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Medieval Costume and How to Recreate It (Dover Fashion and Costumes) Paperback – December 2, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Fashion and Costumes
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (December 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486429857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486429854
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It is a good addition to her costuming collection of books.
Renegade225
First, if you don't own a single costuming book, then get it, just for some inspiration.
R.D. Wertz/Shara
Interesting clothing with patterns that are very simple to follow.
Susan Bates

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Jill McAlester on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dorothy Hartley's book, first published in 1931, has many good things about it, and also many not-so-good things. The book does have a wealth of black-and-white illustrations reproduced from period sources, and these are outstanding. Ms. Hartley's interpretations of medieval dress, however, are not always on the mark...page 103, for example, has a drawing of a "sleeveless coat" which is actually a mis-interpretation of a fur-trimmed sideless surcote. Also confusing is the "loose side piece" in her diagram of a hunting tunic on page 57...nothing in the period illustrations would indicate a garment cut and worn that way, and it just doesn't make sense.

So...like a lot of other costume texts published in the early 20th century, don't take everything in this book for gospel truth, and double-check the details against other sources if you're looking for true authenticity.
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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Huston on October 6, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For years I've had a photocopy of this book that I've lugged around, so I was very happy to find this as a reprint edition. One of the great things about this is that the author has done her research, and tends to construct the clothing from simple shapes -- namely if you can sew a straight line, or hem, you can make these costumes. The bad part is that there are some very odd items in here -- one tunic has a flap that ties in place, and the woman's gown is constructed in a very odd way -- you 'can' do it, but the seams look very out of place. Still, the price is good for a begining reinactor, and will instill confidence to go on and make more complicated items.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Raymond on February 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have said, Hartley's book is aimed at theatrical costumers, not reenactors. Because of that fact and because it was written long before archaeological research began to correct long-held misapprehensions about medieval costume, its advice about how a particular costume was made is often quite wrong. But Hartley's book does something I've never seen before in any book on medieval costume--it urges the reader to look at period artwork and think about what the person wearing such a costume in the artwork would have been doing and what tools he or she would have been using while doing it. This insight is, in my opinion, worth the meagre price of the book.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By R.D. Wertz/Shara on October 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm of mixed feelings on this book .

First, if you don't own a single costuming book, then get it, just for some inspiration.

The best reason for anyone to get the book is the illustrations......over 200 period illustrations to use for inspiration.

Granted, they're in black and white.......so you don't get the colors to see, but Ms Hartley often describes the colors, so that helps.

She has provided a number of pages of detailed line-drawing illustrations to help explain/show how cloth was cut and sewn to create various outfits.

As such, they are helpful, sometimes.

Ditto, other times they are off the mark.

Some of her interpretations are, shall I say 'creative' without adequate proof in her period sources to support her theories of construction.

With that, I have some major problems, but if her purpose is to give a resonable facsimile for stage interpretation, then her theories are adequate.

If her purpose was to provide accurate historical information, then she is often being misleading in regards to the needs of the serious historical re-inactor.

i.e. she interprets the 'modesty panel' triangular insert, in a 15th c. gown as a 'vest'. Granted, she says "a small triangular vest" so maybe her idea of a vest, and mine, are merely a difference in understanding. But her perception of a Hellsgate overgown is off the mark. Because the upper portion of the winter worn ones is often covered in, or lined with, fur, she incorrectly interprets the upper portion as a totally seperate garment, calling it a 'sleeveless jacket/coat' and both her line drawings and her text clearly indicate she genuinely believed it to have been such, stating : ".........
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cat's Meow on November 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book in paperback, and it is handy for the no-

vice sewing person. Some of the directions are a tad cloudy, as

are some of the examples.

But keep this in mind: there are not that many actual garments

to work from that are still extant!!!

The garments are pretty much self-explanatory for the novice, and they make for some fairly simple gear to make and wear. As

I have made several veils,wimples, and other assorted headgear

from the examples in this book, it teaches one the patience and

just WHY clothing was considered so expensive then. We are talk

ing about handsewing EVERYTHING, so even though some of the pieces may be a tad "off," you do learn the basic techniques,

as well as valuable practice sewing garments.

Having adapted some pieces for streetwear, as they were more com

fy than what's out there, and several aprons, as they were more

practical in design, this is a very handy little book to get for

the novice interested in handsewing your own gear.
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