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Book Giveaway: Seventeenth-Century Women’s Dress Patterns

This book could be yours!

Seventeenth-Century Women’s Dress Patterns
(2011 V & A Publishing) is an incredibly detailed book from the Victoria and Albert Museum in the United Kingdom. It presents dress patterns, construction details, embroidery, and step-by-step instructions for 15 garments and accessories from a 17th-century British woman’s wardrobe. Multiple photographs, close-up construction details, and even X-ray photography reveal the hidden elements of the clothes, the number of layers, the stitches used inside, and more—all of which will help you reconstruct these garments. This is the first book in a new series that takes the physical examination and study of historical clothing to a new depth and degree of detail, using the expertise of designers, tailors and sewers. The book was featured in Threads issue #157 (October/November 2011) in the “Notions” department, and if you’re lucky, you could win a copy!

If you love to sew and have interest in historical garments, this book is for you. It’s amazing how many sewing techniques have changed dramatically over the years, and in other instances the methods remain exactly the same.

Simply leave a comment telling us why you have an interest in historical garments. Leave your comment on this post before the deadline—11:59 pm, Tuesday, September 27—and you could win a copy of the book. The winner will be randomly selected on Thursday, September 29, 2011.

Good luck!


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  1. sews4fun | | #1

    I would LOVE to have a copy of this book as I have long been an admirer of vintage clothing. I collect antique gowns ( I only have a few ) but they are my treasures!
    I cared for an elderly aunt who was a fashion maven and had the most amazing pieces dating back to the forties. I have all of her hats and many of her dresses and even some photos of her wearing the dresses.
    Although I have already invested in a few CD'S that have styles from the 1700's and upward, I don't have anything that provides detailed information on historic garments.
    I have a mourning gown that needs repair as well as a velvet and silk gown that is also sorely in need of repair and this book would be very useful to me. I am keeping my fingers crossed!!!!

  2. Couturegirl | | #2

    What an amazing book! This would be a wonderful addition to a sewing library.

  3. jennieMB | | #3

    I love to see the history of women through clothing and jewelry. I love collecting both categories of vintage and to me the older the better. Personally I find it very hard to find the older stuff; I feel lucky to find a piece from the 20s or 1800s. I have all these black and white pics of my family from over a hundred years ago and I think how I wish I had or knew where those dresses and necklaces were today.

  4. MLB116 | | #4

    Our history is full of stories about women and the way they expressed themselves, including through the sewing and design arts. This is a great book.

  5. User avater
    imsewbusy | | #5

    I love historical garments because of the detail and the care that went into their construction. The artistry that went into the more expensive garments simply can't be matched by machines today and few people have the skills to execute such work. Garments were made to last and so it was worth putting extra time and effort into them. A finely made garment flattered the wearer. That said, I have to say that I am so glad I didn't live in the era of corsets. I must admit that clothes now don't seem as elegant, but they're so much more comfortable.

  6. MagaliLT | | #6

    I would love to have this book. As many sewers, I collect books of all kind about sewing and my latest addition are about historical garments. I still don't have one about that era. That would be so great!!

  7. SewCindy | | #7

    I have always had an interest in historical garments. There are different ways to gain knowledge of a society and insight into their perceptions of that time. One of these ways is through fashion. Historical garments are also important as they provide sewing and construction techniques that may have been lost otherwise. This book provides a window into that past and would make a great addition to any library.

  8. englishgypsy | | #8

    I would love to own this book! I am from England originally, and known the V & A collection from years of visiting when I was younger. I didn't really appreciate historical garments for their design and construction until fairly recently - I have always had a love of antique shoes though! I began revisiting clothes construction as an upcycler - taking things apart and reconstructing them, and making things up as I went along....this eventually led me to vintage clothes as I scoured estate sales for things to use. Taking apart old unwearable pieces made me realize how well older clothes were constructed, how long they lasted - enduring washing and mending and prolonged wear, handed down over generations. This isn't something you could do with a lot of contemporary clothes, and much as I campaign for recycling of clothes, it's shocking to see things actually thrown away because they need repair or cleaning. So this book would certainly add to my education and would be an inspiration for my own designs! Thank you for listening! Sarah

  9. Frances_NZ | | #9

    I would love to win this book. I love looking at older garments and seeing the construction and hard work that went into making them. There isn't really anywhere where I live that I can see historical garments like these so it is wonderful to read about them instead.

  10. Kealoha | | #10

    Ooh! This would be a great addition to my library. I love to see how art imitates the life in different times and eras.

