Saturday, October 13, 2007

Audrey Hepburn sewing patterns: Fall 2007

It seems I've been remiss in my duties again. A lot of women have been searching for Audrey Hepburn, Holly Golightly, or Breakfast at Tiffany's sewing patterns so they can make their own costumes for Halloween (or everyday life, because Audrey Hepburn is year-round!), and I just left you to your own devices. I've felt guilty, though, and all day yesterday I scoured the Internet for suitable patterns to make you dream Audrey costume. Be prepared and take notes, because there's a lot here! I'm also going to make this a regular theme, updating once a season for any new patterns, so check back once in a while for new goodies.

If you want to go all out and be ultra-glam Audrey Hepburn, you might want to try this look from Roman Holiday. Using Vintage Vogue V2239 (below), you can almost exactly recreate Princess Ann's ballgown. I actually bought this pattern for just that purpose, and though I haven't used it yet, all I'm going to do is eliminate the sash and attach a small bit of fabric crosswise on the bodice.


If you are going for a Sabrina look, there are two patterns worth looking at.
1)
Vogue Easy Options V8020, is an oversimplified version of the cocktail dress shown to the left. It has a flared, pleated skirt and would look very cute in black (see picture below, left).
2)
Retro Butterick '57 B4513, is a much closer copy of the Sabrina dress and my personal favourite. I've been wanting to make a copy of that dress for years, and this pattern is the closest copy I've ever found! See for yourself (below, right).

If you're going for a more dainty, Love in the Afternoon type look, there are a few options for you as well.
1)
Vintage Vogue V2960 (below, left) has a deep, scooped neck, fitted bodice, and flared skirt that's quintessential 50s.
2)
Vintage Vogue V2267 (below, center) is actually a pattern I own and bought just to be Audrey as Ariane in Love for Halloween one year. It's a very comfy dress, easy to make, with a light tulle underskirt to give the skirt more body without being cumbersome. And it has pockets!
3)
Retro Butterick '52 B5032 (below, right) is more of an all-purpose 50s pattern, but still works because it's still in Audrey's line of style. Comes in a more fitted skirt or a wide, flared skirt.

And of course there's the Holly Golightly/Breakfast at Tiffany's patterns! There's a lot, so I'm going to break it down to make it as easy as possible for you. If you're going for a very simple Holly dress, like a little black dress, then try these patterns out. Pretty much all of these would look good in any neutral colour or a soft brown tweed, so don't be afraid to experiment!
1)
Vogue Easy Options V2218 (below, left) is actually a set of two-piece dress suits, but the one pictured fits together so well it's worth noting. A lot easier to sew, it's good for beginners and you can mix and match with your current wardrobe.
2)
Very Easy Vogue 8282 (below, center left)a very nice sheath dress with matching simple jacket. Just forget about the lace appliqués and it's perfect.
3)
Very Easy Vogue V8146 (below, center right) is very similar to the one just before, bit with a slightly more elaborate coat. Still a very easy to make sheath dress, if that's all you need from the pattern.
4)
Burda Dress 3477 (below, right) is a sheath dress very similar to the one Audrey actually wears (right). If you were to add a tie sash to the waist and some fringe along the bottom, you'd have the dress exactly.

If you want to do more of a Holly Golightly suit, or know that it'll be pretty cold wherever you are and want a nice Audrey-style coat to go with your outfit, you may want to try Vogue Wardrobe V2988. It has a few dress options or separates, and the coat is fantastic (below). If you want a more generic little black dress that still very Holly Golightly, but you don't really care how accurate it is, here are a couple of options for you.
1)
Simplicity New Look 6723 (below, left). Still very recognizable and very similar to some readymade dresses I recommended in the More Holly Golightly/Audrey Hepburn Costume Tips post. (Note: since I couldn't directly link to this pattern, you'll have to scroll about halfway down the page I could link to and click on the picture to see more information.)
2)
Butterick Chetta B 3863 out of print (below, right). While this pattern is out of print, you can still buy it through Butterick's website. This dress is a very simple set with either a top and skirt or a one-piece dress.

And what would a Holly Golightly dress be without that giant, flying saucer of a hat? I searched through a lot of hat patterns before deciding that Butterick's B4472 (below) would be the best bet for you. It looks to be a lot easier than any of Vogue's patterns, especially the vintage ones, and by just switching the crown of hat A onto the brim of hat C, you have an exact replica of that iconic hat. Just throw on an ivory bit of fabric and you are Holly Golightly! So there's everything you need for Audrey's characters. If you'd like to dress more like Audrey herself did in everyday life, I've thought of that, too. Read on!

A trés chic dress suit is dressy, classy, and versatile. Very Easy Vogue V8319 (below) has a gorgeous pattern with a fitted sheath dress and classy, wide-yoked coat. It could also double as a Jackie O. costume in a pinch.
Skinny pants. I found two very good patterns for skinny pants, surprisingly. They were actually called cigarette pants (or trousers) in the day, and it does sound a bit classier and less spiteful than skinny, doesn't it? Anyway, these would be good for either a Funny Face beatnik type costume, or with a nice top it could be a flirty, casual 50s outfit.
1)
Vogue V8330 (below, left) is a more modern pattern, but I like that it has three different lengths so you could have actual long pants, capris, or the cigarette trouser length depending on your preferences. This pattern must be made with a stretchy fabric!
2)
McCall's M5273 (below, right) is more of a one-length pattern, but it's a little more classic in design with the flat front for a cleaner line.

