Vintage Sewing – McCall’s 8348, Givenchy

In 1966 McCall’s patterns released four patterns of designs by Givenchy that he made for Audrey Hepburn to wear in How to Steal a Million.  I’ve written about these patterns in the past, and if you want to see all four of the designs you can follow the link.

I’ve been needing a few basic skirts, so I went in search of fabric.  At The House of Fabrics in Asheville I found a beautiful Donna Karan wool doublecloth, navy on one side and grey on the reverse.  It was just the thing to made a reversible wrap skirt.

If you are not familiar with the term doublecloth, it is a type of fabric in which two different sides are woven with a few threads that hold the entire thing together.  In my photo above you can see how if you pull the two fabrics apart, they are held together with some threads that are woven through both sides.

I did not have a pattern, but after looking through my collection of vintage patterns I knew I could easily adapt the Givenchy skirt into a wrap style.  I merely cut an extra front piece and left the front open.

Constructing the skirt was the easy part; concealing the seams and edges not so much so.  Actually, it was more time-consuming than hard, as I elected to do it all by hand.  There is a technique of doing this on the machine.  Ralph Rucci uses it, and it was illustrated in an old issue of Threads magazine.  But I wanted more control, and I knew that perfecting the machine technique would take practice.  Besides, I enjoy hand sewing.

Here you can see a close-up of a seam and the hem.  I’ve considered going back and top-stitching, and may still do so.

I’ve bought these buttons new in 1978.  I used them on a jacket that long ago went to the used clothing store, but I just could not let these buttons go.  Because the skirt is reversible, I used clips to secure the buttons so that they can easily be removed to reverse to the other side.

On one front piece I did hand worked buttonholes, and on the other I made eyelet holes for the button shank.

I’ve already gotten a lot of wear from this skirt.  It is a great layering piece, and is very comfortable, as it fits loosely around the waist and the fabric is quite soft.



Filed under Designers, Sewing

13 responses to “Vintage Sewing – McCall’s 8348, Givenchy

  1. Very impressed with your work Lizzie . . . . you clever thing you! 🙂 xx


  2. Great to hear of another fabric store in your fair city. Absolutely gorgeous skirt & fabric – very impressive hand sewing skills!!! Thank you so much for sharing!


  3. I really love your sewing entries. And lucky you to have excellent fabric stores near by–I have to drive to Los Angeles.


    • Thanks Lynn. I know I’m lucky when it comes to fabric stores. Both House of Fabric and Waechters are small, but have impressive, quality inventories. Plus there is a Jo-Ann’s and Hancocks, and several local shops that cater to quilters.


  4. Looks great, and I love that fabric! I’m glad you went for the hand-finishing. I think it gives anything that couture look.


  5. Lovely work — and thanks for the link to the other Givenchy patterns. If there’s anyone who hasn’t watched Charade lately, well, entertainment — romantic suspense — movies don’t get much better. The quintessential Givenchy/Hepburn look, plus Cary Grant, Paris, lots of laughs, and a great supporting cast. I never get tired of it.


  6. Beautiful job! Very clever use of the removal button for the easy reversing of the skirt!


  7. Pingback: Goodbye to Waechter’s, An Asheville Institution | The Vintage Traveler

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.