My boss travels a lot, which means I get amazing gifts from far away places upon his return. This year he did a study-abroad to our sister-campus over in England, and I got this amazing illustrated tutorial, Patterns of Fashion 2: 1860 – 1940, from his trip to the Fashion Museum of Bath. I got quite a laugh out of his tale of buying the book. He knew that I love to make historical clothing (there are several photos on my desk of me in various historic dresses), but he couldn’t remember which time period was my favorite. So he stood in the gift shop thumbing through all the fashion books for an hour, trying to decipher the differences between the illustrations to jump-start his brain into remembering which illustrations best resemble what I’m wearing in the photos on my desk. In the end, he just guessed, but he gets mega points for trying so hard.
Patterns of Fashion is literally every sewing person’s dream for a how-to on some of the most complicated designs in fashion history. I mean, it doesn’t get much better than this:
Arnold painstakingly sought museum originals, most from The London Museum and the Museum of Costume, studied them, and then went and found as much information as she could from the original magazines and patterns available. She has a day look and an evening look for each decade from 1860 – 1940, with a full-scale drawing of the finished garment and its internal construction on the left, followed by the pattern pieces on the right. Each pattern has extensive instructions on the laying and cutting, as well as in-depth descriptions on the colors, fabrics, and trim used on the originals. In her introduction, she has several steps and tips for how modern dressmakers can use these patterns, along with some invaluable background information on the history of the sewing industry and the technological changes that make the jumps during this seventy-year period possible.
I’ve never actually made my own pattern before, but this book makes me think I’m actually capable, and I can’t wait to try one of these out!
4 stars for fabulous cutting directions and illustrations.
Bingo Square: Illustrated