Synopses & Reviews
Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O., Marilyn Monroe. . . these women wore stylish dresses that still make us swoon today. Famous Frocks provides everything needed to recreate these iconic looks by hand including Audrey's little black dress, Marilyn's poster-classic white halter, Madonna's sexy Like a Virgin number, and more. Vintage photos of the original look alongside beautiful color illustrations of the finished projects offer inspiration, while how-to illustrations break down each step so sewers of all skill levels can follow along. Packaged in an attractive lay-flat hardcover and featuring full-sized patterns for 10 classic dresses updated to be stylish for today (plus 10 variants for a full 20 new looks), this entirely original sewing book is a treat for lovers of vintage style.
"No need to buy a little black dress to look like Audrey Hepburn. The authors of this how-to provide sewing patterns and instructions to create that Breakfast at Tiffany's look, along with nine other celebrity styles. They explain: 'We have selected ten women from recent decades who we feel have the most inspiring and iconic looks, wearing dresses that stand the test of time and we absolutely adore.' Alm and McDevitt, both stitchers and teachers, provide a quick overview of each woman who inspired them, then instructions on how to create two variations of the style the woman's known for. Photos and very detailed illustrations provide both inspiration and clear visual instructions, and, thankfully, the book lays flat. There are quibbles: it takes quite a stretch to see the wrap dress most associated with Diane von Furstenberg as Farrah Fawcett's 'iconic' look (what about that red swimsuit?), and the patterns only go to about a size 8 (which is presented, dubiously, as a size large). Guidelines about skill level are also questionable: It would take an extremely ambitious and confident 'Beginner/Intermediate' to tackle Madonna's bustier and stretch lace ensemble. The most noticeable flaw, however, is that the celebrities appear in photographs; their dresses are sketched, making it difficult to know exactly what one is sewing. The book is wonderfully designed, and will look very nice on a shelf even if the patterns aren't much used.Â Ten patterns, photos, and sketches. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Sara Alm is a patternmaker and teacher at Apparel Arts in San Francisco, where she lives with her family.
Hannah McDevitt has been affiliated with Stitch Lounge and Craft Haven Collective. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Kerrie Hess is a leading fashion illustrator who has illustrated for Neiman Marcus, Vogue, and Chanel.