GIVEAWAY: Sew Iconic

More than one of us has completely missed important plot points in a film because we’ve been ogling at a dress, I guarantee it. Fashion and film were made for each other.

Sew Iconic, a new book from Thunder Bay Press, marries a love of film with a love of sewing to bring ten iconic dresses from the silver screen within the reach of seamstresses like you and I.

My favorites are Keira Knightley’s 1930s dress from Atonement, Rita Hayworth’s black sheath and Grace Kelly’s blue chiffon gown from To Catch a Thief, but with ten dresses to choose from there’s sure to be something for everyone.

      • Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman
      • Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s
      • Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing
      • Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch
      • Keira Knightley in Atonement
      • Catherine Zeta Jones in Chicago
      • Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief
      • Rita Hayworth in Gilda
      • Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair
      • Kate Winslet in Titanic

This spiral-bound (thank you!) handbook includes a full size pattern for each dress and masses of photos, information and tips. In fact, what I like best about Sew Iconic is the sheer volume of background info that accompanies each dress.

Not just a set of instructions for sewing, this book fills you in on the movie, the actress, the designer and, most importantly, how to style the dress to turn heads.

To win your very own copy of Sew Iconic, leave a comment below – which dress would you sew up first and why?

The winner will be chosen on Wednesday, July 4th. As always on WeSewRetro, this giveaway is open to entrants worldwide.

Good luck!

• Meet the Author • Katherine


I'm the editor at WeSewRetro so don't hesitate to get in touch with any problems or questions. In addition to keeping the good ship WeSewRetro afloat, I do an amateurish but enthusiastic job of raising a daughter, teach university professors how to dominate a computer by day and study for a masters in literature at night. My daily coffee consumption would kill a small horse. I'm having a clandestine relationship with bias binding and my idea of hell is turning a spaghetti strap right side out.


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119 comments… add one

  • Grace Kelly’s dress for sure! I love her understated elegance, and I hope I’d look a tenth as good as she does in that movie!

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  • I would chance the Atonement dress. That green literally made my jaw drop when I saw it… though I heard from asipiring replicators it was held up mostly by tape & a prayer!

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  • I love the neckline and structure of Kate Winslet’s Titanic dress – I would have to hold a part especially to wear it though!

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  • Although I would be making them all, the first would have to be Catherine Zeta Jones “Chicago” dress…one of my very favourite musicals :-)

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  • Keira Knightley’s dress I have always wanted to make something so flowing.

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  • Oh, I have always wanted Marilyn Monroe’s beautiful white dress from “The Seven Year Itch” – so pure and flowing. Regarding the stunning Atonement dress, I just bought a painful amount of bottle green crepe de chine with that very dress in mind *soon, my precious*

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  • Julia Roberts’ dress from “Pretty Woman!” It is spunky and fashionable – would look great no matter what one’s generation, X- or Boomer. This cheer-full dress would be my first project from that wonderful book!

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  • The Titanic dress…the way the black chiffon highlights the red slip underneath…I’ve been obsessed with that dress since high school.

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  • I love the Rita Hayworth dress but would probably save making it for an occasion to wear it so I would definately sew up the Faye Dunaway dress first. Love the idea of this book!

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  • Julia Roberts. I have been enchanted by that simple elegant dress since I first saw the move as a young girl…

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  • Oh Rita Hayworth, definitely. I’d almost take up smoking to look like her in that dress. Sigh.

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  • The Pretty Woman dress. I’d want the same fabric, and I’d wear it with a big hat. I have always loved that look!

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  • How can a person choose just one dress? But Audrey Hepburn has got to be my favorite!

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  • My favorite is Grace Kelly’s, but I would make Audrey Hepburn’s dress first. It’s just a classic that I could wear anytime.

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  • I’m so torn! It would be either the Thomas Crown Affair or Atonement :) Love both of them!

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    • Oh, and both would just be because I completely fell in love with them in the movie. I mean, who wouldn’t want both?

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  • I think I would have to make the dress from Dirty Dancing for my daughter. She watched that movie over and over and over when she was a teen. It would make her happy.

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  • Omg yes! This would be amazing! And Chicago is one of my fave movies.

