|Creative Dressing / Kaori O'Connor|
Boston, MA: Routledge & Kegan Paul, c1981.
It's made up of about half sewing and half knitting patterns -- I'm only commenting on the sewing ones, as I have no knowledge of knitting so can't judge those ones other than by appearance. The sewing patterns include items like a basic mock-kimono, poncho top and skirt, Balinese trousers, Indochinese jacket, Ottoman Kusak Dressing Gown, Indian shirt dress, fabric shoulder bag, Singapore Pyjamas, Tartar Khalat Coat, Chinese jacket and side slit skirt and Translyvanian Peasant Shirt.
These are all presented on graphs ready for scaling up - that tells you how straightforward most of the pattern pieces are. Alongside these are copies of 70s chic designer outfits like a sundress, t-shirt dress, or bodysuit (among others) as well as the insertion of a few nightgowns & historical outfits. This book covers it all.
The styling of these are so 70s and mostly really out of date; the traditional designs are of course timeless but in lovely 70s fabric and photography so you really have to look past that to the style lines. There are a bunch of designs offered by a variety of other designers in addition to the traditional items I was most interested in. But, the sizing is TINY. I think the biggest waist size for skirts & trousers was 28" as far as I could tell. And most of the items are one size, for a bust between 34-38" if they are voluminous at the waist.
If you take this as a visit to the past, it can show you a lot. And the basic outlines of classic patterns were interesting to examine. I was particularly interested in the Peasant Shirt, as the basic shape is similar to a Ukrainian vyshyvanka, which I'd like to make for myself this year. However, other than as a 70s redux I'm not sure that this book is actually all that practical for modern sewists. Also, the wholesale use of designs across multiple cultures is a bit cringe-worthy these days. Still, I found it weirdly compelling - all that 70s glamour... Rather eye dazzling. This is one to flip through for its retro interest, but not to truly recommend.