The Fashion Designer

The Fashion Designer

by Nancy Moser

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683226017
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/01/2018
Series: Pattern Artist , #2
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 275,820
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author


Nancy Moser is an award-winning author of over twenty-five novels that share a common message: we each have a unique purpose—the trick is to find out what it is. Her genres include contemporary and historical novels including Love of the Summerfields, Mozart’s Sister, The Invitation, and the Christy Award-winning Time Lottery. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. www.nancymoser.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Late August 1912 New York City

Annie Culver tidied her work table for the last time. She set her ruler and French curve to the side and placed her scissors, tablet, and pencil in a drawer. These tools of her trade had become extensions of herself, a way to transfer a fashion idea into a dress pattern that could be used by home sewers across the world. Idea to pattern to finished product.

I've come so far. Am I a fool for leaving it all behind?

"Get a move on, Annie." Her friend and coworker Maude Nascato stood at the door of the workroom. "Risk not, want not."

Maude's strange phrase snapped Annie out of her reverie. "What does that mean?"

Maude pinned a straw hat onto her black upswept hair. "Whatever it needs to mean to warm your cold feet." She paused and gave the room one last look. "Our quitting is a good thing, Annie. As Mark Twain said, 'I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.' We've seen the opportunity. We're walking through this door and into a new adventure."

"But is the opportunity a wise choice?"

Maude released an exasperated sigh, strode to the table, took Annie by the arm, and marched her out of the workroom. "Courageous people don't look back."

"I don't feel courageous. I feel nauseous."

Maude laughed. "I'm afraid it goes with the territory."

They met Annie's husband, Sean, on the sidewalk outside. He too worked for Butterick Pattern Company but was staying in his position. Someone had to pay the rent.

He studied her face. "It will be all right, Annie-girl."

"You promise?"

Maude started walking, leading the way to a celebration commemorating their momentous decision. "I am compelled to quote another author. John Galsworthy has pinned Annie to a tree with this quote." She took a fresh breath before saying, "A worrier is 'one who is always building dungeons in the air.'" She put a period on the phrase with a sharp nod.

Annie took offense. "Do you have any more quotations to toss at me?"

"Not at the moment."

"What a relief. But to your complaints about my worrying, how can I not worry, Maude? How can you two be so calm? This is an enormous step we're taking. We have no idea if our new business will succeed. And if it doesn't, I'm not the only one out of a job, but you and Edna too. She's worked at Macy's for decades and is quitting because of some harebrained idea I came up with. What if we fail?"

Maude stopped walking and faced her. "What if that building there suddenly falls to the ground in front of us? What if that motor car jumps the curb and runs us down? What if —?"

Sean stopped her tirade. "Your examples are overly dramatic."

She shrugged. "'Twas all I could come up with on short notice." She slipped her hand around Annie's arm. "There are worries big and small all around us. Some we can deal with directly, and some we can't."

"I know you," Sean said, taking Annie's other arm. "You've never let circumstances stop you. You won't let anything get in your way."

Annie tried to embrace their confidence, yet the worry remained.

* * *

"Welcome, fellow rebels!" Edna Holmquist greeted her friends as they entered the flat she shared with Maude.

"I prefer the term 'brave soldiers,'" Maude said.

Annie spotted Sean's parents — her inlaws of nearly four months — and hoped the terminology wouldn't make things worse, for his father had vociferously argued against their plan. Annie kissed her mother-in-law, Vesta, on the cheek. "It's not as sensational as they imply." She turned to Edna. "How was your last day at Macy's?"

"Poignant." She sighed dramatically.

"How many sewing machines have you sold over twenty-two years?" Maude asked.

"One thousand two hundred twelve."

Annie laughed. "You kept track?"

"My sales book kept track."

"Pfft." Richard Culver returned to the sofa. "It's ridiculous to discard perfectly good jobs to pursue an idiotic folly."

"Hello to you too, Father," Sean said. He kissed his mother's cheek, and they shared a look of commiseration.

"I believe in you," Vesta said. "I am thrilled with the notion that you three ladies will be starting your own fashion company."

"The notion," Richard said. "Not reality."

