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BOOK GIVEAWAY: “Famous Frocks” by Sara Alm and Hanna McDevitt

The patterns and instructions in Famous Frocks will allow you to recreate the iconic garments worm by ten famous celebrities.

Threads #160 featured the book Famous Frocks by Sara Alm and Hannah McDevitt (Chronicle Books, 2011) in the “Notions” department on page 17. This is a sewing book that’s probably different from any you’ve seen before. The authors have selected ten famous women and provided patterns and instructions to duplicate one of each woman’s most iconic garments. Among the celebrity fashions included are Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress; Marilyn Monroe’s poster-classic white halter; Madonna’s sexy “Like a Virgin” outfit, and more. Each section begins with a vintage photo of the celebrity in her iconic outfit followed by how-to illustrations that break down each step so sewers of all skill levels can follow along. The patterns for each are included in a pouch found on the inside front cover. The patterns are sized from XS to L (bust 31 to 37 inches, hip 34-1/2 to 40-1/2 inches). To obtain other sizes, alterations are required.

One iconic garment worn by each of the following celebrities is included:
Bette Davis
Farrah Fawcett
Rita Hayworth
Audrey Hepburn
Marilyn Monroe
Stevie Nicks
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Diana Ross

Each of these women is known for her distinctive style. Leave a comment and tell us which person’s style you would most like to recreate for yourself, and you will be entered into our giveaway contest. Leave your comment on this post before the deadline–11:59 pm EST, Wednesday, April 4–and you could win a copy of the book. The winner will be randomly selected and announced during the week of April 9.


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  1. user-1109829 | | #1

    Great book! I've just turned 40 and have decided to embrace my curves and femininity so I would definitely start with Marilyn Monroe closely followed by Jacqui O and then the other screen sirens of the golden age.

  2. pnut52 | | #2

    I love these styles of Hepburn and Jackie! Classy and oh so very elegant!

  3. laurahoj | | #3

    I love Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' style and would definitely go for her style.

  4. maryann6755 | | #4

    I love a style that sets you apart and lets the true you come through...I think I would have to pick the classic style of Audrey Hepburn.

  5. katrina077 | | #5

    Rita Hayworth's style definitely!

  6. user-881913 | | #6

    Audrey Hepburn, because she is pure class and I would be happy with just a thimble full of her class.

  7. bekabug8 | | #7

    I love Audrey Hepburn's style.

  8. oceanofsmiles | | #8

    This looks like an amazing book! I am always looking for authentic vintage patterns and am thrilled that this book features dresses from the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie!

  9. IamLilyMunster | | #9

    Oh my gosh, how I would love to have this book! Crossing my fingers! I would choose Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn.

  10. riversilt | | #10

    I love retro and am excited at the chance to make something worn by these famous ladies.

  11. User avater
    ShiningStar | | #11

    I love classic style!

  12. KathfromOz | | #12

    Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Style without pretentiousness.

  13. Happy2BSewn | | #13

    I believe Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis were both delightful dressers. A little black dress is always a great addition to any wardrobe and I just love Jackie's simple white and yellow dresses that she wore. Famous Frocks would be a wonderful book to use for my Couture class. It looks like a great book! Thanks for the chance!!!

  14. TalyQu | | #14

    That looks like an amazing book. Would love to have it.

  15. [email protected] | | #15

    I was just looking at this book on amazon.com. Wouldn't it be grand to win it instead. I also saw photos of Twiggy's color block dress made up and it looked great!

  16. [email protected] | | #16

    I was just looking at this book on amazon.com. Wouldn't it be grand to win it instead. I also saw photos of Twiggy's color block dress made up and it looked great!

  17. [email protected] | | #17

    I was just looking at this book on amazon.com. Wouldn't it be grand to win it instead. I also saw photos of Twiggy's color block dress made up and it looked great!

  18. rebpalma | | #18

    I would love to try to channel Audrey Hepburn. Give me luck! Thank you very much.

  19. Jenerator | | #19

    This sounds like such a great book. Must see if I can get a copy!

  20. DebraBC | | #20

    This would be so fun to have. I think I would like to create the Stevie Nicks looks for myself. I love the bohemian sheek look. My daughter would go for the Audrey Hepburn patterns.

  21. user-1111948 | | #21

    Classic ladies and classic styles are always in fashion and fun to emulate. What a great resource.

  22. user-1023732 | | #22

    This book looks frocktabulous!!

  23. User avater
    ginnylynn | | #23

    I would love to get a head start on duplicating these glorious fashions from the past.

