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It’s arrived – THE Hepburn dress pattern

JanF | Posted in Patterns on

My god – that’s good service for u – received my dress pattern in the post this am. – I’ve wasted time at the gym and only got back after taking a leisurely coffee in town! – I could have been down to sewing already!!
I have to say that the sewing instructions do expect u to have a lot of expertise in working out stuff. In my opinion – if the Eva dress co. take the time to redraft a pattern to a more modern sizing – why don’t they redraft the instructions too? But heck – I suppose I’m nit picking here! Redrafting the instructions would be a more complicated task I think (as one who has to draft instructions for kids to follow making items – believe me – it isn’t easy!)
Anyway – a dilemma now!!
Do I wait till I come back from France?
do I rush up a toile in something ok – so that if I wanted too I could take it with me to sashay down the Boulevard de whatsit when in gay Paree???
The dress looks a doddle!
I must be honest – after the gym – I didn’t just have a coffee in town – I had a tomato/goats cheese melt, a cappuccino and a slice of carrot cake(anyone been to Cafe Nero’s will know what I’m talking about) IT WAS MY LUNCH!!
The press stud fastening in the dress might not hold!!

Edited 7/27/2007 10:16 am ET by JanF


  1. Gloriasews | | #1

    I say wait on the dress - you may find fabulous fabric in France & it's probably a pattern that you won't make several copies of.

    You're lunch sounds fabulous - glad you enjoyed it - now back to the gym to work it off!


  2. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #2

    Oh Jan, I'm just dying to know.  How many peices is the jacket?  I'm almost finished with my "interpretation"  I have to hem the sleeves, and make the scarf.   When do you leave for France?  I'll try to have a photo for you. 

    Is the dress bias cut?  I thought I would draft a bias cut.  Oh goodness me, I'm all excited.    Val

    1. JanF | | #3

      A quick run down - dress = cut with straight grain running down CF(cut on fold) it has a simple v neck back and front, small french dart in bodice front and seam of skirt to bodice = approx underbust shaping up to meet v neckline!(I actually thought this might be on the cross - but no!(wonder if it would work this way)?
      Jacket sleeve and bodice is all one piece(cut 2) - but with a CB seam and the front overlap extends to fasten same place as collar pieces do!
      So I suppose you might wear it without the collar? Although I like this bit of detail! Can have full length sleeves or shortened version and the grain is up and over shoulder(however not parallel with CB seam)
      Do u think I'd be done for copywrite if I scan layout diagram to put onto this site??
      Anyway - as I said - instructions are not easily read and layouts don't show that much detail either - but I think Ive got it sussed!
      Will let u know how it goes - Actually I can't wait to start it - might just do the jacet part - cos I think it would be wearable over other clothes too!

      1. User avater
        CostumerVal | | #4

        Sorry it took so long to get back, was a busy weekend.  I hemmed the sleeve last night but haven't made the scarf yet.  Going to have to do some embroidery on the lapel around the button.  Celtic knot or something.

        The photo's were too big, so I put them on a word doc to shrink em up.  I need to learn more about photo editing.

        1. Gloriasews | | #5

          Oh, what a good job (& your pics were fine)!  Can you still do the crossover thing with the lapels you made?  The fabric in the arm slit is a great idea, too - very nice colour combination.  Kudos!

          1. User avater
            CostumerVal | | #6

            Yes, when the lapels are closed, the point matches up with the top button.  I could probably wear it closed without the scarf, but I really like that look, so I'm going to finish the scarf soon.  (Tonight after the kids go to bed maybe?)

          2. Gloriasews | | #7

            I didn't know there was a scarf to go with it, too - the pattern looked like it just had cross-over lapels in the front.  Will the dress be red, black or plaid?  Do post pics again when you're finished.  Good luck!

          3. User avater
            CostumerVal | | #9

            Thanks Gloria, yes the scarf is removable.   It looked to me in the picture that the scarf crossed left over right and the jacket closed right over left.  I think the article may have mentioned that the scarf was removeable also.  When I designed the jacket the plan was to have it coordinate with "a little black dress" because I don't own one.  So, I had my son take the photo wearing a black T-shirt to give me an idea of the contrast.   Val

          4. WandaJ | | #10

            This is really a great job that you did with this jacket. It looks like the pattern picture. Based upon your original statement about your jacket being '...your version...' I must ask did you use the purchased pattern, or did you come up with your own pattern? Again, great job that you did.