Edna offered him a sandwich from a tray. "It is a reality, Mr. Culver," she said. "We have financial backing, creative energy, and a fire in our bellies."

"It's a fool's errand, doomed to failure." He looked askance at the ham-and-cheese sandwich, took one, then set it on his plate on the end table beside him.

Annie was not going to let him squelch their joy, yet she wasn't comfortable enough with the family dynamics to stand up to him. From what she'd learned from Sean and Vesta, their lifetime quest was to keep Richard on an even keel. It was the best anyone could ask for, as the man never seemed happy. Except perhaps when he was making money in his general store in Brooklyn. Though even then, profits were never high enough, employees lazy, and the preferences of customers, woefully fickle.

Annie had a choice to make. She could let Richard's negativity squelch their celebration — and feed into her own worries — or choose to be enthusiastic and encouraging.

She owed it to her friends to choose the latter.

Famished, she took a large bite of her sandwich. "Edna, these hit the spot." When she was finished with the bite, she said, "I know the risk we are all taking and thank you for it. Beyond the unknowns, I am chuffed to bits about our new venture." She took up a glass of lemonade and held it high. "To New York City's newest, most brilliant, and most smashing fashion house!"

"Hear, hear!"

Everyone toasted except for Richard, but Annie refused to let him drown the moment. She was done with him.

"When is our meeting at the Sampsons' tomorrow?" Edna asked, as she sat and ate her own sandwich.

"Ten o'clock," Maude said. "Have we decided on a name for our company yet?"

"I vote for Annie's Dresses," Edna said.

"I second that name," Vesta said. "You should get the credit, Annie, for if it wasn't for —"

Richard pointed to the seat beside him. "Shush, woman. You are not a part of this. Sit."

Annie despaired the look of hurt resignation on Vesta's face. But she knew a way to brighten it. She took Sean's hand and gave him a look. "Yes?" she whispered.

He drew her hand to his lips. "We have something else to celebrate besides the start of a new business — the real reason we asked you here tonight." He looked to Annie.

"We are also starting a new family." She scanned the faces of their audience.

Vesta jumped from her seat. "A baby?"

Annie nodded and felt tears fill her eyes. "It's due in February."

She was embraced by all — as was Sean.

Richard remained noticeably seated. Finally, all eyes turned to him.

"Father? Will you congratulate us?"

"We will be grandparents, Richard. Isn't it grand?"

He took a sip of lemonade then set the glass down. "You two certainly move quickly."

Annie felt a wave of disappointment. Couldn't he be happy for them?

Sean put an arm around her waist. "After nearly being on the Titanic, we realize life is short."

Maude nodded. "The three of us had an amazing time in Paris getting ideas for Butterick at the fashion shows, but all would have been for naught if we hadn't missed our train to Cherbourg."

Annie finished the scenario. "Which caused us to miss the sailing."

"God saved you," Edna said.

Vesta's eyes turned misty. "Saved you, and saved your future together. I'm so pleased with your happy news."

Sean kissed Annie's cheek. "Our close call is why we married soon after we got home from Europe."

"We did not expect a child so quickly," Annie admitted. "But we are not in control of such things. God is."

"Tell Him to slow down," Richard muttered.

"Richard!" Vesta said.

Annie heard Sean's breath hasten. How dare his father mar this special moment? "We will not ask God to slow down," she said. "The Almighty is never late and never early, and we are very willing to accept His perfect timing."

"Indeed we are," Maude said. "A marriage and a new life came out of our close call, and so did the business."

Edna lifted her glass. "To God's perfect timing!"

Hear, hear.

CHAPTER 2

They live here?" Maude asked as they stood in front of 451 Madison Avenue.

"In that wing," Annie said, pointing to the four-story brick-and-stone wing to the right of an outdoor atrium.

"There are four other smaller townhouses in the rest of the building," Sean added, pointing around the horseshoe-shaped structure. "But wait until you see the inside of the Sampsons'. Theirs is enormous, and everything is covered in gilt, marble, marquetry, and —"

"Marquetry?" Edna asked.

"Tiny pieces of wood inlaid together to make a design," Annie said. "Macy's had some boxes with marquetry for sale. I saw an inlaid table too."

