Monday 29 December 2014

Book review: Mathew Gnagy, The Modern Maker: Men's 17th Century Doublets.

This book was my Christmas present to myself. It is useful for two reasons, first it is on men’s wear and there is very little on the subject, and secondly it is a practical book on how to make early 17th century men’s doublets. It says volume one, so we can expect volumes on breeches and other items to follow.

 Mathew trained as a professional tailor, and it shows. The volume, 149 well illustrated pages, uses as its example a  pattern published in 1618 in Geometria, y traça perteneciente al oficio de sastres, by  Francisco de la Rocha de Burguen, this is not the doublet illustrated on the cover. The book is divided into eight sections, taking you through the principles of tailoring, choosing the fabrics, making the pattern, cutting the pieces, the hand sewing techniques to use, and then making up the garment. The final two sections cover information on surviving garments and construction details. Each section is well illustrated with coloured photographs showing step by step, for example, how to pad stitch, how to make a buttonhole, and how to wrap a silk button.

Mathew Gnagy, The Modern Maker: Men's 17th Century Doublets. 2014. ISBN 978-0692264843 £21.33 (Odd price because it is American $25)
For more information and some illustrations of inside pages have a look at

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