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Elizabethan Costuming (For The Years 1550 - 1580) Paperback – January, 1991

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Other Times Productions; 2 edition (January 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963022008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963022004
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,120,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is simultaneously for someone with quite a bit of sewing skill, and not interested in the more finicky details of the period. Simple construction was covered in depth, but the instructions would probably be slightly over the head of someone without some experience at drafting patterns. Most instructions begin with basic commercial patterns and give instructions for altering those into a period pattern - be aware that the instructions are not exhaustive. Muslin mock-ups will definitely be needed before settling on a completed pattern. Also, the detail might have been a bit lacking, particularly on period colors, fabrics, and trims for all social classes. Overall, a VERY useful book if you already know something about this kind of sewing. If not, it is still very good, but be prepared to put a lot of work into mastering some of these techniques and patterns. (In my opinion you'd need to do that anyway, whether using this book or not)
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book if you're looking for ideas of how to design, fit, and trim *costume* for the middle and upper classes, but if you're looking for absolute historical authenticity, stop and go elsewhere. If you *are* looking for faire garb, this is *one* of several key references you will want in your library: Carolyn Savoy (the illustrator) was Director of Costuming for the Renaissance Pleasure Faires during the early 1980's.
Three major caveats here make this volume questionable for the historian, and requiring cross-authentication for faire costuming: (1) it is designed to be "simple" for the knowledgeable home-sewer or journeyman costumer, which Winter interprets as license to use such anachronisms as "hidden zippers" and elastic (she does give more appropriate closure options in at least some cases); (2) some of Winter's assumptions are a bit off (for example, that for middle-uppper and upper classes the Spanish surcote was worn directly over the shift, rather than over the loose kirtle); (3) the book was last updated in 1987 and is therefore lacking the input of more recent research, much of it based on primary sources.
All in all, it's a great *idea* book, more useful to the performer than to the historian.
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Format: Paperback
This is the book that a lot of people start with when making clothing for Renaissance Faires or for the Society for Creative Anachronism. For creating "Renaissance-ish" costumes it's not bad. However, I've read some fairly harsh criticism online about its instructions for assembling a woman's outfit, so caveat emptor aut lector, so to speak. Those who are looking to accurately recreate Elizabethan clothing should probably look elsewhere (e.g., Janet Arnold's "Patterns of Fashion"). This book occasionally uses techniques and "cheats" that have no historical basis whatsoever. For someone who is simply interested in making something that looks more or less correct this is a great book, with the previously mentioned warning that some of the directions may lead you astray. I would just be aware that this is a book about making "costumes", not "clothes", regardless of what the authors say in the preface!
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book for someone who's curious about Elizabethan costuming, but has absolutely no idea where to begin. It gives step-by-step instructions for creating undergarments such as corsets and farthingales, talks about altering modern patterns into period bodices, and also covers headwear,sleeve styles, hairstyles,jewelry, and accessories. Here you'll find a list of fabric measurements needed for various garments and period colors to use for them, information on what peasants and middle-class women wore, and also information on men's Elizabethan garments for all classes. Accompanied by many, many illustrations and full of practical advice (exactly how do you go from "dream on paper" to reality? What is the best type of outfit to make for children?), I would recommend this book to people who want to find out what Elizabethan Costume is all about before diving into more detailed tomes.
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Format: Paperback
While I am, as a historic costumer, extremely disappointed in this book, I would say that both its good and bad reputations are undeserved. The drafting and construction instructions are horrible - true. However, the first-time Fairegoer, beginning sewer, school play's costume department, and those interested in the look without the substance should find this useful. This is NOT a book for anyone interested in accuracy, variety in research (HOW many times will I hear someone tell me that their gown is of "dead Spaniard color"?!), or correct cutting and wearing of the clothes. In short, this is a book for making costumes, as opposed to working garb or reproducion garments.

Caveat emptor.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book covers such a very small segment of time for Elilzabethan costuming. I really would have liked something that covered more of the period. But this book does a very thorough job of what it does cover. If you are making costumes for this period it is very helpful. I wanted to alter a pattern that I had for the period and just couldn't figure out how to do it. This book solved the problem in no time. If you have costume patterns, great. If you don't, you can make some of your own based on the drawings in the book. I'm not accomplished enough as a seamstress to do that, but I really appreciated the suggestions that were made anyway. It gives me a better idea of what patterns to buy. And if you really want to make authentic reproductions of the period, you will be so glad you have this book. There are many hints on how to adjust construction if you are not into authentic reproductions as well. This is a very thorough and helpful book for both men's and women's garb.
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