Edna stared at the building. The flowers in her wide-brimmed hat shuddered in the breeze. "Boxes are one thing, I just never thought it would be used in a house. Mansion. Manor. Whatever it is."

They walked through an ornate wrought-iron gate, and Maude led the way to a double-entry door. "No stopping now. We need to go into whatever-it-is in order to fulfill our fashion destiny."

"Whatever it is," Annie said under her breath. For though she tried to exhibit an air of confidence about their future, she knew Mrs. Sampson better than anyone, and knew her to be zealous to the point of folly and fickle to the point of frustration — everyone else's but usually not her own. Her thought process was unique and often unfathomable.

It's unfathomable that she believes I can be a viable fashion designer.

"Annie? Are you coming?" Sean asked.

She was so glad it was Saturday and he could come with them. Annie shifted her portfolio of fashion designs under the other arm and pretended she was brave. She rang the bell.

They were shown inside by a butler. He motioned them to the right, down a wide hallway leading to the drawing room. "The Sampsons will be with you shortly."

Annie was glad for the delay as it would give her friends time to absorb the opulence around them.

Maude gazed at the hall floor. "Look at this tile. There must be thousands of pieces put together to create the design." With a hand to hold her hat, she looked up. "And look at the ceiling. Are those tiles too?"

They all looked up at the barrel vaults that interconnected above them. They were replete with intricate patterns like the floor.

"All that detail for a hallway," Maude whispered.

"The drawing room is even fancier. Follow me."

Annie's sense of purpose intensified when she reminded herself she'd been in the drawing room before, during her first meeting with the Sampsons the previous autumn. She and Sean had also experienced the vast dining room that evening. Those facts spurred her confidence — to a small degree.

Once through the drawing room doors, the newcomers gasped — with good reason. The room was enormous, with marble walls and columns. The ceiling was coffered and covered in gilt. Painted murals divided windows on three sides. The fourth side sported two fireplaces flanking the entrance where they stood.

Annie pointed to the elaborate floor. "See, Edna? Marquetry."

"I hate to step on it."

"Who knows how to create such things?" Maude asked.

"Who has the money to pay for the labor of it?" Sean said.

"The Sampsons do, and —" Annie heard footsteps echo in the long hall. "Shh."

They all faced the door, ready to greet their host and hostess.

Mrs. Sampson swept in, the ruffles on her dress waving like lavender flags of chiffon. She immediately did a twirl. "You like?"

Actually ... "Is it new?"

"Brand. I had my dressmaker whip it up for our time in Newport this summer." She executed another twirl. "It portrays the essence of graceful motion, don't you think?"

The essence of flaunting too many flourishes. "It does move well," Annie said diplomatically.

"The color is beautiful," Edna managed.

"The chiffon is feminine," Maude added.

Mrs. Sampson stopped her preening. "Is beautiful and does move, as if you are finding it difficult to find something nice to say about it?"

Oh dear.

"I meant no offense," Maude said. "I meant to say that fabric that is sheer and flowy — in general and in respect to your specific dress — is —"

Luckily Mr. Sampson intervened. "Why don't we sit and work out the details of our joint venture?"

"I've been stewing about it all summer," Mrs. Sampson added.

Mr. Sampson winked at her. "And if you know Eleanor, you know she can only stew so long before she spills the pot."

As they were shown to some chairs, Annie and Maude exchanged a look of relief at getting through their awkward faux pas. It would not bode well to be on tenterhooks before the main discussion began — a life-changing discussion.

Sean helped Mr. Sampson draw some other chairs closer together, creating an intimate circle in the huge space, a circle suitable for conversation.

Mrs. Sampson arranged the myriad of ruffles on her lap and over the arms of the chair. Only when she was finished did she speak. "Well then."

Her words were met with silence. Finally Annie said, "Where do we begin?"

"With a soiree, of course."

"A what?" Sean asked.

Mr. Sampson interpreted. "A party. Eleanor loves parties."

"I do. I happen to be quite good at giving them."

"And attending them," he said.

"That too." She drew in a deep breath as though fueling her next words. "The plan is for you to sew up a dozen dresses and have a fashion soiree right here, with the who's who of New York City in attendance. In fact, I will ask their daughters to be the models. The whole of society will be so awed by your designs that they will order them in copious amounts and —"

Annie lifted a hand, stopping her words. "I thought our customers were working women."

