Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book Reviews times two

I really enjoyed reading this book - it has a short sharp sweet flavour which is reflected in the fun cover and graphics. Although I am perhaps a little older and more expereinced than the intended audience I did enjoy reading about the recycling of curtains and other fabric and the hilarious "making a sausage dog" story at the end. In some ways it does over simplify sewing. For those who are die hard, die in the grave or dye cast about sewing it will be an object of horror that Eithne describes making a rectangle into a skirt, drawing around one's body to make a pattern and other "idiot proof" ideas. For those who are sick of the mass produced MIC products in black this book is a blast of colour and ideas.

My love affair with the forties was born out of my interest in the Fifties and although I love the fun of the fifties, it is the austerity of the forties which really captures my imagination. Beautifully photographed and laid out, this book is a clothing history and the effects of war on all kinds of clothes - ball gowns, couture clothes, mass produced items, uniforms, jewellry, hats. The photos really showed the fabrics at their best too, with close ups showing extra detail. The book covers Europe, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan too which was very interesting and I learnt about the fabrics for Hawaiian Shirts, and the changes to Japanese kimono. Again, items made from Black Out Fabric or refashioned from other items, such as the women's suit made from a man's suit really appealed to me.

There is a great scene in Gone With The Wind where Scarlett decides to go and see Rhett and she claims that she has nothing to wear and then she looks up at the curtains and decides to turn the curtains into an outfit (above). If I had to make a dress from curtains I would be horrified as most of mine came from the Warehouse and have thermal backing!

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