Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Costume Book Review: 18th Century Embroidery Techniques by Gail Marsh

Every Christmas and Birthday, I am spoiled with presents, which very often include books. I keep a very long wish list on Amazon.ca, so whenever my mom or my aunts wonder what to get me, they can pick a book from that list. This Christmas, I got four new books (well, it was five, but there was one my mom bought for me that I already had, so we returned it and I got clothes instead), so today, I thought I'd tell you about one of them.

By now, I guess you know that one of my favorite costume period is the 18th century. I really like the shape of Panniers dresses, but the ones I make are always kind of plain. I use nice fabric and all, but is never as impressive as the real thing, because I don't decorate them they way I could. Cue in my new book: I was very excited to get 18th Century Embroidery Techniques by Gail Marsh in my presents.
I've only had time to flip through it, but it is a beauty. It is filled with close-ups of decorative embroidery goodies, patterns and drawings. There is also a little historical background on the embroiderer's trade, the way they worked on garments, etc. For instance, did you know that the pattern piece was drawn on the fabric, which was then embroidered and then cut to be assembled? It is much easier to work on a flat surface than on a shapeless, limp piece of fabric!

Of course, as the titles mentions, there is also a little how-to. It is organized by types of decoration and associated with examples. But it is not for absolute beginners. If you don't know the basics, I suggest you learn before you decide to tackle one of these projects.

Now I really have learn to embroider.

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