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Elizabethan Costuming (For The Years 1550 - 1580) Paperback – January 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Other Times Productions; 2 edition (January 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963022008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963022004
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,090,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I found this book to be too daunting for the beginner and too sketchy for the experienced sewer.
K. McLeod
I would suggest possible buyers try some of the other books listed in the "Listmania" or "So You'd Like To..." links.
Kati d'Esprit
I cant really sew too well, and yet this book was easy for me to follow, and I made my garb myself!
Andi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 25, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is simultaneously for someone with quite a bit of sewing skill, and not interested in the more finicky details of the period. Simple construction was covered in depth, but the instructions would probably be slightly over the head of someone without some experience at drafting patterns. Most instructions begin with basic commercial patterns and give instructions for altering those into a period pattern - be aware that the instructions are not exhaustive. Muslin mock-ups will definitely be needed before settling on a completed pattern. Also, the detail might have been a bit lacking, particularly on period colors, fabrics, and trims for all social classes. Overall, a VERY useful book if you already know something about this kind of sewing. If not, it is still very good, but be prepared to put a lot of work into mastering some of these techniques and patterns. (In my opinion you'd need to do that anyway, whether using this book or not)
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a great book if you're looking for ideas of how to design, fit, and trim *costume* for the middle and upper classes, but if you're looking for absolute historical authenticity, stop and go elsewhere. If you *are* looking for faire garb, this is *one* of several key references you will want in your library: Carolyn Savoy (the illustrator) was Director of Costuming for the Renaissance Pleasure Faires during the early 1980's.
Three major caveats here make this volume questionable for the historian, and requiring cross-authentication for faire costuming: (1) it is designed to be "simple" for the knowledgeable home-sewer or journeyman costumer, which Winter interprets as license to use such anachronisms as "hidden zippers" and elastic (she does give more appropriate closure options in at least some cases); (2) some of Winter's assumptions are a bit off (for example, that for middle-uppper and upper classes the Spanish surcote was worn directly over the shift, rather than over the loose kirtle); (3) the book was last updated in 1987 and is therefore lacking the input of more recent research, much of it based on primary sources.
All in all, it's a great *idea* book, more useful to the performer than to the historian.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the book that a lot of people start with when making clothing for Renaissance Faires or for the Society for Creative Anachronism. For creating "Renaissance-ish" costumes it's not bad. However, I've read some fairly harsh criticism online about its instructions for assembling a woman's outfit, so caveat emptor aut lector, so to speak. Those who are looking to accurately recreate Elizabethan clothing should probably look elsewhere (e.g., Janet Arnold's "Patterns of Fashion"). This book occasionally uses techniques and "cheats" that have no historical basis whatsoever. For someone who is simply interested in making something that looks more or less correct this is a great book, with the previously mentioned warning that some of the directions may lead you astray. I would just be aware that this is a book about making "costumes", not "clothes", regardless of what the authors say in the preface!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book for someone who's curious about Elizabethan costuming, but has absolutely no idea where to begin. It gives step-by-step instructions for creating undergarments such as corsets and farthingales, talks about altering modern patterns into period bodices, and also covers headwear,sleeve styles, hairstyles,jewelry, and accessories. Here you'll find a list of fabric measurements needed for various garments and period colors to use for them, information on what peasants and middle-class women wore, and also information on men's Elizabethan garments for all classes. Accompanied by many, many illustrations and full of practical advice (exactly how do you go from "dream on paper" to reality? What is the best type of outfit to make for children?), I would recommend this book to people who want to find out what Elizabethan Costume is all about before diving into more detailed tomes.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Lady Kalessia (Laura) on March 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
While I am, as a historic costumer, extremely disappointed in this book, I would say that both its good and bad reputations are undeserved. The drafting and construction instructions are horrible - true. However, the first-time Fairegoer, beginning sewer, school play's costume department, and those interested in the look without the substance should find this useful. This is NOT a book for anyone interested in accuracy, variety in research (HOW many times will I hear someone tell me that their gown is of "dead Spaniard color"?!), or correct cutting and wearing of the clothes. In short, this is a book for making costumes, as opposed to working garb or reproducion garments.

Caveat emptor.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
The best investment you will make in your costuming library.
As a person who has trained new folk for many years, I recommend this book to all because it is easy to understand, gives you an overview of who wore what when, and how to easily create your own versions of everything from your first simple chemise to complicated hats. It tells you about period colors and fabrics, jewelry, embriodery, acessories, and includes a comprehensive measurement template in the back. Its not going to hold your hand step by step as a simplicity pattern will, but if you have a little common sense and left-brained talent, you can make this stuff with ease.
As for the corset/bumroll "oopsie", I think this is all in translation of the drawing. I never understood that they wish your bumroll to go UNDER your corset. That just doesnt make sense.
You will eventually graduate to the Janet Arnold books (which are incredible, but terribly complicated and advanced), and other resources, such as the elizabethan costuming homepage, [...] Remember when reading these (negative) reviews that in all communities, there are fashion trends to watch for, and self-appointed "experts" who find themselves "more period than thou". I say get started with this book, make a costume, go to faire and have fun! You will learn as you go and interact! I just wish this book was more available.
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