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Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 [Paperback]

Janet Arnold
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £20.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 1989
The first of four volumes of Patterns of Fashions written and illustrated by Janet Arnold that together form an indispensable core collection for any costume designer, for theatre film or reenactments.

Frequently Bought Together

Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 + Patterns of Fashion 2 + Patterns of Fashion: C1560-1620: 1560-1620 v. 3
Price For All Three: £60.40

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Product details

  • Paperback: 76 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (1 Jan 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333136063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333136065
  • Product Dimensions: 26.5 x 37 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Book Description

Patterns of Fashion 1 focuses on Englishwomen’s dresses and their construction form 1660 up to 1860—when the sewing machine came into general use. Drawings taken from original garment specimens in collections throughout England are supplemented with details showing their construction and laid out on grid paper along with construction comments and fabric details. From wrapping gowns, riding habits, pelisses, and chemises to sack dresses, morning dresses, and wedding dresses Janet Arnold lays out patterns for costume construction. Contains 180 black and white illustrations. 28 patterns.

About the Author

Janet Arnold was a historian of fashion, which combined her two greatest passions: the theatre and clothes. Her early books were conceived as aids for the fashion and theatre students she taught, but as her unique range and depth of knowledge became apparent, more and more museums and other institutions sought her advice and, today, her books are essential tools for the study of dress and have been used throughout the world.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best! 2 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback
Purchase this if you are into costume-making, masquerade-dress-making or just interested in fashion history. There is no other. I have heard and read time and time again that almost everyone who makes costume for films consider this author a treasure and a guru.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars costume de-constructed 27 April 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This must count as the definitive text for anyone who wishes to understand costume. The exquisite line drawings are followed by patterns for examples of womens dress for 200 years. I have made a copy of one of them and found the pattern pieces easy to size up and piece together, giving you a real insight into the thinking behind the fashion. For instance, the particular pattern I copied only fitted the individual figure in one small part, the back bodice lining. Everything else was tucked or pleated into shape, meaning that the gown was infinitely alterable and the expensive material was able to be re-used over and over again. This is not something that would be evident from merely looking at the dress. The only thing I think is missing from the book is some actual photographs of the garments, but I presume they are so fragile nowadays that this isn't possible.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
First, make sure you have the period you want - Janet Arnold has published books for 1660 to 1860 and 1860 to 1940. I have both. They are the best guides I have come across (having looked hard) to historical costume. The only possible improvement would be conversion to metric measurements (much easier when you try to scale the patterns up or down)but the patterns and construction details are incredibly useable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb work on costumes 27 Nov 2011
By Anma
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought the whole set (1,2 and 3) and it is a pleasure to go through them:
Every single one is well documented, with plenty of patterns of the periods, pictures and excellent illustrations.
I would recommend them to everyone who wants to start making costumes, or just discover more about historical fashion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic 28 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A lovely, well-researched book, that's deservedly become a classic. Like similar books it requires considerable dress-making experience to really understand how to fit everything together - this book won't teach you costume construction or dressmaking, but it will inspire you to go beyond what you already know. Essential for anyone interested in historical costume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful stuff 13 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
These books (I have bought all 3)are a wonderful resource, and as Norah Waugh's 'The Cut of Women's Clothes' and 'The Cut of Men's Clothes' are effectively out of reach for anyone but the wealthy these days they're about the best alternative going.

Of course there are gaps, and these are the gaps so obviously expected to be covered by people having access to the Waugh books, but that is, I am afraid, life...

But for a tenner each these are unbeatable value for anyone interested in making historical costume and a copy should be by the work-box of every costume designer and in every re-enactor's snapsack...
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5.0 out of 5 stars love this series and highly recommend it! 31 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Janet Arnold was lucky enough to have seen the articles of clothing portrayed in these books, and to give us a first-hand glimpse in how they are constructed through her beautifully executed diagrams. She not only drew them as they were when worn, but opened them and gives us diagrams of the inside of the garments with the measurements and instructions in order to duplicate them perfectly.

I am not a costumer but a serious student of haute couture who uses the techniques and diagrams portrayed on a weekly basis and transfers them to my own designs. I cannot stress how invaluable this is as a resource for not only experienced seamstresses and students but also for people interested in seeing how clothes from past centuries were constructed, and how much a person's techniques can change through using this book. It is a super resource for period costumers as well, and also for cosplay seamstresses who can use the techniques for their own clothing.

An added bonus is the fact that Ms Arnold gives detailed information on the garments themselves, as well as their provenance -- this allows you to look up the garments themselves in the museums which hold them to appreciate their beauty.
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