I came across a fellow blogger AstoriaUnderground, who put in a nice mention about visiting Sleevehead. In one of her recent entries, she also mentioned Burdastyle, which is a site dedicated toward "open source sewing" and patterns for women's clothing.
This is an intriguing and brilliant idea I think. It's a mashup of the open source concept that originated in software development with the world of patternmaking and pattern cutting. The idea is to assemble a forum and community of designers and patternmakers of women's clothing to create new designs and inspire new ones. One of the side benefits would be a common language of patterns.
How might this concept benefit men's tailoring specifically? Bespoke production is highly skill dependent and labor intensive. As we know, the supply of skilled cutters, coatmakers and tailors of men's clothing is very constrained, at least in the US. And the costs of bespoke production remain extraordinarily high. If there is a way to a create a standardized language of pattern cutting, this could potentially make it easier to educate and train cutters and tailors and lay the groundwork for affordable, high quality garment production.