Monday, August 01, 2011

Famous Frocks

Oooh, have you seen this book:

I think it looks really intriguing!  The jacket copy at Amazon lists some of the famous frocks, belonging to beloveds such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis, Jackie Kennedy...  Wow.  And patterns are included too (although sadly only to a 37" bust.  Since when is a 37" bust a Large?)

One of the authors is a patternmaker and teacher at Apparel Arts in San Francisco, which makes me really excited.  There seems to have been a rash of sewing books the past few years written by people with limited experience and skill sets.  Sewing, like any other creative art, is something that really evolves and grows over time; call me old fashioned (or just OLD), but I'm ready for some real experience and solid talent to break onto the scene!

Shannon mentioned just today that most sewing books on the shelves right now seem to be directed at the beginner...but there are an awful lot of us out here who are NOT beginners and haven't been for quite a long, ahem, time. So I'm looking forward to this one!

Also, I hate to ask.  Really, I do.  But did anyone watch the premiere of PR last week?

I haven't yet.  On the fence here.  I'm still not over Wretchengate.


  1. Not only are there a lot of sewing books directed at beginners, but written by less than experienced people, as well. Give me
    Susan Kaljhe, Kenneth King or Claire Shaeffer--those with lots of knowledge.

  2. Oooh, this book looks good! I might have to look it up.

  3. I must have this book! I already have a prom order for next year, for the "Breakfast at Tiffany" dress.
    As for PR, I swore I wasn't going to watch, but couldn't help myself. It was good, judges got it right (for the 1st episode at least)!

  4. I watched it- I couldn't stop myself! It was a pretty good episode, but I don't care what Nina and Michael said, the crotch on that beauty queen chick's pants was INSANE!

  5. I stopped watching PR about three seasons back so nope. I held out.

    That book looks FAB though. I haven't bought a sewing book in about four years. I agree about the books lately: while they have a place, I'm pretty tired of all the beginner books. Especially that seem to be written by beginners themselves (or at least people with dubious credentials). Even Threads has gone back to beginner stuff for the most part (or filling in non-beginner stuff with recycled articles from their old issues... uh, which I paid damn good money to already own, thank you very much... er... ask me what my latest letter to Threads was about... go on, ask.)

    annnnnyway... I think I'll check out this book. Like I'm going to make any of those dresses. But I'd like to see the book and the patterns nonetheless.

    word verification: "actswarr"... like, if Threads keeps reusing old articles in their new issues, I'm going to assume these are actswarr and they have thrown down the gauntlet. Be afraid, Threads... be afraid.

  6. I totally agree about the new sewing books.

    I watched PR and liked it - except for all the gushing over the non-sewers awful, awful pants. Until I read this post, I had completely forgotten all the contraversy from the last season!

  7. i lurked the title at amazon & i'm definitely intrigued - too bad there aren't any pictures of the patterns included, i'm curious! i want to seeeee!!

    anyway, i'm posting this comment bc when i added the book to my wishlist, it suggested i might also like the colette sewing handbook. uhhhh... when did colette patterns release a sewing handbook (ok, it's not released yet; it's on preorder - but still!)??? why haven't i heard about it?? am i just... living under a rock or something?

    anyway. i'm excited. two books!

  8. This book definitely looks intriguing. I was just lamenting the same proliferation of beginner's books last week when I was paying my farewell visit to Borders--I wanted to get a sewing book since I need more fiction backlogs like a hole in the head, but there was literally nothing there that looked interesting that I didn't already have. (I'm going to be so excited when Gertie's book comes out, even though I don't sew vintage.) Thanks for the heads-up!

    And I did watch PR. I agree that the crotch on Anya's pants were crazy, but for someone who's only been sewing for a few months, I think she did really well! (Besides, I have to cheer her on-- I actually have a friend who grew up in Trinidad and went to school with her, so we're watching it together.)

  9. I'm happy to hear of another holdout. I can't get over last season either & haven't PR or other so called reality shows.

  10. I bought Famous Frocks a few months back, and like others, wished that there were images as well as the lovely illustrations. Well, I have found some, check out this Flickr photo set


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