The Little Black Dress: How to Make the Perfect One for You Paperback – Nov 1 2008
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About the Author
Simon Henry started to sew, knit and crochet at the age of nine. A family friend, a talented seamstress and sample hand, taught him traditional techniques that she had learned in the ateliers of some of the best couture houses - techniques and skills that he still uses and teaches today. He has been designing and making couture end wedding gowns, formal wear for balls and red carpet events and tailored day- and cruisewear for over thirty years. An experienced dressmaking tutor, Simon has taught and mentored many students over the years. Simon lives in Derby, UK, with his civil partner Clive.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Considering that my motivation for learning to sew is to make clothes that fit ME, this book is invaluable. It walks you through how to create patterns based on your own body and measurements, all 3 dresses are based off of the the pieces you cut in the beginning. The first process of making the 'body blocks' does require TWO PEOPLE, so bear that in mind.
The three dresses are: the Audrey Hepburn style dress on the cover, a wrap dress, and a Marilyn Monroe style lightly boned wiggle/tube dress.
Truly, I cannot recommend this book enough, the photos and descriptions are so easy to follow and the directions are clearly stated... and I absolutely love the methodology behind making these dresses.
The pattern drafting system is good, but this counts on having a dress form that is your exact measurements, as I could not find any information about changing the pattern for personal quirks. For example on dress forms, they can often be a strange shape around the bust, and are not helpful if you are a larger or smaller cup size than an A/B. No information was given on padding a dress form to assist with draping (i.e. putting a bra on it, or padding out the waist/hips to fit if required) Draping without changing the pattern to personal measurements is also unhelpful if you are longer or shorter in the body as the dressform. As we know, not many of us are the perfect dress form replica. *sigh* Any draped pattern needs to be checked against personal measurements, and the pattern altered accordingly.
If it was for the intermediate/advanced sewer then these things would be addressed in the book. So I conclude that this is not the target reader either.
So, my conclusion is if you want a step by step guide on how to sew a dress together, then this is great. If you want your mannequin to wear a nice dress, this is also good. As for personal pattern drafting then there are better, as for learning to sew, there are also better. And for inspiration, there are also better. Hopefully the author will make some revisions, because the concept of the book is really good. As it stands now however, disappointing.
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