Friday, 24 February 2012

Finished Project: Hollywood 785

It's done! Just to recap, this week sees the Acadamy Awards theme over at Sew Weekly. The aim is to recreate an outfit from an oscar nominated movie. After a few ideas, I finally decided to create a dress worn by Kate Beckinsale in Pearl Harbour.

Not quite an aircraft hangar, but you get the picture?

My version was made using Hollywood 785 (undated, but presume early 1940's) in black polyester crepe. My version does not come with a peplum (I didn't end up having enough fabric) but I'm not bothered about it as the full gathered skirt really doesn't need it.

As previously stated, and you can tell by the photo from the film that my version does indeed have a fuller skirt, but as this was my first time using this pattern I didn't feel comfortable straying too far from the original design.

I had a few 'firsts' with this dress which was exciting, starting with the bound buttonholes mentioned in Wednesdays post, and I also made my own shoulder pads. I was a little skeptical about the shoulder pads at first (I had flashes of Joan Collins going through my head) but I have to say that this dress wouldn't look half as good without them. They really do give it that extra va va voom that it needs!

Inside the dress I bound the waist seam with some left over leopard print from this blouse, as well using it on the shoulder pads too. I hand stitched the hem and the sleeve hems.

Onto the problems... not as many as I thought there would be to be honest. The bound buttonholes were a little fiddly, but the more I do them, the better it'll be. Attaching the bodice & skirt together was the trickiest as the pattern doesn't call for the usual, 'right sides together & stitch' like every other pattern I've used. With this one you have to turn in the seam allowance of the bodice and pin it over the skirt. This at times was a little tricky, but I got there in the end. However, my top stitching needs to practised for sure!

All in all this dress was a welcome challenge, and I now know what to look out for the next time I make it. I'm thinking next time maybe navy, or a dark green?

Also as I was making this, Gertie revealed her next online sew-along course 'The Starlet Suit' pretty similar huh?


  1. Ooh, this is lovely! such a classic look. Definitely has that vintage look (duh, it's from a vintage pattern), but really doesn't look super costume-y either, as can be an issue with '40s suits. All in all, great work!

  2. Great work!!and yes, Gertie's suit is very similar.

  3. Wow its fabulous! I can't believe how quickly you made this! I just love how it turned out, I actually prefer your version to the original as it has more of a New Look, look,(if that make sense), its great! :)