Several members have emailed me privately and asked that I start a thread on Bishop Method teachings. Although I will be the first to tell you that I am no expert in Bishop Method, I do think I can provide just enough information to be dangerous! Mother was the expert, not me. But I did sit at her knee from childhood up until her death in ’96, and she taught me a lot of things I know for certain I never would have gotten anywhere else. Back in “the day,” a lot of home sewers had this information widely available to them because Bishop Method classes were filled to overflowing. (Nowadays I doubt I could get five people to sign up, sad to say.) Unfortunately, my generation is approaching the half-century mark (if we’re not already over it!), and the information has tended to become obscured if not completely unavailable. Of course, some Bishop Method techniques have made their way into the mainstream literature of home sewing, so some of them may already be familiar to you. I should mention that there is a Bishop teacher with whom I correspond who was mother’s contemporary that can fill us in on some details that may otherwise be lacking, if that’s any comfort. I plan to ask her permission to give credit where credit is due. (She’s a very busy lady and involved in the sewing industry.) Hopefully, she’ll allow us to appreciate her efforts.
With all the fitting threads currently on the forum, I thought a good place to start might be the features of a good basic pattern, and which features will instantly alert you to a generally poorly fitted garment. The logical place to begin, at least in my way of thinking, would be the skirt, because it has the fewest number of pieces and of all garments is the easiest to fit. Then I think we can move from there to the bodice and the sleeve, neckline and front facings, front and back closures, collars and cuffs, including some discussions about blouses and shirts generally, then dressmaking. Following that, a discussion about tailoring and advanced sportswear techniques, including coats, both fast tailoring and traditional tailoring techniques. Oh, and, of course, no thread would be complete without a discussion of pants fitting.
Now, I’m going to need all the help I can get from everybody out there to make this thread a success. So that the threads don’t get too long and unwieldy, I’ll post each topic under “Bishop: Bodices,” “Bishop: Sleeves,” etc., to kick the discussions off the ground. So the first thread will be under “Bishop: Skirts.” It’s going to take me a day or two to assemble my notes, so please be patient. And have fun with the Bishop Method!