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The Voice of Fashion: 79 Turn-of-the-Century Patterns with Instructions and Fashion Plates Paperback – March 1, 1998


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Frequently Bought Together

The Voice of Fashion: 79 Turn-of-the-Century Patterns with Instructions and Fashion Plates + The Edwardian Modiste: 85 Authentic Patterns with Instructions, Fashion Plates, and Period Sewing Techniques + Fashions of the Gilded Age, Volume 1:  Undergarments, Bodices, Skirts, Overskirts, Polonaises, and Day Dresses 1877-1882
Price for all three: $97.20

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 463 pages
  • Publisher: Lavolta Press; 1st edition (March 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963651722
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963651723
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frances Grimble is the author of nine books on historic costume and needlework (one of which, After a Fashion, is in its second edition). Over 60 of her articles on sewing and vintage clothes have appeared in national magazines, such as Threads, Sew News, and Antique Trader Weekly. Ms. Grimble has been a how-to writer and editor since 1983. She has worked for book publishers, magazine publishers, and software companies; she has written a number of user manuals and coauthored a computer book. More, and detailed, information on her books is available on www.lavoltapress.com.

Ms. Grimble has substantial formal education in researching social history and in clothing design. In 1974 she began making historical reproductions for periods from the Renaissance into the 1920s; she tries to schedule regular sewing time in addition to that required by her writing projects. Since 1972, she has collected vintage clothing and accessories from the late 18th century into the mid 20th.

Ms. Grimble lives in San Francisco, California. She is married to a researcher/developer of artificial intelligence software. Her favorite pastime is reading, and her favorite fiction genres are fantasy and science fiction. She is also fond of historic costume dramas on DVD.

Ms. Grimble has no intention of posting a blog anywhere, because it deducts too much time from writing her books.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
82%
4 star
18%
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See all 11 customer reviews
She has done a large amount of research and I own all 5 of her books.
Gail
If you want a quick-and-easy Edwardian ensemble you'll be very disappointed because these patterns require a lot of forethought, a lot of time, and a lot of work.
Ales Amodei
I so pleased with this book that I intend to make many more outfits than I had originally intended to make before I bought the book!
Monica Muller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 89 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
I make custom reproduction clothing and I have found The Voice of Fashion to be extremely helpful. The pattern selection is very impressive and attractive. I have the Janet Arnold book and the Norah Waugh book, but this book has many more patterns for this era. I can find one for any style the customer wants, rather than having to take some basic pattern and alter it. I just let them leaf through the book and pick one out. By using the special rulers I can enlarge the pattern to fit any customer with no (or hardly any) alterations-these patterns fit better than most commercial sized patterns. The rulers are easy to use, you just follow the instructions. The book also has instructions for early 20th century sewing methods, and lots of fashion columns on fabrics and trims. I consider it indispensable to my business. If you wanted to make even one period outfit, this book would still probably save you money, because otherwise you'd have to buy separate patterns for the dress, the underclothes, the outer wear etc.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ales Amodei on March 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Between this book and Grimble's "Edwardian Modiste", I'll never have to buy another antique "Gibson girl" pattern again. The illustrations in my opinion don't do the dresses justice; the garments themselves are just stunning when you actually make them. Having said that, these patterns are not beginner-friendly. If you want a quick-and-easy Edwardian ensemble you'll be very disappointed because these patterns require a lot of forethought, a lot of time, and a lot of work. They are not the modern "here's-how-to-sew-a-seam" kind of patterns you see commercially available today. Most of the tucks, for example, are not marked, nor are they allowed for in the pattern; you'll have to draft those yourself from scratch. The same thing goes for trimmings, lace insertion, and shirring. Also, very few patterns mark locations for fastenings, and many lack patterns for things like cuffs and collars, which can't always be made from a straight strip of fabric and still look right on the garment. You can substitute collars from other patterns in the book but there's no guarantee that they will fit properly. Plus, the patterns in this book must be scaled according to your measurements, which still involves a good deal of tedious arithmetic even with the "rulers" included with the book. Overall, I love this book to the point that it's starting to fall apart from use. However, the buyer should be aware that the patterns in this book are not for the faint-of-heart or the impatient.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book features patterns for dresses, skirts, shirts, jackets, underclothing (etc.) for the years 1900-1906

25 (patterns) from 1900

18 from 1901

5 from 1902

16 from 1903

7 from 1904

5 from 1905

3 from 1906

This is a good book, well up to Frances Grimble's high standards. It contains many patterns but can also double as a sourcebook, as it contains many pictures of clothes from fashion plates. I would recommend buying it, but make sure to research these years to find out if you really want it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Monica Muller on October 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
When I first got this book I had a lot of fun just looking at the fashions during that time period. I bought the book to make an outfit for a re-enactment. I read the instructions for using the Diamond Cutting System and the rulers provided on the back pages of the book, and although I read it all through a few times, I was very confused on how to draft the patterns. My sewing experience is limited to following the instructions that come with today's regular tissue patterns. I had never drafted a pattern before. But once I started the "hands on" work it suddenly made sense! I picked up some old curtain materials at garage and rummage sales for my project. I started with the simplest skirts and I even found it very easy to modify the draft to fit irregular body shapes using the rulers which I photocopied from the book, cutted out, and pasted to cardboard. Pattern paper is impossible to find these days therefore I drafted the patterns onto old bedsheets. I also had to use an ordinary carpenter's angle to work with the rulers. The only tool I don't have, which the book tells me that I need, is a scroll or french curve to shape the armholes, neck curves and some skirt curves. To make the skirts I found that I didn't need this curve tool for the simpler patterns. However, once I start into the more complex patterns it will become a necessity. Pattern instructions are scarce, but if you have some sewing experience this fact should not discourage you too much. Yardage required is also seldom given, so you will have to estimate how much you need once you have drafted the patterns - or just buy yards and yards of old curtain material to start with! I so pleased with this book that I intend to make many more outfits than I had originally intended to make before I bought the book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Clarkson on February 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received this book yesterday and it looks amazing so far! Grimble's introduction clears up a good many issues I was fuzzy or wrong on, as concerns these old patterns . The inclusion of the Diamond Cutting System rulers in the back was the main reason I wanted the book, but the variety and number of patterns and information included (in the introduction alone) has made me very pleased indeed.

For the record, the rulers Grimble includes can be used to draft not only the patterns in this book, but the ones on Kristina Harris's compilations of period patterns, which are also from the Voice of Fashion publications and use the same system. Dover, who publishes those books, however, make no reference to the drafting system or the proprietary rulers that make it quite simple to scale them up to your size.
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