What's a beautiful coffee table book on dresses or seamstress stuff?
August 12, 2021 3:52 PM   Subscribe

I know an older woman who just had a second intestinal surgery. Normally I'd send a gift basket of food but not now. And I can't send another post-op gift basket. I know she's a former seamstress so I'd like to send her a beautiful coffee table book on...that stuff. Yeah I don't know the area. But maybe you do. give me a recommendation.
posted by rileyray3000 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Depending on her actual interests something like "Vogue: The Covers" might be of interest. I also have "The Golden Age of Couture" -- both of them are very beautiful, but speak a bit more to my love of fashion than my love of sewing -- but these things often go hand in hand.
posted by Medieval Maven at 3:58 PM on August 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

I agree with the recommendation for The Golden Age of Couture! It has gorgeous pictures and essays on the designers.
posted by Lycaste at 4:01 PM on August 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is a classic so she might already have it, Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:03 PM on August 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

Any book on
with enough sketches of how the clothes were cut for a seamstress to think about. Also any of the V&A books on fashion In Detail.
posted by clew at 4:35 PM on August 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

This fashion embroidery book came out years ago and still has a long list of holds at the library. It looks BEAUTIFUL. https://www.amazon.ca/Fashion-Embroidery-Techniques-Inspiration-Haute-Couture-ebook/dp/B079T2CRCK
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 4:43 PM on August 12, 2021

I was gifted The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion and love it. It’s got beautiful photos and really interesting descriptions of all kinds of textiles.
posted by assenav at 4:46 PM on August 12, 2021

The Betty Kirke book on Madeleine Vionnet that clew linked above is fantastic.

Bonnie Cashin: Chic is Where You Find It is also great.
posted by doift at 6:44 PM on August 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

I apologize that this is not a coffee table book, but I can't help but wonder if she has read The Gown by Jennifer Robson? It's a novel about embroiderers in post-war London who work at a couture fashion house and make the wedding dress for the Queen.
posted by pangolin party at 3:24 AM on August 13, 2021

There’s a Japanese series (in English) of books called Pattern Magic that have really interesting clothing shapes. I don’t know if they’re still in print so the link is the google search, lots of used ones available.
posted by sepviva at 7:30 AM on August 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Maybe a book about the costumes in a prestige TV show or movie? They are often incredibly well designed, and sometimes constructed from scratch. Game of Thrones, maybe Downton Abbey, Evita, Great Gatsby, etc... if you know anything else about the historical eras she likes that might help you choose?
posted by nouvelle-personne at 7:37 AM on August 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Maybe something along sewing lines but off the direct path since you don't know what area she may be interested in, what area she was once interested in but isn't any more or what books she already has, etc.

The book, Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith, is a good example of a beautiful book that any seamstress would like (and non seamstresses too!) Or any book on the Japanese art of Boro.
posted by mulcahy at 12:28 PM on August 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

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