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Bishop Method of Clothing Construction

DONNAKAYE's picture

This is simply for informational purposes, for those of you who may be wondering about Bishop Method.

The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction ("BMCC"), developed by Edna Bryte Bishop, is essentially the application to home sewing of some of the techniques used in the garment industry.  From her rich background of experience in education, factories, and custom establishments, Mrs. Bishop developed clothing construction procedures which enable people who sew to make garments in much less time and eliminate the "fireside" look which is sometimes characteristic of "homemade" garments.

From beginner to expert, the SEQUENCE OF LEARNING in the BMCC teaches WHAT to do, WHEN to do it, and HOW it should best be done.  Without exception, it is based on the following fundamental principles of clothing construction: grain perfection and accuracy in preparation; cutting and marking the fabric; cutting to fit the individual figure; perfection in stitching; and using the proper pressing techniques.  With these skills and the right trimming detail, garments can have that much-desired "quality look."

Actually, there is nothing revolutionary about the BMCC, but certain basic principles are essential to the success of the technique.  The pattern and fabric are carefully chosen (in the teacher-student setting, that is) to complement the skill and interest of the student.  Mrs. Bishop stressed, "Do not teach too much too soon."  Maximum use of the sewing machine with minimum hand sewing contributes to the speed with which garments can be completed.  Restricted pattern selection for class use permits more thorough learning, while individuality of each garment is achieved by varying colors, fabrics, and trimming detail.  Through greater understanding of fabrics, more skill is developeod in their handling.

From the first lesson, pupils learn that grain perfection and accuracy in all phases of garment construction are essential.  Tedious and unnecessary steps are eliminated.  Improvised seam guides, machine basting, machine knotting, stay-stitching, and other techniques help the person who sews construct garments with more professional results.

UNIT CONSTRUCTION, which is simply the completing and pressing of all possible steps on each part of the garment before joining to another part, contributes to efficient use of time and fabric freshness.  It reduces problems arising from having parts of the garment getting in the way and creating bulk when trying to stitch precise construction details.  Progressive learning, demonstrated by the careful selection of garments to be made, is a sound principle of education which the BMCC exemplifies.

Donna Childress Brandt

(for more information, see thread discussion on "Audrey Childress")


Edited 6/27/2005 10:31 am ET by DONNAKAYE

Edited 6/27/2005 10:32 am ET by DONNAKAYE