Forties and Fifties Fashion for the Stage: Patterns from Vintage Clothing, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Forties and Fifties Fashion for the Stage

Patterns from Vintage Clothing, 1st Edition

By Jessica Parr


310 pages | 409 Color Illus.

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pub: 2018-05-21
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Forties and Fifties Fashion for the Stage: with Patterns from Vintage Clothing provides instruction on how to recreate fashion from the 1940s and 1950s that withstands the vigorous demands of theatrical stage use. This book provides historical context for the clothing and features authentic patterns taken from real vintage pieces. Forties and Fifties Fashion for the Stage demonstrates how to construct a durable costume from scratch, and how to adjust patterns to fit an individual’s measurements. The book also contains a number of "How To Fake It" chapters with advice on thrifting and how to create period fashion using today’s clothing. Both men’s and women’s fashions and patterns are featured, including formal and casual wear.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents    

Part I - Designing for the Forties and Fifties   


Chapter 1 - Design Basics   

Chapter 2 - Fashion of the Forties    

Chapter 3 - How to Fake the Forties for Women    

Chapter 4 - How to Fake the Forties for Men      

Chapter 5 - Fashion of the Fifties   

Chapter 6 - How to Fake the Fifties for Women  

Chapter 7 - How to Fake the Fifties for Men    


Part II - Patterns and Construction  


Chapter 8 - Measurements 

Chapter 9 – How to Enlarge a Scale Pattern   

Chapter 10 - How to Alter a Pattern Based on Measurements         

Chapter 11 – How to Plan the Construction Steps for a Garment 

Chapter 12 – How to Fit a Muslin Mock Up 

Chapter 13 – How to Alter a Pattern After a Fitting   

Chapter 14 - Forties Peplum Dress Pattern 

Chapter 15 - Forties Shirtwaist Dress Pattern   

Chapter 16 - Forties Blouse Pattern   

Chapter 17 - Forties Ladies' Suit Pattern 

Chapter 18 - Forties Dinner Dress Pattern 

Chapter 19 - Fifties Day Dress Pattern 

Chapter 20 - Fifties Blouse Pattern 

Chapter 21 - Fifties Ladies' Suit Pattern  

Chapter 22 - Fifties Dinner Dress with Bolero Pattern  

Chapter 23 - Fifties Formal Gown Pattern   

Chapter 24 – Covering a Necktie 




1  Fashion Designers of the Forties and Fifties  

2  Plays and Musicals Written or Set in the Forties and Fifties   

3  Films of the Forties and Fifties  

About the Author

Jessica Parr is a professor at Northwestern State University of Louisiana where she teaches Costume Design and Technology. She received her BFA from the University of Nebraska and her MFA from the University of Illinois. She previously taught at Parkland College and the University of Louisiana – Monroe. She has designed and constructed costumes for theatres throughout the country, including Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Struthers Library Theatre, Dorset Theatre Festival, Barter Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and the Santa Fe Opera.

About the Series

The Focal Press Costume Topics Series

Costumes are one of the most important aspects of any production. They are essential tools that create a new reality for both the actor and audience member, which is why you want them to look flawless! Luckily, we're here to help with The Focal Press Costume Topics Series; offering books that expalin how to design, construct, and accesorize costumes from a variety of genres and time periods. Step-by-step projects ensure you never get lost or lose inspiration for your design. Let us lend you a hand (or a needle or a comb) with your next costume endeavor!

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / Stagecraft