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151 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Video Review
Customer Video Review     Length:: 1:33 Mins
This book is a showcase of commissioned dresses dating back to the beginning of Mary Adams' creative career. I love the color combinations, ruffling, bold colors, custom work and trims! Ms. Adams gives great picture tutorials on the French Seam, piecing, quilting & appliques and pintucks. This is not a book I would recommend for the beginning...
Published on November 14, 2010 by BeachBrights

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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed...
I typically like to preview books before buying them by checking them out of the library- but I splurged on this one because I was so excited about it... I was disappointed and actually ended up returning it. I thought it would be more of a technique-focused guide to sewing and provide general tricks, strategies and design ideas for creating amazing dresses, in general...
Published on July 7, 2011 by MML


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151 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Video Review, November 14, 2010
This review is from: The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room (Hardcover-spiral)
Length:: 1:33 Mins

This book is a showcase of commissioned dresses dating back to the beginning of Mary Adams' creative career. I love the color combinations, ruffling, bold colors, custom work and trims! Ms. Adams gives great picture tutorials on the French Seam, piecing, quilting & appliques and pintucks. This is not a book I would recommend for the beginning seamstress but with moderate sewing skills, this book could take you to the next level (& help you look fantastic when you get there)!

5 Stars...all the way!
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful book, amazing dresses!, November 11, 2010
By 
Helaine Koch (Neskowin, Oregon United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room (Hardcover-spiral)
"The Party Dress Book" is awesome! Mary Adams not only writes about her process as a creative dressmaker, how she came to her art, her different techniques including layering colors, piecing fabric, over-stitching and applique, but she also relates the history of fashion design to her work. This book is very fun to read and it's an inspiration to anyone who is interested in design and fashion. Mary's dresses are so feminine and fun, and the book even includes a pattern. I loved it!
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, November 22, 2010
This review is from: The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room (Hardcover-spiral)
I want to thank Mary Adams from the bottom of my heart for her book "The Party Dress." I bought it this weekend and had finished (and absorbed it) within a few hours!!!

I am a late bloomer - in my early 40s, I enrolled in to certificate industry sewing program at a local university to learn how the sample makers sew. The program also included basic pattern drafting. I enjoyed that program and feel very blessed to have been able to participate in it for three years.

However, I was looking for more.

Her book resonated with me because she is a unique person who sews in her own unique way and I know that I am the same type of person. I love to sew and pattern draft in a very organic way. I like to "feel" what I am doing and proceed from there. I am still developing my style (now that I am 50) and I can say that I have been stifled by "the rules." That is why I am so grateful for her book because I immediately recognized it as something that I NEEDED to get and read - and cherish.

I also just read her press kit and I agree completely with her in that the home sewing industry has risen, fallen and is rising again. I believe it will be the wave of the future - there are many talented women and men (with their own unique gift) who have their workrooms at home. I encourage Mary to continue writing and teaching others to develop their unique styles.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed..., July 7, 2011
By 
MML "--" (Scituate, MA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room (Hardcover-spiral)
I typically like to preview books before buying them by checking them out of the library- but I splurged on this one because I was so excited about it... I was disappointed and actually ended up returning it. I thought it would be more of a technique-focused guide to sewing and provide general tricks, strategies and design ideas for creating amazing dresses, in general. It was pretty limited in scope and highly specific to a certain style of dress, and didn't contain the variety and inspiration that I was looking for.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not worth purchase, June 24, 2011
This review is from: The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room (Hardcover-spiral)
Keep in mind that it's only one dress pattern with lots of optional decorations. It's worth a read, but better borrowed from the library.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Form and Function, December 18, 2010
This review is from: The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room (Hardcover-spiral)
I really like this book. I have to say that I have read a lot of craft books-- mostly sewing and knitting. Quite often, I skip over the author's written musings and just go to the projects because many contain self-absorbed and/or dull ramblings. Not the case with this book. Not only are the photos and projects unique and well-presented (yea for full-sized pattern pieces!), but the narrative is a wonderful first-hand view of boutique fashion development over the past 30 or 40 years with a focus on lower Manhattan. Amy Sedaris' foreword is a delightfully descriptive bonus.

