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Needles at the ready for the The Seven Year Stitch


So you want to make like Marilyn Monroe? You don't need to start a hot and heavy affair with a president nor hit the (bleach) bottle. What you need is a needle and thread, some slinky white fabric and a copy of a new book, Sew Iconic: How to Make 10 Classic Hollywood Dresses by Liz Llewellyn (A&C Visual Arts, £14.99).

OK, so I can't really imagine Ms Monroe getting busy with a sewing box, but if you fancy recreating the famously floaty frock she sported in The Seven Year Itch, this book, which comes with a disc of patterns, is for you.

Other tinsel-town gowns in the book include the LBD worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the other classiest bit of hooker chic ever to be immortalised on celluloid, the brown and white spotted dress from Pretty Woman. There's also Jennifer Grey's "mambo" dress from Dirty Dancing.

The word from early reviews is you'll need some proficiency with a needle, but I can't think of a better reason to brush up on backstitch.