  11. momosmom | | #11

    As a professional dressmaker and costumer, this book would hold a place of honor on my bookshelf!

  12. SueMadeThis | | #12

    This looks like a fascinating book. Being able to see the detail work that makes the garment both elegant and sturdy is wonderful. The x-rays are a unique way to really see "how" the garments are constructed.

    This book is a journey I would love to take.

  13. hollysmess | | #13

    A few years ago I was searching for 17th-century dress patterns and not finding a whole lot. I have a beautiful old faerie tale book full of illustrations of lovely princesses in these styles. I'm glad to see that options are expanding for stitchers who admire this graceful era.

  14. jeanmarie1946 | | #14

    I've always been deeply interested in construction and construction techniques. The progression of construction is what interests me most with respect to costume (apparel) history. The styles unique to each era bring with them specific construction techniques that we do not often see in today's apparel unless you purchase high-end goods. While there has been a progression of techniques, it is also amazing to see that some have remained the same over centuries. This book brings a new dimension in an age when 3D and body scanning are making headway in the apparel industry. I have been somewhat involved in the repair of antique garments, but I have also altered gowns to fit the daughters of the women who wore them. I must say that past construction techniques made alteration much easier than garments that are made today. The seam allowances in particular were wider in the past making it possible to enlarge a garment that you probably could not do today without adding to the original.

  15. marg | | #15

    April, I love the older clothes becuase they teach us about sewing over the years. I think we need to always look to the old to learn how to make the new. We all need this information. Also I would love this book. I think it would be interesting to make some of those clothes.

  16. User avater
    alaskanwalela | | #16

    I am interested in historic garments for a variety of reasons. As a sewer, I am always fascinated by the "how" of garment construction. As a woman, there is the "why" of fashion choices in various cultures and eras. And then there is I just plain love to look at beautiful and well-made clothes!

  17. Tsaraph | | #17

    I have loved historical clothing since I was a young girl. I would often dress up in the best imitation costumes I could put together (which sorely lacked in authenticity) and visit our local historical village. As a teenager I sewed my first historical pioneer costume; complete with a zipper instead of buttons. My most recent attempt at sewing historical clothing was from an historically correct pattern and turned out quite nice, though I still have a lot to learn. I was amazed by the detail that went into an Edwardian pattern; I can't imagine what went into a 17th century pattern. We sure have simplified our clothing since that time!

  18. DebraBC | | #18

    I love to learn. I would love to investigate how the construction of clothing has changed and remained the same. This knowledge will enhance my skills as a seamstress and I would love to pass along this knowledge to other sewing enthusiast that I know.

  19. Dressmakers_dummy | | #19

    After all my years of sewing I am finding that I have more interest in historical dress and costumes - mostly through volunteering at a local theater. This book would be extremely helpful! Please Please...

  20. User avater
    Francesca94402 | | #20

    I love making costumes. I was overjoyed when the community college had a course in actually making historical costumes (which followed history of fashion). I look at all fashion now through different eyes, considering what went into the design.

  21. Tru | | #21

    just to see the pictures of these garments, close-ups and get sewing details would be great. Add to that a way to re-create 17 items is absolutely awesome. I would love to win a copy of this book.

  22. User avater
    Thimblefingers | | #22

    I would love to own a copy of this book. I used to work in a professional theatre and we made historcially accurate costumes. This book would be such a pleasure to add to my experiences.

  23. Moonchaser | | #23

    I enjoy learning about older techniques used in the construction of garments.

  24. msfroggy | | #24

    I would love this book. I have so much to learn in the construction and fitting of historical items.
    Might even share it with my daughter who creates costumes of all kinds, and loves to do historical pieces accurately.
    It would be great for both of us!

  25. bian | | #25

    Im 25 and just entering the exciting and stressfully wonderful costume industry. There are times when I'm standing in the workroom, surrounded by a sea of talented costumiers and the enormity of how much i have yet to learn shocks me.
    I have started a costume book shelf in my room, so I'm hoping this book can go next to 'the victorian tailor' and 'british textiles' that currently have pride of place.
    Supporting yourself in the creative arts is hard. These competitions are important to a lot of us. thankyou.

  26. User avater
    Artwear | | #26

    I just KNOW, given the source of the book, that it could make my clothing skills soar !!!!!

  27. tinapickles | | #27

    I'm very interested in learning "old" techniques and maybe modifying them to modern clothing. This book would be an awesome place to start!

  28. Judi_W_06 | | #28

    I am a doll maker and I love to take the historical patterns and recreate them in doll size.

