Sunday, October 31, 2010
The Party Dress Book
I am not a party girl and when I get out of my jeans it's usually into pyjamas. However, this book makes me want to dress up in something fantastic and go to a party!
Mary Adams has designed dresses for many famous people and for movies. She has a store in New York City where her one of a kind dresses are showcased. The first part of the book talks about her career in fashion and her influences. Some of these influences include the hippie era, the fifties glamour, western fashion and even Marie Antoinette.
The next part is all about color, my favorite part of sewing , whether it's for garments or quilts. She uses lots of transparent fabrics such as organdie layered over different colors of opaque fabrics such as silk or taffeta. To these layers she adds ruffles, beads, bows and whatever else she can find in her collection.
Here is a list of her essential techniques, most of which are very simple to do but used in unusual ways. She uses French seams, piecing, quilting, appplique, pintucks, ruffles, and bias strips. Imagine a circle skirt completely covered with half inch wide bias strips in bright colors. Or a skirt completely covered with irridescent taffeta and then randomly sewn all over "a million and one times". Or a bodice totally covered with ruffles. Or skirts modelled after Moon Jellies (Jelly Fish) using pastel organza layered over bright silk. The list goes on and on. Each technique is illustrated with many wonderful photographs.
The last section explains how to make your own party dress using the included patterns for three different dresses. The patterns are just a starting point for your own creativity.
I haven't seen many books that are as inspiring as this one. If you are at all interested in sewing a beautiful dress or if you just want some eye candy to enjoy, this is the book for you.
You can have a look at some of her gorgeous dresses on her web page at Mary Adams The Dress
This is a skirt that is appliqued with pieces of taffeta and then sewn down with top stitching, similar to a crazy quilt.
This might be my favorite dress in the book. It was made as a wedding dress.
In case you hadn't already guessed, I absolutely love this book . I received this book as a review copy but if I found it in a store, I would just have to buy it.