"Everyday women," Maude said.

Edna nodded and pointed to Annie's portfolio. "Annie's already drawn up some designs that we think —"

Annie began to reach for it, but Mrs. Sampson stopped her with a hand. "Not yet." Her face had grown stern. "I believe we need to remedy this misconception between us."

It was more than a mere misconception. It was the essence of their business.

Sean sat forward in his chair. "Remember when we spoke about the business on the voyage home from the Paris fashion shows?"

Mr. Sampson let out a breath. "After we all narrowly missed the Titanic."

Annie shivered at the memory. "I will never forget when our captain told us the news of its sinking — while we were still out on the ocean."

Maude scoffed. "I still hold it against him that he said everyone was saved, when clearly they were not."

"Now, now, Miss Nascato," Mr. Sampson said. "False information is rampant in times of great tragedy."

Maude sighed. "I still miss Madame."

Annie nodded. Although the rest of them on the Paris junket had been delayed — and therefore saved — their superior, Madame Le Fleur, had found a way to make the train. And the boarding. She had perished in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

Mr. Sampson's wife put a hand on his arm. "We were saved for this. I know it."

Annie was glad to get back to the subject at hand. "I agree with you. But as Sean pointed out, our initial idea was to provide functional, comfortable, and stylish clothing for the masses."

"Not the elite," Maude added.

Mrs. Sampson played with the draping on her sleeve. "Yes, I suppose that was the original intent, but I've had second thoughts, more grandiose thoughts."

Annie's stomach grabbed. "But that's why you two invited me here for that first meeting when I was working at Butterick. You were against the ridiculous fashion of the hobble skirt and other designs that constricted women's movement and ignored their needs. You were a proponent of function over fad."

"That is true," Mr. Sampson said — mostly to his wife. "That was our initial focus, Eleanor. Perhaps you've strayed a bit off the mark."

She sprang to her feet. "Off the mark? I have found the mark, and it is a bull's-eye! If Eleanor's Couture is going to be a success —"

"Eleanor's Couture?" Annie's throat was dry.

"Well yes. I am at the epicenter of this business." She stared at Annie. "Am I not?"

Maude answered for them. "If you will excuse me, I thought Annie was the epicenter. If not for her, none of us would be here."

"If not for our money, none of you could afford to be here."

Her words skittered across the marquetry and landed in the space between them.

"My sweet ... you are too blunt."

Mrs. Sampson turned to her husband. "I speak the truth, Harold. Are we not the ones at risk here? Who knows how much this endeavor will cost us?"