  29. Tourbillion | | #29

    I have always liked historical costumes, not really sure why. However, my current goal is to become a motion picture costumer. The book would help me learn new things about 17th century costume construction.

  30. User avater
    Miira | | #30

    I am fascinated with how the techniques used shape and emphasize the female form, and how this has changed over the years. After all, those women in the bustles are the same as the ladies of the 1930's who wear clinging bias cut fashions. Our bodies haven't changed much, but how different they have looked over the years. So does the fashion affect the culture, or does the culture affect the fashion?

  31. TalyQu | | #31

    That sounds so interesting! It would be so good to be able to explore how things were done before our era. My daughter is also very interested in fashion and vintage design, it would be a great resource for her as well.

  32. sazzyfrazz | | #32

    I think this is a wonderful skill and artform that should be revived! To me, vintage fashion still has a place in our modern times!

  33. carlina | | #33

    I'd love to learn old techniques and maybe use some today, that would be so great! Thank you!

  34. User avater
    alittlebirdsaid | | #34

    I adorein historical fashions and foundations and study them with great interest. I used to design wedding gowns with a historical slant and found books like this invaluable.
    I have opened a small sewing shop/boutique and am finding my feet, but I am confident I shaould like to offer sewing classes for Brides and encourage them to make their own gowns. This book would be a great asset to my collection. I would like to open a lrage sewing school with cafe etc, but one step at a time!
    Thank you threads. Andrea.

  35. User avater
    Pilbeam | | #35

    I love making historical garments. I've currently only used modern patterns, but I'm starting to use actual historical ones, so a book like this would be amazing to have as reference!

  36. User avater
    kdlorente | | #36

    As a costumer there is nothing better I like than historical patterns. No matter what era you look at it reinforces that wonderful feeling of being a princess when you wear a twirly dress. I also started the practice a few years ago of getting a doll to make a smaller costume for display. I got the idea from the historical practice of sending costume patterns to North America from Europe in small dolls.

    One day I hope to be able to afford one of these amazing dolls. They were perfect miniatures of the dress design. Can you imagine hand sewing a teeny, doll of one of the amazing creations of the seventeenth century?

  37. Chantel17 | | #37

    Historical clothes! What could be better to see and wear??!!! We all look better in our history clothes! I love the detail and the fit..so intriguing!

  38. minimom | | #38

    I have recently volunteered at our local living history park, and will be needing to make my own period clothing. The Seventeeth-Century Women's Dress Patterns book seems like the perfect place to start my research!

  39. cocogone | | #39

    Lot's of great pictures, sewing construction books can never have too many.

  40. LoracC | | #40

    This looks like a wonderful book. I love reading how garments were put together in any era! What a great addition to my library this would be.

  41. User avater
    rakijaa | | #41

    This is a fantastic idea for a book series. Most of my work is inspired by historic clothing; having more resources into the design and construction of any garment is always exciting. This is as close to being in the archives at the V&A as I will probably ever get!

  42. gwtw1936 | | #42

    What looks so interesting is getting a glimse into the inner workings of these histoical garments.
    Todays fasions are generally so flat and boring.
    My passion is recreating the costums from historical films.
    It is suprising how much detail was put into the costumes of the films from Hollywood's Golden Age.
    A semastress never has enought books for reference sinc one works from the books to check techniques and detials.

  43. lhartup | | #43

    I would love to have a copy of this book. Historical clothes construction is fascinating to me.

  44. angellady | | #44

    I especially love Charles Frederick Worth designs of the Victorian period. I would love to see the techniques used in clothes of that era. I hope I win!

  45. User avater
    racu | | #45

    old techniques are new techniques for me! Lovely book

  46. User avater
    Michigwen | | #46

    My study of vintage clothing began in the early 80's when I opened a tailoring shop in a small strip mall. The economy was similar to the one we have today and everyone hung on to their quality clothes by repairing and altering. Understanding the construction of a garment makes altering and fitting much easier and in this book's preview it looks to be a marvelous tool for garment construction and repair.

    My special interest these days are the closures and trims used on garments and I have a collection of vintage buttons, trims, and buckles. It is a continual learning process and provides me with a challenging hobby filled with friends around the country and continual admiration of the artistry in buttons and garments.

    Inspired by the words of Mary Kay Ash, "Find a need and fill it.", the business is still alive and well and three employees had opened store fronts of their own. My best wishes to fellow readers that are out there "making a way".

  47. marymary | | #47

    As a collector of old and new sewing books, I would love to add this to my library. I have been sewing for many years, but still like to find different ways to construct garments. This book is unique in showing the inner construction and design. Would love to be able to read it.

