A couple new sewing books (okay, one new, and one’s been out for a while) have made it across my desk (okay, cutting table) and they’re both interesting.
The first, Sundressing, by Melissa Mora, is a book of (you guessed it) sundress patterns. I was pleased to see this one because it has a very large size range: 0 to 22 for women (bust 31″ to 45″) and girls (2T to 12). Most of the pattern books I see, unless they’re specifically for plus-sizes, top out at about a US size 16.
Sundressing features 21 different styles, photographed on a diverse range of people (the photography is really nice; it’s not just skinny white women in nearly empty rooms). But it’s the methodology that really sets Sundressing apart: instead of traceable patterns for each style, there’s one basic bodice, and Mora provides detailed instructions for altering the bodice for each style.
Needless to say, this is a LOT of work (I quailed just looking at some of the instructions) but if you are looking to get into serious pattern-altering, this seems like a gentle way to start. (Many of the resources I see for taking a basic bodice block and altering it for different design elements look a lot like this ‘‘ joke.)
I’m not sure if I will sew anything out of this book (leafing through it made me realize my deep commitment to sleeves), but I did for a moment wish I had the kind of life where this dress made sense:
I was far more tempted by the dresses in , by Kristiann Boos (of , even though the size range is smaller. It also has nice photography where the dress style lines are very clear, although the list of places where I choose to wear very high heels never includes “a lifeguard station” or “leaning on a rustic fence rail” or “a birch grove” (but maybe that’s just me).
The theme of Boundless Style is one dear to my heart: swapping bodice and skirt matchups to make the Frankendress of your dreams. The ‘Catrina’ bodice is probably my favorite:
The patterns aren’t paper in Boundless Style, but come on a CD embedded in the back cover, which is a plus for some (print them over and over!) and a minus for others. (I know I *have* an external CD/DVD drive for my laptop, but it usually takes fifteen minutes of trying to remember where my past self thought my present self would look first before I find it. Past Erin is not a good predictor of future Erin’s thinking.) And sadly, although the skirts are very nice (including two six-gore options) there are no pockets included or instructions on how to add them. (I wish that the dress from the Victory line had been included: it’s been on my wish list for a while!)
If you’re looking for a few new ideas or inspiration to help you stretch your sewing wings a bit, I think either of these books would be worth a look!