  24. user-1109779 | | #24

    I would love to duplicate the look of Audrey Hepburn!!!

  25. Sewista_Vicki | | #25

    Marilyn Monroe's fabulously feminine style!

  26. User avater
    sjmoore | | #26

    Dressmaking is my passion. I love the retro looks in this book. Would love to read about these famous designs.

  27. User avater
    johnsonb | | #27

    Classics! And I'll bet some of the designs were originated by Edith Head, one of my designer icons!

  28. User avater
    genevieve | | #28

    Timeless style of Audrey Hepburn is the one to which I aspire

  29. User avater
    harikleia | | #29

    I love dressmaking and books or magazines like Famous Frocks that include patterns.

  30. misssarcastica | | #30

    Bette Davis' style is probably my favorite, though Audrey Hepburn's comes in at a close 2nd. I like 30/40's fashion a bit more than 50/60's fashion.

  31. violet_from_miami | | #31

    This book is fascinating for those of us who sew garments. Thanks for offering it to a lucky winner!

  32. user-1108894 | | #32

    Jacqueline Kennedy was a fashion icon who wore simple and elegant clothing while conveying a very calculated message that would impact her image and that of the president. Love her.

  33. User avater
    sharondipity2 | | #33

    What a great book. Some fashion is timeless...

  34. thill60 | | #34

    Oh Dear!! I could never choose just one! I love each and every one of these fashion icons for there own distinctive style and fashion sense. I would love to create one of each style garment so I would have a stylish outfit to wear no matter what my mood!!

  35. moviedoll | | #35

    I'd LOVE to get this book. I'm intrigued with these styles!

  36. Barbyj | | #36

    I would love love love to receive this book! These styles are the reason I first started sewing...couture and retro vintage iconic dresses...thanks for the opportunity!

  37. PABarnes | | #37

    I think the choice of women to showcase are perfect for this type of book. Each one had so much class and were so elegant.

  38. CarolannB | | #38

    I should love to be able to emulate Jackie Onassis but fear my apple-shaped figure wouldn't do her justice. Maybe if I won the book it would really inspire me to lose weight and then I could really enjoy dressmaking.

  39. user-1112232 | | #39

    Perfect selection of women to model after. Classic and classy outfits with patterns! What more could a seamstress ask for!!

  40. lmndesigns | | #40

    How fascinating. I would love to recreate these dresses.

  41. Klaudia | | #41

    Would love to win

  42. kaponton | | #42

    Great variety of both women & styles,

  43. PMP | | #43

    Wow! These dresses would be great for a woman that wears classic styles.

  44. Carly_Sue | | #44

    I love haute couture sewing. I would have to choose Aubrey Hepburn even though I think any of the choices would be great. Classics are elegant.

  45. Brabant | | #45

    Now that's a good idea. Saves all the guess work of trying to dream up a copy myself. I once spent hours staring at a Christian Lacroix dress in an exhibition in Alencon; making the odd sketch and desperately trying to get the proportions without touching the garment. I did it but the dress is just not as good as it might be. This book could well be the solution. Awesome if it were to wing its way to France for me.

  46. user-1112581 | | #46

    Very elegant, I just hope that I could actually sew them.

  47. kslaughter | | #47

    I would love to do the Audrey Hepburn dress--what an iconic style! Thanks so much for the wonderful giveaway~~

  48. SewMomma | | #48

    I would love to see this book to get ideas on elegant dresses for myself and 3 daughters. We have proms and future weddings in our plans. The ideas from this book could be a real asset for all of us. I also love the history of fashion.

  49. katesdesigns | | #49

    Rita Hayworth, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O...those women had style. Those decades has style. I long for the days where we took pride in our clothing and didn't just throw on sweats and t-shirts. Guilty as charged but wanting to change!

  50. ellievyle | | #50

    What a great giveaway! :D

  51. User avater
    tinker4u | | #51

    What a treat!

  52. purple1flower | | #52

    I've always like Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis style because they are timeless/clasic. And their style works for different body types (like mine - curvier ... = fat)

  53. rebekahricker | | #53

    Either Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis or Twiggy.

  54. fyrftr | | #54

    My Mom was a big Rita Hayworth fan, so I was influenced by her as a young woman... love the styles of that era... very feminine yet still strong.

  55. alaskapsych | | #55

    While I would love to be a Jackie O girl, I'm probably more of a Marilyn! Either way, I'd love love love to have this book!

