Japanese Craft Book Library

A collection of a few of the books in kittykitty's personal library that she have posted about in the past.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Theatrical Costume Designs

From the Neck Up
by Denise Dreher

This has to be one of the best resources for costume/millinery projects. I was really shocked an upset when I found out that it was out of print. I picked mine up years ago and am very thankful. It gives clear examples of different period hats, material to use, and problems that you will probably run into when making the hat. It is the only source I know of that shows step by step examples of how to sew on ribbon to a straw hat.

Corsets and Crinolines
by Norah Waugh

Well, I enjoyed the cover of the book probably more than the content of the book. The book is poorly organized. It is a good resource, but not a book to buy if your want to set up a corset shop or think it will answer all those troublesome questions about period corset construction.

Period Costume for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Women's Dress, 1800-1909
by Jean Hunnisett, Janette Haslam

Wow all of my old college textbooks seem to be going out of print. This was required for several of the design classes that I took at the theatre department when I was at OSU. This book was mainly used for teaching how to draw period costumes. My professor was a stickler that what you draw you have to be able to explain how to make the pattern.

As a historical reference, it is lacking in my opinion, but it does show clear examples of how to create the patterns and what is the minimum undergarments necessary to support the outfit. It is designed for modern costume makers and this is how it should be treated. My problem is that my background is historical preservation so the corners that it wants to cut bother me a great deal.

As a theatrical costume reference it is a must and a good challenge even for the modern dress maker.

The Costume Technician's Handbook: A Complete Guide for Amateur and Professional Costume Technicians
by Rosemary Ingham, Liz Covey

This too was a college textbook for me at OSU. It includes sewing tips for saving money and time for theatrical costumes. It also explains how to use common day goods as alternatives for classical materials. Most costume shops use the text everyday. The authors instructions for sewing, altering, and making flat pattern are some of the clearest and most concise. One of my best friend always keeps this text in her back pack even though she has been working in a college costume shop for years.

Stage Costume Step-By-Step: The Complete Guide to Designing and Making Stage Costumes for All Major Drama Periods and Genres from Classical Through the Twentieth Century
by Mary T. Kidd

I didn't pick this title up when I saw it in the stores. I wasn't to impressed with what it offered. It seemed to promise a lot and didn't seem to offer that much. Maybe if you can pick it up cheaply used it would be useful.

Patterns for Theatrical Costumes: Garments, Trims, and Accessories from Ancient Egypt to 1915
by Katherine Strand Holkeboer

I have the original printing of this text so I am not really sure how much it has changed or been updated. It has several nice resources for different shapes of sleeves, hems, decoration. The patterns are very simplistic with very simple details. They cover general instruction on construction and function. The cuts are fairly authentic to achieve the intended specific period. Each pattern is shown in three sizes.

This is a great resource for people who have an imagination and is a great resource. It even covers some specialty costumes; fantasy, asian, animals, religious, and undergarments.

Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860 (Patterns of Fashion)
by Janet Arnold

There are not enough nice things one can say about both of Janet Arnolds books. She is the mother of historically accurate patterns which make her books indispensable. Each pattern includes the historical reference for the original garment, the original materials that were used and all the embellishments that were used in the original garment. The patterns are very easy to increase the scale even though they are very small.

This is a great resource for restoration as well. We would pour over the three books for hours when were working on garments.

Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen's Dresses and Their Construction C.1860-1940 (Patterns of Fashion 2)
by Janet Arnold

Costume in Detail
by Nancy Bradfield

This is a really charming book. All of the illustrations are done in pen and ink drawings and a great resource for illustration classes. It is composed of hundreds of line drawings of articles of clothing that are far to fragile to ever photograph. A great resource for any student that is studying 18th or 19th century costume. Some of the costumes in the book can be found photographed in "The Art of Dress."

Pick up this title for illustration of design and pick up Janet Arnolds book on how to construct the garments.

The world has suffered a tragic lost with the death of both Bradfield and Arnold. Fortunately we will always have these text as a reminder of there greatness in the field of historical textile preservation.

The Cut of Women's Clothes, 1600-1930
by Norah Waugh

This book really isn't for the casual sewer. The patterns are very useable but you really need a solid background in drafting to attempt making these patterns. I would consider this as more a reading text then a sewing resource. The glossary is probably one of the most useful aspects of this book and the quotations of contemporary sources. This is one of those great resources to have have for the collector.

The Evolution of Fashion: Pattern and Cut from 1066 to 1930
by Margot Hamilton Hill, Peter A. Bucknell

I have never had the fortune of actually seeing a copy of this text. It dates from the '60s and I have read many references over the years to this title.

1 comment:

  1. From the Neck Up: An Illustrated Guide to Hatmaking has never been out of print. It has just been hard to find! It's available from the publisher at www.hatbook.com. They also sell it on amazon through the Amazon Marketplace. As always, just $25.