My summer essentials are done! And now? Fall sewing.
Sarah, of Rhinestones and Telephones, is following up her June & June Project with the Hepburn Hepburn Project: Timeless Style with a Twist. This Fall and Winter, she will be sewing garments inspired by the iconic styles of actresses Katharine and Audrey Hepburn. She’s invited us to join her and I have! You should, too.
This sew-along coincides nicely with the list o’ things I’d like to complete and there’s no deadline, so that sounds like just what I need: Pressure-free, community-sewing that will bring me closer to my personal style.
Like everyone and their mother, I’ve long been obsessed with Audrey Hepburn, our queen gamine. For me, she represents a classic style that’s attainable. Part of it is her body shape, her style often held up as evidence that you don’t have to have a bombshell-esque body (during that era, or any other) to be stunning. (She was an hourglass, though! She had a 20 inch waist.) Her style is unmistakable: capri pants, boatneck tops, big sunglasses, ballet flats, and of course, the LBD, a la Breakfast and Tiffany’s. Seemingly effortless, always elegant.
And Katharine, her Hepburn predecessor, scandalizing femininity by having the audacity to wear (gasp!) trousers. I know less about Katharine’s work than I do Audrey’s but in my mind she represents rebellion and playfulness mixed with a no-nonsense brand of intelligence that made her a woman ahead of her time. And I think menswear never looked so good.
What’s more important, though, is what these women share. They both seemed to embody their styles. Their clothes allowed them to move, show us that less can be more: Function, versatility, beauty. We could do worse than emulate them.
So here’s what I’m thinking. Who knows what I’ll get to, but it’s a homage to these two, amazing women.
The Katharine Outfit: High-waisted, wide-leg jeans & an Oxford Shirt
As soon as I saw Jessica of Green Apples whip up Vogue 8604 (which she aptly calls her "Kate Jeans"), I simply had to have it. I have several pairs of wide-leg jeans and they are workhorses in my closet. I don’t care if the stylebooks say that a woman of my height should avoid them like the plague, I think they’re so elegant and they make me feel like I’m floating.
An oxford shirt, self-drafted using the instructions in Design-It-Yourself Clothes. While doing reconnaissance at American Apparel the other day, I fell in love with a very slim fitting chambray shirt. An oxford always makes me feel tailored and put together, no matter what I pair it with.
The Audrey Pieces
Since I worship at the Wendy Mullin altar, I’m currently whipping up one of her Built by You capri patterns I have in my stash using a navy twill. I’ll likely slim these down to be a little more Audrey given the instructions in Mullin’s book, Sew U. If I’m feeling ambitious, I may even go for an ankle-length slim pant using this pattern.
Colette Lady Grey Coat
This isn’t quite Audrey's iconic trench at the end of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but I think it represents what I love about her style: Classic, simple, waist-cinching. I’m pulling my hair out over what fabric to use. One day I want to do something eye-catching like Tasia’s version (she calls it her “Statement Coat”) and the next I want to do something more staid but totally versatile, a gray or dark blue. And then the day after, I think: Plaid. Hmm. I may be begging for advice as I get closer. And I just discovered Gertie's hosting a sew-along! Yes, I'm in!
Audrey Tees Galore
I’ve got the sewing knits bug, so I’d like to make more tees using the Sew U Homestretch block that are Audrey-esque: Slim-fitting with clavicle loveliness. Deep crewnecks and boatnecks.
Whenever the pattern arrives, I’m whipping up the Uniform Project’s Little Black Dress. Len of Can't Say Strawberry has pitched a sew-along for this project for Self-Stitched September, but it all depends on the post. I’m psyched for this dress: It can be worn backwards or forwards, open or closed, and the collar detaches. And more than it’s utter coolness, I love what it represents.
Any Hepburn love out there?
Catholic School Girl Skirt - This lovely wool challis pleated skirt is my second make from Simplicity 9070 circa 1970. My mother’s friend saw it and exclaimed, “That is a perfect pleat...