Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Book Reviews and a Thank You

The new books I ordered finally arrived and I'm having a great time reading them. Lots of really great information! It will take some time to master some of the techniques described in these books but it will certainly be worth while.

For any one interested in making 1930s clothing, particularly early 1930s, Dress Cutting -- Instructions and Illustrations for Sewing 26 Vintage 1930s Fashions by Margaret Ralston is a must have. This book offers a very informative look at cutting and creating your own custom sewing patterns shown in well illustrated step-by-step sections. Starting with an exercise in taking your measurements, you learn how to create a basic skirt, blouse, and dress. Once you have a basic well fit pattern, you can adapt it to make a variety of items. I particularly like the sections on pleated and flared skirts. I was a bit disappointed when the book first arrived because it was so small, roughly 5" x 7" and only 71 pages. However, if you order this book don't let the small size discourage you! At first glance some of the sections look a bit challenging so take the time to read the book thoroughly. I'm looking forward to really using this book once I clear my sewing schedule a bit.

Westmore Beauty Book -- A Complete 1950s Guide to Vintage Makeup, Hairstyling and Beauty Techniques is a really interesting and insightful read. However, I found I needed to keep reminding myself that it is a reprint of a 1950s book. I took the "Beauty Questionnaire" at the very beginning of the book. There are 100 questions to test your knowledge and skills about makeup, health, and beauty. You add up your "Yes" answers to find your beauty score. I'm not ashamed to admit that I failed, miserably. Mainly because I almost never wear makeup so I had to answer "No" to a lot of the questions. Oh well :)

I found the section on determining your face shape pretty interesting. Once you learn what shape your face is - oval, square, triangle, etc. - you can figure out what 1950s hair styles, makeup techniques, etc. work for you. Although some of the information is a bit "dated" for today much of it is still very useful, especially for those who want to recreate the look of the 1950s.

The last book to arrive was Couture Sewing Techniques. This book has been on my wish list for awhile but I decided to finally order it after reading Lauren's review. It's a great review of a really fabulous book, check it out! This book gives a brief history of Haute Couture and the illustrations of sewing techniques included are very clear. The colored photographs are great examples of the techniques described. The sewing tips in this book can be applied to sewing projects of any time period.

I would like to say thank you to Lauren of American Duchess for including my blog in her recent post on costume blogs. It was a nice surprise to see traffic to my blog had doubled over the weekend. :)
To those of you who have just joined by blog, welcome!

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