  48. bakertoo | | #48

    What a wonderful sounding book this is. I love to sew, and really appreciate all those details that make a garment so wonderful to wear, especially the details that are inside a garment. What a great use for an x-ray machine, because any body who sews, and goes to a clothing exhibit, well, we are usually desperate to know those delicate and intricate bits that lurk inside!
    I would love to own this book,and sure hope there are more in the making.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win it.

  49. mtrose59047 | | #49

    I think the thing I like about historical clothing is the detail and the sheer amount of work that went into clothes back then. Man I would love a copy of that book.

  50. seemless | | #50

    It's always cool to see how things were done, and with this book, "see" is definitely the word!

  51. vwren99 | | #51

    I like learning historical sewing techniques because it makes me feel connected to generations of strong women who have found empowerment in domestic arts. (Although sometimes domestic arts are held in little regard, I know that they are what has held civilization together, and I love feeling like I am a part of the continuum!)

  52. tnjmom | | #52

    I don't live near a museum that would allow me to have access to garments this old. A book that shows and describes the techniques used by a long ago seamstress is utterly fascinating!

  53. User avater
    mgastnz | | #53

    I am a textiles and fashion design teacher in a highschool in New Zealand. My original background is in costume, so you can imagine where I lead my students! I greatly value historical garments as they say alot about the time they were made and can teach us alot about why we wear what we wear today. The techniques used in this book will be of great value to my students and myself when creating costumes for school productions, wearable art, and high end design ideas. Thanks heaps for the opportunity.

  54. User avater
    Mrs4Him | | #54

    I love everything about vintage patterns/designs--the techniques used, fabrics, style variations between periods of time. Being so interested in garment construction, I love to know how those before us sewed their garments-the socio-economic status of what people wore and how it played into the overall history of the country at the time and social customs or norms seen thru those garments.

  55. User avater
    Out_West | | #55

    I simply love history! And I love sewing! I would love to know what are tried and true methods. And I would love to win this book!

  56. Weezie17 | | #56

    I love historic clothing. It gives us a glimpse into a society as a whole; economy, technology, culture, political ties, and even religion.

    I have been doing historic costuming, as a hobby, for years. My library is a little thin in this time frame. I would love have this book as an addition to my library.

  57. WAK | | #57

    I have been making costumes for various local theaters, school productions and now for my daughter's Texas Renaissance Festival character. I have made many many in the past and am working on the current costume and looking forward to working on the next. I don't know what I would do if I didn't sew or craft something on a regular basis. I would love to own this book for sure. It would fit nicely with the rest of my books and magazines I have in my wonderful sewing room that I call all my own.

  58. KayGV | | #58

    I have dreamed of being a costumer all my life, but never got the chance to go beyond making costumes for Halloween for my children (now grandchildren) or Civil War reenactment outfits for my husband. This book seems an ideal way to immerse myself in the construction details of 17th century design as well as to satisfy my hunger for pure "eye candy" from the renown Museum of Victoria and Albert without a trip to London! I have so enjoyed books by Martha Pullen about the various garments she has collected herself and the ones in the DAR and Kent State museums in the U.S., and have tried to emulate some of the design details in quilts and garments I have made for myself or others.

    It is essential that we not lose track of the history of how these creations first came into being through the intense labor and devotion of the seamstresses. It is equally important that we make some translations into simpler techniques through modern technology. I believe this book could advance my personal journey in honoring history and keeping the creative spirit alive. I truly hope that I win!

  59. User avater
    cindy_sews | | #59

    Wow! This book sounds amazing. It would be a treasure for a hand stitcher like myself! I already recreate heirloom children's clothing, and I am ready to start recreating heirloom adult clothing for my daughter that is grown up now! So many of these heirloom elements are found in today's clothing. I would love to learn these techniques.

  60. lucelu | | #60

    I love to read old sewing books and historical costume books to learn what kinds of sewing construction techniques were used to create desired effects. This book looks like it gives up all the secrets of the historical garments visually which is a treat as one does not need to guess or dissemble the pictured treasures.

  61. annie410 | | #61

    I love history and I love to sew. I need this book!

  62. ElaineElise | | #62

    I love to sew and I love history! I so need this book!!!!!

  63. ncloutier | | #63

    I am a student of fashion design and textiles at the University of Rhode Island and I am extremely interested in historic costume in particular costume from 17th c GB especially waistcoats and corseted bodices. Thank you!

