Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do Clothes Really Make The Woman?

I confess, I can't stop buying children's books, even though I no longer have any small children. But then, I'm not buying them for the kids...they're for me. These two are 50 years apart in age, but the theme of each is the same....the story of clothes.

The Story Book of Clothes 1933: The illustrations in this volume are beautiful, colorful and illustrate countries and customs as well as the clothes of the regions.

And this charmer from 1971 goes into detail about all aspects of costume from head to toe, underwear to outerwear.

It is the prospect of finding prizes like these that keep me shuffling through the shelves in thrift and antique stores.

In a similiar vein, I will happily be watching another episode of Project Runway tonight at 8 pm central time. I am completely taken with this show. The thing that really fascinates me about it is the thought of being given a challenge, limited time to plan and shop for materials and still being able to produce fabulous garments. How do they do it? I've taken a 3-dimensional art class. Believe me when I is not easy to be creative on demand, to make something gorgeous out of electrical wire or rubber gloves or garbage or solo cups!

I mean if you were taken to a grocery store, given some money and 20 minutes to buy everything you would need to make a garment, could you do it?

Check this dress is made entirely of solo cups!

This is the winning garment from this particular challenge. It is made using vacuum cleaner bags which are dyed with RIT dye and Clorax. The bodice is coffee filters. The waistband is decorated with thumb tacks.

In last week's challenge the contestants had to make cocktail dresses from whatever their models brought back from a trip to the fabric store. No time to plan ahead or give tips to the models before they were wisked off to shop.

This is the winning dress.

I think people are becoming interested in sewing again partly due to shows like these. Like all reality shows, it is full of drama, but the creative challenges are what keep me coming back.


  1. You know I have a weakness for children's books, too, and keep adding to my collection. I love this Story Book of Clothes!! And I can't believe I've never seen it...I'll have to look for this one for sure! Fun post.

  2. Lovely old books! The illustrations are wonderful! I've watched a season or two of Project Runway....really fun!

  3. I'm tagging you!! You're IT, Stevie!!! but only if you want to play...come on over for the details.

  4. Stevie...You've hit on one of my favorite things ...Children's books. My last two post have been about what is going on in my head lately...reading to my grandchildren has me all excited about children's classics. I think your interest in Project Runway and sewing is nothing more than the artist in you..a beautiful thing...your talent is just bursting out in all directions :)

  5. There sure are talented and creative people in this world! I'm encouraged when I see people "Going for their Dream!"

  6. Great books and they are true collectors items. I bet your grand daughters will enjoy looking at them, too!

    My daughter adores Project Runway and wouldn't miss an episode! Those dresses were amazing, but I htink I'll stick with doing baking challenges over sewing challenges!

  7. My daughter is going to be a elementary school teacher. Maybe I should start collecting books for her. I like having something to look for while I am out looking...he he he. I am not sure why I do not watch Project Runway, I love fashion and tv again, he he he.

  8. Those dresses sure are creative. I like the vaccuum one the best. I haven't seen the show, I rarely watch tv and never know when anything is on, but it does sound interesting. Now as for your kiddie clothes books, I am going to do a post for you because I have a cute little old antique book you'd like, called "Clothing the Child". Right up your alley....

    I agree, old kid's books are for all ages...they have a charm all their own that's hard to resist at any age...


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