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with Alison Smith
Online Class

Essential Guide to Tailoring: Structure & Shape

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Bring structure and shape to any tailored garment with online video lessons from School of Sewing founder Alison Smith! You'll start by learning classic tailoring techniques such as canvassed construction for jackets and more. Alison will also teach you how to stabilize and shape a jacket's edges, neckline, armholes and roll lines. Move on to modern tailoring methods for using fusible interfacing with looser-weave fabrics to build elegant garment structure swiftly. Then, discover hybrid tailoring techniques that make it easier than ever to achieve refined results when sewing coating fabric or high-end menswear. Plus, discover how to interface a variety of different silhouette variations, from shawl-collared and collarless jackets to tailored skirts and pants.


  • intermediate
  • 7 episodes
  • 1h55m

Included in this Class

1. Introduction to Tailoring

1. Introduction to Tailoring

Meet Alison Smith, the United Kingdom's premier teacher of dressmaking, tailoring and corsetry. Alison discusses tailoring fabrics and the anatomy of a tailored garment. See how traditional tailoring has evolved to include speed tailoring and a hybrid variety, depending on fabric and garment.

2. Traditional Tailoring

2. Traditional Tailoring

Begin learning about traditional, canvased construction for garments such as jackets. Alison reviews the types of canvas and where they are used, then demonstrates how to cut out pattern pieces in canvas, mark and sew a bust dart and attach your canvas to the fabric with padstitching.

3. Creating Shape

3. Creating Shape

Use a herringbone stitch to secure the edges of the canvas to your fabric and a basting stitch to hold the shape. Alison shows how to encourage the lapels and collar to roll properly by adding finer padstitching behind them. Steaming helps set the shape.