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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars style in capital letters, 14 July 2010
By 
K. Platt "blackplantlady" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Classic Fashion Patterns (Paperback)
If like me you love the style of the 40's and 50's and earlier, not to mention the classic 60's, you will find this book of interest, not only for the patterns but as a record of the history of fashion. Vintage is hip and this book is an excellent resource. Follow the hemlines, whether waists were in or not and all the other intrigues of the fashion world. Excellent and informative text accompanies photographs from each period when fashion really meant style. This review first appeared on Karen Platt's book review website.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic fashion patterns of the 20th century, 11 April 2012
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I found this a very useful addition to the theatrical costume makers library. I recently used the man's 1930 reefer suit pattern and found it excellent. The user does need to know how to adapt and grade patterns though, as only one size is given. Still, it's a really handy book with lots of frequently used shapes. Nicely laid out and illustrated too.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great resource, but surprising omissions and misleading title, 18 April 2012
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This review is from: Classic Fashion Patterns (Paperback)
This book is very good, and probably the best you will get regarding such a huge overview of nearly a century's worth of fashion trends. However, the title is slightly misleading. The last three decades of the 20th century (1970-2000) are not covered at all.

The book is well worth reading, though. The text is informative and extensive, with a reasonable number of interesting photos and illustrations. Especially helpful are the sections entitled : Women: Predominant Fashion Features. These are overviews of several distinctive periods within each decade, followed by detailed references to fabrics, colours, decoration, undergarments, footwear, stockings, hats, hair, accessories and makeup. (There is a similar listing for men's fashion as well, although obviously things like makeup won't be included!)

I construct period clothing for female fashion dolls (Tonner), so the patterns are of particular interest to me. I haven't tried making any of them yet, but a simple enlargement on my photocopier should make the fitting easy. The written instructions given for constructing each garment are remarkably simple, and seem easy to follow. I can't comment on the accuracy of either the patterns or instructions, as I've not actually tried any yet, but I do have some experience with similar projects, and I can say these LOOK as if they'll work -- for dolls, anyway. I presume someone with similar experience making full-sized fashions will also be able to use these patterns and instructions.

I only have a few wee niggles about this book, which seem churlish, given its scope. However, these have resulted in me giving it 4, rather than 5 stars.

The patterns themselves are not as representative of all the periods as I would have hoped. For example, in the section on the 20s we get patterns for one flapper dress and a short 3-piece flapper suit -- good offerings for the decade. However the other three patterns seem strange choices: a loose, but high-waisted dress from 1920 -- more reminiscent of the decade before -- a tennis costume (skirt and blazer) and a rather untypical floaty knee-length handkerchief dress from 1929, which saw the return of the natural waist to fashion.

So where are the long-waisted, calf-length (or longer) dresses and coats which were worn throughout the first half of the decade? Looking through catalogue replicas from that period, this seems a really odd ommission. (Like leaving anything that isn't a mini-skirt out of an overview of the 60s!) I was hoping to see how these long, elegant dresses were cut, and am disappointed that not a single example was included. The photos and illustrations in this book also leave the impression that the 20s was almost entirely knee-length skirts. In fact, only about 4 of those years were.

I haven't spent as much time looking at the other decades presented in this book, although they too have some surprising choices and omissions as to patterns. For example, the section on the 40s entirely ignores the wartime period, and offers only ONE pattern for women ...a calf-length, close-fitting day dress with side drape listed as 1947-48. A nice pattern, but if you were looking to create wartime fashion -- or any comprehensive pattern collection for the 40s at all -- you too will be disappointed.

This book includes four women's patterns from the 1900-09 period, four for 1910-19, five from the 20s, six from the 30s, only ONE from the 40s, six from the 50s and four from the 60s. The period 1970-2000 is not covered at all. The men's sections include the same number of patterns for each decade as the women's.

One other slight niggle. The 2-page sections introducing each decade are printed in white lettering on a black ground. GRR. Why do publishers continue to do this? That part of the text is very difficult to read, and I find I have to look away quite frequently to keep my eyes from tearing up. Very annoying. Black on white should always be used for text. White on black should ONLY be used for headlines and titles. My little pet peeve. Sorry.

However, I am glad I bought this book, and will certainly use it as a reference for my projects. I think it's very good value for money, as long as you understand its limitations before you buy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good, basic summary of fashion trends, 29 April 2012
By 
trishthedish (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Classic Fashion Patterns (Paperback)
I like the fact that this book presents a good, clear overall picture of clothing worn through the decades of the twentieth century, up to 1970. Particularly pleasing to see is the little descriptions of hat, hairstyles, bags and the like, often that small detail was where the changes really showed. If you want to understand indepth, I think some further study, even a few books would be needed, but this is an excellant and accurate introduction to the subject. The fact that it includes patterns to scale up to make some of the clothes is an added bonus. I don't know how accurately these pattern pieces would make up, but you'd obviously need additional pattern drafting skills (formal or not) in order to cope plus reasonable dressmaking skills. If you don't have these, they can be learnt from books, if not classes, if you have the mind to it; no problems. I would imagine this to be especially helpful for amateur theatre productions or retro dressing up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived promptly, 16 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Classic Fashion Patterns (Paperback)
Very informative and useful. Have learned a lot about the history of fashion and different techniques used in each era.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wealth of Inspirational Patterns, 21 Oct. 2013
By 
Nicola Reeve "Nic" (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Classic Fashion Patterns (Paperback)
I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of information contained within this book. Although I realised it did not cover the whole of the 20th Century (up to 1970) it did cover the parts which were of the most interest to me. I was expecting one outfit per decade, for both men and women, but was very pleased to find several of each, with notes on fabrics and some construction notes.

You will need to scale the patterns up, so some basic knowledge of garment construction will be useful to help with this. This is useful for me though as I do like to adjust my patterns to fit different people.

This will also be useful to help me with teaching fashion history basics, as viewing the pattern pieces gives a better overview of how those styles were created, especially looking at some of the bias-cut garments. There is a good glossary at the back too which helps you become familiar with historical garment construction terms.
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5.0 out of 5 stars craft, 20 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Classic Fashion Patterns (Paperback)
This book is amazing a great help to me. I don't know how I managed without it I will be back
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 May 2015
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This review is from: Classic Fashion Patterns (Paperback)
Exceptional
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Classic Fashion Patterns
Classic Fashion Patterns by Anne Tyrrell (Paperback - 1 Mar. 2010)
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