That 1930s blouse pattern

The 1650s doublet reminded me of this pattern because of the opening in the sleeve seam – in the 1930s for a hint of flesh rather than an undershirt (although I fancy making it with a flash of silk chiffon under the slash)Blog April 17 1930s blouse 1 (front pattern cover)

And not many pattern pieces:

Blog April 17 1930s blouse (back pattern envelope)

I also like the fastening detail, with concealed closing at the gathered neck and button loops down the front (no buttonholes – hurrah).  To see how it is done – having already gathered the front neck opening “between the dots” as you do –

Blog April 17 1930s bouse 5 (buttons loops)

Then it is on to the facings.  Here we come across one reason for so few pattern pieces on the envelope.  The front facing is a given pattern piece as the neck edge has to be gathered to fit it, but the back facing is pretty simple so Butterick smugly tells you to trace one off the back pattern yourself “the same width as the front facing”.  What do you expect for 25 cents?

Blog April 17 1930s blouse (front facing)

Blog April 17 blouse pattern 7 (button closures 7)

So, after that hard work making hand-worked loops for the hooks and eyes it will be off to ebay to “trim with a novelty clip”.

What do a 1650s doublet and a 1930s blouse have in common?

I’ve been to the National Gallery of Scotland to see their recently opened new fashion gallery: .  This fetching doublet from the 1650s caught my eye – it’s for a man but I think I’d look good in it today:

Blog April 17 Scottish Doublet 1

Of course that wonderful stitching deserves a close-up:

Blog April 17 Scottish Doublet 2

The accompanying little plaque in the museum tells me “This doublet would have been worn with an undershirt exposed at the waist, back and sleeves.  Densely embroidered , it probably belonged to an upper-class fashionable young man.”

One of the features of the National Museum of Scotland’s exhibition is to put garments from different centuries in the same case, to show how fashion designs resonate through the centuries.  This made me think of a 1930s blouse pattern I have – see next blog post for the reason why.

Givenchy 50s and 60s wedding dress patterns

I’m a bit surprised it is for McCalls not Vogue but here is a classic Givenchy for Audrey dress pattern.

Blog April 2017 Audrey Hepburn dress pattern 1

Blog April 2017 Audrey Hepburn dress pattern 2

That’s a lovely fifties one.  I wasn’t too keen on Audrey Hepburn’s 1960s wedding outfit, with the scarf tied over her head.  Here is a Givenchy for Vogue Patterns wedding dress in the sixties, with more headgear.  I don’t mind the dress, a classic of it’s time – but the hat-thingy?

Blog April 17 Givenchy wedding dress with hat 1

Blog April 17 Givenchy wedding dress drawing

I don’t own either of these patterns, so I can’t put up any of the instruction details – and I don’t know whether that floppy hat is included, but surely it means that no-one can see the bride’s face when she is walking down the aisle?

Audrey’s Wedding Dresses

As a last stop from my visit to The Hague, Givenchy designed both of Audrey Hepburn’s wedding dresses, and they were both on display:

Audrey Hepburn wedding dresses 1 Her dress for her first wedding as a twenty-something is third from left.  Her second, in her late thirties, and with the fashion of the sixties, is second from left.  I’m rather surprised by it, perhaps because it is so much not the Audrey of the movies

The exhibition also had a wedding photo: Audrey hepburn wedding photo The bride has a lovely smile, and that’s the most important thing.  And I’m all for a woman wearing exactly what she wants to on her wedding day.

Gloves and Pearls

One of the noticeable things about Audrey in the films and as a mannequin in the exhibition is that accessories to match the little black dress are long on pearls and gloves, for a touch of class.  So much so that at the end of the exhibition there was an opportunity, very popular with the children – of both sexes – when I was there, to dress up in a big hat and pearls and have a photo taken in a booth with the 1 Euro fee going to Save The Children, which Audrey Hepburn was heavily involved with.

So, rummaging through my patterns I hit upon this:

Blog March 17 Gloves and PearlBlog March 17 Gloves and Pearls 2

The packet says “Designer Fashion” but there’s no clue on the packet or the instructions as to who the “designer” is.  So there’s nothing to say it isn’t Hubert de Givenchy, although I doubt it, since he would surely warrant a name-check.  Nevertheless, it is a simple, elegant design which could be worn by a real woman who isn’t a stick insect and look elegant, with the bias cowl neckline not too low, and the top sitting outside the waist, and belt optional depending on how much a lady who lunches is planning to eat.

Plus, the outfit in the photo has a well-polished finish with those gloves and pearls.  Rather sadly the white gloves would be a bit costume-looking today, but the pearls are standing the test of time.  The lady in the drawn illustration has some pretty big emeralds: that’s the advantage of drawing – emeralds as big as the Ritz are no problem.  The emerald-wearing lady also reminds me of a maxim I have heard attributed to the Queen (a lady who clearly could fish out at least that many large emeralds from her jewellery safe, no problem) that you should put on 3 pieces of jewellery, look at it, and take one off – so bracelet and brooch or bracelet and earrings, but not all three at once.  I’ve always thought there is a lot in that.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The exhibition of Givenchy’s dresses in The Hague is titled “To Audrey with Love” and the selling point is that Givenchy’s dresses for Audrey Hepburn’s film roles are on show together with clips from the films.  So, here we are having Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Blog March 17 Breakfast at Tiffany 1Blog March 17 Breakfast at Tiffany 2

And I rather liked this one, because it was so obvious we were gawping at Audrey and here she was gawping straight back at us:Blog March 17 Breakfast at Tiffany 3

But did I feel I learnt anything seamstress-wise from seeing the frocks in the flesh with the film?  Not really, but that’s entertainment.

An actual Mondrian

The slight gap since the last blog post is because I have been to The Hague, for the entirely sensible reason that that is where the exhibition of Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn is taking place:

 So there will be more on that, but one of the big adverts for travel is that you go to see one thing and find another.  The Gemeentemuseum has the world’s largest collection of Mondrian paintings ( ) .  Plus, naturally, an Yves St Laurent dress, so I got to see the two together:

BlogMarch2017 Mondrian Picture & dress

Possibly going a bit far, another art gallery shop had this for a twelve inch fashion doll:BlogMarch17MondrianSindyDress

I didn’t buy it and that’s probably a good place to leave this style of Mondrian.

But I was interested to see some of Mr Mondrian’s earlier pictures, when he was sliding into abstraction with a series of sand dune paintings.  The colours, reflecting the flat Northern light, were lovely, and possibly even more worthy of turning into dress fabric: