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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best!
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.
Published on 2 Feb 2010 by K. Norstedt

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Book
Was more interested in the patterns for a project. No proper idea of sizes/scale were given. As a reference book though, I suppose it will be helpful.
Published 10 months ago by Jennifer Gourlay


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best!, 2 Feb 2010
By 
K. Norstedt - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 (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
By 
Ruth Harling "Pastel painter" (Salisbury, Wiltshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book if you want to know how it really was, 17 Oct 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 (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
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 (Paperback)
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
By 
W. Black "Bill Black" (Scarborough UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars 17th & 19th century clothes, 24 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 (Paperback)
I first came across this book and Janet Arnold in the 1970s and how delighted I was to find it. During various moves it became lost much to my annoyance but due to the internet I was able to find it again and buy it. My remarks are the same for this book as for the previous one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 (Paperback)
Fascinating, hoped to use to make costumes and the methods are are a bit beyond me, but a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 3 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 (Paperback)
I first saw a copy of this series of books back in the early 1980's studying Theatre Design. They are a fantastic source of information about period styles and lines with examples of original patterns. Put together by a costume designer, I think they are a must have for people interested in costume and history.
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Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1
Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 by Janet Arnold (Paperback - 1 Jan 1989)
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