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Cutting and Tailoring Courses for Beginners

Whether it's learning a new language, a musical instrument or an artistic skill, ten thousand hours is the recognised time frame to master any subject.

Tailoring is no different. Ten thousand hours works out to seven years, working a five day week, forty hours a week. This is also the same amount of time our Master Tailor, Rory Duffy spent studying the tailoring trade under some of the finest artisans in both the UK and Ireland.

Since Rory did all this, you don’t have to!

Our tailoring courses set out all this information which is easy to understand and follow. We offer tailoring courses for beginners so no matter what your skill level we have a course which is right for you.

With a Handcraft Tailor Academy cutting and tailoring course you can cut through all the background noise and get straight to the point. Many of Rory’s masters loved to tell him how difficult tailoring can be, how long it was going to take him to master cutting and tailoring. What Rory found was, when broken down into its core elements on his tailoring courses, the modules that cover a cutting and tailoring course could be understood and mastered by anyone who follows his teachings in a fraction of the time. This is something which has been proven time and again by The HTA’s former students.

All anyone needs to do is check out the testimonials on our website or join our free forum and they will find many such examples.

Rory’s approach on his tailoring courses is proactive. His own experience of being taught was a style that discouraged the learner. Rory has always been determined not to make the same mistakes. Students need reassurance and encouragement throughout their tailoring course, to be constantly told they can succeed but also where improvements can be made. 

Rory discusses with his students his tailoring courses of his own experiences of learning to be a master tailor. He doesn’t consider himself to have been particularly gifted, just determined to succeed. Rory, like all apprentices, made mistakes. His road to learning cutting and tailoring was as bumpy as any novice who wanted to learn tailoring at the highest level. The benefit of Rory’s cutting and tailoring course is that they are tailored to students who want to learn and master the craft in the shortest possible time.


Making mistakes is an important part of learning.
When we first start, we want everything to be perfect but perfection is the mountain we all must climb and there are many false summits before we reach the top. The first garment that we cut and make is filled with so much hope and joy. The joy of making something by ourselves for ourselves often blinds us to the reality of its imperfections.

Even Rory’s first garments were a long way from being perfect but he still wore them and loved them all the same. We must learn to enjoy everything we make ourselves - warts and all.

Our pattern cutting and tailoring course cover many disciplines and are broken down into individual courses. One must learn how to work the cloth, create shape through stretching, shrinking and adding fullness. 

Whether you begin with cutting or tailoring is irrelevant. The important step is to begin. Simply sitting down and watching lesson after lesson and not putting pen to paper or needle to cloth is not the way to learn the skills of a master tailor. One must commit, be prepared to fail and forgive oneself when they do.

No garment is perfect.

Ready to wear looks clean, uniformed and well presented but lacks fit, comfort and silhouette. The look of ready to wear sets a standard aesthetically that even handcraft tailors strive to meet and go beyond since clients (and students) are accustomed to the look. Often, they might consider handcraft work as flawed and imperfect.

Handcraft should never be used as an excuse for shoddy craftsmanship. It's not enough to say it is handmade and that's why it looks so. Off the peg tailors have the same uniformity issues as handcraft tailors, with even more scrutiny placed upon them. Handcraft tailors always imagine there are some magical machines used in making ready to wear that can overcome the issue they face when cutting and tailoring.


This in many cases couldn’t be further than the truth. Yes, some factories in East Asia have some automated machinery to make their garments but they also have tailors, like us, who are highly trained in one area which is their only focus in the garment making process.

The master tailor must conquer all areas of cutting and tailoring to claim the title. They must be the cutter, the tailor, the presser, the pocket maker, the finisher and the alterations tailor. Each of these subjects should be mastered one at a time. Making one pair of trousers doesn’t make a trouser maker. When you master an art it becomes second nature - being able to do something without thinking. Our meaning is not to discourage but to help realise the dedication needed.


Many competent tailors who owe their skills and trained with The HTA still review our video series when making a new garment. This is why the video series we offer are made so affordable. Our followers will often need to go back over the material to help them recall the step by step process. Their progression is eased with the degree of knowledge available to them at the touch of a button.

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