Review: The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking

This book was sent to me by Page Street Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

There are few historical costuming bloggers as well known as The American Duchess. Lauren has been blogging about historical clothing since 2009 and her Instagram is one of the most impressive sewing-related social media accounts out there. I’m excited to have had the chance to review The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking: How to Hand Sew Georgian Gowns and Wear Them With Style by Lauren Stowell and Abby Cox, a book featuring her incredible designs, patterns and tips.

Note: I can sew but not nearly to the level of creating a dress, let alone a historically accurate costume. But I know enough to be able to review a how-to book like this. I also know that gowns from the Georgian era are the prettiest things ever and most certainly my favorite time in history for fashion.

The authors make sure to include a complete outfit, accessories and more in the book so your costume is complete—four different styles of gowns, undergarments and accessories for each, it’s a very thorough collection of patterns and clear, concise directions.

Like the best sewing manuals, this book is sewn using “premium binding” so it stays open and flat for ease of use when the sewist has their hands full.

Each pattern featured in this book includes lots of photos of the project from many angles to give the sewist a clear picture of what they need to do next. The photos are nice and clear and close to the details. The details are a big part of why 18th century gowns are so exquisite so this is both especially important and helpful.

This book, which will be released on November 21, 2017, is perfect for the advanced sewist, preferably someone who has prior experience with historical costume. A lovely book!


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jillianne hamilton headshotJillianne Hamilton is an author, history enthusiast, book lover and graphic designer. Her debut novel, Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, was shortlisted for the 2016 Prince Edward Island Book Award. She is currently working on her first non-fiction book. She lives in Charlottetown on Canada's beautiful east coast.
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