  64. ncloutier | | #64

    I am a student of fashion design and textiles at the University of Rhode Island and I am extremely interested in historic costume in particular costume from 17th c GB especially waistcoats and corseted bodices. Thank you!

  65. lou19 | | #65

    X ray photos! I'm really excited and intrigued by this.
    There is so much to learn from the construction of historic costume........thank goodness someone is making detailed photos and notes of thes garments which surely even with careful conservation cannot last forever.
    Also museum trips are often frustrating the lighting so dim only able to view gowns from a single angle........books like this are invaluable.

  66. User avater
    elizabeth001au | | #66

    Whats old always comes new again with time. Theres always something we can learn, recycle or improve on from history. Its a great starting point for design inspiration.

  67. User avater
    andysmom | | #67

    I am a member of a Victorian Society. We have an annual ball, do dance demonstrations, teas, croquet and other benefits. We have our dresses and suits made as accurately as possible. This book would be a wonderful addition to my library and a reference to others in our club.

  68. Leesy | | #68

    I weave and love to see items which might be loom-shaped; I have an interest in historic textiles; and I certainly enjoy sewing. I am going to need this book on my shelf.

  69. DDSS2000 | | #69

    WOW, what an informative resource. This would be a great addition for anyone asked to recreate period costumes as well as inspiration for new ideas.

  70. User avater
    ginnylynn | | #70

    One of the things that I'm constantly drawn to in garment making is the techniques used historically to create shape and structure - something much of our clothing today has a decided lack of. This book would be a treasured resource in my library that I would go back to again and again and again.

  71. User avater
    cathlynr | | #71

    I would love to have a copy of this book! I am a long-time costumer, but have been looking to shift my interest and sewing into more historical garments.

  72. Brandyfroufrou | | #72

    I enjoy making costumes for Halloween and making historically accurate costumes combined with zombie makeup makes for a really great costume!

  73. AmberGlow | | #73

    I can often understand how to construct a garment by studying it closely, and I always seem to learn something new by studying the past. This would be a wonderful piece of history to examine!

  74. User avater
    janith | | #74

    Working with Strawbery Banke's Passion for Fashion and touring their historic garment collection has given me a tremendous passion for the methods used in the past. This would be a great resource.

  75. coolmommy | | #75

    Love historical clothing!

  76. sewmesomething | | #76

    I so love vintage clothing patterns. Making them for costumes parties was so fun and orginal.

  77. renaissancesun | | #77

    I love to learn about the construction and details of period clothing, and the reasons for them, and I enjoy incorporating what I learn into modern garments. It looks like a nifty book!

  78. User2016 | | #78

    i only need this because my 18 and 19 year old daughters are full scale re-enactors, and i have been winging it, thus far, but NOW they want "period-correct".....no more mommy shortcuts. egads.

  79. User avater
    animalkah | | #79

    It's a dream of mine to create custom Renaissance costumes, and I know that the re-enactors strive for historical accuracy. This would be an invaluable tool.

  80. 2sewmore | | #80

    As anyone who has a passion for sewing, vintage clothing and costumes teach us about the fine art of clothing design. The details, many hand stitched, add texture, line, and style to a garment.

    I collect books on sewing, fashion, interior design, art/crafts. There's always one more to add to the collection. I read my books cover to cover, and many times refer to them for ideas and instruction.

    My husband is an art teacher and sometimes uses my books for his classes.

    Good luck to all!!

  81. Almis | | #81

    The clothes were very good made time ago, I want to learn everything about it, I love to sew.

  82. scarlin3 | | #82

    This would make a great addition to my library. I love the detailed pictures of construction...eye candy all the way!

  83. jeness | | #83

    This book has been on my "to buy" list for a little while. I would love to win this book as I am interested in both history and clothing and would one day like to recreate a gown from this era.

  84. User avater
    Spin2Knit | | #84

    ... Thank you for this giveaway! I have always had a fascination with garment construction during this era.

  85. mmerry | | #85

    I'd love to have this book. I'm very interested in historic garment construction.

  86. Sewballet | | #86

    I am a costumer, this book would be a wonderful addition!

  87. radlook | | #87

    Great looking book for those of us who are interested in the changes in dressing

  88. User avater
    Knitnut | | #88

    I would like to copy and paste ALL of the comments above because they all are my thoughts and feelings exactly! I stopped short of buying this book just a few days ago. Would absolutely love to win it! Thanks Threads, for another wonderful opportunity!

  89. User avater
    SandraMC | | #89

    The evolution of clothing has always held a unique fascination for me, from the use of some ragged furs to today's production of the finest polymer threads. The era of this book is one of the most amazing times of clothing construction, given the limited tools - at least compared to today's!

