I have chosen Vogue 1662, a 1966 Pierre Cardin suit described as
Straight from Paris to you – the fashion in this envelope. Your Paris Original was selected by Vogue at the dramatic opening of the designer’s colletion, then flown to America where its unique styling was translated into pattern form.
Straight jacket with V-detailing has pointed bias collar and three-quarter length sleeves. Jacket lower front is cut on bias. Top stitch trim. Slim bias skirt is slightly gathered onto contour waistband.
There is a very nice Pinterest board of Pierre Cardin but I have searched for any other photographs of this item made up, and failed to find one. My favourite blog Pattern Vault covers Cardin here. Dustin of Make Mine Vogue has also provided me with a lot of information on the date of this pattern. Here is an excerpt from his response:
I happen to have only a few Vogue Pattern Book magazines from the ’60s, but one of them features VPO 1662! It is the Winter 1966 issue of the U.K. edition. I’m quite certain that the design for VPO 1662 is from Cardin’s Spring/Summer 1966 Haute Couture collection. Out of curiosity, I checked the website ‘www.editionsjalou.com’ and in the Spring Collections 1966 issue of L’Officiel there were other looks from Cardin styled with the same style of square hat as VPO 1662, which was most likely unique to that collection. It seems logical, too, that Vogue Patterns only had permission to release the pattern in late 1966 after the Spring/Summer 1966 season had passed, and home sewers could then make the pattern up for the following spring.
Pattern, design and alterations
I was attracted to the pattern as I liked the V detailing on the jacket that may give the possiblity of a little more shaping. I like the collar, the showy buttons and the elegant 3/4 sleeves. I also like the look of the skirt although it is cut on the cross and this tends to be a look I have avoided. Bias skirts make me think Per Una – clingy polyester, calf length and some kind of pink/maroon swirl. Not flattering to anyone with thighs. So before I go ahead with the whole suit I am making the skirt, in a wool remnant. No point trying this with calico – I am keen on seeing how the fabric performs on the body.
My pattern is s12, for a 32 inch bust which will probably be fine for the jacket. I will often buy the “wrong” size as I have to do quite a few alterations anyway. I am pretty sure that the 32 bust jacket will fit me well in the shoulders and sleeves. I may have to adjust for the bust and certainly for the length. And the skirt, with its 34′ hips, will be too tight. So I added four inches to the pattern – two to the front and one inch on each back piece, and two inches to the waist band, assuming any other adjustments could be made in the fitting. The “slightly gathered” look is one I love, and it is very typical for the sixties, as an alternative to darts. So if I have to lose the two inches I can accommodate them in the gathers, or alternatively shape the side seams a little more during the fitting.
As this is just a toile I have chosen a grey suiting fabric that I don’t like much. I bought it to make Esme a work dress, but she didn’t like it much either. So I will use it to test the garment with no intention of making a wearable garment, but who knows? Charcoal skirts are inoffensive if they fit well, so let’s see. The fabric is much lighter on what I assume is the underside so that is side I will use. Also as you can see it has a herringbone twill weave which should work well on a bias cut item.
Once I had cut the three pieces for the skirt, and marked them with tailors’ tacks, I hung them up overnight in order that the fabric could settle on the bias.
What a nice surprise! The fabric behaved beautifully, the bias cut is actually quite flattering, the cheap lining sat quietly in the right place. I put the zip in by hand, as instructed and I used 2″ bias braid in the hem to give a nice, soft finish. I loved the faced “contour” waist band that sits very slightly above the waist, which is stayed with tape along the top seam. For the final version I will take half an inch off each of the back side seams as the gathering is a little bit too much in the back, and I may make the waist band one inch bigger to allow for the odd lunch time excess. The uneventful construction has restored my faith in my own ability to actually sew after the horrible yellow dress.