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"Patterns for Theatrical Costumes:
Garments, Trims and Accessories from Ancient Egypt to 1915"

Holkeboer, Katherine Strand. Patterns for Theatrical Costumes: Garments, Trims and Accessories from Ancient Egypt to 1915. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1984.

Maritza Volmar
Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional Dominican Republic
June 9, 2004

"This book is the most comprehensive, single-volume collection of historical patterns (from Ancient Egypt through 1915) available today for men's and women's costumes. While the pattern designs are very simplistic, present little detail on closures or embellishments and present only general instructions on construction, they are functional and very easy to make, represent nearly authentic cuts and effectively achieve the intended essential look for their specific period.

"Each pattern in the book is presented in three sizes, and for each individual piece of a complete garment a label is often attached, giving its historical name and a brief description of its appearance or use. As a bonus, patterns for specialty costumes (fantasy, religious, Chinese, Japanese, and animals), undergarments, hats, wigs and masks are included, and its Introduction explains, in a step-by-step format, costuming techniques such as enlarging patterns, fitting designs, and draping.

"This book can also serve, with just a little imagination, as an infinite source of ideas to help you create your own patterns, although you will have to refer to other books on period specific costumes to give your work finishing details like ornaments, trims, and other accessories.

"The only weak point of the book is its glued soft-cover binding, which is completely inadequate for the spine-creasing use to which it's sure to be subjected.

"If you either work for the theater or just enjoy making your own costumes, you will find this book to be an indispensable part of your library. "

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