It's my birthday in February and I've bought myself two, ok three, birthday gifts this year. Two of them have arrived quicker than I expected so I already have them, even if it's just the beginning of February.
The first thing was the book Creating historical clothes: Pattern Cutting from Tudor to Victorian time by Elizabeth Friendship.
review over at American Duchess. I can only agree with the assessment in the review, that the book covers everything, but there are few pictures of actual garments. I've just flipped through it and to be honest all the diagrams and numbers and points seem a bit daunting to me. I'm hoping that once I read through the instructions carefully and just follow them step by step, then it will be a lot clearer. I still think this is the kind of book I need though in order to be able to finally make the patterns I want to, without having to buy new patterns for every single piece. I also like that it covers such a wide time period, since I have promised myself that I am going to make a 17th century outfit one day, and I can't help that I'm dreaming of making a really nice 1880's ensemble as well.
This book together with draping will probably be very helpful. Draping brings me to my major birthday gift to myself. I've finally bought a dressform.
If I want to make something 18th century as tight as the navy anglaise I will simply have to do the final adjustments on my body rather than on the dressform. The reason why the navy anglaise is so tight is also because I used a dressform in size small, and even with padding it was too small compared to myself.
Also even if I'm in an 18th century phase at the moment, I do quite a lot of other clothes as well, and then the dressform can be adjusted to my exact size.