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The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking: How to Hand Sew Georgian Gowns and Wear Them With Style Paperback – November 21, 2017
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“In this must-have volume, the American Duchess ladies solve your costuming worries,sharing solid yet accessible research, inspiring images and tips from the sewing trenches in a style that makes historically accurate 18th century sewing more achievable and fun than it's ever been.”
–Cathy Hay, CEO, Foundations Revealed
“Finally we have a book to span the gap between academic research and hands-on sewing instruction for the 18th century. It takes the mystery out of historically accurate technique and presents it in a beautiful and achievable way, grounded in the authors’ years of experience in hands-on research.”
–Cynthia Settje, Owner, Redthreaded Costumes & Corsets
About the Author
Abby's passion for dress history and sewing started in college whilestudying art history, theatre, and history (B.A. Indiana University-Bloomington2008). From there she pursued her passion, studying Decorative Arts and DesignHistory at the University of Glasgow (MLitt 2009), and was able to beginputting her passion into her work while employed at the Colonial WilliamsburgFoundation. Her final three years working for the Foundation were spent at theMargaret Hunter Millinery Shop, serving as an apprentice milliner/mantua maker.There she learned and studied eighteenth-century dressmaking techniques. Abbynow serves as Vice-President of American Duchess and Royal Vintage Shoes inReno, NV.
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So what are you getting: Each chapter after the 1st has a photo of the completed garment and a page detailing the history of the item.
• What the book is all about
• Sewing an Eighteenth century gown
• Fitting your mock-up
• Piecing Items
Historic stitches and how to sew them of which you get 16, this includes one picture on the left side and a short paragraph describing how to complete the stitch, as well what it’s uses are.
CHAPTER TWO:English Gown The English gown, includes how to sew the English gown bodice, first fitting and attaching the skirts, sleeves and cuffs, second fitting and finishing up, Undies, Petticoat, Stomacher, neck handkerchief, apron, cap, mitts, simple straw hat and how to get dressed and wear your English gown.
Chapter Three: The Sacque gown The pattern for this gown is Simplicity 8578 and 8579. This section includes-Fabric choices, note on hair styling ,side hoops, petticoat, trim, stomacher, bows, :The sacque gown-bodice and first fitting-skirt panels and second fitting, sleeves, third fitting hem and trim, choker necklace, apron, cap, sleeve flounces, lace tucker and how to get dressed and wear your gown
CHAPTER FOUR: The Italian Gown Fabric choices, The false rump, petticoat, :The Italian gown bodice and first fitting-finishing the bodice and attaching the skirts-the sleeves and final fitting, cap, puffs and bows, hat ,apron, neck tucker and elbow ruffles, how to get dressed and wear your gown.
CHAPTER FIVE:The Round Gown Fabric choices, undies-petticoat and back pad, :The Round Gown-the under bodice and first fitting-skirts and sleeves-setting the sleeves and finishing the bodice-over bodice and skirt fronts, third fitting and finishing, sash ,ruffled chemisette, skirt style chemisette, cap, turban wrap, hat, muff, reticule, and how to get dressed and wear your gown.
Troubleshooting-goes overs common fitting problems and how to correct
Appendix -I really enjoyed this section Supplier list Acknowledgment and biographies Index
Likes: I feel like this book is complete. It bridges the gap between knowing what an 18th century garment looks like and how to construct one in an organic way. As well how to put it all together to have a complete authentic look.
Dislikes: You only get gridded paper for the lining of the item and have to drape them to make them into the gown, which makes for pretty advanced work./Or you could try to find similar patterns and construct it from the book. I would have liked to have the Gowns on gridded paper and make the linings from there, as the linings are always easier to create. And /Or patterns for the gowns. As the description does not state it would include this information I did not take off any points. It would have been nice to have all the components in one book though.
Not spiral, you can lay the book flat because of the way it is bound but I would have preferred spiral bound.
I adore this book, think it accomplishes exactly what it said it would and hope that the authors continue to put out more..WINK WINK especially including a ROBE DE COUR, The pictures go hand in hand with the text and provide a resource for sewing these historical garments. Will I be sewing my entire ensemble by hand? Absolutely not but it will be good to be able to add some accurate hand sewing touches here and there.
Here is the detail I have longed for all these years and have been unable to find in French handsewing texts that nowadays focus on more delicate fabrics and machine work. Now, with this book along with Claire Schaffer’s Couture Sewing books,and Natalie Chanin’s which focus on on constructing and embellishing garments made from knit jersey fabric, I have a wealth of handy contemporary references. I see constructions from this era that I intend to adapt to modern clothing for myself. This book has sent me over the moon!
Hope it will make you happy too.
There are no full size patterns in this book but anything with any sort of shape is illustrated on a gridded page so it's possible to tell proportions and how things should look full size.
This is not just a dressmaking book. It is also a guide on how to wear what you create. Each dress has a section on how to get dressed as well as how to accessorize which stretches the use of any garment created.
Even as an experienced seamstress there is a lot in here that will aid me in my future costuming. I'm delighted with this book and can already tell it's going to be a new favorite on my costuming bookshefl!