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Sew Iconic Hardcover – June 19, 2012

21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Liz Gregory is a costume designer, dressmaker, and photographer based in Rugby, England. In her many years of costume-making experience, she has created hundreds of stylish and glamorous dresses for women.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder Bay Press; Nov Spi edition (June 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607104423
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607104421
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #826,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Paul S on June 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are great descriptions of the 'iconic' dresses reproduced in this book, however, it is a big disappointment if you actually want to make the simplified versions of the dresses. The patterns are all on two sheets of paper in only one size thus you must be a great pattern maker to get the one size to your size. Then again, the simplified versions of the dresses not well fitted in the first place. My recommendation would be to buy the book for the descriptions and construction discussion but to use a commercially available pattern as the basis of your look.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Keturah Young on June 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really wanted to love this book. Patterns for iconic Hollywood dresses, info about what the dresses and their designers, plus details about the stars who wore them? Sign me up! And so, sign myself up I did.

When the book arrived, I quickly flipped to the section for Marilyn Monroe's white subway dress, made famous in "The Seven Year Itch." The author nailed this dress, right down to the fabric, infinite sunburst pleats, and waist ties. Having never seen Monroe's original dress in person, I think Gregory nailed it. Her replica (or reincarnation?) looks sublime It is absolute perfection.

I was deeply disappointed by the models wearing her patterns, compared to the pictures of the actual icons wearing the dresses: the dresses lacked fitting and just hung off the models. All of the dresses featured in this book need to be tailored to take in the excess ease for best appearance and representation of the real iconic garments. Vintage garments don't look right when they aren't shaped and tailored for the individual wearer.

For instance, her version of Grace Kelly's ethereal blue gown. The film still in the book shows Kelly wearing it like a goddess, with it well-fitted around her waist and bust. The model wearing Gregory's version shows a loose waist with little fitting, and excess ease and fabric in the bust area, making it look like the model was swimming in fabric, and that it could fall off at any minute. I also thought the flapper dress from "Chicago" lacked compared to the original. Even though it's a flapper dress and not meant to be fitted around the waist, it just didn't look as good on the model as the original does worn by Catherine Zeta-Jones. Again, I think it would be solved with extra fitting and tailoring.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Robinson on December 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a Christmas gift and I just can't believe something like this actually got past the editors and was published. Full disclosure: I've been sewing for about 30 years - since I was a child. I made my formal dresses in high school and college, made my wedding dress and the dresses of my bridesmaids, and I've made 2 gowns to wear to military balls. I know about dresses and while I'm not an expert, I've got a lot of experience. I was hoping that this book would allow me to use that expertise to recreate some movie dresses but I don't think I'll get much use out of it other than inspiration. I give it 2 stars because there are a couple of good points but mostly it fails to live up to its own hype Here's why:

The first problem with this book is that it purports to be geared for sewers of all skill levels but the included patterns are only in one size. This means that you have to know your body well enough to be able to alter the pattern pieces to fit your specific body shape before you even think about starting the dress. Many people new to sewing don't know how to do this, as they haven't been fitting themselves for very long (if at all) and many won't have someone to help them with the fit, or have a dress form to fit the garments on. Nowhere does it say what size the base pattern is or what the base cup size is - only to measure the pattern to get the base measurements. The section on taking accurate measurements is good because it has a detailed schematic showing where each measurement should be taken on the body, and includes such measurements as back width, high bust, bicep, and rise - all really necessary for finding a good fit for any sewing pattern. However, the directions for using the measurements to grade the pattern to fit the individual are sorely lacking.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa B on September 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was so excited for this book and so let down when I got to see it. I understand this book is meant to contain the "simplified" version of some of the most famous and beautiful dresses from the movies. That said, there is a huge difference between simplified and what I am seeing in the book. The book makes efforts to match the style and shape of some dresses that are really complex, in simplifying one must give up something but if you are trying to emulate a dress the shape must be the same. THe Marilyn dress is pretty well done and the Rita dress is nice but cut differently than the original. Otherwise I am just disappointed with the dresses. One example is the Grace Kelly dress, In it's original form it featured a fitted boned bodice and gorgeous draping that wrapped closely across the highly structured bodice. The pattern in the book is not fitted, nor boned, the top is a different shape, the draping is slouchy, overall it's nothing like the original. Most of the dresses do not have the correct neckline or sleeve openings, It's details like those that give the Iconic dresses a distinct look and tie them to an era and character. With an incorrect pattern it is difficult to make a dress that looks like the original. If you want a dress to look like the original and not a "costume" you will probably not be satisfied with at least half the patterns in this book.
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