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The Art of Dress
Costume in Detail
A Dictionary of Costume
From Queen to Empress
Patterns of Fashion 1
Patterns of Fashion 2
The Way We Wore

A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion
By Mary Brooks Picken

An interesting little volume filled with words and their meanings. I pull this book from my costuming shelf whenever I run across a term that I am unfamiliar with. Everything you ever wanted to know from ascots, to wool. Want to know what a spencer is? How about a stem stitch?

This book has many useful illustrations regarding sewing stitches and more modern fashion element like a peplum or shoulder pad. However, it does run short on the historical side. The illustrations depicting historical fashion are not correct (with the exception of a little mid-section of the book with several black and white photographs of artifacts and museum pieces). The definitions for many historical fashion garments do not pin point when they were popular (many are just said to have been popular in a particular century). Therefore, the reader must either have a good basic understanding of historical fashion, or look elsewhere.

Otherwise, I've found this book very helpful when it comes to looking up a stitch type or fabric definition. A nice little addition to any seamstresses' shelf. :-)--Reviewed by C.


2 stars out of 5

Artwork is October (1877) by James Tissot, courtesy of CGFA.

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2003 Across the Ages