  56. RDRD | | #56

    Love this book and would LOVE a copy.

  57. SewCindy | | #57

    Audrey Hepburn would be the style icon I would recreate.

  58. User avater
    elowenn | | #58

    What a fantastic idea! I hope they do more like this, perhaps they could create a Downton Abbey version...

  59. Jee | | #59

    I really would love Rita Hayworth, but then there is Audrey and Betty Davis. Classic classy styles are the ticket.

  60. User avater
    SewReel | | #60

    Oh, Audrey Hepburn for sure...but perhaps a little Farah Fawcett thrown in! Would absolutely treasure this addition to my library!

  61. BobbiA | | #61

    I have always admired Audrey Hepburn -- ultimate elegance, class and femininity!

  62. Sewfinedesign | | #62

    Classic design never goes out of style. What a great book about all the iconic women and their personal style. Updated versions of these classic styles would be great to sew!

  63. EmSewCrazy | | #63

    I really like Audrey Hepburn although I have a figure more like Twiggy! This sounds like a fun book!

  64. NMT | | #64

    I would have to go with Jackie O, for sure. What a great book!

  65. customfrocks | | #65

    I would love to win this book !! I grew up in the '50's and 60's when these fashions were current! My sewing business is named " Custom Frocks"!

  66. customfrocks | | #66

    I would go with Jackie Kennedy. She was a fashion icon in the early '60's and influenced mainstream fashion at that time.

  67. User avater
    WillaMcNeill | | #67

    Would thoroughly enjoy this book! Not sure whose style I would choose as I am shaped differently from all of them. Maybe Jackie O or Audrey Hepburn?

  68. gwtw1936 | | #68

    What a neat idea! Would have been better if all the outfits/celebs were listed. I've thought this an idea worth doing for ages-
    WIll have to check out getting it.

  69. user-1114021 | | #69

    beautiful Love it!!!

  70. dpettersen | | #70

    I've checked this out before ~ would be great to make some of those dresses!

  71. Kate_13 | | #71

    I've been longing to capture the simple style of Audrey Hepburn. Such a classic and classy look. The book looks wonderful!

  72. User avater
    smfsprout | | #72

    I love the styles of Audrey, Jackie and Farrah and think they are both beautiful and classy. Unfortunately, I'm built more like Danny DeVito so I'm not sure any of these styles would work for me.

  73. User avater
    wicked_stitcher | | #73

    wowza! this is some lookin' good serious stuff!

  74. njohnson | | #74

    I would love to recreate the dress, design by Edith Head, that Betty Davis wears in the movie "All about Eve". The movie is in black & white but I believe I heard or read that the dress that she wears off the shoulders, although it was not supposed to be worn like that, and she utters the line "...it's going to be a bumpy night" is emerald green silk or taffeta. Emerald green is a color that goes well with my complexion and that design, o'yeah .....it's goimg to be a bumpy night.

  75. user-205654 | | #75

    A book that includes Jackie Kennedy is on my wish list.

  76. LorraineD1963 | | #76

    I love classic movies and the history of fashion portrayed through old movies. What a wonderful idea for a book.

  77. user-1112656 | | #77

    I would love to get a little bit of Audrey Hepburn's style!

  78. Thewallinna | | #78

    Hesitating between Madonna and Audrey Hapburn. I love Madonna for her daring style and Audrey for her sophistication. My current wardrobe is something in the middle and I would love to experiment!

  79. mrs_l | | #79

    Definitely Audrey Hepburn - I try to keep things classic, simple & sophisticated.

  80. Jelyna | | #80

    Madonna and Audrey Hepburn!

  81. fibermom | | #81

    Oh a steamy Betty Davis for me.

  82. K_Mowers | | #82

    Just getting back in to serious sewing. Would love this.

  83. SETNHOME | | #83

    I work in the film industry. Sewing vintage is my thing.

  84. maudberg | | #84

    What a great book! Audrey Hepburn style would be me. Love to win this book and explore the different styles.

  85. monl | | #85

    Such a difficult question! I'm rather torn between Audrey Hepburn and Rita Hayworth, but Betty, Marilyn, Jackie... lovely!

  86. user-982688 | | #86

    Oh my gosh I would love that book as I love to copy elegant expensive clothes. I copied a Jim Hjelm dress for my daughter when she married in the late 80's that would have cost $5,000 then with the length of train she wanted and we copied it for $1,100. I used to make myself lots of Princess Diana clothes, just so much fun to walk around in those clothes for a fraction of the cost.