A perfect match for those ciggie pants or capris? How about a dress shirt tied at the waist, as Audrey was wont to do. If you have a trim waist like she did, this is your chance to show it off -- modestly, of course. Try Butterick B6768 (below), though please note that it's out of print and only available through their website. A flirty little cocktail dress in any colour of your liking. Don't think Audrey limited herself to black! Feel free to experiment with Butterick B6582 (below). And, not to taunt you or anything, but if you ever come across this Holy Grail of Audrey Hepburn patterns, snatch it up! This Vogue pattern set came out in 2000 and wasn't out for very long, and it's extremely hard to find now. I'm guessing it didn't last long because it very closely copies Givenchy's designs for Breakfast at Tiffany's -- a little too closely, if you catch my drift. Check eBay once in a while for Vogue Wardrobe 2396 and you may luck out, though don't be surprised if you get caught in a bidding war.
So there is everything ... for now. If there's anything that you think I missed or if you have questions about anything, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'd be more than happy to help.

Helpful hint: if you're going to buy a Vogue pattern, do it through their website! Unless they're out of print, they will
always be on sale for up to 50% off.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of the hints on dressing as Audrey for Halloween! There is a dress at Target that is very similar to Audrey's. It's the Merona Full Skirt TRW Dress-Ebony for only $33. I just thought I would let you know!

Thanks for all of your Audrey mania!

-Amy Beth

The Fabulous Audrey Hepburn said...

Thank you, my dear! I'll definitely point it out to everyone and give you and your sharp eyes the credit, of course. :)

Anonymous said...

i found a really close version of the dress Holly Golightly wears to visit Sally Tomato in Sing Sing. Here is the link to it.
http://www.voguepatterns.com/item/V2878.htm

check it out!

mooimadeit said...

What a brilliant post! Thankk you so much.

madlife kitty said...

This was a great website!! Thanks for all your help. I am so excited to find patterns for these clothes. You site has been so helpful!!!

Henry said...

i have found a audrey hepburn type of dress and i just thought you would wannt to knnow.The addy is:
http://www.burdafashion.com/en/DOWNLOAD/Premium/1333669-1413205-1436551.html I know its a long one but i hope it helps!
P.s the website is great i love Audrey Hepburn

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for giving us all the info. I have been searching for the patterns that are clasic to make for myself. I think they are timeless. You did a great job with all of your work. It has taken me hours to find only a few that I really liked, and with your help, I have found several.

Christine said...

The hard part about making a costume is usually coming up with a unique idea, And there are so many of you creative and talented beings out there who've thought up. some of the coolest and most original halloween costume ideas. Animal costumes, baby costumes, character costumes, celebrity costumes and more.

Sarah said...

I love the Vogue Wardrobe 2396 and really want to find it (cut or uncut). Any ideas where I can find it?

Thanks so much!

The Fabulous Audrey Hepburn said...

Oh Sarah, I wish I could help! But for some reason that pattern seems to be incredibly hard to find. It's been out of print for nearly 10 years, which is surprising, and practically impossible to find on eBay or for sale anywhere else. I'm thinking I might have to write in to Vogue and ask why that one is so hard to find.

Sarah said...

I bet there are boxes of it sitting in Vogue's OOP warehouse!! Argh! I do have some of the patterns you listed, but to have that particular one would be great. I think I'll write Vogue, as well, and see what happens.

Maybe the thrift shops, garage sales, and church bazaars will be my lucky ticket! :)

Thanks so much for your help. Love your blog,

Sarah :)

Annette said...

Hello!

First of all, what a wonderful website. I really love it.

Just wondering, if anyone knows where to find the pattern/dress that Audrey wears in 'Paris When It Sizzles'? It is the orange dress she wears as Gabrielle Simpson.

Thank you so much for this website!

Annette xo

Anonymous said...

hello!
wow, this was a great post!!! all the items you posted are wonderful! And i can definitely see them as audrey hepburn wear! :) i have only one question, there is a white hat that audrey wears in sabrina when she is at the train station after paris. I have looked everywhere for a pattern for this hat. don't go out of the way, but if you have seen anything like it can you point me in a direction? once again, very thorough article!! thanks so much!

Ms Hepburn said...

Absolutely fabulous post and I love your blog site. Thank you so much!

alex said...

What about Audrey dresses from My Fair Lady?? I am trying to find her dress from the race course ?!?!?!? Thanks --

my email is miss.alex.martin@gmail.com

Id love some help !!

CORNELLIAN said...

hi i tried to email you but it failed hi there I think you have a great website I look up several patterns and couldn't find it on the vogue site or bacalls I wanted to get the boatneck black dress charade / breakfast at tiffany's and the other ball gown vintage vogue v2239 could not find nor I I would like this pattern if you have or where to find thanks I ALSO looked up b4472 no luck :( can you help me out I have a wedding to go to what to do for a small size if I am a size 1 or 0? in jeans what is that in dress sizes a 4? can you help with the vogue wardrobe 2396 do you have it.
thanks
vanessa

CORNELLIAN said...

you can email me at vjs10cornell@gmail.com since it said i couldn't email you
thanks

H_Hepburn said...

Hey, I have been lucky enough to purchase the Mccalls 3788 pattern designed by none other than Hubert de Givenchy! Which is a great buy if anyone is wanting to sew the Little Black dress that Audrey wore in 'Sabrina'...the dress in the pattern even includes a beautiful sweeping back panel! Great buy! Worth the money!
Great site! Kepp it up! :) x

Sarah said...

Hello! I must say, this is the most impressive Audrey blog EVER. Anyway, I found a pattern that, if you look at the image on the left, looks a lot like Audrey's interview dress---you know, the magically poofy one she wears after her and Joe (hurry, grab your Kleenex and get ready for the waterworks!) part ways? It's right here:http://www.lanetzliving.net/inc/sdetail/156662

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to find one of my favorite a.h. dresses for my up coming wedding its a ivory off the shoulder satin dress that I adore. Beinng that this will be my third nuptials I didnt want to go the usual route

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