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Historical Tailoring Masterclasses

Learn to draft and tailor beautiful clothing of the 19th Century through detailed tutorials and videos.

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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! —Christopher Wilson

About Historical Tailoring Masterclasses

About ten years ago, I was just finishing my first major project of about two dozen Federal enlisted frock coats, which involved a vast amount of fitting, tailoring, practice, and research. When I looked back at all that work, it seemed a shame to have all that knowledge and to just let it die with me someday, so I sought a way of sharing with others. From the first idea of publishing a book to emailing PDF files to people, I gradually realized that a website where I could share both photos and videos of the tailoring process was the best way to share these historical and almost-forgotten techniques with you. Gradually I also added other masterclasses showing how to construct waistcoats, trousers, and other frock coat styles.

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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!
—Jonathan Hawkins

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How it Works

Whether you are new to historical tailoring, or have developed more advanced tailoring skills over the years, it is my hope that you can learn a little (or a lot) from this website. When you first join, there are various tutorials geared towards the beginner on how to draft and fit your own clothing, getting that perfect fit that is so hard to find these days. When the pattern is ready, you can start on your first clothing project, learning the stitches, various historical techniques, and other tips and tricks to make your sewing time more rewarding and stress free. And if you get stuck, I am happy to help out whether through email support or through our private Facebook group.

You are free to work at your own pace, one of the nice things about an online course. After logging in, you’ll see all of the courses available to you. Each course has full instruction with diagrams, explanations in text, photos, and a growing number of high definition videos to help illustrate the techniques.

Following the step-by-step instructions, and with a bit of hard work and patience, you will end up with beautiful historical reproductions that fit and look as if they came out of a museum.


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.

—Richard Milstead

Here is what you get

Included with membership in the Historical Tailoring Masterclasses series are the following courses covering so far the 1860s time period:

  • Drafting Trousers
  • Drafting Waistcoats
  • Drafting Frock Coats
  • Trouser Making
  • Waistcoat Making
  • Enlisted Frock Coat Construction
  • Double Breasted Civilian Frock Coat Construction
  • Unlined Linen Frock Coat Construction
  • Buttonhole Making
  • Various pattern pieces, graduated rulers, and more.
  • Personal support from me via email or the Facebook support group.
  • Get all of this for only $29 per month or $297 per year!

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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 Vines
(Yeller Hammer Productions)

Guarantee / Refund Policy

If for some reason you are unhappy with your purchase, full refunds are happily given within 30 days of your purchase.