Though ostensibly a how-to manual on wedding gown construction, this magnificent book teaches all about advanced dressmaking skills, and its principles can be applied to creating many other types of haute-couture-style gowns. The very thorough text details all aspects of fabrics and construction: the unique characteristics of each type of fashion fabric, including extensive information on manipulating lace; preparing the muslin mockup (a necessary first step to ensure a perfect fit); adjusting the bodice, sleeves, and skirt and joining them all together; adding ornamentation; and handling bustles and trains. The final chapter presents all the specifics of making four gowns of different styles. The novice and even the advanced sewer will learn much here, and perhaps best of all, pattern-drafting experience is not required--the author works her transformations on purchased patterns. If you're ambitious enough to make your own wedding gown, this book is absolutely essential, but even if you're hiring someone else to custom-make your gown, you'll find this an invaluable guide. And anyone pursuing a dressmaking career should have this important reference work on the shelf. --Amy Handy
"A must for prospective brides..." -- Sewing with Butterick, Autumn 2002. "A must for prospective brides..." -- Vogue Patterns, October 2002.