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Tales of the Gypsy Dressmaker Hardcover – March 1, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thelma built her dressmaking business from the ground up. After being left with nothing after a divorce she started making and selling dresses on a market stall in Liverpool. One day a traveller woman asked her to make some dresses and before she knew it she had dozens of traveller women asking for the same thing, and so began her dressmaking business. Thelma now owns Nico's Dressmakers in Liverpool and is the designer favoured by travellers around the country, many of whom travel hundreds of miles to have her make their wedding, christening and communion dresses. Thelma lives in Liverpool and has four children (a son and three daughters), the youngest of which still lives at home with her and her partner Dave.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007456816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007456819
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,009,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carola Muller Sadeghian on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been fascinated by the "Great Big Gypsy Weddings' series and the subsequent 'Thelma's Gypsy Girls.' In this biography we learn of the trials and tribulations that led Thelma Madine to become the now world famous dressmaker to the gypsies and travellers, and get a rare insight into the world of the gypsy brides we have met on the Channel 4 program. Well written, with a warm human touch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sabrina Rutter on September 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you have watched 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding' then you would remember Thelma Madine as the dress maker on the show. She makes unbelievable, extravagant, huge breathtakingly beautiful dresses, with some of them weighing more than the person wearing them! In 'Tales of the Gypsy Dressmaker' she shares the story of how she ended up becoming one of the most sought after dress makers by the travellers, and gypsies!

This book was so much fun to read! I actually found myself laughing out loud a few times! You would think when you get to the part where she tells about first entering prison that you would feel moved to tears, but Thelma takes this depressing situation, and turns it into a humorous one.

the only reason I didn't give this book five stars was because there was a lot of repetitiveness, though there did seem to be less of it towards the end. It still didn't take away from this being a very enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a fan of the BBC series ("My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding")* So was interested in the book (Madine was featured in the series). Although the book does give a bit more insight into the traveler community it is mostly about Ms. Madine. Also, I think the book would have benefited greatly from either the proverbial "ghost" writer or a co-author. I'm sure the Dressmaker has many talents, writing may not be one of her strongest. Although not badly written at all, it was not great and honestly more about the gypsies would have been much more interesting.

* FYI there is an American version - it's awful, basically a Jerry Springer-esque/white trash series.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding show, so I decided to buy Thelma's book after I saw it being advertised via Thelma's Twitter...I was a little hesitant on purchasing this book...I honestly didn't know what to expect when reading it...However I was very impressed on how raw & honest Thelma is throughout the book & what she has gone through within her life...I felt I could relate to her with my own life experiences...So I completely understand where she is coming from with dealing with life's obstacles...I very much enjoyed her book & I was absolutely read any books she would release in the future.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i enjoy both the british and american versions of my big fat gypsy wedding, since i'm very interested in roma/romany/traveller culture. thelma describes how she came to know and work with romanys/travellers, but her storytelling isn't very linear. the book reads like a conversation with her, so it's a quick and easy read, but her observations are very face value and not at all complex.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This could have been a lovely story about her dresses and the clients, so much other stuff found its way into the book though
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By Heather Sutherland on November 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thelma Madine writes well, keeps the pace up and shows her true spirit. I hadn't seen much of the Gypsy Wedding programme so enjoyed her story. Like many of us, she has had her ups and downs and come out on top, showing her grit and determination. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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