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Fashion Designer"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Nancy Moser.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Fashion Designer 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Anonymous 12 months ago
I enjoyed reading this accurate account of what it was like for a fashion designer to start a new almost unheard of store of ready to wear dresses for an average woman of that time period. It held my interest throughout the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Characters were believable and easy to remember. Enjoyable read with just enough drama and not too much romance.
Anonymous 4 days ago
Informative+book+about+fashion+in+the+past+and+women%27s+role+in+designing+clothes.++Characters+are+well+developed+and+story+is+well+written.
LibbyMcKinmer 4 months ago
In this lovely sequel to The Pattern Artist, readers get to follow along once again as Annie Wood pursues her American dream in 1912 New York City. Newly married to Sean Culver and with the chance to create her own fashion line of affordable ready-to-wear women’s fashions, Annie jumps right in with faith and hope when a wealthy couple offers to underwrite her efforts. Annie, Sean and their friends and family face plenty of challenges and missteps against the backdrop of societal changes at the beginning of the twentieth century. Creativity comes face to face with funding and merchandising, women in business, family and friendship. Reading this series is like spending time with friends – you’re cheering for their successes and hoping for the best for them in their challenges. While this book could certainly be read on its own, it is well worth starting with the first book in the series as you get to know the characters and see what leads them to this adventure. I look forward to what’s in store next for Annie, Sean and family and friends.
thedanielsr 6 months ago
Loved this story! Loved reading about how the characters trusted God as they worked hard to fulfill their dreams.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Not my usual genre, but I very much loved it. I took my time reading because I didnot want it to end. I loved all the facts the author included in the back. Although the pictures would have gave you a face to the characters had it been in the beginning.A rags to riches ( not only monetary). Dreams start in the mind, with hard work and prayer you can see them come to fruition.I am mostly fond of how the women all leaned on the Lord for guidence. We never know what each day may bring, but He does. AKS
Anonymous 9 months ago
I love that the author takes you back in time and it feels like you are right there with the characters.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Albeit predictable.
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser First time redading this author and can't wait to read more. I am a fashion designer, published also so this book really appealed to me. So happy that the explicit details of dress making is included in with the story line. Starts out with Annie and her friends, some have left other companies and they are going to start up their own business, Annie will deisgn the dresses that normal regular woman can wear. There are many fall backs as things just don't go as planned. She never gives up and prays to God a lot and she knows he will send help. in his own way. It's easy to keep the women straight and we learn about their past. Such a fascinating read, wish I had read the prior book about Annie first-will still be a good read. So many historical events take place during this book also, valuable to the story and outcome. Love the parade-priceless! History of Lane Byrant was a big hit to read about! Love how it all ends when things were so dismal at times. It's a wonder how they struggled or suvive, and suvive and flouish they did. There is so much to this book: travel, adventure, mystery of robberies, romance, dress making, opinions from all angles of characters.
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser First time redading this author and can't wait to read more. I am a fashion designer, published also so this book really appealed to me. So happy that the explicit details of dress making is included in with the story line. Starts out with Annie and her friends, some have left other companies and they are going to start up their own business, Annie will deisgn the dresses that normal regular woman can wear. There are many fall backs as things just don't go as planned. She never gives up and prays to God a lot and she knows he will send help. in his own way. It's easy to keep the women straight and we learn about their past. Such a fascinating read, wish I had read the prior book about Annie first-will still be a good read. So many historical events take place during this book also, valuable to the story and outcome. Love the parade-priceless! History of Lane Byrant was a big hit to read about! Love how it all ends when things were so dismal at times. It's a wonder how they struggled or suvive, and suvive and flouish they did. There is so much to this book: travel, adventure, mystery of robberies, romance, dress making, opinions from all angles of characters.
Becky5 More than 1 year ago
As The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser starts, changes in society were great or were imminent. Women were tired of sitting at home, unable to do more than silently support their men. They wanted the right to be included in the working force, and also the right to vote. They wanted a new sense of purpose. In this sequel to the Pattern Artist, Annie and Sean are now married, and Annie, Maude, and Edna have a big purpose-to start a fashion company for the average working woman... or so they think... I enjoyed seeing how humans planned, but God Himself came to the rescue time after time. I liked that when one person would get discouraged, another would pick up the mantle of encourager. It was interesting to see how one person of faith and vision could influence so many others. Annie succeeded because she trusted in God and she well understood her mission. “We’re offering our customers more than just a dress,” Annie said. “We’re offering them the chance to embrace their choice to be a modern woman.” At times the book had a “Grace Livingston Hill” feel to it, as there were so many singles starting out who rather quickly found God’s choice of partner. I would have preferred a few less main circle characters and storylines, and a little more fleshing out of the forerunners. Bottom line: while this was not one of the fastest books I’ve read, it was great for gaining insight into the mindset of the American woman in the early 1900’s. I recommend this book. It can stand alone. I gratefully received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. This in no way influenced my opinions. I was not required to leave a positive review.
