The apparently effortless grace of a successful gown is always underpinned by solid dressmaking skills - the skills described in "Bridal Couture". Starting with a portfolio of breathtaking gowns designed by the author, "Bridal Couture" covers all the major techniques used to sew these sumptuous couture creations, including choosing fabric, working with lace, creating a muslin, and problem-solving tricky construction issues. Every conceivable style of skirt, sleeve, and bodice is included, as well as suggestions for fabric combinations to evoke just the right mood. A final section details th construction of four actual gowns, giving readers a chance to apply what they've learned. Ideal as a wish book for brides, a textbook for sewing students, a reference book for dressmakers, or a companion book for anyone hiring a dressmaker, "Bridal Couture" is finally a book about fashion and the practical knowledge needed to create fantasy.
Though ostensibly a how-to manual on wedding gown construction, this magnificent book teaches all about advanced dressmaking skills, and its principles can be applied to creating many other types of haute-couture-style gowns. The very thorough text details all aspects of fabrics and construction: the unique characteristics of each type of fashion fabric, including extensive information on manipulating lace; preparing the muslin mockup (a necessary first step to ensure a perfect fit); adjusting the bodice, sleeves, and skirt and joining them all together; adding ornamentation; and handling bustles and trains. The final chapter presents all the specifics of making four gowns of different styles. The novice and even the advanced sewer will learn much here, and perhaps best of all, pattern-drafting experience is not required--the author works her transformations on purchased patterns. If you're ambitious enough to make your own wedding gown, this book is absolutely essential, but even if you're hiring someone else to custom-make your gown, you'll find this an invaluable guide. And anyone pursuing a dressmaking career should have this important reference work on the shelf. --Amy Handy