Thursday, September 27, 2007
Eva Dress Katherine Hepburn Jacket and Dress
The Vintage Pattern Contest inspired me to try this design. I had seen it in the recent Threads issue that was all about vintage sewing and ordered it from Eva Dress. Not that I am built anything like Katherine Hepburn but I loved the idea of recreating something designed for her in a movie. As the pattern states "this is a very scarce design put out by Butterick as part of their 'Starred' pattern series for a 'costume for women and misses as worn by Miss Hepburn in an R.K.O. Radios Picture'. This ensemble consists of a dress and jacket in two styles with the hat! The jacket for version 'A' features cut-away sleeves and the attached scarf laps over the front to close the jacket with buttons for detail!
Recommended fabric for the jacket blouse: light weight wools, taffeta, satin, novelty cottons, gingham, shantung and linen. (Quite an interesting variety I think). For the skirt and hat: light weight wools, silk crepe, taffeta, or satin, novelty cottons, gingham, shantung or linen to contrast the Jacket Blouse. I found this silk plaid with embroidery in my stash as well as the crepe for the dress.
Eva Dress has reproduced this pattern and added sizes beyond the original which just came in one size. I chose the 12-14-16 because the waist and hips were close to mine and I was afraid the larger size would be too big at the shoulders. I probably would have done better with the larger size though as I needed to do extensive altering at the bust to make this work. The jacket pattern consists of one main piece (with gusset and facings) so it was quite the puzzle to figure out where to add for my FBA. I had to make a muslin to understand how the piece went together and then started slashing to add the extra needed. It worked out okay in the end.
I would say the instructions are okay although one needs some experience to comprehend them. For instance the gusset instructions are vague. I just did things the way I have done before for the most part and didn't follow the instructions closely. I changed a few things slightly. On the dress I made the bodice a full lining instead of using the facings. I put in an invisible zip in the side seam instead of the vintage technique using snaps. I was afraid I would pop those open as this is quite closely fitted. I shortened the dress about 4 inches as I don't have those long Hepburn legs. I did not line the scarf as suggested in the pattern as I feared it would add too much bulk around the neck. I just did a twice turned narrow hem. I also didn't do bound buttonholes for the 9 buttonholes!
I would recommend this pattern if you have some experience and enjoy trying something a little different. I think the dress is quite current looking with the raised, curved bodice seam and the jacket, though unusual, not too costumey.