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.
The McCalls looks promising – a lucky find. I think it will make up into a really nice coat. I love the detail on the Pierre Cardin design, but agree that you need absolutely the right fabrics to pull it off. The striking white shaped band is deceptively simple, but would present a considerable challenge. Is the skirt bias cut?
Yes the Cardin skirt and lower part of the jacket are cut on the bias Jay. This actually put me off. The McCalls Courreges skirt is much more my type of skirt as it is a traditional A line.
It’s so lady-like, I’m looking forward to see it made up. Have you chosen your fabric yet?
Yes I have a mauve Italian wool that I will use. I haven’t decided on the trimming, buttons or lining yet. Or what to make the skirt and blouse in Anne.
Oh I can really see potential in this pattern. Lots of fabric choice and fun to be had with this. Enjoy.
That will be very handsome. Trim or fabric first? Or the buttons? These are the questions on the mind today!
I am getting inspired by your interest in trims! I really think trims, and interesting buttons, etc are one great advantage we have when we sew our own clothes.
You did well getting that pattern, you’ll have lots of options with that. I prefer the collar style to that on Mia’s coat. It looks contempary from the front but definitely sixties at the back. I’m guessing that it’s unlined, also typical of that era, I remember my grandmother waxing lyrical over car coats and it always made me laugh, you don’t see those around any more.
Vogue 1650 is so classic and elegant. It is as stylish today as the year it was drafted.
Love all the patterns. I’ve just started following you and really enjoying your blog. I’m about to start my third Chanel jacket a little black one this time, so hope you will share any suppliers for trim. Have you ever found any Chanel type chain.