Tag Archives: McCall’s

Envisioning the Perfect Dress

Bravo TV announced last week that the next season of Project Runway will debut on July 16.  I watch very few TV shows, but for a fashion lover, Project Runway is a don’t miss show.  Even non-fashionistas love it for the drama of the Parsons workroom!

I’m not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg:  the renewed interest in home sewing or Project Runway.  I know for my ownself, watching the show makes me want to dig out a pattern and go to work.  In fact, I recently decided that I needed a new sewing machine.  Considering that I’ve been limping along on my husband’s grandmother’s old Kenmore, I think I was overdue for one!

So now I’m working on my first major project, a dress for my niece’s up-coming wedding.  I had planned on wearing my newly-found black Harvey Berin dress, but I’ve just decided that it is just not festive enough.  So I went on an internet search for an early 60s cocktail dress that

1. Was not black.  2.  Was not dowdy  3.  Fit me.

Now I’ve seen hundreds of these pretty little dresses in my time, but of course the moment I go in search of one I’m not going to find a single suitable thing.  So I look through some books for inspiration, and there it is being worn by Mrs. Kennedy on a trip to India in 1962:

From Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years (You need this book)

My version will have this dress as its base:

Now to find the fabric!  I’m pretty sure I won’t buy the same shade of orange..more likely something in the blue family.


Posted by Holly:

I remember seeing that photo of Jackie at the exhibition at the Field Museum! It really is the epitome of what I think of as her signature style. Good luck on your search for fabric. And keep us posted on the sewing progress. It sounds terribly exciting and daunting for a non-sewist. I love the pattern you’ve chosen with those scoopy princess type seams on the bodice.

Wednesday, June 18th 2008 @ 9:23 AM


Filed under Currently Reading, Sewing

Currently Viewing – How to Steal a Million

In 1966, Audrey Hepburn and her Givenchy wardrobe starred in How to Steal a Million, not her best movie, but one of the best collaborations between Hepburn and Givenchy.  In short, he nailed her look.  In a famous line from the movie, Peter O’Toole even comments on the designer’s role in the film.  O’Toole’s character, upon inspecting the cleaning lady’s ensemble Audrey is to wear declares, “Well, for one thing, it gives Givenchy a night off!”

During the 1950s, Givenchy had done a line of patterns for McCall’s, some of them obviously inspired by the movie Sabrina.  But this time, the four patterns by Givenchy were adapted directly from the movie wardrobe.  All are suits or ensembles of jacket and dress, which Hepburn wore almost exclusively throughout the movie.  These patterns are actually quite hard to find.  In five years of searching, I’ve located only one of them:

which is this suit from the film:

The others, just in case someone out there has one…




All photos from the July 1966 McCall’s magazine.

From the McCall’s Home Sewing Catalog, Spring/Summer, 1966


Filed under Currently Viewing, Designers, Sewing