London: Fons & Porter, c2015.
There are 5 distinct designs for bodices, skirts and sleeves in turn. There are also suggestions on how to turn a bodice into a blouse, sometimes with peplum. The cover image shows the most unusual bodice as well as the most unusual sleeve, which has an inverted box pleat running from shoulder to elbow. If you are looking for a bit of a different style for your dress wardrobe, this book might be a good bet.
The photographs here are gorgeous; all styled images with forest, lakes and flowers as beautiful backgrounds. They feel quite moody, with mists and brick walls featuring as well. The models are all young and thin, suitable for the sizing, I guess. Size range runs from 2 - 16, or a 33-44.5" bust and 35-46.5" hip.
The book includes information at the beginning on choosing your size, preparing your pattern, basic dress construction like seams, zippers etc. For a beginner this will be helpful but most sewists interested in a book like this will probably be comfortable with these basics already.
Unlike the previous book of this kind that I reviewed last week, there are no pattern hacking elements to this one beyond the mix-and-match styles. She does mention adding elements like ties and collars to change things up, and the style lines of many of the bodices also encourage some colour blocking.
I don't think that this is necessarily an essential book for the sewing room, but if you're looking for some unusual patterns and you love dresses, it might be a good addition. I found that the sleeve section was the most interesting for me, as she has a couple of features (like the pleated sleeve) that I haven't really seen in many of my patterns so far. There are some intriguing ideas to use in future makes.
If you like Victory Patterns' aesthetic, this book will be just the thing for you. The sizing and the specific patterns included do limit its general usefulness somewhat, but as a dress lover, I find it lovely to look through even if I haven't tried anything yet.
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