  90. Zippylady | | #90

    This book would feed my love of history and my love of sewing, all at the same time. Imagine the conditions these garments were made in. Picture the ladies who toiled over these works of art. this book would be wonderful to own.

  91. puntopunti | | #91

    Please tomorrow is my birthday! I will like to win!

  92. DebraDianne | | #92

    What a lovely book! But I'd also like to know about the women who created such garments. I'll either win the book or buy the book.

  93. User avater
    Genie48 | | #93

    Oh my, yes this would be a wonderful addition to my sewing labrary.

  94. Sewitall2 | | #94

    I would love to win this book! It is so interesting to see the construction techniques that were done so very long ago when they didn't have all the electronic gadgets that have become our sewing machine. Today, many people rely on the sewing machine to do many tasks that were done by hand. Dressmakers of that era were artists in creating wonderful garments! I would love to have this book to see the secrets they hid in their garments!

  95. Axejudge | | #95

    I enjoy making historical outfits, and this would be very helpful!

  96. User avater
    scarrlett | | #96

    Looks like a great tutorial!

  97. ella77 | | #97

    I love to sew and would love to read this book on the sewing methods used in historical times. I feel one is never too old or full of enough knowledge. This book would be a great resource in my sewing library. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  98. User avater
    costumingdiary | | #98

    I've recreated historically correct italian renaissance clothing and am dabbling in 18th century clothing for the past five years. I consider myself an advanced beginner costumer, and am always looking to learn more. I recently made my first robe francais (or sacque gown), and am buying all sorts of books right now to expand on my knowledge. I enjoy the challenge of making/draping my own gowns without the use of ready-made patterns. I believe a book such as this one (which is already on my must-have list) would help me greatly in my endeavors.

    D Velasquez
    aka Artemisia Moltabocca

  99. GreyBird | | #99

    Thank you for another opportunity to own an invaluable sewing resource. Any person who sews is naturally interested in how garments have evolved, especially since they were once so elaborate and complex. AND, all done without a machine!!

  100. Kate_13 | | #100

    I love researching many aspects of historical life, particulary clothing and cusine. I love to then look at ways to incorporate these techniques and designs into a modern interpretation. The detailed photos in this book look just great.

  101. SM2 | | #101

    GASP! Me, please!! :)

  102. User avater
    Bryan1977 | | #102

    Oooh, pick me! I think the book will help me recreate period details in my modern creations.

  103. Gloveuse | | #103

    What a beautiful book !
    I think i could dream all the day long just having a look at the pictures.
    In Paris (I'm french, so excuse my broken english please), there is a museum of costumes called Galliera, it makes me think of it. Those fabrics and the way they've been sewn together are such a treasure to save and admire !
    Good luck to every one and hello from Paris (under the rain today !)

  104. User avater
    marshahill | | #104

    This book is a delight. I volunteer at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site and we continue to restore Mrs. Harrison's gowns. She has some of the most exquisite gowns and interesting day dresses and suits. I would love to be able to share this book with our volunteers and gleen all the wonderful information on how period clothing was created. I have made one jacket and walking skirt by the old methods and it fits much better than today's clothing. Thank you for wanting to share this book with some deserving person. I selfishly hope it might be me.

  105. User avater
    Kayle9 | | #105

    I sew historical costumes as a favor to friends who participate in a variety of different historical re-enactment groups. Plus, I've been known to wear costumes as part of my lectures on different political eras to help students understand the culture that led to some of the laws passed (My "day job" is as a polisci professor -- sewing keeps me sane).

  106. User avater
    MistressTailor | | #106

    This book looks amazing!!! It's actually in my amazon wish list. As a self-taught, aspiring designer this book would be a great addition to my collection. Everything that I've learned, so far, has been from books and I always look forward to finding new and interesting books to learn from.
    Good luck everyone!

  107. blakitykat | | #107

    so many people entered already, but this book sounds so amazing that it is worth trying for.

  108. lewkmc | | #108

    I'm a avid seamstress and have made numerous costumes for my daughter and her friends. For her school re-enactments of Colonial Days and RenFaire, I studied and copied patterns of the period. This book would be a lovely addition to my resource library!

  109. Bright1 | | #109

    I have been pattern & costume mad since I was a teenager. Now in my forties I am blessed to have me plus 2 children to sew for. A copy of this wonderful publication would be terrific to read & enjoy. It would also be great to create one of the many garments featured and to have a go at mastering one of the forgotten arts such as Seventeenth-Century style embroidery.