LJShuck More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser. As someone who comes from a family of seamstresses, I was fascinated by the historical development of women’s fashions, including ready made dresses for the “unruffled” woman, and Butterick patterns. I was especially intrigued by the bit of history of Lane Bryant as shared by the author. Were you aware that Lane Bryant originally started as a maternity wear shop? It must have been quite a struggle for women of the working classes to find suitable garments for work. Other than while blouses and black skirts, there was not much else. Could you imagine sitting in an office, trying to type, while wearing a corset, and worse a bustle? Nancy Moser crafted a fantastic read about a group of women who leave their employment; families, and even their country to be a part of something bigger than themselves. The struggle for supporters, monetary and otherwise, was quite interesting. Remember, this store was the first of its kind to sell ready to wear made dresses. I hope you will read this book. Now, if someone could just point me in the direction of ready to wear dresses for $5-$7...
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
Everything in life brings regrets. I totally regret eating that last piece of Parmesan chicken bites just now, I went from satisfied to oh my gravy now I'm overfull. But coffee ice cream later right? That's this book for me. The one too many bites of chicken? That I picked up this book not realizing it was second in a series until it was too late to go back and read book one. The coffee ice cream? That it was OK. That I still 'got' the story and the characters and loved it all. OK, maybe loved is too strong a word but I got it. I didn't need book one as the story wove in the need to know information seamlessly without feeling like I was being pushed. I'm sure there are things that I missed out on and I fully intend to go back and read book one, but this story provided all the bones I needed I truly enjoy this book and understand the backstory. One thing really burned my buttons though. The Titanic. I get it, apparently there was a thing that kept them from boarding the ship they had tickets to ride. I get it, they were lucky to be alive. I get it. And I was told about it like every day of their lives. Over. And. Over. And. Over. Titanic. OK, done ranting, perhaps. . .maybe. . .for now. I need to mention that this is not your typical uplifting feel-good book as most Christian Fiction is. I mean it has those elements but there is also domestic violence, sexual assault, and family conflict. Women were chattel, property; with no rights and no opportunities. Until they made their own. I mean it does have a strong thread of faith and overcoming and nothing is overt nor graphic but it was there. And with faith and love and patience and understanding and a whole lot of gumption these friends overcame a lot. They had some help along the way and they came together stronger for it. These friends bring so much to the table and they do it so well. I keep going back to faith and patience and overcoming but it was there. They had a dream, they found a way to make the dream happen, they hit setbacks and lost funding and they still dreamed. And they found a way to make that dream happen. They dealt with their past hurts and their future anxiety. They found their voice in a time when they weren't allowed a voice. They reconnected with old friends and family and cleared up misunderstandings. They lived and breathed and changed their history and their future. People just like them changed our history and our futures. This book brought me so much depth. Yes there were hard topics that were lived through. Topics that for some people, unfortunately, make this book something they aren't ready to read. But there is also redemption and healing. And the Titanic. And coffee ice cream. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Barbour Publishing. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
Everything in life brings regrets. I totally regret eating that last piece of Parmesan chicken bites just now, I went from satisfied to oh my gravy now I'm overfull. But coffee ice cream later right? That's this book for me. The one too many bites of chicken? That I picked up this book not realizing it was second in a series until it was too late to go back and read book one. The coffee ice cream? That it was OK. That I still 'got' the story and the characters and loved it all. OK, maybe loved is too strong a word but I got it. I didn't need book one as the story wove in the need to know information seamlessly without feeling like I was being pushed. I'm sure there are things that I missed out on and I fully intend to go back and read book one, but this story provided all the bones I needed I truly enjoy this book and understand the backstory. One thing really burned my buttons though. The Titanic. I get it, apparently there was a thing that kept them from boarding the ship they had tickets to ride. I get it, they were lucky to be alive. I get it. And I was told about it like every day of their lives. Over. And. Over. And. Over. Titanic. OK, done ranting, perhaps. . .maybe. . .for now. I need to mention that this is not your typical uplifting feel-good book as most Christian Fiction is. I mean it has those elements but there is also domestic violence, sexual assault, and family conflict. Women were chattel, property; with no rights and no opportunities. Until they made their own. I mean it does