Saturday, January 29, 2011

Advance 9560- The Bishop Method

(picture from The Authentic Bishop Method Website)

I received my pattern in the mail last night, and began reading through the instructions. They use the Bishop Method of Clothing Construction which led me on a google search. I found out Edna Brtye Bishop was the founder of the method and wrote a book in 1959 about techniques of tailoring using "faster," industrial techniques of the time. From my brief read, it sounds like Edna began the use of grainline to ensure a properly fitting garment along with other techniques that we use today such as understitching, staystitiching, etc., but again that was my impression from my speed reading! And Edna developed the "can't live without" Ezy Hem gagdet!

Her book can be found here. I would like to ask other vintage sewers...are you familiar with the Bishop Method, and Edna Bryte Bishop? I am curious to find out if I will learn new techniques or have I uncovered the founder of the techniques which sewers use today. The instructions for my pattern are detailed and lengthy...which is good because I need all the help I can get when it comes to the welt pocket! It is new territory for me and a major detail on the coat!
Also, thank you for your fabric recommendations. I chose a Calvin Klein khaki color, medium weight cotton ( possibly twill? I can't remember...). It has a small woven texture and shiny sheen to make it a bit more special . I am taking the recommendation to make the lining pop! I will photograph the fabric when it arrives.
On to the muslin...


  1. I do have the Bishop Method book and I have read it a bit but it was quite a while ago all I can tell you is that when I asked a friend of mine that was a fashion design major in college she looked at me queer and said she had never heard of it.

  2. I am curious also.......thanks for the info...

  3. I had never heard of the Bishop Method until your post... and then, today, discovered this seamstress this seamstress who is sewing her way through the old Bishop Method textbook. Fascinating! I will have up more about this Edna Bishop.

  4. When I was young, my mom took a Bishop Method sewing class. I remember her making an A-line skirt. While my mom was able to sew (she made a couple of dresses for us girls) this class was supposed to help get a perfect fit. The comments I remember relate to using the grain line and only being 1 or 2 threads 'off' when sewing. Seemed that 'precision' was key. I also recall use of understitching. I don't recall my mom ever wearing the skirt...:-(

  5. Oh, the memories keep coming back when reading the blog of 'this seamstress' linked in a previous comment! The SHELL! Yes, I remember! And, the understitching of those facings.... the understitching wasn't supposed to be more than one stitch off!

    Sashes/belts... I remember my mom making several of those. And the tricky part was first making that diagonal fold and then pulling the edge around to keep sewing one loooong seam. I'll have to mention it to my mom and see what she remembers..... :-)