Book Review: A complete course on making a professional suit

Tailoring: A Complete Course on Making a Professional Suit
Edited by Peg Couch, Published by Fox Chapel Publishing.

“A classically tailored suit never goes out of style, nor do the skills and techniques used in crafting one. This step by step guide takes the reader through the entire process of making a suit, from selecting the fabric to the final fit. The book also includes over 200 colour coded diagrams that clearly depict the construction process. This complete course on tailoring is illustrated and annotated like no other book on the topic and will become a trusted reference in any sewing library.”

I’m slowly acquiring a small sewing library (I adore books) and this was one of the first books on tailoring I bought. It’s a good read, especially as it has sections specifically for men’s and women’s suits – I had no idea there was such a difference in construction techniques between the two.

Whilst it’s heavy on text however, the authors/editors/publishers seem to forget that a picture speaks a thousand words – and in a craft such as sewing, visuals are indespensible.

For instance, there is a section on the different types of fabrics – you would expect them to come with pictures, no? No. There’s just a block of text. And whilst the techniques are well detailed textually, there are only hand drawings of the garment and their tailoring steps, which can get a tad confusing when various layers and different materials are used.

My biggest gripe? One of the small number of pictures that actually has a garment and a hand in it at the same time has dirty fingernails. I mean, really?

This is not what I’d expect from a tailoring publication. Whilst I know I’m going to use this as a reference text as it really does have a large amount of useful descriptions in it, I just can’t get past the dirty fingernails. Ick.


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