I’ve had my eye on Famous Frocks: Patterns and Instructions for Recreating Fabulous Iconic Dresses–10 Patterns for 20 Dresses in All! for quite some time, but never wound up buying it because of some mixed reviews it received when it was first released. While out shopping this weekend, I stumbled across this book, thumbed through it and immediately decided to buy it (with a coupon, of course) – how’s that for impulse shopping? I can understand reviewers had some negative things to say about this title, but overall, I have to say, I like the book. The first thing I should point out is that the title is very misleading. In general, you will not be recreating iconic dresses, but rather, you’re creating garments that are inspired by iconic dresses. This has to be very disappointing for someone buying this book (especially sight unseen) who is thinking that they’ll finally have the perfect Breakfast at Tiffany’s style dress by the end of the week. Secondly, there really aren’t 20 different styles in this book, more like 10 with a variation of each design (I found that a majority of them had minor changes so they really didn’t look that much different from the original drawing). Lastly, there is the sizing – it appears to run very small (the largest size is a 37-30.5-40.5) which means that if you’re plus size or very busty you’ll need to make a lot of modifications to make these patterns work.
Even with all the negatives, why do I still like this book? There are some really cute designs in between it’s pages – I’m not one for vintage sewing so these modern takes on an icon dress is right up my alley. And while these dresses aren’t a replica of what the stars are known for, I can definitely see what the frock was inspired by. Still looking for a replica dress book? Another title coming out this summer called Sew Iconic promises to deliver dress designs worn by Marylin Monroe, Grace Kelly, Kate Winslet and more.