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Sunday, March 07, 2010


I have to agree with Wendy Mullin when she says, "There's one surefire way to solve a fashion emergency: throw on a dress". I haven't done much dressmaking since I started quilting and retired from the workplace. You'll more often find me in sweats these days. This book tempts me to change my mind though, and make a few summer dresses.
If you are a complete novice at sewing , you might want to purchase Wendy's prevoius book, Sew U before tackling this one. Dresses assumes you know the basics of sewing.
Chapter 1 discusses how to choose the right pattern and fabric for your figure. The second chapter is all about how to make a sloper and a muslin from the basic patterns that are included with the book. I was particilarly interested in the method used to adjust the muslin where it doesn't quite fit. There is a chapter about basic dress construction and different finishing details such as pockets and necklines or collars.
The rest of the book consists of projects based on the three basic patterns which are included in a sealed pocket at the back: the sheath dress, the shift dress and the dirndl dress. From these three basics you can make a Capri Sundress, a Drawstring dress, a Lumberjack dress, a French Sailor dress, a One-shoulder dress and many, many more. Each project also has suggestions for fabric and variations using embellishments or trims.
The instructions are very well illustrated with line drawings and are clearly set out with a separate box for each step. I have many years of garment sewing in my background but even without that, I think I'd have absolutely no problem following the instructions.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to think outside the box pleat, as Wendy says, to make a wardrobe full of fun dresses for all occasions.

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