          5. User avater
            CostumerVal | | #11

            Jan just recently got the pattern in the mail.  She started this thread.  I started a thread awhile ago about designing it from the photo.  I think I bored everyone to death with rambling thoughts and "what if's". LOL  It's somewhere in General Discussion. 

          6. Gloriasews | | #12

            The black dress would be perfect - also a red one if you have enough of the red fabric left, eh?  You could also have a grey dress, I think.  No matter what colour you decide to make, it'll be very striking.  Good job!

          7. User avater
            CostumerVal | | #13

            Thank you,  the gray plaid was given to me by a woman who was moving and getting rid of her stash. (imagine that)  It's growing on me huge.  I even thought it would be striking with faded blue jeans and a white T-shirt!  I'll have to wear to the market and see what happens.

          8. Gloriasews | | #14

            Do that - & let us know what reaction you received.  That plaid was a very lucky hand-me-down - that lady must have had a good stash (& it probably broke her heart to have to give it away).  As for the jacket, you may find that you get more mileage out of it than you first thought & you may make more of them, eh?

          9. User avater
            CostumerVal | | #16

            The plaid looks gorgeous.  But it's 100% polyester with the coarse threads, like the 1970's.  That's why I lined it.  I will see what the reaction is but it may take awhile, as it's 93 degrees today.  As for making more, I like the way this one looks, but my true love is the barn coat.  I love my barn coats,  incidentally, I lost my last one and I just found a leather coat at the local thrift for $15.00.  It fits around me but the sleeve cap is way to small. (lucky me)  I'm sure the previous owner only wore it a few times.  The coat goes to my knees so there's plenty of leather to give it a redo.  I have to get through a folk festival before I start that one.  I'll put up a thread with photo's detailing the project when I'm ready to start it.  About 2-3 weeks.

          10. solosmocker | | #17

            I just wanted to tell you that I am really enjoying the saga of this magnificent design that you and Jan are working on. Make sure you both keep us updated. solo

          11. JanF | | #19

            Just to let everyone know - off to France tomorrow - but spent a lot of yesterday sewing The Dress.
            I have to say some success - and some frustration, but process on the whole going quite well.
            So far jacket seems to be coming together - using a green silk/viscose(I think)fabric that I found a piece of - sorry - I do tend to try to make use of all my "bits" first.
            I've embellished the collar by holding the fabric rightside down on a leaf block(stamp) that was free a couple of years ago in a magazine - I think for Xmas - and steam pressing the fabric from the wrong side. Also put a few along the bottom of the sleeves - and pressed the rest of fabric over a towel to get a textured finish to the green top.
            (there is a reason - although I cut the fabric out so carefully with it having a nap - and believe me I checked and checked - it still appears to me as if the pile doesn't't quite work - some areas appear slightly darker - hence covering it up with embossing - or whatever its called)
            I hope I don't hear anyone sniggering at me now - I defy anyone to say I've got it wrong!!!
            The grain line does go up and over shoulder at an angle - but not parallel at CB seam - I think to enable shaping into the back waist? Possibly velvet was not a good choice - but the colour has always spoken to me and its been under the bed so long - it doesn't stand me at anything!!
            I will try to attach skirt to dress top this morning - but really - I do have to go and pack up the RV for the trip tomorrow or Pete will raise the roof when he gets home tonight and I haven't started.
            I'm one of those persons who throws a pair of knickers in for each day - a nightie - and a selection of trousers and tops to last - mix and match of course.
            Food will pack in the morning before we set off - but true to my word - snacks and breakfasts only - with enough Euros to buy a meal out each night. Lovely jubbly.
            Perhaps I should sign off- Au revoir?Forgot to say - just got to run up 2 quilt covers too - changing new cotton sheets into duvet covers for the van 'cos I thought "I'm not paying that" to buy 2 new cotton duvet covers JUST for the van.The sheets were half the price!

            Edited 8/3/2007 4:50 am ET by JanF

          12. Gloriasews | | #23

            Do you have a barn coat pattern?  That leather coat was a buy, alright.  What would you line it with?  Do show us pics of the finished coat & good luck with it.


