Thursday, 26 January 2012

Famous Frocks : Patterns & Instructions for Twenty Iconic Dresses

Famous Frocks
Patterns and Instructions for Twenty Iconic Dresses
by Hannah McDevitt and Sarah Alm
Published by Chronicle books

Ever wanted to dress like Marilyn Monroe? Maybe Twiggy or Audrey Hepburn?
I'm betting the answer to at least one of those questions  if you're a girl is hell yeah! Famous Frocks, sent to me by Chronicle books,  is an illustrated 'how-to' which shows you how to make the iconic dresses that contributed to each style icons fame.  The ten icons chosen for the book, who vary in style and body shape are:
Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy, Diana Ross, Farah Fawcett, Stevie Nicks and Maddonna.
I personally love Rita Hayworth. I think she embodies old school glamour and  her hair is the kind of hair I wish I had, and try to force my hair to be, but alas, never works, so I like that her style is in the book. I also love that all the dresses, including Rita's, come with modern variations to try out, like making the sleeves shorter or adding or taking out ruffle trims. The problem with all this (and I'll admit, it's a big one) is that I can't sew. Not one bit. I was the kid in home economics that broke the sewing machine or got all the threads stuck and tangled within five minutes of touching it. So, if I could have taken the patterns out and showed you how to make the dress I would  have but instead  I'll just talk about the sheer amount you get inside the book and the absolutely gorgeous illustrations by Kerrie Hess
There are quite frankly loads of tips and tricks that even I could probably get to grips with and have a good go at making something, along with guides for what the writers, Sarah and Hannah consider to be beginner or intermediate. and the pink pocket, shown in the photographs above contains 10 huge fold out patterns that would make the 20 dresses inside. They also  note what they think would be a good material for each outfit, without using too much text and confusing you. In fact I think the illustrations really balance out the diagrams and guidelines to making the dresses, so that it doesn't look too scary to attempt. 
I've featured a few of the illustrations, photographs and diagrams above but there are plenty more inside and I think, for what you pay for the book, if you love to make things, it'll keep you interested for a long time, and if you can make 20 dresses out of it, then that's pretty impressive!

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