While I can’t call this a review yet, because I haven’t actually sewn up any of the patterns in my new sewing book, Famous Frocks, I just had to share some of the dresses in this book!
I went to downtown LA yesterday to poke around at the Textile Show there when I came across the most fabulous fashion book store I have EVER BEEN TO!
If you ever find yourself in the garment district of Los Angeles you must pop into the lobby of the California Mart on 9th Street. There you will find the aptly named, Fashion Book Store.
There are books on fashion design, fashion history, pattern making, illustrating, clip art, dozens of international fashion magazines and books on almost every aspect of fashion. I would have taken a photo but the security guard asked me not to.
Anyway, there is a section there with some deeply discounted books, where I found the aforementioned book, Famous Frocks, on sale no less. Isabelle and I could have stayed there for hours browsing but Gigi was being a serious style cramper. Funny how some of those fashion types always look so surprised to see a child.
The book contains ten patterns inspired by photos of the original ten dresses worn by the movie stars who made them famous. These iconic dresses are considered timeless classics and the original designers are mentioned, although briefly. The adapted styles are a bit updated from the originals and simplified for the modern sewist, and because after all, this is a book, and it can’t get that complicated. This pleased me because although I love vintage patterns, I’m not really a purist when it comes to vintage styles. I like to update them so I look current. I have made up some vintage patterns in the past that I just felt too costumish in and they languish in my closet.
So if you are a purist, you might not like the patterns in this book, as they are simplified and many of the patterns are designed for stretch knits which didn’t exist when most of these styles originally came out. I however, love the ease of stretch knits and am really excited about trying some of these styles!
Read on to see some of the looks in the book that come with patterns.
One other thing I noticed about this book that might kill it for some of you: The largest size for the patterns in the book is a 37 bust, 30 1/2 inch waist, and 40 1/2 inch hip which is about a size 8 US or 40 European I think. Like many sewing project books, the patterns are all included in an attached envelope.
All ten styles come with variations. The first is similar to the original that inspired it, and the second is a little more modern.