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  • This book looks great. I would sew the Faye Dunaway dress. I love the button details and have been loving the Mod look lately. I hope I win, but if I don’t I will probably have to get a copy!

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  • HAHA! First I love this post because people laugh at me when I say, “I love the fabrics in that movie.” Or “I love that movie, there were some great dresses!”

    I would have to make Grace Kelly’s dress since “To Catch a Thief” is one of my favorite “dress” movies!
    Thanks for bringing this great book to our attention!

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  • I would sew the Audrey dress, while sipping on something with an umbrella in it.

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  • Its sooo hard to choose! I just adore the dress Keira Knightley wore in Atonement, but would have to go with Kate Winslet’s dress in Titanic, its just so elegant!

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  • The Rita Hayworth Dress from Gilda – I think I read somewhere she had to be sewn into it – but whoa was it worth it – elegance for the ages.

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  • Oh I would have to start with the Dirty Dancing dress, but I know I would end up making every one of them!

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  • Oh my, this is my dream giveaway…. I love classic films particularly for the fashions!

    Although I love Audrey, my first choice would be Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch – she’s much more my body type :)

    Thanks so much x

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  • I’d be making the Keira Knightly dress from Attonement as soon as the book arrived! I’m pretty sure I only saw the film so I could see that dress in action. Second project would be a toss up between Grace Kelly’s ‘To Catch A Thief’ dress (Edith Head design?) and Rita Hayworth’s ‘Gilda’ dress.

    Thanks for hosting such a fantastic giveaway!

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  • I would make Kate Winslet’s dress because that dress was the first one I saw where I forgot about the movie to watch the dress. As a knitter and a sewer I constantly have to rewind movies because I have gotten so caught up in seeing the dress/sweater/scarf/shawl from different angles as the character moves through the scene. The dress that Rose wears to dinner is one of the most stunning garments I have ever seen, and one that could actually picture wearing myself. Now I just have to find a doomed ship…

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  • I’d sew Baby’s dress first because it is so summery! Maybe the Atonement or Grace Kelly’s dress for a wedding dress…

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  • This is a FANTASTIC giveaway! I would love to start with the Audrey Hepburn dress. I think I may need to purchase this book if I don’t win it!!!

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  • The Grace Kelly dress is stunning! It helps that she’s wearing it, obviously, but what a showstopper.

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  • Julia’s polka dot dress in Pretty Woman.

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  • The story goes that when Rita Hayworth was asked what held her strapless “Gilda” dress up, she replied. “Two things.”

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  • hard to choose which one first…..I think it would be pretty women, followed up by Dirty dancing…..unless I was going to a wedding…..& I’d do the Titanic…great book

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  • Sorry, but I don’t think this is a very good book. I took a look at it in the store a couple of weeks ago and put it back without buying. The information and background stuff may be wonderful, but I think the actual patterns provided leave a lot to be desired. Some of them don’t bear much resemblance to the originals. “Inspired by” would be a better way to describe them. And I think a user would likely have to grade the pattern up or down unless she happens to match the size provided. Certainly a good sewist should be able to use the book and patterns as a springboard to her creativity and design skills. Bear that in mind and don’t expect patterns that replicate the iconic dresses.

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  • brilliant giveaway! I’d (obviously?) sew up the Gilda gown first…..I love it so…

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  • What a great book! I would sew up Julia Roberts dress from Pretty Woman first. She looked amazing in that movie. I would style it with the hat.

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  • I think that the titanic dress would be nice to sew – it’s so unusual with it’s draping and lace sleeves. Wonderful! And the Kiera dress have such an interesting cut – to find a sewing pattern for that might be hard.

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  • I would definitely start with Julia Robert’s dress from Pretty Woman, because I’ve actually got that one on a someday-maybe sewing list, along with a BurdaStyle pattern that would be a good starting point and a link to a brown and white polka dot cotton for sale on myfabrics.co.uk :)

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  • The 1930s are my thing, so definitely the Atonement dress.

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  • Wow this book looks amazing! Thanks for telling us about it. :-)

    I’d make up the Grace Kelly dress first, very quickly followed by pretty much all of the others, ha ha!

