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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Must have" for historians and historical recreators, November 13, 2008
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660 (Patterns of Fashion) (Paperback)
This book is a really wonderful present for all costumers and especially for those who is familiar with excellent quality of Janet Arnold's books. Not only "Patterns of Fashion 4" has all the values of previous Arnold's publications, it has more!

As usual, the book is divided into 2 parts: theoretical and practical, latter including patterns and drawings of artefacts.

Just to point out some definite values - for one, there are very many color(!) photographs in theoretical chapter. It's possible to see any details of textile, embroidery, lace or simple seam. Also, theoretical chapter is 50% of book (which is more than in "PF 3") and material is well structured by clothing types - Shirts & smock (men's, women's), Neckswear (ruffs, bands, rebatos, pickadils, supporters), Headwear (coifs, hoods, nightcaps), Gloves, Hose.

Special attention is payed to embroidery, laces, cleaning, etc. Yet another value is traditionally good practical chapter with detailed instructions for sewing that are clearer and better than ever. For a bonus "Patterns of Fashion 4" has step-by-step instructions on "How to starch and set linen ruffs" completed with many photographs.

I'm very grateful to editors and co-authors of this book - Jenny Tiramani and Santina Levey - who continue work of Janet Arnold and have prepared this publication. I highly recommend "Patterns of Fashion 4". This book is worth every penny!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Testament to the Legacy of Janet Arnold!, December 1, 2008
This review is from: Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660 (Patterns of Fashion) (Paperback)
At last, the long-awaited book has been released. Although this book is a culmination of twenty years of Miss Arnold's work, it is not the last word, rather it is the first word for inquiry and investigation. It is an inspiration for any costumer, sewer, researcher or any interested in period construction and history. I had the opportunity to see it displayed at the Costume Colloquium Conference in Florence, Italy and could not wait to get my copy. The many up-close and personal color photographs of surviving garments as well as detailed graphs are important as a primary source of study. Avoiding sounding clichéd by saying that this book is a must-have book, I will say instead that it is a necessary tool and reference for any library of costume and period design. My heartfelt thanks goes out to Jenny Tiramani and Santina Levey, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Conference for their great work in completing this work and all those who assisted them. Forever will this work, as well as all of Miss Arnold's exhaustive work, be the foundation for costumers, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and researchers alike. This work opens up a world of who we were in our past as seen through our dress and traditions and reminds and inspires us of the distinction and importance of true research and interpretation rather than extrapolating from paintings only.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating study!, January 14, 2009
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660 (Patterns of Fashion) (Paperback)
Anyone interested in how people *really* dressed in Europe between 1540 and 1660 will greet this book with cries of joy. Short of making personal visits to museums all over the world you couldn't get a more detailed view of the garments on display here. Delicate lace, lavish embroidery, and meticulous stitching are all presented in a well-chosen mixture of drawings, paintings and photographs. Unlike the previous books in this series, most of the paintings and photographs are printed in full color, making them even more informative and attractive. The histories of the individual pieces of clothing are as fascinating as the way they were made; many of these items were preserved because they were associated with important historical figures and events.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just "A" but "THE" must-have for serious costumers, September 4, 2009
This review is from: Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660 (Patterns of Fashion) (Paperback)
The Patterns of Fashion series is pretty much the grail of historical costuming from the Renaissance onward and this last (sadly posthumously published) book in the series actually blows the preceding three away. The focus is primarily Western and Southern European linen undergarments and accessory pieces from the period surrounding and including the Elizabethan era which have managed to survive the intervening centuries. After a brief discussion of materials, items of focus, and practices, the first half of the book is devoted to detailed photographic presentations of extant pieces with brief descriptive commentaries and similar examples from contemporary portraiture. The second half of the book revisits each of the items detailed in the first half of the book but presents them as exploded technical drawings with detailed notes on cut, construction, and embellishment.

