Does any of this sound familiar?
- You want to make yourself some clothing for historical reenactment, but have no idea where to start and digging through all of the information is overwhelming.
- You’ve spent countless hours trying to get patterns to fit right or decipher their vague instructions and you’re tired of the clothing not turning out how you imagined.
- You’ve made some historical clothing before but you’re not quite satisfied with the results, and there are some specific techniques you’d like to learn or improve.
If it does, then you know how difficult it can be to find the correct information or get quality instruction.
Introducing Historical Tailoring Masterclasses
I started Historical Tailoring Masterclasses in 2011 (wow, how time flies!) to help people such as yourself who wanted to learn how to sew beautiful historical reproductions for themselves. Not satisfied with the majority of patterns or their instructions, and how easy it is to get frustrated when your hard work turns out not to be quite as you imagined, I sought to create a way to teach people the art of historical tailoring.
Rather than say, “here, follow this pattern exactly and you’ll come out with a passable garment for your reenacting”, I wanted to go more in-depth with my instruction; that you could take a historical pattern and alter it not only to your unique size and shape, but also to closely reproduce that original garment you saw in person at a museum or historical society, or even on Pinterest.
While I love in-person classes and workshops, they can often be overly expensive when you consider travel costs, hotels, materials, and often, it’s difficult to finish a project during the short weekend or time allotted for the class. So I decided to put all of my material online to help keep those costs down for everyone, while at the same time, being able to get much more detailed photographs and videos of the various construction processes right to your home. This makes it possible to work completely at your own pace, even in your pyjamas, as you follow along with my instructions.
James Williams’ historical tailoring online workshops are some of the best opportunities to improve your historical tailoring. Whether fairly new to needle and thread or a fairly knowledgeable tailor or seamstress, you can not go wrong by taking these online courses. You will gain a better understanding of how the garments of the day were made and a better knowledge of what the men of the time wore and how they should look. Not only are the workshops wonderful but the support from the facebook group and from James through email is phenomenal. I can’t wait for more workshops to continue my growth in becoming a historical master tailor!
I’ve tried to keep the instruction for each project as straight-forward as possible, while at the same time going into as much detail as necessary to get the technique conveyed to you. So if you don’t get something quite right, you can rewatch or reread the lesson and apply it to your current project, or even make the project a second time to really let the processes sink in. And if you get stuck on something along the way, I’m always a quick email or message away. I love helping members as they work through the various project and seeing what they come up with!
So in short, you can think of Historical Tailoring Masterclasses almost as a digital apprenticeship of sorts, helping you to learn and preserve the fine art of historical tailoring as you construct beautiful reproductions for your self or others.
Historical Tailoring Masterclasses will help you to
I started with James Williams’ “Masterclass” program with two objectives. First, I wanted to develop a proper pattern for a mid-nineteenth century frock coat, usable for both Military and civilian applications. Second, I wanted to refine my understanding of period men’s style and tailoring methods. I feel I have largely succeeded in both following the procedures outlined in James’ program.
What’s Included with your Membership
All of this and much more only inside Historical Tailoring Masterclasses
James Williams is a true Master of historical tailoring. He has mentored me through emails and videos and questions. I can not think of any one in this craft that is more knowledgeable and approachable. If you want to learn the art of tailoring garments then this is the place.
Robbie VinesYeller Hammer Productions
15+ IN-DEPTH COURSES cover almost every aspect of historical tailoring. The tailoring library contains all the training you need on topics ranging from pattern drafting to historical stitches to detailed construction tutorials.
Having taken a number of William’s Clothiers Masterclasses, they have greatly added to my knowledge and abilities in reproducing historical garments. Time and treasure well spent!
Projects (except for the older ones) are accompanied by videos explaining and demonstrating the particular steps involved, in addition to the photographs and written instruction. Here’s a short video excerpt from one of my shirt making projects demonstrating a rolled hem stitch.
Meet James and Scott
Hello, I’m James Williams, cutter, tailor, researcher, editor, and janitor here at Historical Tailoring Masterclasses. I’ve been studying and working professionally as a historical tailor for fourteen years now, after deciding that I needed some more historically-accurate clothing (that actually fit!) during my Civil War reenacting years.
In 2011, after making about two-dozen Federal enlisted frock coats for clients, I decided to begin sharing that knowledge I had gained along the way by writing about and photographing each step to help others out. Things grew from there and I started the website and Historical Tailoring Masterclasses to document other types of clothing to help others achieve the same results.
A couple of years ago, my brother Scott was able to join me and help with the photography and videography. His work behind the camera allows me to focus more on my sewing and producing new projects and content.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Historical Tailoring Masterclasses suitable for?
Historical Tailoring Masterclasses is suitable for those with a range of sewing abilities, from the beginner with a few smaller projects under their belt, to the accomplished home sewer or intermediate tailor who's made some historical clothing but wants to improve their skills, to the more advanced tailors who want to pick up some historical techniques to add to their repetoire.
I’m a complete beginner with sewing. Is Historical Tailoring Masterclasses right for me?
If you're a complete beginner with no sewing experience, I'd recommend the Apprentice Membership. This will take you from a complete beginner as you figure out which supplies to buy and learning your first stitches, through some basic skill-building projects, through constructing shirts, waistcoats, and trousers.
Is all of the content available right away or is it time released over time?
You get access to everything already inside Historical Tailoring Masterclasses right away! No waiting for content to be released to you, just jump in and start making use of the tutorials and resources straight away. I regularly update and add new material too - so your content library will continue growing.
Can I get one-on-one help and support for my project?
Yes! I loves answering questions and helping others get through the difficulties in their current projects, even if it's not specifically a project from Historical Tailoring Masterclasses.
I've also got a private support community where you can ask your questions and share photos of your work, where I and a group of fellow tailoring enthusiasts can offer our support. If we can't answer your question, at least we can point you in the right direction!
Why should I become a member today instead of waiting?
It's time to take action and reduce your pile of sewing projects! If you really want to make some beautiful, historically-accurate clothing of the mid-nineteenth century, then you need the proper instruction and answers to your questions, especially to those questions you don't even know you have yet. And you need that support, community, and accountability to encourage you to improve your skills.
Historical Tailoring Masterclasses is that place. If you really want to make an improvement with your tailoring, the time is now.
What if I don’t enjoy Historical Tailoring Masterclasses?
I know you will love Historical Tailoring Masterclasses, however, if for whatever reason you're not 100% satisfied in any way I have a 30 day money back guarantee (no questions asked). I want you to succeed, and know that if you become a member of Historical Tailoring Masterclasses and put your effort into a project or two, you'll see excellent results!
What happens if I decide to cancel my membership?
Obviously I'd love it if all of my members stuck around forever - but I know that that's never going to happen! So, if you do decide to cancel obviously I'll be very sad, but if you're intent on leaving then you'll be able to do so with just a couple of clicks of the mouse through your account billing page.
Can I access the content released at Historical Tailoring Masterclasses during my membership once I cancel?
No. Your membership entitles you to enter the members area and access the content there released prior and during the duration of your membership. If you cancel or do not renew your membership you will no longer be able to access the content inside the Historical Tailoring Masterclasses.
I’m not 100% sure what Historical Tailoring Masterclasses is or if it’s right for me, do you offer a trial so I can test it out?
I'm not currently offering a free trial, but you can try out Historical Tailoring Masterclasses risk-free for thirty days, during which you can ask for a refund at any time.
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
When you join Historical Tailoring Masterclasses you are fully protected by my 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you don’t feel like you’ve received value and you decide you want to cancel any time within the next 30 days, just let me know and I’ll send you a prompt refund.