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  • Rita Hayworth – that woman was a goddess but I am sure it was more than to do with the dress! I would be the happiest person alive if I could look anything remotely like her in any dress but in this one – the world would be my oyster. XXX

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  • I’ve always loved Kate Winslet’s Titanic Dress, however, I’ve got some brown polka dot rayon exactly exactly like Julia Robert’s dress from Pretty Women. So it’s got to be that one!
    Great giveaway!

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  • The Dirty Dancing Dress, no doubt!! It is sooo pretty and still wearable! But, let’s be honest, they all are tempting…

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  • I love the Faye Dunaway dress from The Thomas Crown Affair – asymmetric, buttons, 60’s style – everything I love. To be honest I would love every single dress here (but I’m afraid it would just show up that I am no Grace Kelly!).

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  • Oooh, please count me in! I’d love to sew up Keira’s dress first as it really is so elegant and stunning!!! Oh and then I’d make my way through the rest ;o)

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  • The Rita Hayworth dress; I have never been ‘sexy’ and would love to look (or feel like, in my case!) a sex goddess.
    I would probably have a go at them all!

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  • Oh I’d have to make the Dirty Dancing dress. I loved that movie!!

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  • Whaouh!! I want o make all of them but I think I would start by the Keira Knightley one!! When I first saw Atonement I just could talke my eyes out of this green dress.

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  • I think I would love to make them all. But the one dress I really want to make is the famous Marilyn Monroe dress. Every time one of my dresses or skirts gets a gust of wind I think of Marilyn. I have to admit I’m a bit of an addict. I’m trying to find every movie she ever made on dvd, even if she’s just in it for 5 minutes.
    So I would looooove the dress ;)

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  • I would love to enter this giveaway! I would sew Julia Robert’s Pretty Woman dotted dress first. It has always been my favourite.

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  • The Rita dress, no the Baby dress, no the Rita dress….. This is worse than Sophie’s Choice! I’d make all of them!

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  • GILDA AND MARILYN, DEFINITELY!

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  • Keira Knightley’s dress because it’s very elegant and I loved the movie Atonement

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  • I’d go for Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair. I need to branch out of the 1950s and party like its 1968!

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  • Kiera Knightley’s dress is definitely my favorite but for my figure I think I’d have to go with the Grace Kelly dress first! Fabulous giveaway!

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  • I would definitely love to sew Keira Knightly’s dress. I absolutely adored this dress when I first saw it, in the movie, I almost coveted it. The design is beautiful and the colour is amazing. I want one exactly like it.

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  • I have always lusted after the Atonement dress. i don’t have the figure for it but I would just love the chance to make one up!

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  • This would be really hard to pick…I always wanted Kate’s dress in Titanic, and I would love to do Catherine’s from Chicago too! I would just love to have this in my library to reference to any time I wanted!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Erin

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  • I would love to make an evening dress for our company Christmas party and I adore the Atonement dress and Rita Hayworth’s dress. For some reason though, I think they might be a little too advaced for me to start with.

    For the first thing I would make I think I would stick with either Dirty dancing dress, Marylin’s dress, or the pretty woman dress. Because they don’t seem as complicated (though I could be wrong) and I could wear them more often (all the time even).

    Okay so that wasn’t a very good answer considering I love all of the dresses.

    I am making a decision now and really quickly before I change my mind am going……Dirty Dancing

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  • I’d sew the Julia Roberts dress because it is wearable for most body types, but the Keira Knightly dress is my fave for eye candy.

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  • The Dirty Dancing dress. I don’t want to admit to how many times I paid to see that movie when I was a teenager. Plus it would get a lot of use!

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  • My ultimate dream dress is Grace Kelly’s white dress in To Catch a Thief. Considering my sewing level is not quite there, I’d probably tackle the Jennifer Gray/Dirty Dancing dress. I’m a dancer, so it would get quite a few spins out on the dance floor :)

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  • My father bought me a version of the Pretty woman dress when I was in college. It is one of my favorites. They are all so beautiful! I don’t think I could settle on just one. So sewing marathon, here I come!

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  • I’d make the “Pretty Woman” dress 1st…………………………….. I have loved it from the time I saw the movie.