Since I got this book the week it came out I have been calling this "the crazymaking book" for all the incredible information it has shoved into my brain. There is so much information to digest that it has literally taken me the better part of a year to get through the whole thing. The photographic detail (in colour!) is incredible, the reference portraiture incredibly useful for mentally framing the items correctly, and the descriptions are concise and packed with information. I have learned staggering amounts of information about the materials, construction, and styles represented in this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing but praise!, March 22, 2009
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Phoenicia (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660 (Patterns of Fashion) (Paperback)
Galina Karputina and the other reviewers said it all, so there is not much to add.

If you have an interest in the construction of clothes and its history, either for professional or personal reasons, you probably know the books by Janet Arnold. And if you don't, you should.

They are a feast to the eyes - if only for the sheer beauty of her detailed drawings - and offer a wealth of practical information on the construction of clothes and their patterns, but also on lovely little dressmaker's secrets (did you know that making a hole for an eyelet will give a better result if you don't cut the fabric, but push the threads aside, preferably with a tool made of horn? A photograph of such a tool is shown, plus an explanation of why this kind of tool is so particularly useful).

There is a beautiful pattern of a boothose (a kind of stocking made of linen fabric), really stunning in its simplicity.

47 of the 128 pages are filled with photographs in colour, many of them in close up, showing you details you could otherwise only see if you held the actual garment in your hand.

What more can I say? It is a treasure. Every book of Janet Arnold's that I open is my favourite for that moment, but this volume is perhaps my most favourite of them all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, March 4, 2009
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KatC (Groton, CT) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660 (Patterns of Fashion) (Paperback)
The shirt and smock patterns are easy to reproduce, and are beautiful in modern fabrics. This is a wonderful book, in Ms. Arnold's fine tradition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As perfect as you'd expect, February 19, 2009
By 
Tauna "blktauna" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660 (Patterns of Fashion) (Paperback)
I waited many years for this book and it was utterly worth the wait. You will learn things about ruffs and linen that, as a re-enactor you may have guessed to be true, but are now proved to be true. The variety and depth of item covered is amazing. You will learn how to prop, prepare and starch a ruff, how the seams on shirts were done in several different areas, the proportions in existing linen, types of lace... it's all invaluable and I'm truly sad Ms. Arnold is no longer with us to continue with her ground breaking work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Next best thing to being there, January 31, 2009
By 
Lynn Crussel "Lynn Crussel" (Middle of the Ancient Ocean) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660 (Patterns of Fashion) (Paperback)
I am a dedicated fan of Janet Arnold. Each of her books have afforded me hours of fascination and challenges that contributed to my abilities with needle and thread.
The fourth book in this series is an intimate view into the 'linens' of those who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries. The amazingly detailed photos are the next best thing to actually touching and examining the garments in person. Some of the photos duplicate those in the third book, Patterns of Fashion c1560-1620, but this duplication can be forgiven. The new photos are in color, and add a dramatic depth that allows the sewer to determine exactly how the garment is constructed and/or embellished.
It is not a book for the frivolous or quickie sewer, but for the artisan and crafts person, researcher, designer, costumer or historian,it is singular.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best volume I've ever seen for information on surviving garments, February 7, 2009
By 
This review is from: Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660 (Patterns of Fashion) (Paperback)
Patterns of Fashion 4 is the most impressive collection I've ever seen of photos, drawings, descriptions, and patterns of actual period garments. In this case, the period garments are 16th-17th body linen (shirts, ruffs, collars), and they are described with expert skill. Since I haven't attempted to reconstruct any of the items, I cannot say how helpful the patterns are, but the text and photos provide a wealth of information about period underwear, and shown me that many more of such garments existed than I had imagined. A fabulous reference; every costumer interested in 16th or 17th century European costume should have a copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Joy to have!!!, September 9, 2010
This review is from: Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660 (Patterns of Fashion) (Paperback)
Thank you for getting this book published. If you do not have the first book in the Patterns of Fashion series please go and purchase it! The ability to have color photos of extant pieces is priceless I can only hope we do honest homage to Ms Arnold and that she is indeed smiling down on you all!

Brava!
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