Friday, August 31, 2012

Costumes with Character (Review)

Costumes with Character, by Amy Puetz, is the latest product I have had the privilege to review.  This was a very unique product to review in that it is a combination of history, character-building and home economics all in one! We loved it!

The details:       Costumes with Character : $21.95 (currently on sale for $17.95)
  • Three e-books are included in your purchase: Part 1, Part 2, and the Patterns. 
  • Includes detailed instructions on how to sew a basic dress and how to modify it for eleven different time periods in American history. 
  • The bonus e-book of the full-size patterns can be printed out on legal paper for your convenience. 
  • Includes fun information/quizzes about the women of each time period and wonderful personal stories from the author. 
The summary:  These e-books are designed to be used with your girls/young women of all ages.  Amy Puetz cheerfully takes the readers on an adventure and allows history to come to life in a very unique way! She takes a basic dress pattern and shows how the fashions changed over eleven different time periods in early American history.  There are plenty of pictures and guidance along the way.   

I consider myself just a so-so (or sew-sew) seamstress and had a bit of trouble with converting the patterns to size I needed for Abbey (she is a petite nine-year-old).  After several attempts and a bit of frustration, I figured out a solution--convert an old dress shirt of her dad's into a dress and make feminine details to dress it up.  Abbey's favorite book is Little House on the Prairie, so we took a page out of the Pioneer Days sections of Amy's book and tried  to make a dress/headwear that girls may have worn during that time period. 

Okay, I know what you might be thinking--April, you're not just a so-so seamstress, you're an awful one. While the end result is not a perfect specimen, as Amy Puetz demonstrates in her books, I want to tell you this:  Abbey and I had so much sewing together.  We laughed and bonded and made a pile of scraps and thread in the middle of the den floor and absolutely loved it!  With her new found confidence in sewing, she has taken the initiative to begin to sew her own creations.  I have been able to help her learn so much about the machine and the craft of sewing, and, more importantly, how to make do with what you have on hand---which is exactly what women in history have been doing forever, right?

Amy Puetz' generous spirit is very apparent in her writing and her offerings of this wonderful resource.  It is a beautiful supplement to any American history curriculum.  I promise your girls/young women will remember so much more about history by taking the time to sew any one of the dresses in Costumes with Character than just reading about it in a dry textbook.  

Amy Puetz is also the author of many other wonderful history resources.  Check them out here.  

As always, don't just take my word for it, see what other Schoolhouse Crew Reviewers thought about Costumes with Character it here.  

**Disclaimer:  In exchange for writing this review, I received a free copy of Costumes with Character.  No other compensation was received. :-)


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