Sunday, September 23, 2007

Decorative Dressmaking Has Arrived!


I got a pleasant surprise in the mail yesterday, my very own copy of "Decorative Dressmaking" by Sue Thompson! Carolyn of diaryofasewingfanatic posted about this book, saying it was one of her favorite sewing books. That was a good enough recommendation for me!

I ordered my copy through Amazon and was very pleased with the seller, lbluvsbooks. The book is a hardcover former library book from the Hawthorne, NJ public library. The condition is very good and worth the $19.98 (including shipping) I paid for it.


Each chapter focuses on a specific decorative technique such as flounces, stripes, piping, topstitching, pintucks, applique, bands and bindings, pleats and tucks, ruching, or faggoting. The text in each chapter discusses topics like how to alter a basic pattern, fabrics to use, pitfalls to avoid, etc. There are also many sketches and illustrations that provide inspiration and ideas for using the technique. Historic drawings and photos are used throughout, showing how the techniques were used in the past.

Each chapter ends with a sewing project that makes use of the technique. Although the garments are very 1980's, which makes sense because this book has a 1985 copyright. So keep this in mind when looking at the illustrations. However, the concepts are still strong and have stood the test of time. They could easily be adapted to a 21st century project with a little tweaking here and there.

I'm sure I'll enjoy having this book in my sewing library and will refer to it often. Using decorative techniques is a great way to spice up TNT patterns and make them into something special.


As a companion book, I'll also recommend "Make It Your Own: Personalizing Patterns for Creative Design" by Lori Bottom and Ronda Chaney, which is out of print but available at online bookstores like Amazon. There were several listings there, starting at $0.15 (yes, that's fifteen cents!). Although the subject matter is the same as "Decorative Dressmaking," its approach is different with an emphasis on the various parts of a garment, such as collars, sleeves, and necklines.

1 comment:

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I am so glad that you got your copy of Decorative Dressmaking and that you love it! Isn't is just soooooo kewl!!!!