This week’s pattern tour covers the Katharine Hepburn Ensemble pattern. It was 10 years ago I wrote the six-page article, ‘Working with Vintage Patterns’ for Threads Magazine focusing on this scarce pattern. It’s commemorative. So here is…
Howard Greer designed the dress, jacket and hat ensemble Katharine Hepburn wore in her first starring role in RKO’s ‘Christopher Strong’ (1933). The costuming a great filmic narrative; in this case, she wears the kimono jacket with cut-away shoulders at the time she is really opening up with her love for Christopher. The dress underneath is a simple A-line yet touched with sophistication in the high-shaped waistline which follows the line of the upward cut of the surplice jacket. The attached scarf smartly laps over the front to close the jacket with buttons.
Butterick secured license to make this and a few other Hollywood film styles available in pattern form to the home sewer who could afford the 50 cent price tag!
This pattern was a meaningful find for me. I camped out for an estate sale to be near first in line hoping to get my hands on what I was told were HUNDREDS of patterns dating from 1930 through the 1970’s. My then little Eva accompanied me-we sat in the car eating mom-and-pop donuts at 5 a.m. an August Saturday in 2004 until the doors were open. We discovered a closet totally packed with this and many other patterns. An unexpected surprise was opening a box of vintage notions I also bought to find still-packaged items with price tags from my grandmother’s shop which had been just up the road in the 1950’s!
Recently released in e-version can be found here.