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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Golden Prairie Press–Costumes with Character

Golden Prairie Press


Create historical costumes from eleven time periods using one master dress. Costumes with Character shows you how to take one plain dress and add cuffs, collars, bonnets and more to re-create history. Each time period is introduced with a fascinating overview of specific clothing, who wore it, how it was worn, hairstyles and shoes.  Sprinkled throughout each chapter are quotes from famous historical people and questions which bring the time period to life. Recommended Resources round out the chapter for extra research on each time period.

I will start by saying that I have prior sewing experience. I sew clothing, accessories and some quilting. I have found the instructions included in Costumes with Character to be very well-written. They are easy to follow, step by step and include many well-done illustrations. All  materials and needed notions  are clearly laid out at the beginning of each project.

The patterns included in the book include all accessories to make a plain dress into a time-specific dress. The beginning of the book gives things to look for in a pattern to make the basic dress. The dress pattern is not included, it may be store bought or home made. The pattern size included in the book is for a girl who is 16 and up. Instructions are included for adjusting the patterns down to fit a smaller child.

The patterns in the book are a small scale that will need to be enlarged to use. This was the hardest part of using the book for me. I am not so good at drafting from a small scale to large. Thankfully, Amy Puetz has anticipated this and provides two options. A bonus e-book which has some of the patterns already enlarged and ready to print on legal size paper. The second option is brand new and is one that I will probably buy to make things simpler on myself. This option is Costumes with Character Printed Patterns ($15.00), a 3‘ by 15’ printed sheet which included 45 pattern pieces. This will simplify making the costumes.

The collars and cuffs, belts etc. are not permanently attached to the dress, they go over the top of the dress and sleeves thereby making it easy to change time periods on a daily basis. One day your daughter can pretend she is a Quaker with a special collar, apron and bonnet. The next day she can quickly change to the Sailor style of the early 1900’s by changing to a sailor collar, adding a belt and sailor hat. The only stumbling block to the imagination is how fast mom can sew.

I have enjoyed reading through the history and looking through the different patterns in this book. Rebekah had a “pioneer” dress that we had made a few years back.  I have since made her an apron and a bonnet to go with it. Our next project is to make a Hoop Skirt to go under the dress. We will need to find another dress pattern to make as the one we have is short sleeved with a lace edged neckline. To fully utilize the patterns in this book we will need a long sleeve, plain neck dress.

Many of my Schoolhouse Review Crew mates have reviewed Costumes with Character as well as many other books Golden Prairie Press has to offer. Click on the banner below to visit the Crew Blog and read the reviews.


Disclaimer:  As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received the PDF e- book Costumes with Character and bonus Pattern e-book  for free from Golden Prairie Press in exchange for my honest review of their product.  All opinions given are mine and/or my children’s.

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