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Patterns of Fashion 3: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women C. 1560-1620 Paperback – May 1, 1985


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Janet Arnold was a historian of fashion, which combined her two greatest passions: the theatre and clothes. Her early books were conceived as aids for the fashion and theatre students she taught, but as her unique range and depth of knowledge became apparent, more and more museums and other institutions sought her advice and, today, her books are essential tools for the study of dress and have been used throughout the world.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Drama Publishers; 1995 printing of 1985 publication edition (May 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896760839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896760837
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10 x 14.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
I liked Ms Arnold's book so well that I received the entire set of her books from my daughter. As a professional costumer I found the construction of the choosen garments in her book more for the experienced sewer rather than a beginner. There are construction notes to help, but they are very difficult to understand if you have limited sewing experience. Also, notes dealing with the finer details on each pattern such as embroidery, edging, and fabrics are given for those of use who are looking for recreating each garment as worn. I might add that each pattern is on a grid to make it easier to enlarge for any size. Pictures of each piece, plus a painting, if possible, is all so part of this informative series of books.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Mascara on June 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Once again, Janet Arnold has firmly reinforced her position at the top of the world of historical costume research. Housed within the pages of this book is some of the most invaluable research in the field of 16th century costuming. Arnold examines extant clothing of 16th century nobility and drafts the pattern pieces in detail. Rare photographs of these garments, as well as detailed shots of seams, linings, and stitching and fabric close-ups makes this book one of the most important in the field of historical costuming. Patterns are given for the garments examined, but be aware, they are not sized. Some knowledge of pattern drafting, or access to an enlarger of some kind will be needed if you want to take a pattern from this book and make it fit a human being. But don't let that discourage you! The information within this book is priceless and for any die-hard 16th century enthusiast, it is perhaps the best book available on the subject.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By "r0byn" on October 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book would have to be described as "the bible" of late 16th century costuming. It is a goldmine for anyone interested in the actual creation of garments of the period.
I would not be without my copy; I actually own two, so I can lend one out without having to be without it.
The only flaws are that it is incomplete, lacking much of the undergarments of the period, and that there are a few mistakes in some of the patterning, which can have interesting results... certainly make a toile of the garments first, but generally this book is a gem.
Note: this book assumes that the prospective sewer has quite an advanced skill in sewing; if you can't sew without instructions, you might find it challenging, and you need to expand the patterns up from the scaled down illustrations
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is by the world's foremost researcher of costume and it shows! The attention to detail, history and patterns are invaluable. Although Ms. Arnold has recently passed, this series of costume books are truly a legacy of her greatness. NOT FOR A BEGINNER. Imperative for the advanced costumer who wishes for authentically reproduced garments. The patterns are taken directly from the garments themselves. Her bibliography is exhaustive. Her historical notes, awe-inspiring. I would be lost without this book. (I am on my second copy.) Amazon's price is excellent. In some circles it is much, much more. -- Tonessa West Crowe
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book analyzes in detail surviving garments of the late sixteenth to early seventeenth century. Many are too fragile now to be on display in museums, so this is an extremely valuable historic record. Janet has examined the garments and provides detailed drawings, patterns, and construction notes. The book also correlates period portraits, paintings, and scultures (in black and white) with the actual clothing examples, so costumers can learn to "read" the pictures for fabric, cut, style, etc. This book is a classic in its field, and no serious historic costumer should be without it
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By ann gillespie on September 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a costumers bible. All the detail that will make or break a historical piece. It has wonderful background information and documentation as well as clear drawings and notes. The highlight is a collection of expandable patterns for a large assortment of complete ensembles. If your looking for just making Elizabethean outfits, this is way too much information. If you are ready for the "Next Level" of ultra historical clothing or working on a professional level, buy this book. I'm sure it will end up as dogeared as mine.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Charles Burke on December 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Janet Arnold explores the cut and construction of clothes from 1560-1620 like no other. If you have questions regarding period seam placement, pattern design, period fabrics, and period construction...this is the be all and end all of sources. This is not a "how to" book for a beginner, this is for the serious artisan looking to design in a more authentic direction.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent for showing exactly what the title suggests, the cut and construction of clothes. It is not a how-to book, but if you already know how to sew, this will tell you where the seams need to be. It is also interesting to note how much piecing they did and exactly how things were laced and where they were buttoned. I have found the book focuses more heavily on the latter half of the dates, at or after 1600. Despite the lack of information regarding undergarments, ruffs, and the like, this book would be a valuable asset to any recreationist's library.
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