Apr 11, 2011

Little Green Dresses

I had a birthday recently and my kind brother sent me an Amazon giftcard, which I used to order a few sewing books, including Little Green Dresses by Tina Sparkles. The book contains 50 different patterns and instructions for dresses, skirts and tops — but with no actual hard copy paper patterns. So the interesting thing about this book then is that if you start at the beginning and work your way through it, you would be a pretty skilled patternmaker (and sewer) by the end. I haven't made anything yet using the book, but I was impressed that right away Tina Sparkles walks you through making both bodice and skirt slopers (what she calls "The YOU dress"). The method she uses for drafting the bodice slopers is different than what I have learned at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but the results look pretty much the same and there are many ways to achieve a good sloper. (A skirt sloper is super simple and her method is pretty much the same as I have learned.) There are plenty of super easy patterns (tube dress, drawstring skirt) but many that go way beyond cutting out a square sewing it together. Many of the more challenging patterns in this book build on those drafted from instructions on the earlier pages, so your skills would really grow as you go from project to project. Take the "Power Slope Dress" — (sorry, no picture), it's a pretty complicated pattern — more so than I would expect in a book about repurposing thrift store finds.

Many of the dresses and other pieces, as they are styled in the book, are a little young (read: short/tight/quirky. Also: rompers. Boo.) for me. But with any pattern if you use your imagination a little, (and add four or five inches to the hem) there are so many opportunities to customize something for your tastes.

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