  87. louisesparrow | | #87

    I love the elegance of design that these women were known for. My all-time favourite would be Audrey Hepburn with Jacqui O a close second.

  88. Slater7 | | #88

    I love making and wearing styles from before my time which is anything before the ninties. I also love Audrey Hepburn and would love to wear clothes similar to hers.

  89. CathiMc | | #89

    I would love to make Marilyn's iconic 7 year Itch dress!

  90. djlv2sw | | #90

    I love Jackie O's style! This would be a great addition to my library!

  91. User avater
    mpgizmo2 | | #91

    Jackie O wins hands down with me.

  92. bitterbunny | | #92

    i've always thought twiggy had a way about her :-D

  93. bitterbunny | | #93

    i've always thought twiggy had a way about her :-D

  94. User avater
    MelodyeJoy | | #94

    Wow, this book would be a fabulous addition to my library!

  95. user-1110045 | | #95

    Oh! Love this book, I adored Audrey Hepburn's dress in Breakfast at Tiffanys. Can I please win this book and it will go in my 20th century section of my home sewing library. I can a sure you that it will get used especially for Audrey's dress.

  96. user-1117949 | | #96

    It will be fun to study these dresses.

  97. Francedorais | | #97

    I would love to own the Audrey Hepburn book. I love her style and the way she lived her life. She was also a dancer like me and I have her long neck!

  98. shelly123 | | #98

    Love the front cover probably frame it if i had it.

  99. pookies | | #99

    I had purchased this book because of the review I had seen in Threads magazine. This is a great "inspiration" book, and the patterns contained are well presented and explained. However; the patterns included are NOT duplicates or copies of the iconic dresses these celebrities are shown wearing. They are very similar, but not duplicates. My comments are provided for transparency of what this book is providing.

  100. memarston | | #100

    This is really exciting! How I would love to own this book!

    The more I learn the more I want to learn! Sewing is one of my passions!


  101. user-1121234 | | #101

    I have 3 daughters - 25, 23, 20 - all who have discovered the beauty of vintage clothing. This book would be a godsend to us.

  102. gpfrench | | #102

    I STILL love making my own clothing--- I have over 50 years of experience and study behind me,

  103. user-118104 | | #103

    For me it would be Jacqui O, Audrey and Twiggy. All three mastered Chanel’s ‘less is more’ rule so eloquently. I have reached an age where too much fuss doesn’t work so I am trying to move into the stylish, elegant, classic styles these women are famous for.

  104. user-1078645 | | #104

    Twiggy is my current style icon. Sadly I'm no longer Audrey Hepburn shaped!

  105. 7360tonilee | | #105

    I love all the "Icon" but my favorite has to be Stevie Nicks, she is what I call Elligant Bohemien.
    I will definately get a copy of this book one way or another!

  106. User avater
    LittleLaura | | #106

    Can't wait to read this book front to back.

  107. NikkiK | | #107

    This would be a perfect Mother's Day gift. She did the most fantastic things with an old Singer zig zag machine (one of the first slant foot kind). She would love taking a trip through fashion history with a cup of tea. How great.

  108. User avater
    CarrGrand | | #108

    I'm a Jackie O fan! I would love to have this book!

  109. User avater
    CraftyAggie1 | | #109

    Ack! It's 'sew' difficult to choose! Each of these women has a different style, and a different body type. Each can be identified by her style. Do I hafta choose a favorite??

  110. Noelle_J | | #110

    Audrey please. Her look is so timeless. Wear this with my grandmother's pearls for a feminine to-die-for look!

  111. user-1020935 | | #111

    As far as I'm concerned, Jackie O could wear anything and look sensational. This is an original and fun book and while I like them all (except Madonna) if I had to pick a favorite, it's Jackie first and Twiggy second. Truly less is more.

  112. User avater
    AnnSewItGoes | | #112

    I am really enjoying Threads Magazine, on-line projects, and I am learning so much. Thank you!

  113. rijacks63 | | #113

    I would love to imitate Rita Hayworth's sytle. She was a woman with curves and so am I! :)

  114. Mengar | | #114

    Dresses and looks that I would love to explore!

  115. Mengar | | #115

    Ooops! Forgot to say whose style, which would be Marilyn Monroe.

  116. User avater
    jamaco | | #116

    Classic styles, classic looks. Wow!

  117. User avater
    bluewillow | | #117

    I am crazy about this book. I would love to sew my own version of each celebrity dress.

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