Two for Thursday, Plus Send Me Book Links Please

by Erin on January 7, 2010

McCalls 5177

Denise at The Blue Gardenia is having a sale (33% off on three patterns) and this is one she's listing now … it's such a good pattern, especially for people looking for a fancy dress that is also *simple*. This one would be a snap, I think!

Carmen sent this link to the art of Mashanda Scott — it's all made of FABRIC! Astounding.

Also, I'm hoping to do more book reviews in 2010 — if you have likely candidates, feel free to email me links (or leave comments here)! I don't care if they're newly published or not, as long as they're still relatively easy to obtain (new or used). Sewing how-to, fashion and textile reference, and fiction about clothing all welcome!

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Knitika January 7, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Maybe this isnt your cup of tea, but I was enchanted by the magic of Sophie in Howls Moving Castle. She creates hats and outfits that she imbues with magic as she stitches. This childrens fantasy book is not a book about sewing, but the leads talent with a needle is lovely.


flipsockgrrl January 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Madeleine St Johns novel The Women in Black was republished last year by Text Publishing and Im delighted to have discovered this charming work. It quickly joined Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre and a select few others on my shelf of annual re-reads. Dresses play an important part in the lives of all the characters. In a couple of places the choice of frock becomes a turning-point in the narrative, directly affecting a characters present circumstances and future prospects.The novels Australian setting is very specific in both time and culture, but Im sure readers in the US and UK will recognise some familiar character types and themes.Favorite blurb on the back cover: Kaz Cookes comment that It made me happy. It worked for me, too!


Anonymous January 8, 2010 at 3:55 am

I recommend The Seamstress by Frances DePontes Peebles. Historical fiction, set in Brazil, 1920s thru 1930s. The two main characters, sisters, country girls taught to be seamstresses, end up with very different lives. Their seamstress skills are put to interesting use. You also see how their knowledge of sewing, piecing, the creative process of sewing is a essential part of who they become.


Joni January 8, 2010 at 5:34 am

I just got done reading Heather Ross Weekend Sewing. Lots of gorgeous eye candy, but nothing I really wanted to make.My all time favorite sewing reference book is Sewing Made Easy by Mary Lynch – it was published sometime in the 1950s, but the book thats available under the same title today is like a great-great-granddaughter of the original!


brocadegoddess January 8, 2010 at 7:10 am

For Christmas I bought my friend (a fellow sewer and Jane Austen fan) Jane Austens sewing box.Although I myself might only make a few of the projects given, the book is just lovely to look through. I read the introduction too, and just loved the historical context provided for sewing references in Austens books. There is a lot more text (I think of this nature) throughout the book. I thought it was really just lovey, but then Im a material culture/history of dress grad student so I might be biased, lol. it seems rather pricey on Amazon, I found it at my local bookstore for $16 Canadian.


Lisette January 8, 2010 at 8:15 am

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith – Not about clothes, but many of the two sisters adventures are spurred on by garments. One is mistaken for a bear on a train when wearing a fur coat, and a dyed tea gown is both attracts a man and then later he finds it tacky.Style by Kate Spade (beautiful illustrations!)A Stitch in Time by Taylor.Things a Woman SHould Know About Style by Homer.Make Your Own Dress Patterns by Margolis.


evalyn January 8, 2010 at 11:29 am

From the look in Miss Green Dresss eyes, I think that gown may be made of green tarlatan. Cute pattern, I love the simple elegance of the design.


Renee January 8, 2010 at 11:41 am

Im nearly finished with Mommy Dressing – A Love Story After a Fashion by Lois Gould c. 1998. It is an interesting memoir by the daughter of Jo Copeland, an American dress designer from the 40s – 60s. Its sort of an outside looking in view – detached, but not by her choice.


Mary January 8, 2010 at 11:43 am

I recommend Patterns From Finished Clothes: Re-Creating the Clothes You Love: by Tracy Doyle. I have used these techniques many times – to me it is easier than trying to adjust ill-fitting commercial patterns.


mjb January 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I love that the detail on that dress is from the double breast dart.


Joni January 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Oh, I *loved* I Capture The Castle… thanks for the remind… will have to find that at the library and re-read!I love this dress, although I have a feeling the pleats would cause its wearer to appear hippy. But I have much love for the neck line and double bust darts. (Which is to say, two darts for the bust, not darts for a double bust.)


Bec January 8, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Since youve been to the VAs Golden Age of Couture exhibit, you probably know theres a Golden Age of Couture book. I think its worth a mention anyway. Its the exhibit in book form! the same line, theres Avedon Fashion, a new book with a collection of Richard Avedons fashion photos, starting from 1944. I mostly got it for the vintage photos. The print quality is excellent.


Em January 9, 2010 at 6:00 am

I dont know if youre only interested in clothing related books or not, but I very much enjoyed reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It was unlike any fiction Ive read so far. And its a whole series! I havent read any of the follow-up books yet but I have some waiting on my shelf!


Anonymous January 10, 2010 at 4:14 am

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it


Farah Mendlesohn January 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Knitika is correct about Howls Moving Castle, but the more stitchery book by the same author (Diana Wynne Jones) is _Spellcoats_ in which a young woman embroiders wedding coats with the history of her family, and stitches magic into the coats.


Nancy Bea Miller January 11, 2010 at 7:43 am
Nancy Bea Miller January 11, 2010 at 8:02 am

Also : The Thing About Jane Spring by Sharon Krum. Breezy, light, amusing novel about a woman who sets out to feminize her somewhat butch self using a trunk of her grandmothers 1950s clothes and Doris Day as a role model. The descriptions of the clothes are mouth-watering!


Jill January 12, 2010 at 1:01 am

If you dont mind a fairly violent crime novel where hand sewing, the restoration of vintage clothing, and beautiful dresses are an integral part of the plot, then you might enjoy Frances Fyfields Blood from Stone. Heres a review:


Anonymous January 14, 2010 at 12:01 am

Cupid and Diana, by Christina Bartolomeo. Novel about a woman who runs a vintage-clothes store.


cpeep January 27, 2010 at 11:35 am

I second The Thing About Jane Spring!


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