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Patterns for Theatrical Costumes: Garments, Trims, and Accessories from Ancient Egypt to 1915 Paperback – April, 1993
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However, the Holkeboer directed her opus toward the theatrical costumer: an individual who must cobble together a volunteer staff, construct garments for modern bodies, and adapt to quick-changes between scenes. The patterns are necessarily basic; the cuts are nearly authentic; and the suggestions of embellishment design save the costumer much time. This book is not some tome to be displayed on a shelf; it belongs in the studio, its spine creased, its cover dog-eared, and its pages scribbled with measurements and notes. This book is a workhorse. An added bonus is its illustrative use of labels for describing many weird terms, among them: simar, barbette, picadils.
I have found in no other book of scaled patterns but this one, the instructions for THREE methods of enlargement: optical projection, grid method, and radial projection. This book also includes headgear, specialty costumes like kimono, ecclesiastical garb, and a LION! This book also prevides a wonderful equity of both men's and women's clothing which is unfortunately not represented in the body of dramatic literature. (Why are there so few women's roles? But I digress.)
The introduction and final chapter contain essential information on fitting and draping (remember: you must add your own seam allowances) and millinery and corsetry. I'd have given this book another star if I felt that it did justice to constructing corsets -- these items are too complex to build from Holkeboer's 1/8" = 1" scale.Read more ›
Each pattern in the book is presented in three sizes, and for each individual piece of a complete garment a label is often attached, giving its historical name and a brief description of its appearance or use. As a bonus, patterns for specialty costumes (fantasy, religious, Chinese, Japanese, and animals), undergarments, hats, wigs and masks are included, and its Introduction explains, in a step-by-step format, costuming techniques such as enlarging patterns, fitting designs, and draping.
This book can also serve, with just a little imagination, as an infinite source of ideas to help you create your own patterns, although you will have to refer to other books on period specific costumes to give your work finishing details like ornaments, trims, and other accessories.
The only weak point of the book is its glued soft-cover binding, which is completely inadequate for the spine-creasing use to which it's sure to be subjected.
If you either work for the theater or just enjoy making your own costumes, you will find this book to be an indispensable part of your library.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
I teach Period Costuming from this book, and as a instructor, this book can be extremely frustrating at times.
The illustrations that accompany each era's patterns do not always reflect the pattern pieces.
My students enlarge these patterns by hand or take them to Kinko's to enlarge. As a patternmaking instructor, I give the patterns from this book a "C" grade. The patterns are not trued, seam lines are not walked, and skirt, bodice and sleeve patterns are not balanced. My students spend as much time correcting these patterns as they would starting from scratch with a set of blocks.
But it is a great instruction tool showing differences in silhouette and cut over the centuries.
I will often times give my costume interns a copy of this book for a going away present. It is an invaluable resource. One warning, it is not for the picky historical reinactors. This book is for the "down and dirty" theatrical costumer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As the title of the book states, this is more for theater costumers than historic reenactors. However, I've found it to be a good resource. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Carla Padron
Outstanding. Working my way through drafting a lot of the patterns. Will be invaluable as a starting point; of course, you have to refine and add along the way but excellent to... Read morePublished 17 months ago by S. Holtkamp
Very well done for a quick look and overview on how patterns will look like, but requires a good experience in sizing and patterns making.Published 18 months ago by babigi.69
As the book itself describes, this provides the basics for a costume designer to expand on. A decent understanding of how to put a garment together is required, though I would... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Nicola Gredziuk
Very very good. Gives you exact and varied ways of translating them to the sizes you need.Published 20 months ago by Victoria Smith
This is a very cool book. Once you understand the scale, it's easy to convert the designs to a paper pattern. Read morePublished 20 months ago by ebanks