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  • I’m pretty sure I would sew the Dirty Dancing dress, I’m such a fan ! It would be a great summer dress.

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  • So hard to make a choice but I think I’d make the Pretty Woman dress first as it’s something I could get a lot of use out of. :)

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  • This book looks amazing! I would probably make the Audrey Hepburn dress for my daughter, who has every movie Audrey has made and would look wonderful in this dress.

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  • Totally Julia Robert’s dress from Pretty Woman.

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  • oh what a fun topic! If you have not seen “The Best of Everything,” I highly recommend it. Keep an eye out for Hope Lange’s outfit on her wild bender night. There’s, of course, always Kim Novak’s amazing and iconic white coat in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.”

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  • The Dirty Dancing dress for sure! I don’t know how many times I watched that show when I was younger and imagined myself in that dress dancing with Patrick Swayze! What a great book!!!!!

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  • Faye Dunaway! I just love this style!

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  • I love Kate Winslet’s Titanic dress. I am a big fan of 1910-1920 dresses and this piece with beautiful beading is just breath taking. Thank you.

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  • Oooh, I’d make the dress from Dirty Dancing, nobody puts baby in the corner ;)

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  • The Marilyn dress because they just moved the giant statue of her to Palm Springs and I’d love to pose beside it.

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  • I would make the Grace Kelly dress from ‘It Takes a Thief.” I’ve loved that dress since I first saw the movie. The draping is perfect, and Grace never looked more like a princess than right there.

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  • I’m a sucker for a book giveaway ;)
    I’m pretty darn smitten with that Grace Kelly gown! I think that would be first on my list :)

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  • What a lovely giveaway!

    It’s hard to pick one. But I think I would go with the Grace Kelly dress. I love the shape and the colour.

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  • My favorite has long been Grace Kelly’s dress, but I think I’d make the Dirty Dancing dress first because it has such a classic vintage shape that could be worn any day.

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  • wow, I wouldn’t know where to begin! So many fabulous dresses, so little time!

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  • the hepburn dresses! always a fan.

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  • I have to be practical. I have no where at all to wear the gorgeous ballgowns, but the dress Faye Dunaway wore in “The Thomas Crown Affair,” now that’s something I could dress up in, and even make in a sort of kicky super tunic style to wear with leggings for fun.
    The dress that distracts me every time in movies is the green velvet Edith Head dress Rosemary Clooney wears in the cocktail party scene in “White Christmas.” I am still not exactly sure what happens in that scene.

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  • I’m torn between Julia Robert’s ‘Pretty Woman’ dress and Baby’s dress from ‘Dirty Dancing’. Looks to be a great book, would love to win a copy!

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  • I never win anything, but let’s give this a try anyways!

    I would choose Catherine Zeta Jones’s Chicago-dress for sure! I am about to start my burlesque classes and that dress could maybe be used there.

    or

    Maybe Marilyn’s gorgeous dress, just because… well, just because! I believe it won’t even need justifying!

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  • Hi
    I’d start with the dress from Dirts dancing because I could wear it right away without having to wait for a special occasion. And then I’d sew up everything else wearing my Dirty Dancing dress ;-)

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    • Aaaargh, Dirty Dancing, obviously- though Dirts Dancing could also make an interesting movie…

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  • Thank you very much for giving us the chance to win this fantastic book, the dress chosen me is that Keira Knightley wears in Atonemen. It’s spectacular

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  • I could LIVE in the Dirty Dancing dress! I would probably want to make one in every color of the rainbow.

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  • I would definitely choose Keira Knightley’s Atonement dress. For weeks after I watched that movie for the first time I couldn’t stop thinking about that beautiful green dress! I love the backless-ness of it. :)

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  • Julia Roberts, it’s one of those movie dresses that is etched in my memory and I think it’s the perfect picnic dress.

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  • I’d make the titanic dress – I’ve been dying to make a dress from that era. I don’t care that I’d have nowhere to wear it.

    Krista

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  • I would most definitely make Jennifer grey’s dress in dirty dancing!!!

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  • I would make Jennifer Grey’s dress from Dirty Dancing, but it wouldn’t be for me. One of my friends loves this move and it would be great to make her a dress from it.

