After a stun­ning eight months of down­time, I’m proud to announce that the Brass & Mor­tar site is back up! There will def­i­nitely be some clean-up involved in this tran­si­tion to a new host, but once every­thing is resolved, there will be some major updates to inform you about regard­ing the busi­ness, the work­shop, and more!


 Stay Tuned. 

To License or Not to License…

In regards to my post on the Smart Bespoke Dig­i­tal Tai­lor­ing Sys­tem, I’ve already had a cou­ple peo­ple ask me the question:

Why are you against peo­ple licens­ing and pro­tect­ing their sewing pat­terns under copy­right to pro­tect from theft or unwanted reselling?

This is a very impor­tant point to bring up, and to answer that, I need to reply with a question:

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Smart Bespoke™ Digital Tailoring System

There’s a project I’ve been for­mu­lat­ing for the last two years that I want to start giv­ing more pri­or­ity to accom­plish­ing. I want to make a free, vir­tual cut­ting and fit­ting soft­ware appli­ca­tion whose goal would be to elim­i­nate the need for fit­tings but could be adapted into the tra­di­tional bespoke work­flow. It would uti­lize a com­bi­na­tion of 2D draft­ing, and 3D scan­ning and ren­der­ing soft­ware, and be licensed under the GNU/GPL.

The work­flow would go like this: A cut­ter would scan their customer’s body directly or receive the data from a remote loca­tion, and gen­er­ate a vir­tual man­nequin of the cus­tomer. The cut­ter could then choose and apply any num­ber of drafts from a data­base. The tai­lor could make alter­ations vir­tu­ally: pos­ture cor­rec­tion, dis­pro­por­tion, neck-point, bal­ance, iron­work­ing, fishes and darts, but­ton place­ment, amount/shape of chest and under­arm padding, shoulder-point padding, and even select and test dif­fer­ent types of can­vases and hair­cloth to see how each would affect the drape of the cloth, using a vir­tual physics engine. An optional “rock of eye” mode could allow free-form draw­ing of chalk-lines. After everything’s com­pleted, the cut­ter could present the art­work to the cus­tomer for sign-off. The soft­ware would also gen­er­ate a cloth lay­out with all of the appro­pri­ate inlays. It would even gen­er­ate a price esti­mate for the mate­ri­als needed for the suit to aid in mak­ing a quote, based off of cur­rent mar­ket val­ues and par­tic­i­pat­ing cloth merchants.

Rather than tak­ing tape mea­sure­ments and eye­balling abnor­mal­i­ties, the 3D map­ping would allow a much more pre­cise cut than could ever be achieved through tra­di­tional meth­ods. All of this means allow­ing the cut­ter much more con­trol over the design while dras­ti­cally reduc­ing the amount of time, labor, and skill required. This would allow for more local tai­lors to spring up and com­pete with the stran­gle­hold of factory-made MTM and RTW suits. Bye­bye Wal­ly­world.

I’ve decided on the name I’m going to give the sys­tem: Smart Bespoke™.

The soft­ware itself would be licensed under GNU/GPL, ensur­ing its avail­abil­ity to everyone—from the indi­vid­ual home-tailor to the estab­lished tai­lor­ing house. Every­thing from the ren­der­ing engine to the result­ing pat­terns would be com­pletely free to use, alter and share. This means that the long-standing tra­di­tion of the free usage and exchanged of designs would be pro­tected and upheld.

Of course, this soft­ware does very lit­tle if one does not have the skills required to prop­erly make a gar­ment. The drafts them­selves are of lit­tle sig­nif­i­cance as they have existed for cen­turies; the qual­ity of work­man­ship in the result­ing gar­ments is everything., just another scam marketer?

Hot off of Craig’s List: is look­ing for some­one who is a tal­ented arti­san or craftsper­son to join our juried site for cus­tom work. Please reply with your web­site or images of your work for review. We would be delighted to hear from you!

Tammy K.
Cus­tom Made


  • Loca­tion: Reno
  • Com­pen­sa­tion: Depend­ing on performance
  • Prin­ci­pals only. Recruiters, please don’t con­tact this job poster.
  • Please, no phone calls about this job!
  • Please do not con­tact job poster about other ser­vices, prod­ucts or com­mer­cial interests.

Sounds good right? So I go to the site, take a look, and they want you to pay $1.00 to sign up for an annual mem­ber­ship. Not what I was expect­ing, as it’s not an actual job posi­tion, which raised my finely-tuned spam indi­ca­tor. But, the site looked inter­est­ing so I decided to check it out and find out what other peo­ple are say­ing about it.

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Anatomical Proportions in Tailoring

Progress in my projects has been dis­tress­ingly slow—virtually at a standstill—due to a total lack of funds at the moment, so I’ve been putting my efforts where I can, doing a bit of study­ing while some rather mun­dane life errands are tak­ing place. But, I started think­ing of some­thing I thought was rather inter­est­ing, and since there don’t seem to be any posts out there dis­cussing this I fig­ured I’d take a jab at it.

Anatom­i­cal pro­por­tions, and how they relate to cut­ting and draft­ing, is some­thing that I’m look­ing deeper into. More specif­i­cally, I’m find­ing it inter­est­ing how aca­d­e­mic pro­por­tions for human males dif­fer from the so-called “ideal” pro­por­tions that artists use. So, tonight was basi­cally me fum­bling over var­i­ous dia­grams from art web­sites, bor­rowed from art books they scanned in. It started when I ran into a dia­gram of an “8-head” pro­por­tion­ate fig­ure, then com­pared that with MTOC’s 7.5 head model. I was like whooooah, wait! Huh? How can that be right? So, I remem­bered the old Croon­borg dia­grams from Supreme Cut­ting Sys­tem from the early 20th cen­tury, and sure enough I was right. Croon­borg based his on the 8-head model as well.

So what’s right? And how do they com­pare? And when tai­lor­ing things, does this fit into the whole “fash­ion waist” con­cept, to try to get nor­mal mun­dane aca­d­e­mic pro­por­tions to look more like the “ideal” ones? I’m sus­pect­ing this is another “duh” moment for me, but hey, check this out, it’s neat!:

Basi­cally what I did was take a few of the dia­grams and scaled them to be equally-sized with each other, and placed them side by side. On the far left I took the same 3D model of the human body and scaled it evenly to match those of the dia­grams near it. The 8-head one’s body sim­ply does not scale accu­rately com­pared to the 7.5 scaled one. Of course, even this 3D model is still an artist’s ren­der­ing, and plus, humans are always uniquely shaped, as MTOC and many other sources have men­tioned, based on things genes and things that hap­pen in life.

Some things to notice are that the waist of 8-head tall fig­ures falls right along the line of the 3rd head. The seat/hips falls along the 4th head, the mid-thigh on the 5th, the small of the knee on the 6th. Com­pare this to the 7.5-head fig­ures where the nat­ural waist­line falls at around 2.5 heads, as does the hip line. So, if my the­ory is cor­rect, I’m sus­pect­ing that tai­lors use fash­ion waists and other “fab­ri­cated” lines to camoflage and give a sense of “ideal” pro­por­tion to fit the ideals of beauty. I’m going to look into this next.

The cred­its for the pics come from these pages:

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