  110. sweetz | | #110

    Wow, what a fabulous book. I've become very interested in these types of historical books. What a great way to incorporate some original couture elements into today's sewing.

  111. Mimi_Oh | | #111

    What a lovely book and I'd love to add this to my library!!! Making historically accurate clothing based upon actual garments themselves is a boon to any sewer. From the description listed in your article it sounds like the author went to great lengths and spared no detail to get underneath a garment to see what and how it was made. I truly would love to have this book to make an accurate reproduction garment based upon the 15 patterns that are in the book. This book would also aid me in the dressing of the porcelain dolls I make as well. What a fantastic give-away!!! Here's hoping....

  112. Mimi_Oh | | #112

    What a lovely book and I'd love to add this to my library!!! Making historically accurate clothing based upon actual garments themselves is a boon to any sewer. From the description listed in your article it sounds like the author went to great lengths and spared no detail to get underneath a garment to see what and how it was made. I truly would love to have this book to make an accurate reproduction garment based upon the 15 patterns that are in the book. This book would also aid me in the dressing of the porcelain dolls I make as well. What a fantastic give-away!!! Here's hoping....

  113. Mimi_Oh | | #113

    Opps...it double posted. Sorry about that :-D

  114. Pateho | | #114

    How much fun would this be??? An excellent addition and most valuable to learn some of the amazing techniques of the day before synthetics came to be a player!

  115. pattyman | | #115

    Because the inside is sometimes more spectacular the the outside.

  116. Minishell | | #116

    Love the images. I make costumes for my adult children and their friends - both for Halloween and the Renaissance Faire (2 of them work there). This book has some amazing ideas! I love, love, love it!

  117. azappa | | #117

    I've always been enthralled by historic crafts & fashions and have made many garments as well as learned many 'ancient' (my kids term) crafts such as spinning, bobbin lace, crochet, knitting, quilting, embroidery, crewel, x-stitch, etc. I've also used people patterns to make doll costumes for dolls I've created, so it's kind of an obsession with me and I've collected over 10k books in my various hobbies and especially love to collect ones printed in the 1800's or early 1900's. So this book will be added to my collection, it's just a question of, if I'm lucky enough to win it or will I need to haul my sorry ass away from my crafts long enough to drive the 45 miles to the nearest bookstore. (I live in out back and beyond) Thanks for the great contest and for showing me another book that must be adopted into our family.

  118. User avater
    Wild_Lily | | #118

    I have always wondered how garments from past eras were constructed. This would be a great addition to my library and to my sewing knowledge. Maybe I'll be inspired to recreate something spectacular.

  119. User avater
    Sew_Compulsive | | #119

    I'd love a copy of this book as I'm fascinated with fashion history and the techniques of old!

  120. Krissiedoll | | #120

    The cover of "Women's Dress Patterns" is in style- could be a drawing from the sketchbook of Comme des Garcons, or a steampunk dress! Very inspirational!

  121. msum | | #121

    Fantastic design and handsewing. I am also a stage costume designer and sewer and would love to share this with our other designers. We have used V&A books in the past for inspiration and research for our period plays.

    Love reading the comments from other avid sewers and designers. What a wonderful passion we all share!

  122. showdog1719 | | #122

    What a wonderful addition to anyone's library who takes the pride to make the inside as beautiful as the outside.

  123. lovetostitch | | #123

    I would love to have a copy of this book. I've sewn since I was very young, and have always been interested in historical clothing. I own several "antique" clothing items, one of which I occasionally wore as an underweight teenager while demonstrating spinning (by hand and by wheel). As I am now much older and the exact opposite of underweight, I only treaure and carefully store my lovely pieces. I still marvel at the complicated ruching and other techniques used.

    I hve done some costuming for myself and my family (historical and fantasy) and I find that the more I learn about construction, the better my outcomes. Whoever receives this book will certainly get a gem!

  124. DESPINAGR | | #124

    i really, really want this book!!!!!!

  125. jebeitz | | #125

    I own 1 antique pattern and would love to have this book.

  126. dianakelley | | #126

    I adore hand-sewing and love seeing how historical fashions are constructed. I'm so excited about the x-rays in this book--what a brilliant way to unlock what's hiding between the layers of fabric!

  127. User avater
    Corsetiere | | #127

    This book would look very nice next to the rest of my historical costuming books and it certainly would get used as well. :)

  128. Nat1964 | | #128

    I love researching historical costume as they chart the changing roles of women and society through the ages. I also can't help going gaga over all those delicious hand stitched details.