The book is a wonderful combination of inspiration and technique. Not many authors hit this note successfully. Adams spends time discussing the character and techniques associated with certain fabrics she uses. The best part, for me, is that you can look at the book and understand that you do not need to be an experienced seamstress to create these fun and amazing looks. Not that Adams does not have mad skills in that regard, but many techniques involve random placement of scraps and fit-as-you-go details.

That being said, the design aesthetic here may not appeal to everyone. The fashions here are funky, quirky, colorful, cute, romantic...you get the picture. These are not dresses you'd find in Target, but they are not off-the-chart weird, either. They are wearable and fun.

Times are tough, so I'll be bugging my library for this book on a regular basis, but it's going straight to the top of my wish list for the day that I have two nickels to rub together. Well done, Mary!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, could be better., August 10, 2011
By 
This review is from: The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room (Hardcover-spiral)
While I really enjoyed seeing the way the author makes use of color and texture, it really was, as a couple others have said, just variations on the same dress. This may or may not work for you, depending on your body style. The techniques used were pretty well-explained, and it was a good flip-through, but I was inexplicably bored with it until my friend (who is also a seamstress) sat down while I was looking through it and said, "I liked it well enough, but it was all the same dress," and really pinpointed why I found it so meh.

I also felt like it is a bit too heavy for beginners but a little too redundant for those who are more advanced. Definitely check it out at the library before purchasing to make sure it's something that will work for you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Ideas, but N.B., Considerable Sewing Experience Required, July 30, 2011
By 
NYer (New York City) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room (Hardcover-spiral)
I went carefully through this book in the store. It's always recommended to me by Amazon and I see it in fabric stores. It's a delightful book and if I had a need for a party dress I'd definitely consider buying it. But be forewarned that it's more of an inspiration book from a designer with a particular style that runs to the floaty and sherbert-colored. To make the dresses, you need to know how to fit (assuming the pattern works for you, and no pattern can be easily adapted for everyone) and sew at a fairly high level. I've awarded four instead of five stars only because the "How to" in the title is slightly misleading.

But even as a sewing library reference or coffee table book it would be fun to have.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay, November 25, 2012
By 
R. Feist (Annapolis, MD) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room (Hardcover-spiral)
The photos in this book are lovely... but a bit monotonous. The entire book is really about just one party dress style. If it's your style, this is a great book. If it's not, don't look to this book for general inspiration on making "the best dress in the room". I'd recommend this book for moderate skill level.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly Perfect Party Dresses, March 7, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room (Hardcover-spiral)
Mary Adams has published a book which is practical, beautiful, and inspiring. She is a generous artist. Sometimes I use her book to design a new party dress. Sometimes I sit down with a cup of tea and read through the pages just like a novel. Mary shares her life, her sewing and design history, and sources of inspiration just as if her reader is a good and trusted friend. It is clear that she loves what she does, and the garments reflect her feelings. The instructions for different techniques, construction of party dresses, and specifics as to fabric, color, and stitching are without equal. Her book is on the very top of my inspiration and design stack, and my stack is quite high after a lifetime of sewing and collecting sewing and design books. She is not afraid to share struggles with construction issues, she clearly explains making a party dress with excellent photographs, her models are authentic and engaging, and . . . well, what more can I say? Patterns which work splendidly are in a neat pocket in the back. The book has a classy spiral binding. I love this book. You need it. Anytime you need to smile at the sheer beauty of "a perfect party dress" you can spend some time with Mary Adams and her wonderful contribution to the art of design and stitching.
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The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room
The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room by Mary Adams (Hardcover-spiral - November 9, 2010)
$24.99 $18.86
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