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  • I think the Marilyn… assuming I could pull it off. Just such a sexy dress.

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  • I’d sew Keira’s dress in Atonement, although I obviously am not in her size :) Love the colour and movement of the dress, and I would love to find something similar..

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  • Julia Robert’s dress. I loved it the moment I saw it. I would love to replicate the dress – oh, and also the body to go with it!

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  • Oh my days this is too serendipitous! I have been desperate to make that Pretty Woman dress for ages and was hoping to do it for and upcoming sewing course I’m doing. I managed to snared the last 3m of this gorgeous chocolate polka dot crepe but sadly couldn’t find a pattern. I absolutely fell in love with the dress after watching the film not long after I started learning to sew last year and so that’s the dress I would make :)

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  • It would have to be Jennifer Grey’s Dirty Dancing dress. I watch that movie over and over! Plus, being realistic, that’s the only one that would look even halfway good on my 5′ 2″ frame. Thanks for the great giveaway. If I don’t win, I’ll be buying the book right away.

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  • What a difficult choice…probably Grace Kelly’s; although my teen daughter adores Audrey Hepburn.

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  • No questions – I’d sew the Audrey dress. What a classic look and it would be a challange to get the fit just perfect.

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  • i love the asymmetricalness of Faye’s dress. i would sew hers first!

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  • I would probably make Julia Roberts’ dress because it would be practical. I would be able to wear it most anyplace.

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  • I would have to immediately sew Audrey Hepburn’s dress! Iconic!

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  • The Atonement dress! Who could resist? It hangs so beautifully.

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  • I would sew the Titanic dress first, I think – only because I already made a corset and I’ve always loved that dress. :)

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  • thank you for the giveaway

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  • I have had a thing for the Chicago dress since I first saw the film.

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  • Definitely Kate Winslet’s dress in Titanic- it’s absolutely beautiful!

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  • All gorgeous, stunning dresses, of course, but having read Atonement before seeing the movie I thought Keira Knightly’s green dress was a perfect fit. And the green color is just absolutely beautiful. I would love to wear that dress.

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  • Wow! I would definitely sew up the lovely Audrey Hepburn’s, Breakfast at Tiffany’s dress. A timeless classic.

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  • Definitely the little black dress from breakfast at Tiffany’s. I don’t know a single woman who would see it and not think Hepburn :)
    Thanks so much for such an awesome giveaway prize, you’re a genius!

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  • I am on an Edwardian kick right now, so probably the Titanic dress. I would love to attempt the Atonement dress, but I just don’t think I could make it work.

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  • Jennifer Grey’s… As long as I can have my own Jonny Castle to teach me to dance.

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  • I would sew the Chicago outfit! It is super sexy! Not something that is normally in my wardrobe but maybe it is just the piece that is missing! :D

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  • Good grief! What a decision to have to make. I would probably make Baby’s dress first. I was a competing ballroom dancer at one time and am looking to start up again (about to approach the grand age of 60)! That dress was made for a dance floor and I could make it for a fraction of the cost it would cost to have it made!!!! Sign me up!

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  • Sounds like a wonderful book! I’d have to start with either the Pretty Woman Dress or the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s dress! Both so wonderfully wearable.

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  • Grace Kelly…for the past few weeks I’ve been stirring around an idea to do a similar draped/ruched bodice like that.

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  • It would have to be the Jennifer Grey’s dress form dirty dancing. A typically iconic 50s style. Then I’d have an excuse to tell people that nobody backs baby into a corner.

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  • Well, that Grace Kelly dress is unbelievable, but I do not have an event that requires a formal gown at the moment. I think I would go with Marilyn’s dress because I have not made a halter dress for quite a while, and it just may be time!

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  • Wow! So many comments about my book! Thank you to everyone who has taken the trouble to make such positive and delightful points… it makes all the research and hard work worth while :) I do take the point though that they are more of an ‘Inspired by’ than actual faithful copies – although I have tried really hard to make them as authentic as possible – it’s just that we ordinary mortals don’t have big movie budgets on the whole and I’ve tried to create patterns that can be made on a more modest budget. I hope that’s OK with everyone! Cheers one and all! Lizx

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