It seems as if reproducing famous garments is a ‘hot topic’ this year. Not only have we see Famous Frocks, but now we have Sew Iconic. I bought this book recently and was very excited to see what was inside because let’s face it, we all want to be Audrey Hepburn or Marylin Monroe sometime in our lives! Inside are 10 “Iconic Dresses” including Marilyn’s “Seven Year Itch” dress, Audrey Hepburn’s “Breakfast at Tiffanys” feathered frock, Grace Kelly’s goddess gown, and even the famous “Titanic” dress. While the book does a better job representing the final version of the costume than what Famous Frocks did (they were more of a modern take on the dress), it still falls flat when it comes to making it look exactly like the original…. and I’m not being picky when I say that. A great example is Grace Kelly’s dress from “To Catch a Thief”, while it is a great representation of the dress, it lacks the fitting and beautiful draping or the original (the same really goes for the ‘green “Atonement” dress’ – that gaping under the arm just makes me cringe). That is not to say there aren’t some very close knock-offs – I especially liked the Marilyn, Rita Hayworth, Julia Roberts (in “Pretty Woman”), and the Titanic dress (if it was in a different fabric).
As for the patterns, everything is included in the book – full-full sized, even! The only drawback is that they are laid out like a Burda magazine so it looks like a road map when you open it up to trace them. The instructions seem to be well written and laid out so that even a beginner can follow them (although I would suggest starting with some of the less complicated designs first). My favorite part?: I love that there is background information included with each dress and a ‘how to work it’ section once your dress is completed.
The Bottom Line: If you are not looking for an exact replica of your favorite Iconic Dresses and you are willing to make a muslin to properly fit your look, then I highly recommend this book. It has some great looks, perfect for a costume or theme party – and everyone will definitely know who you are even if it’s not totally like the original.