have a strong thread of faith and overcoming and nothing is overt nor graphic but it was there. And with faith and love and patience and understanding and a whole lot of gumption these friends overcame a lot. They had some help along the way and they came together stronger for it. These friends bring so much to the table and they do it so well. I keep going back to faith and patience and overcoming but it was there. They had a dream, they found a way to make the dream happen, they hit setbacks and lost funding and they still dreamed. And they found a way to make that dream happen. They dealt with their past hurts and their future anxiety. They found their voice in a time when they weren't allowed a voice. They reconnected with old friends and family and cleared up misunderstandings. They lived and breathed and changed their history and their future. People just like them changed our history and our futures. This book brought me so much depth. Yes there were hard topics that were lived through. Topics that for some people, unfortunately, make this book something they aren't ready to read. But there is also redemption and healing. And the Titanic. And coffee ice cream. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Barbour Publishing. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
millstreetreader More than 1 year ago
THE FASHION DESIGNER by Nancy Moser is a continuation of the story of immigrant/dreamer Annie Culver first shared in THE PATTERN ARTIST. Set in the early years of the twentieth century, readers get a realistic look at social class differences and changes amidst the growing women's rights movement. Interesting to me, someone who has sewed clothes from childhood on, is the place that the fashion industry, sewing machines, and clothing patterns played in those twentieth century changes. Moser also makes clear that wealth, even titles did little to make a woman more independent than the servants and immigrants grappling with the desire to have a better life. I enjoyed reading this second novel and I highly recommend reading the two books as a whole. The two stories mesh well together. I received a copy of this novel from Barbour publishing and the author. All opinions are mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser was a fascinating look at the start of the dressmaking industry at the beginning of 1912. Annie and her two best friends leave their secure jobs at Butterick to open a store to sell their designs for the working woman - "Unruffled". Follow their challenges as they look for financing, employees and storefront property. Will they accomplish their dream? I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
JLYoung More than 1 year ago
A well researched book is always a good one. Lots of historical details, women’s rights, a little romance, faith and fashion are included in this book. I did not read the first book and had no issues keeping up. I loved the faith of the characters in this book. They lived their faith but it wasn’t overly done in the book. Loved how they went for their dream and gave it all they had. It was a kind of slow read for me which was a surprise. I’m not quite sure why I struggled so much. It could have been the amount of dialogue. I usually struggle with books that have a lot of conversation. Overall it was a good story, well written, and well researched. I received a copy of this book from The publisher. This has in no way influenced my review. I was not obligated to write a review. All thoughts are my own.
JLink More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this sequel to The Pattern Artist. I loved Annie's pursuit of the American Dream. The struggles were real. Starting your own business is hard. Annie, her husband, and her friends never gave up. Not only were there professional hurdles, but the cast of characters had personal difficulties to overcome as well. Their leap of Fatih and reliance on God was touching and uplifting. The author also gave historical perspective with descriptions of the presidential election and women's voting rights. What a great read! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser is the second book in a series about a group of women who are involved in changes in women’s fashions around 1912. The first book is The Pattern Artist. It would be best to read The Pattern Artist first as The Fashion Designer builds on the people and relationships of the first book. I would recommend this book for those interested in sewing and early 20th Century fashion. Have you wondered about the beginnings of such fashion brands as Lane Bryant? Or how women went from custom made dresses to off-the-rack or ready to wear clothes? How did the first pattern companies come about? The Fashion Designer follows Annie Culver and her friends as they try to realize their dream to bring clothes of ease and comfort to the average woman. Through their quest to open a dress shop, their faith is tested. But God is shown as an integral part of their lives. They rely on prayer and seek the best God has for them in their endeavors and in their personal relationships. I liked how Nancy used the facts about Lane Bryant to further the story. She even uses the suffragette movement and the presidential electon to great advantage. This was an interesting read for me because I love history and I have been sewing for many years. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* Paula Shreckhise
CLovelyReads More than 1 year ago
Anyone who is interested in fashion would enjoy this book. Continuing on from The Pattern Artist, Moser skillfully develops her characters and weaves an interesting, fun and easy to read story. It showcases American fashion history in the early 1900's in NYC with all the struggles of a girl with a dream and the fortitude to go after it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
PamMooney More than 1 year ago