          13. User avater
            CostumerVal | | #24

            No, actually I don't have a barn coat pattern.  I'm going with the standard coat ease plus my measurements.   I have an old wool coat liner that buttons into a coat.  I'll alter that to button in to the leather.  I bought it because it's grain leather on the inside, so I can condition the leather and keep it up.  When I get back from Maine I'll outline the whole process that I go through.  If I fail, well, the whole cubscout troop will have moccasins.  I don't look at it as a $15 coat, I see it as a $15 sewing lesson in how to handle leather.  So that's how I'm approaching this.  So you see, no matter how I screw it up, I've won in the end.

          14. Gloriasews | | #27

            Excellent reasoning!  You do win either way.  We'll look forward to your pics when this project is completed (even if they show a bunch of moccasins)!  I'm still marvelling that you were able to get a good leather coat for $15!!  That's a good, cheap sewing lesson, eh?  Versatile, too.  Good luck!


            P.S. - You might want to start a new thread about the barn coat.

            Edited 8/6/2007 3:12 pm by Gloriasews

          15. sewingkmulkey | | #15

            I love your idea of wearing your vintage Hepburn jacket with jeans and tee-shirt - very fashion forward!


        2. fabricholic | | #8

          Wow, it looks wonderful. I can see the detail a lot better on the actual garment than on the picture on the pattern.

        3. Josefly | | #18

          What a great job. Love your cowl sleeves, and I'm just amazed that you can look at a picture and figure the pattern out like that.

          1. User avater
            CostumerVal | | #20

            When you look at a picture, break it down into elements.  ie: front, symetrical, overlap, shaped bottom.  Back, fitted neck, cut on bias, straight bottom.  Sleeves, fitted, cowl at top, top edge left open.

            Then you take your sloper, trace it and draw in the new lines.  For the cowl on the sleeve I went to http://www.vintagesewing.com and read up in the book they have under pattern making.  That told me how many slashes to put in the sleeve pattern and where.  I put another piece of paper under it and spread and taped.

            After that I laid the 3 pieces out separately on the fabric to get the best use of the design and pattern.  I traced with a chalk marker, as I didn't bother putting s.a.'s on the pattern, and cut the whole unit as one piece.  If you've got some scrap, try it out in 1/4 scale, or on a Barbie Doll.  That way, you get the practice without the cost.  Val

          2. Josefly | | #21

            Still amazed. Thank you for that description of the process, and congratulations on a successful jacket.When you say you laid the three pieces out separately on the fabric...traced with chalk...then cut the whole unit out as one piece - does that mean you fitted the parts together on the fabric, and literally cut one garment piece? With only an underarm/side seam and center back seam?

          3. User avater
            CostumerVal | | #22

            Yes, it's only a 2 piece jacket.  I laid the back pattern on the fabric at an angle to get the plaid to line up so the CB seam would be invisible.  It's not exactly a 45* bias, as the plaid is not a perfect 90*.  Next I laid down the sleeve pattern on the cross grain with the top of the sleeve touching the shoulder point on the back pattern, then the front with the shoulder point touching the other side.  There is a CB seam and underarm seam.  That's it.  whips up fast.  Doesn't need to be lined if you use a bias binding.  If it's solid fabric, it can be embellished or quilted.  Actually, quilting isn't a bad idea as it will give some body to the cowl so it won't droop flat, and there's no darts.  Hmmm..........might have do another one... funnel collar, smaller lapel, there's room in the layout to flare the hip....I think this could be an embellishers dream.

          4. Josefly | | #25

            Thank you so much for your pattern photo. I can see how you slashed and spread your sleeve pattern to achieve the cowl sleeve. Makes me think I want to try the pattern drafting as you suggested - on a small scale.

  3. DONNAKAYE | | #26

    Can someone tell me what pattern all this chat is about?

    1. Gloriasews | | #28

      It's about the Katherine Hepburn dress featured in the current issue of Threads magazine.  Two of our posters are making the dress & jacket - one of the posters (JanF) has ordered & received the pattern & had just started on the jacket.  The other poster (CostumerVal) drafted her own pattern for the jacket & has posted pictures of it in this thread.

    2. JanF | | #30

      As someone has already said after u posted this (but i'm never sure if everyone can see the posts ) its about a dress and jacket - originally for Katherine Hepburn - from http://www.EvaDress.com
      that has been redrafted - i'm in the middle of doing it - will post pic for everyone when Ive finished my holiday

  4. cat42 | | #29

    I just found this thread. What is this Hepburn Dress pattern? Where do you order it?
    I love vintage styling, and hepburn is my fav actress ever.

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