_, 1894

http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=hearth;idno=4399915

_The Art of Dressmaking_, 1895

http://books.google.com/books?id=Tfg_AAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=intitle:dressmaking&hl=en&ei=mqMjTOjCNMGFnAet-7gm&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CEkQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

_The Practical Work of Dressmaking & Tailoring_, 1902

http://books.google.com/books?id=YltHAAAAYAAJ&pg=PP33&dq=intitle:dressmaking&hl=en&ei=mqMjTOjCNMGFnAet-7gm&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false

_The American System of Dressmaking_, 1909

http://www.archive.org/details/americansystemof00merw

_The Dressmaker_ 1911 (Butterick)


Offline FrancesGrimble

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2010, 06:49:53 PM »
To clarify my "contrary opinion," I found it difficult to locate pre _1830_ manuals in English (not pre-1930). Which is why I went to the trouble of translating several of them from French. There is, however, some information available in English, and English middle- and upper-class women often knew some French. Also, antique publications become harder to locate over time as copies are destroyed over the years--meaning they were more available at the time of publication than they are now.  Once you get into the 1850s, where the sewing machine and wood-pulp paper were both widely adopted, as I said, there was an explosion of dressmaking manuals, cut paper patterns, publications on pattern drafting, you name it.

Offline Lisanne

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2010, 07:00:40 PM »
Wow, Frances !  What an exciting list.
Many thanks for making all this information available for us.

I will definitely be buying your books for treats  :D
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 07:11:43 PM by Lisanne »
Does this make you feel special ;D  if not, try something else

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Celestine’s Sewing - learn to sew the Edwardian way
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Offline SewingLibrarian

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2010, 11:48:37 PM »

But for all social classes, needlework was strongly connected to women’s social, and even moral, image. Even middle- and upper-class women (and girls) were expected to ply the needle at every moment when they had nothing demonstrably better to do.....
 Women in the working classes planning to become professional dressmakers or lady’s maids typically received some professional training (often an apprenticeship in a dressmaking establishment). However, a great many middle- and upper-class women also made clothes for themselves and their families.


This makes Jane Austen's accomplishments even more impressive, doesn't it?
Also, as a side note, my grandmother (1885-1959) came from a middle class home in Scotland. Her father, who had seen numerous examples of women left destitute by widowhood, insisted that his daughters be trained for some profession or work. My grandmother took a course in"domestic science" which prepared her to be a housekeeper in a large establishment. She never had to work, but she was prepared if necessary. My mother still has the notebooks my grandmother filled during her course, and I have a piece of her needlework designed to show mending stitiches. I also have a lot of linens embroidered by female members of my grandmother's family. They certainly did keep their hands busy.

Offline Sickofitcindy

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2010, 01:55:38 AM »
I purchased a cd of many Haslam books awhile back. I've even made the template. Have I made anything.... no............ I'm hoping since I'm getting more into pattern drafting that I will use this soon. There are just too many beautiful garments in there to ignore.

Offline FrancesGrimble

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2010, 06:14:46 PM »
I've got a few of the Haslam booklets, and there is a similar, slightly later system called "Dreadnought" that I have not collected. My main period of interest is pre-1930, so I have not actually used the Haslam booklets. That's why I've not collected Lutterloh, either.

Fran

Offline ejvc

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2010, 09:50:32 AM »
As you know I'm a sucker for pattern drafting things so I bought a scanned CD too.  Really enjoying it.  Will I sew something?  Well, the over-the-top bathrobes really appeal.  I mean, smoking in bed, AND with a monogram - why not?

My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

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Offline Kathleen Fasanella

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2010, 02:49:47 PM »
Does anyone have a link to purchase the Haslan CD? Thanks in advance!
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Offline ejvc

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2010, 02:58:10 PM »
Kathleen, I bought mine off eBay-- the "sampler" version.  It is really basic - the booklets are scanned as jpegs.  I'm not sure how to put together the chart.  Etc.

Here's the seller: http://collectables.shop.ebay.co.uk/Sewing-Fabric-Textiles-/113/i.html?_catref=1&_fln=1&_ipg=&_ssn=pinkemilygrace&_trksid=p3911.c0.m282

Elizabeth
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline Quincunx

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2010, 12:17:59 PM »
That Haslam chart photo hints at something interesting; it's enlarging the pattern more in the upper bust sizes as the space between dots increases.  The Dreadnought (1930s-ish?) chart's dots are all equidistant--and in straight lines, for that matter.

(looks at the elegant "evening wrap" in the sampler)
(looks at another thread's discussion of "scarfigans", shapeless wraps)
(looks at "evening wrap", glares at incompatible Dreadnought chart)

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Offline ejvc

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2010, 09:32:52 AM »
Posted a second installment of the Haslam series on my blog, with a PDF of the chart and a description of how I made my chart reproduction.
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline ejvc

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2010, 08:50:53 AM »
Third installment of the Haslam series is on my blog.  I drafted the front and back foundation; instructions on how to do so yourself are included on the blog.
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline ejvc

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2010, 02:34:38 PM »
And fourth in the series - the sleeve draft - now on the blog.
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline Sickofitcindy

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Re: Haslam System of Dresscutting
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2011, 12:42:22 AM »
Kathleen, I bought mine off eBay-- the "sampler" version.  It is really basic - the booklets are scanned as jpegs.  I'm not sure how to put together the chart.  Etc.

Here's the seller: http://collectables.shop.ebay.co.uk/Sewing-Fabric-Textiles-/113/i.html?_catref=1&_fln=1&_ipg=&_ssn=pinkemilygrace&_trksid=p3911.c0.m282

Elizabeth
I bought mine from the same seller though I purchased the full set. It's been so long but I believe mine included instructions on creating the template. I remember printing it at Kinkos but the scale had to be right. THen I coerced my dad into gluing it onto a piece of wood and drilling all of the holes for me.

 

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