  129. Sewmeister | | #129

    I first examined historical dressmaking in order to make barbie doll outfits for myself and my children. I wanted cool original outfits for the dolls. The more I learned the more I desired to bring back these old fashions and techniques into my regular sewing. My only source at the time was the local college's theater departments library. Since you can't keep these books, I have always desired to expand my personal library to include books on historical construction methods. So far I only have an old book on theater costume construction and a couture sewing book. This book looks wonderful and would be a wonderful addition to anyone's sewing library.

  130. Reneesance | | #130

    I'd love to win this book! A life long fan of historical dress and costume, I also worked for many years in various theatrical costume shops. These days I get my costuming fix by doing Renaissance and Steampunk events and I've never tackled this period but I'd love to do so!

  131. Grace10 | | #131

    With nothing new under the sun, we can all benefit from historical construction techniques, many of which are not widely known. The gorgeous handsewing and embroidery are enhancements that we can aspire to.

  132. Barbouille | | #132

    My family(my great-great-great-grandfather's generation, I think) was in the lace industry in St. Gallen, Switzerland and I have always been very interested in historical textiles. The attention given to detail in those days was amazing.

  133. lieseliruth | | #133

    I remember the first time I went to the V&A.I was disappointed that the part of the museum with the period pieces was closed for renovations. I wandered my way up the stairs and stumbled across the textiles room. Row upon row of preserved fabric swatches were in the wooden cabinets. Finally was able to look at the fabrics that I only thought I could imagine. The first historical costume I sewed was from an original Elizabethan when I was 17. I've been fascinated with the technique of historical pieces ever since.

  134. busybeads63 | | #134

    This is a beautiful that I would love to have and share with family and friends.

  135. valeb | | #135

    amazing construction details and great photos, great addition to the world of sewing education

  136. Janay3md | | #136

    I would love a copy of this. The author is known for her work on 17th century dresses, and it would be wonderful to have her observations and insights. The use of radiographs to illustrate design and technique is a welcomed addition to the usual description of period technique.

  137. Trae666 | | #137

    I would love to own a copy of this book because i love all the different types of historical fashions out there from the byzantine era to what you see on the streets today. The 17th century period clothing is my favorite of them all, so being able to win this book would help me build my period dress collection and give me a better insight to how they were constructed.

  138. Trae666 | | #138

    I would love to own this book because i am very interested in period clothing and how it is constructed.

  139. stacielgray | | #139

    I would LOVE to win this book - I am totally obsessed with historical garments and would love this fantastic resource! As I always say to myself, "What would Claire Shaeffer do?" - she would enter this drawing and WIN THIS BOOK! :) Fingers crossed!

  140. MzBizz | | #140

    I have made renaissance garnment for myself and my husband as we are both interested in participating in "renaissance" events. More so, however, I'm fascinated with the techniques used in various time periods

  141. hinlab | | #141

    Would love to win this masterpiece! Looks like a great read

  142. LindaWP | | #142

    I've my maternal grandmother's 2 notebooks, one for cooking and one for sewing. My mother's told me what an accomplished seamstress she was. The book would be a wonderful addition and obviously has more detail than grandma's notebook.

  143. User avater
    tumorfarmer | | #143

    I've always been interested in historical clothing, as well as historical re enactments. I moved to North Carolina 6 years ago, and now I have far more opportunities to participate in re enactments from more than one century! I have always loved dresses, too, & the older style of "traditional" costumes that women wore in different cultures around the world. I recently purchased an 1889 book on sewing, and was surprised at the complexity of sewing details before the sewing machine! When everything was done by hand, and therefore took much more time, the clothing was far more complex & detailed than what we wear today! While I tend to prefer the more simple styles with empire waists, due to my figure. I remain enthralled with centuries of incredibly crafted clothing, and will relish any opportunity to study the details! I just met another lady who participates in some of the reenactments for the civil war in NC, & she not only was wearing hand sewn traditional clothing true to the period, she had the correct sewing accoutrements, & showed me her wonderful sewing tools, her hand sewn jewellery containers, as well as other items she had sewn by hand. I would LOVE to make some of these for myself! What a wonderful way to share our history, as well as the talents of our ancestors!

  144. annie410 | | #144

    Love historic costuing! Please pick me!

  145. User avater
    user-2428990 | | #145

    I am totally fascinated!

  146. User avater
    juliahaley | | #146

    Amazing book..Appreciated it..

  147. annachinn | | #147

    I would love to have a copy of this book. Historical clothes construction is fascinating to me.

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