Saturday, September 1, 2012

Costumes With Character

This month I'm reviewing "Costumes With Character" by Amy Puetz  Amy is a homeschool graduate, lover of history and creator of this wonderful book of ideas for fashioning costumes to coincide with American History studies.  Her idea is, by starting with one basic dress, you can make basic changes in the embellishments and change your Puritan outfit to a Pilgrim, your Pioneer dress to a Civil War ensemble, just by making simple changes to the collar or by removing the apron. 

This collection of looks if accompanied by historical information that could supplement your history curriculum.  If I had daughters, I know we would be making all of these outfits, probably wearing them in public every chance we got!

 I like that a color photograph of each style being modeled is available for you.  Instructions for making your own patterns is at the start of the book.  The patterns, as they are written, are designed for an "average" 16 year old girl, but modifications are shown for all ages that should make this relatively simple for someone with basic sewing skills.  The book is infused with historical and literary quotes and more tips on modifying the looks to suit a different time period.  There are patterns for sunbonnets and capes to top it all off! 

Costumes with Character is available as a soft-cover book for $37.00 or as a digital download for $21.95.  A seperate e-book of printed patterns that can be printed right to legal-sized paper is available for $15.00.  Some larger pattern pieces must be fit together once they are printed, but not many.

I think this is very unique product that needs to be on the market.  There are patterns currently available at fabric stores if you enjoy historical sewing.  However, Amy's book brings it all together in one place and shows how to save money and time by changing the look of a simple frock pattern to suit your style.  My only wish is that there could be something for boys in the book.  For the rare family that is comprised only of females, this book would be a great value.  But for most families who have sons that would want to be included in the historical reenactments or whatever the occasion may be, they would have to seek out another product or pattern line for their boys.  I personally have only boys, so I'm not sure I would buy this product at all, besides the fact that I secretly hope to be cast as an extra in a Jane Austen movie one day.....I think adding a few simple elastic-waisted pants paterns (that could be long or knee-length) and maybe a simple collarless shirt that could be modified for boys, plus a vest or two, would greatly enhance this product's appeal for families needing a bit of both.

Amy does, however, have many other history books and products available at her website (link is at the top of the page). 

Please see what the rest of the Homeschool Crew thought of "Costumes with Character" and Amy's other history products at

**Disclaimer:  I was provided an e-book version of this product in exchange for my honest review.


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