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3.9 out of 5 stars
Instant Period Costumes: How to Make Classic Costumes from Cast-Off Clothing
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2001
This is NOT a guide to constructing period costumes -- her identification of the "periods" is more fantasy than fact -- but it does have clever ideas for fast and inexpensive costumes. This might make a good starting place for a costuming newbie who's overwhelmed at having to put together a whole show in just a few weeks. Experienced costumers can skip this book, since you've probably already come up with these ideas on your own.
A word of warning: the author frequently dyes the second-hand clothing she uses, but you could probably skip that step in many of the examples (I don't know about you, but I don't know anyone who would let me use their washing machine to dye a wedding dress blue...!). It's the tips on combining parts of different garments that most people will find helpful.
My main problem with this book is the title; if you just omit the word "period" then you've got a good idea of what this book IS good for. It would be useful for school musicals, masquerade parties, parades, Halloween, etc. but don't expect to costume a decent production of Shakespeare with the aid of this book. Kiss Me, Kate -- yes; Taming of the Shrew -- no.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2001
Anyone who has done costume work for theater knows how difficult create believeable outfits quickly, and how expensive it can be to rent any costume. Instant Period Costumes: How To Make Classic Costumes From Cast-Off Clothing is the pefect solution to the costume worker's dilemma, for Barb Rogers has designs for inexpensively assembling over 100 period piece costumes, complete with photos and diagrams. The instructions are so easy to follow that absolutely no sewing is required! With chapters that describe costumes for the Gothic, Renaissance, Elizabethan, Restoration, Bustle, Turn-of-the-Century, World War I, '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s periods and more, Instant Period Costumes is highly recommended not only for theater costume workers, but also anyone looking to put together an excellent Halloween or masquerade ball costume with a minimum of cost and hassle!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2002
This is a fabulous book!!! Great for sewers and non-sewers alike. I will definitely buy it for my collection and have already started to aquire cast off clothing for usagein new costumes. Barb Rogers makes each costume seem so easy to make and really takes the threat out of costuming. GREAT IDEAS!!!! good pictures, wish they were all in color!!...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2005
I agree with some of the other reviewers who pointed out that the costumes in this book are not "period perfect", but I thought the author had some clever and inspiring ideas about how to mix cast-off items to create new looks. Looking at her pictures will really help you to see the potential in those ugly old bridesmaids' dresses. I also appreciated her tips on how to use things like glue guns and cardboard for quick construction. I do wish, however, that the interior of the book had color pictures--the copy I have is all black and white, and it's hard to make out the detail in many of the images.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2002
This book saved me from having to spend a fortune on a period costume for the re-enactment party. With some dye, glue, pins, and the ideas gleaned from it, I came up with my own Renaissance gown. And, it was so easy. You would not believe the people who asked where I got my costume. There is no doubt in my mind, when other occasions arise, I will be able to show up in a unique costume I have designed myself. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially people who don't sew, in need of a costume for any occasion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book awhile ago, and I found that it came in really handy for my high school drama class. This book has great suggestions about how to create costumes when you're on a very limited budget; the hardest part of making any of these costumes is to avoid burning your fingers with the glue gun! I would especially reccommend it to anyone who is a high school drama teacher (like me) who has a program with no money and big expectations. :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2008
The line drawings are a little confusing to me - it is not always clear what part of an article of clothing is attached (not sewn, usually glued) to what part. The models looked more than a little freaky to me until I realized they were all the same mannequin, same pose, in different costumes. There's not enough detailed information for me to make these creations easily (I sew, although I'm not against using glue, staples, masking tape, whatever, in a pinch). If you have a thrift store with lots of cool cast off within a reasonable driving distance, many of the ideas in this book would be exciting to try. If someone had a good imagination, I might share this book with them to prove to them that they can think up ways to create interesting costumes. But I wouldn't buy this book and give it to them - I suspect there are more useful ones out there. Clearly, though, this book is a labor of love and the photos of costumes created are intriguing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2005
The book provides numerous creative ideas for low budget theater companies. I found the ideas in this book clever and very useful, covering many different periods of style. Book has before and after photographs, easy to understand instructions. Good to have as a reference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2012
Very good resource for fast, cheap costumes. I've been using this method for many years and was pleased to find a few new ideas. Well worth the price, when you consider how expensive costumes can be to build or rent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2013
A great addition to your drama department. It helps with making costumes easily and cheaply. Just what a school needs.
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