There is so little by way of educational material available to the aspiring tailor, and my feelings on this are mixed. I really do think it’s a craft that is best learnt at the hands of an experienced teacher so the few books available should be used as guides for someone undergoing an apprenticeship and not for those who wish to teach themselves. That said, not everyone has access to an experienced tailor and I suppose they have no choice but to turn to the scant material available so the latest arrival to the self-tutelage sphere will be welcome to many.
Andrew Ramroop, of the justly famous Maurice Sedwell of Savile Row, has teamed up with Mastered.com to produce an online, self-guided course in tailoring. Video lessons and some very handsome photography are provided along with supporting print material. In a smart move, Mr. Ramroop shows a technique, then his assistant does it. This gives the viewer the benefit of seeing an experienced master do, and then seeing some of the mistakes that he or she is likely to make and the corrections as suggested by the teacher. Of course, not every possible misstep is covered, but students are encouraged to upload photos or other evidence of their work for evaluation by Mr. Ramroop. Certainly not failsafe but better than a book alone.
Coincidentally, I was recently talking to the owner of a custom clothiers shop in NYC last week, and he told me that he’s thinking about shutting down the tailoring side of his business next year (after being in business for about 50 years) because he can’t find people who can make clothes as good as he needs. His current head tailor is 85 years old and won’t be around forever, but finding a replacement has been tough. I hear this a lot from custom clothing shops, although some – such as Rubinacci – seem to be able to attract talent without any issue.
Not sure if Ramroop’s program is good enough to land you a job somewhere, but it’s nice to see such a training program pop up for people who are passionate about this craft.