Embellishments wins an IPPY award!

2015 winner of an Independent Publisher's Book Award!


Embellishments: Constructing Victorian Detail has been awarded a 2015 silver medal by the Independent Publisher Book Awards!

This book highlights ten of the dresses from the original  Embellishments: Constructing Victorian Detail exhibit from the University of New Hampshire’s Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection, and analyzes their design elements in depth. Each item has been closely examined, taking advantage of places where threads have loosened over time to peer at the back side of trims, searching garment interiors, and studying fabric grain lines and seams for clues on construction. Lush color photography of full-length gowns and close-up views of construction details are paired with descriptions, clear diagrams, and instructions for a book you can enjoy on many levels.

By Astrida Schaeffer. Foreword by Lisa MacFarlane, PhD. Introduction by Kimberly Alexander, PhD. Published by Great Life Press

Here’s what people are saying about the book:

In an era in which our closets are full of mass-produced clothing, Embellishments offers us a rich and lushly illustrated book that combines an obvious love of handcraft with intimate knowledge of Victorian garment construction. — Michelle Tolini Finamore, Curator of Fashion Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

I just opened your exquisite book! What a wonderful thing you’ve done! It’s the next best thing to seeing and touching the genuine articles: the close-ups, the drawings, the insights as to how and why! You’ve done such a service for those of us who will probably never have the opportunity to do more than gaze longingly through the glass at museums. I envy you the experience. Thank you so much for sharing it!
— Mary Elizabeth Quinn

The book is just wonderful. The photographs are great as are the illustrations. They make it very clear and undaunting to try these techniques.
— Rex Richards, Dryden House Stitching

It’s fantastic! Wow, what a resource! I am so glad I found out about this and would gladly back another project like this. Maybe a Volume II with pattern diagrams? — Gillian Simpson

This is a magnificent book, and very special since you have so carefully deconstructed the magic of creating those intricate trimmings and embellishments! It is both a reminder of the beauty of the collection and a primer on how to recreate some of the loveliest and most complex garment finishings ever! My staff are enjoying the book – especially the instructions on achieving the trimmings – I told them they could enjoy the book, but not to drool on it!
— Ann Carnaby, Tracy Theatre Originals