Welcome to FrockTalk, the web’s only costume-based movie review site. The goal of Frocktalk is to shed light on the magnificent artistry of costume design in motion pictures. Reviews on this site are written by working costume designers in the entertainment industry – people who know, better than anyone, what it takes to make it all happen. The focus of FrockTalk is not to comment on the big flashy costume dramas, but to call attention to the seemingly ordinary costume design work in film that silently and persuasively moves the audience toward understanding the characters. Costume design for motion pictures is an art form that deserves more recognition than it usually gets. Fancy, pretty costumes do not always equal effective, appropriate costumes. The art of the costume is in letting the audience know who the character is, before the actor even has a chance to open his mouth. Read on, and enjoy. ** CAUTION: ALL REVIEWS CONTAIN SPOILERS! **

Connecting to the Past with Needle and Thread!

Hello Frocktalkers, and happy Friday!!! I want to talk with you about something very close to my heart, and that is SEWING. As a costume designer, it is essential that I know how to sew – how else would I be able to design clothing or costumes?! Yes, a stylist can shop and pick beautiful garments from stores and showrooms, and put them together in a whole new way, creating a fresh “look”, but a designer starts from scratch. So, for you aspiring costume designers out there, I have a challenge: Get out your sewing machines and your scissors!!!

I am a collector of vintage patterns. I have hundreds and hundreds of vintage patterns, from the 1800s until present day. If you are interested in costumes and fashion history, a vintage pattern is a great way to connect with the past! There are tons of websites selling vintage patterns, including Patterns From the Past and vintage patterns wiki, not to mention eBay and Etsy.

Step one: check these sites out and find one you like. If you’re a beginner, look for a pattern marked “easy” on the front, particularly from the 1970s – present day. These are tissue patterns with markings on the tissue (as opposed to older tissue patterns where the markings are just holes punched in different sizes all over the tissue) and are much easier to follow.

Step two: go to your local fabric store (avoiding the large chains if you can) or rifle through your local thrift store for some old funky-print sheets, curtains or tablecloths. Stockpile cheap fabric.

Step three: sew your brains out. The more you practice, the better you will become. Sew every day – follow the patterns and study the logic behind putting the garment together. Soon you will be able to alter patterns to create the “look” you see in your head… and one day you won’t need a pattern at all. That is the day, friends, when you are a true designer. You can dream up the look, conceptualize it in 3D, and execute it. That is the true beauty of design.

Here is a great website to give you some inspiration:  A DRESS A DAY!  She is passionate about it, and it’s fun to read about her adventures in sewing with vintage patterns.

Happy sewing everyone, and have a great weekend!!

– KMB

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