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Famous Frocks: The Little Black Dress: Patterns for 20 Garments Inspired by Fashion Icons Format Kindle
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This is beautiful. Fabulous photography, every pattern and variation is photographed on a model and beautifully made. Sizing is realistic - goes from an XS at 33 - 25 - 36 up to XL at 45 -37 - 48. Made for a woman of average height ie 63 to 66 inches with some curves who wears a c cup bra..... she discusses what ease is built in to the patterns, which are printed - no flipping PDFs to printout from a CD, whooppee! The paper is not tissue but not the cartridge type a lot of Indies use either - it's sort of like the big four instruction sheets, I like:). What other info can I give anyone who's on the fence - let's see. Seam allowances are standard 5/8 inch and are included:). There are about 30 pages of general instructions, which include things like Hong Kong seams, finishing necks or afmholes on knit fabrics, sewing all in one facings and lining dresses and zipper installation.
The instructions are detailed without being overly so - I'm sometimes slowed down by the too detailed instruction in an Amy Butler pattern, though I really like some of them. There are a few steps illustrated, enough for me, but YMMV. Oh the variations, I almost forgot. There are ten iconic frocks, and ten variations there on - these are coloured, not black and these are sometimes made with some drafting, like both Gertie's books. The drafting needed is fully illustrated, but one would need a French curve or hip curve for a couple of variations.
I can't talk about the patterns themselves but with this lady's experience and from the look of the finished garments I have no doubts that they will be great. I will muslin at least my first make just to see how her sizing works for me, and cannot wait to get stuck into most of the projects in this book. I say most only because I don't have the right shape for a couple of them, more's the pity....
This not a beginner's book - in that case, you want Tilly Walne's Love at first stitch, or the Colette sewing handbook - both have realistic sizing and cute patterns on paper - recommended. This is for a sewist with a bit more experience, not a beginner. That said, I believe a confident semi beginner with some clothing under her possibly handmade belt could easily tackle the projects starting from some of the simpler ones. From my blog reading I know a lot of sewists wish for more sophisticated indie patterns - well, here you are!
Highly recommended by a picky person!
This book, however, had both modern recreations of iconic dresses (which means they are practical for wearing now) and variations on those dresses. You can also combine the tops and bottoms of many of the dresses to create even more looks. I have initially bookmarked 7 items to make, three orig. dresses, two simpler updated dresses, and two staple pieces, a pencil skirt and a cowl neck blouse. These will use a variety of fabrics as well, from crepe de chine and stretch lace to wool or cotton twill.
I didn't expect that all the sewing techniques used in each dress (like types of hems, sewing a zipper) would be also detailed with instructions (separate from the individual dress instructions), so that was a bonus for me as a newer sewer. I was concerned the patterns themselves would not fit back into the envelope attached to the book, but they are easy to fold heavy-weight newsprint paper, not tissue paper, so no problem.
Thank you to the author!!
There are few items I would want to make in the other books I have purchased but in this book I am spoilt for choice and the only problem was which one to sew first. After much deliberation I chose to make the Grace skirt together with the Angelica top (I'm also currently sourcing fabrics for the Mary variation dress). I've still got a few finishing touches to do on the skirt and top (my machine went haywire, probably the shock of having to do some work after such a long time), but hope to get it all finished off within a couple of weeks and may even post a picture.
The sizing for the patterns I found to be spot on, I measured myself then chose the corresponding size and so far everything fits. There is a sheet included for each item, I think the variation for each one is on the reverse but I haven't checked every sheet so don't quote me on that. The seam allowances are included and the patterns themselves are a breeze to trace off. The terms and techniques have proved to be very useful so far and have given the garments a really professional finish. The photography in the book is beautiful and inspiring and I like the additional history about the stars featured.
All in all I love this book and hope that plans are in place to produce a follow up - I may have finished all of my projects by then.
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