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49 Sensational Skirts: Creative Embellishment Ideas For One-of-a-kind Designs Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Allison Willoughby's circle skirts...are strikingly attractive." - The New York Sun, in the review of an exhibit at Pratt Manhattan Gallery

"If you know and admire Alison Willoughby's work, then [this book] is an absolute delight--and an absolute must!" - Suite101.com

"Alison Willoughby doesn't just want you to see her work--she wants you to make it yourself." - Whipup.net

"Detailed photographs and easy construction techniques ensure even beginning seamstresses success in creating a unique garment and stir the imagination of the more experienced." - Monsters and Critics.com

"It's pretty, it's practical, and it's simple, too...This might very well be one of the top ten sewing books you will ever need." - Make It Mine

"Unleash your sewing machine and get your hands on this book." - Bangor Daily News

"Full of innovative new ideas for creating an outfit out of the ordinary." - Knitting News

"The author's color and design sense are fantastic, and I'm intrigued by her practice of recycling thrift store finds." - Fiber Art News

About the Author

Alison Willoughby has been running her own business in London since graduating from The Royal College of Art. She has exhibited, sold, and lectured internationally.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Interweave; Pck edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159668061X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596680616
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,143,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Ms. Willoughby's skirts and techniques are inspiring and easy to recreate.
saint germaine
I had been avoiding this book, as I really do NOT need any more books on making things - I own about everything ever published and had promised myself no more.
Terry Weiss
If you're looking to spend hours and HOURS to make a skirt into a piece of art (an unwashable one!), this is for you.
JeanJamie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Terry Weiss on November 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I had been avoiding this book, as I really do NOT need any more books on making things - I own about everything ever published and had promised myself no more. Then I saw it in a store and leafed through it - and bought it! I will not kid you - you would be nuts to make any of these skirts if you are any larger than a size 8 - maybe a 10 for one or two, but only a couple. And my size 8 days are longer ago than most of the people who might buy this book were born! However old and pudgy I may be, I still make unusual clothing out of recycled clothing from thrift stores, and I thought this book had some inspiration and ideas worth enjoying. I'm glad I bought it and like leafing through it periodically.

That said, I would like to rant a minute: all the books about making clothing out of recycled thrift clothes with odd styling and peculiar decor are aimed at teeny and tiny sizes - and young and younger ages. Believe me, those of us who were both those things in the 70s and loved doing that very thing then, are still interested. Well, some of us are! I make skirts, shirts, and dresses out of mens shirts, linen calendars, neckties, cut up overalls, machine felted sweaters and vintage dresses - and have been doing it for decades. People stop me on the street and tell me they love my clothes, and occasionally someone asks me if I sell them - I don't. I get peeved at the assumption that women my age and size aren't into recycled couture books. I may not be emphasizing my hips - or even acknowledging them! - but I still make and wear some pretty fun and unique clothing. It wouldn't kill the publishers to keep this in mind - and might well increase sales if they do.

Okay, enough said on that subject - until I review another book about recycled clothing, anyway. However, I would recommend 49 Sensational Skirts as a fun approach to making and remaking garments.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JeanJamie on May 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book because it seemed like it would inspire/teach me to make Anthropologie-esque skirts. I've had it for over a year now, and every time I take it off the shelf I get more frustrated with it. The cover promises lots of fun ideas, but it's really just an artist's portfolio in book form. The vast majority of the skirts are either too poofy, heavy or just too utterly ridiculous to be worn in daily life. For instance, the skirt that suggests you combine silk flowers with toy plastic food. Really? Imagine sitting in that.

There are some fun ideas--but they mostly involve lots and LOTS of repetitious work, and almost all the skirts have circles of something on them--see cover. How many ways can we put circles on dresses? Ribbons, flowers, paint, rolled fabric, folded fabric, buttons, etc. It's really not that creative overall. If you're looking to spend hours and HOURS to make a skirt into a piece of art (an unwashable one!), this is for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Isabel on September 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm glad I bought this book, but I can't use most of the patterns "as are." If I did, at age 65 (but not looking quite that), the skirts would wear ME instead of the other way around. There are many springboard ideas that I can tone down and still enjoy wearing something creative.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Branson on October 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a really great book when you need a project for secondary school students who have some basic skills in construction techniques and surface embellishment and its time they ventured out into a more creative approach to their work in fashion and textiles. It could be used as a starting point when discussing intellectual property, counterfeits and 'knockoffs'. The main purpose is to demonstrate to students that they can start with the ideas and inspiration from a designer's work, but focus on their own interpretations. Why copy someone else's work exactly, when they can develop their own individual creations, and use Alison Willoughby's work as their inspiration
The images are excellent, the information and directions are logical and very easy to understand, and best of all there is an Alison Willoughby pattern to use as a starting point. What a talented young lady!!!
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The skirts are not just simple ways to embellish and make a skirt special. Although beautiful, each would take many days and hours to complete.

This would be ideal for someone who wanted to make a work of art that her friends would marvel over. There are needlework projects that I would spend this kind of time on. These skirts did not look worth it to me. For me, there is not an heirloom quality to them.
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By Alexis ET on December 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a really great resource for inspiration. Not really for absolute beginners, and the skirt shape is slightly dated. Nonetheless, very inspiring. I gave it 4 stars because it felt a little incomplete, but it was still out-of-the-box thinking, which helped me try out different directions with my designs.
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