I found this book inspirational! With faith and trust in God woven through the story as a group of women start a fashion line and support each other. I loved the American dream, women's rights, and social issues that brought the history of 1912 New York to the forefront. So fun to hear about the fashion trends and evolution of fashion to meet the needs of working women as well as everyday women not part of elite society. So much to offer as a sequel to "The Pattern Artist" yet definitely does well as a stand alone. You will want to go back and read the first of the series if you haven't already - the characters are so likable. A good read.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Will their hard work succeed or fall apart? I wanted to read The Pattern Artist because it featured characters working for the pattern company, Butterick. I wanted to read The Fashion Designer because I had really liked the first book and I really wanted to know if the little group of friends had succeeded in their new business. I have to admit that I did have a bit of a hard time at first. There were several points of view and they sometimes changed so rapidly that it was a little difficult to follow at times. Once I got into the rhythm of things it was a lot easier and I enjoyed the story. It was kind of fun watching the characters, who have quickly become like friends, as they struggle to get their fledgling business off the ground. They face a lot of ups and downs, and unexpected romance, but through it each of them learn to rely even more the only One who will see them through everything that life can throw their way. The Fashion Designer was only the second book that I've read by author Nancy Moser and I'm both curious and kind of hoping that she might continue on into the next chapter of their endeavor. (I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.)
NKBookReviewer More than 1 year ago
The Fashion Designer by author Nancy Moser is Book Two following The Pattern Artist. Even though it is a sequel it could be read as a stand alone because the author provides enough information about prior events to allow readers to follow along easily. This historical Christian fiction focuses on not only fashion but women’s rights, inspiration, faith, and character. This book has been extremely well researched by author Moser. It is well planned, organized, and well thought. The novel is packed with historical details. Detailed descriptions of the time period and place took me right there. It was as if I had left my porch swing and was transported back in time to New York City in 1912 when women were still fighting for our rights. The characters are well rounded and defined. The heroine, Annie, wants to design clothing that the normal, everyday woman can afford. Even more scandalously she has plans to make a maternity line for those expecting. This was definitely an eye opening experience reading about how much things have changed. Faith is sprinkles throughout "The Fashion Designer". Some characters walk the Christian Walk and it is evident. Others hide their light or not know God. The main characters discuss their faith, pray, have faith and trust God. It is inspiring and encouraging in many parts. Some tough issues are broached in this book. Issues that unfortunately woman have always struggled with such as domestic abuse, marital issues, pregnancy problems, rape, and self esteem. It was difficult to read how a husband treated his wife, but I am certain worse things actually happen. For some people these topics might really hit close to home so they should be aware of this content. There are definitely adult situations in this book. Things such as smoking, drinking, rape, abuse, and losing one’s virginity should encourage you to steer younger readers away from this book. This was a delightful, emotional tale of a time period I knew little about before but have learned much since reading this book. I enjoyed the author’s style and characters. The faith and inspiration were wonderful. The adult themes were a bit too dark for this reader, but I would imagine it was true to life. Everything is not always sunshine and puppies in the read world so why should we expect that of our books? This is a redemption story. A second chances can happen tale. It isn’t a fluffy light chicklet book, but a heavy dose of ponder on this long after you’ve finished it book. It is haunting in parts. This is a book most women would enjoy reading in a book club so that they could discuss it. It isn’t a light romance. This is a heavy thought provoking inspirational book. I highly recommend it and rated it 4 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by Barbour for my honest opinion.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I love Annie and all her family members. They are very brave to quit their jobs and start their own business. The early 1900’s is such a wonderful time period in the United States. I love the extra little tidbits about Lane Bryant. I hope to read many more of Nancy Moser’s Books. I received a copy of this book from Barbour for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
FHlady More than 1 year ago
The Fashion Designer is a rags to riches light romance. Annie began in England as a young housemaid, traveled to New York to continue as a lady's dresser, became a pattern artist at Butterick and is now married and trying to start her own business. I loved everything about this book. The strong spiritual content that wound its way throughout the story was so well done. Everyone of the characters is one you will remember, and the closeness within the group as they started the new "off the rack" dress store was completely endearing. I particularly enjoyed seeing Annie learn patience and that everything would work in God's timing. Another wonderful character was Maude as she learned to let go of the horrible event in her past and open up to love. Several of Annie's group found their true loves throughout this story, but Moser did an excellent job of keep the romances as a sideline to the main focus of the developing business. Moser also included some historical detail that was so interesting. The historical detail on the development of the Lane Bryant franchise was so interesting along with the fact that she started out with a clothing store devoted entirely to maternity wear. This book is the sequel to The Pattern Artist. I had not read the first book but enough information is included about prior events that it is not difficult to follow the storyline. I look forward to reading The Pattern Artist.