I love vintage patterns that include a jacket, skirt, blouse and coat. Not only are they great value for money, these patterns ensure that everything you make from the pattern works with the other items. As they say on Pattern Review (sometimes) “a great wardrobe builder”. I had a coat-suit-blouse my 2015 and, believe me, that Vogue 1650 by Nina Ricci pattern (below left) kept on giving. And I still haven’t made the coat. For my Sewing with a Plan 2016 collection I wanted to include the Cardin suit below right, Vogue 1636. And then I had second thoughts.
Although determined to include a suit in my collection I wasn’t sure about the Cardin. I love the special detail on the jacket but felt it wasn’t quite right with my fabric. So for a few weeks I searched for another pattern. I looked amongst the Vogue Paris Originals, and Vogue Couturier patterns – providing the right level of sixties style with a challenging construction approach. Nothing really grabbed me enough to sustain me during the long hours of cutting out, interfacing, underlining, pad stitching, fitting, zipping, pressing etc.
Then I read a fascinating blog from Pattern Vault, covering the “after Courreges” licenced copies of his designs, produced in America for McCalls patterns in the mid 1960s. Sarah helpfully lists all the patterns (from 7902 to 7940 [not consecutive]) and even sells some in her Etsy shop. The one that grabbed me (from her photographs rather than the envelope art) was McCalls 7938 which includes a nice dress, coat, skirt and blouse. I casually searched the internet and unbelievably I found one in Wales, in my size, for £5 plus postage. Bingo!I
Below (left) is my new pattern. it looks a bit dreary – I think it is the colours and the flat looking drawings – but now I have examined the pattern and instructions it is definitely up there with the Vogue couture patterns in terms of faithfulness to the designer’s original piece, detail and construction methods. What attracted me to this pattern specifically was the trim (I am going trim-crazy this year). It also has a nice skirt and blouse to match, with the option of doing the jacket for this SWAP or just for later.
I found this beautiful photograph of Mia Farrow (below right) wearing a similar coat and it just spoke to me. It’s very wearable, but also special. It reminds me of those classic kiddie coats with a velvet collar but French, rather than English. And aren’t the boots adorable? You may be able to see that the McCalls coat has an interesting flap extending from a half belt at the back, dropped waist. I like this too, with the curved princess seams – adding extra interest.