DIY: 1950s style jacket, part 1

12th April 2012




Grain line, centre fold, bias fold, notch, pivot, dart, ease line, blah blah blah these are the typical pattern cutting (dress making) jargon that has stuck with me since uni days.  Have I told you that I can create a garment from 2D to 3D? Yup I’m a trained pattern cutter and machinist since I left LCF, if I had accepted the internship offer at Hussein Chalayan I would/could have been a designer or garment technologist at Dior, but I chose a different path, styling.

I wanted to make my own summer garments for a while after watching a series of 1950s movie classics at home, inspired by the cinched in waist costumes in the likes of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, Grace Kelly in Rear Window, Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much, and many others.  My fixation on ‘omg THAT waist!’, seems implausible to achieve for my awkward body shape (a small waist and wider hips).




Time wise, I can’t be asked to create pattern blocks from scratch but but but, thank goodness for Ebay there are wide selection of vintage patterns at a lower price, I bought this fabulous 1950s Butterick non-fitted coat pattern, and the Dolce & Gabbana SS12 inspired orange floral fabric from Borovick in Soho.  This is just a sneak preview of the jacket, hem cut shorter, not sure whether to cut the sleeves shorter or not, and I have ran out of fabric for the front collar facing (oops) and in desperate need of lining fabric for the inside jacket, so I can complete the jacket by the weekend.

Stay tuned for part 2.

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  • Reply Dona 12th April 2012 at 01:36

    The blogger with many talents, what can’t you do?

  • Reply Daniella Williams 12th April 2012 at 02:16

    Your garment construction post is beautiful and I love the flower pattern on the fabric, the jacket is looking chic I eager to see your finished piece soon.

  • Reply Hilary 12th April 2012 at 02:55

    I think I will have a fit if I were to sew these bits together.

  • Reply Mel 12th April 2012 at 02:59

    This is amazing post I love it! Oh you’ve ran out of fabric, mmm have you thought of adding another fabric as a reversible jacket…possibly? Just a thought 🙂

  • Reply winnie 12th April 2012 at 04:05

    Kit, you are far too talented. I adore the material and such a beautiful post!

  • Reply J. Wright 12th April 2012 at 05:45

    Interesting diy, I wonder what bottoms to go with the jacket?

  • Reply Jam 12th April 2012 at 05:47


  • Reply UK life style 12th April 2012 at 05:55

    <3 those films and Grace Kelly was amazing in all films and that waist of hers!

  • Reply Lola 12th April 2012 at 08:11

    I’m v.v.impressed, had no idea you had super sewing skills! My mother is a seamstress and so I picked up on a few things from her, I also started taking lessons but had to stop because it was so expensive, do you think it is worth investing in a sewing machine and trying to teach myself? I love the jacket, the print is amazing for summer and reminds me of Stella McCartney’s fruit colours from last summer xo

    • Reply Kit Lee 12th April 2012 at 14:50

      @Mel You are a genius!

      @Lola Thanks, my mum used to be a seamstress and taught me how to use the machine when I was like 8, seriously I was like a pro at high school. Sewing machine is an investment for all diy lovers, I mean I can’t live without it….also have an industrial machine sitting at home gathering dust.

      @the style crusader There were blue and pink floral fabrics too, I’ll bring you down to the shops when you’re down.

      @Shini Your comment cracked me up, you would be the most annoying person if you sat next me with the popcorn crunching noise….defo not therapeutic.

  • Reply the style crusader 12th April 2012 at 09:09

    Kitttt! This is amazing! I L-O-V-E the fabric! The colour is so bold. You are incredible! Can’t wait to see this on you! Amazing job. xx

  • Reply Shini 12th April 2012 at 09:31

    I have this really big urge to just sit next to you with a popcorn and watch the ENTIRE process, it’ll be so therapeutic.

  • Reply rachel 12th April 2012 at 09:54

    I love a waist like that. So looking forward to part two

  • Reply Clarissa 12th April 2012 at 11:12

    Great DIY post.

  • Reply Elizabeth Lau 12th April 2012 at 11:14

    I’m so impressed Kit with your making skills!

  • Reply emma by choice 12th April 2012 at 13:39

    I love the films you mentioned here, don’t we all want to have that killer waist?
    I can’t wait for part 2.

  • Reply sha 12th April 2012 at 14:46

    Hahahaha all those words sound like fun! Reminds me of A level Textiles, only much more hardcore.

    I was also thinking that print is super Dolce&Gabbana SS12 – what a good find 🙂

  • Reply Lilix 12th April 2012 at 14:59

    Wait you turned down the offer to intern at Hussein Chalayan’s? How could you? But then you wouldn’t be existed in the blogging world. I’m looking forward to see the finishing piece.

  • Reply Gwangxi 12th April 2012 at 15:01

    The fabric is gorgeous, I can really the fabric in 1950s style dress similar to Dolce and Gabbana SS12…amazing find.

  • Reply michelle 12th April 2012 at 15:03

    omg looks amazing!

  • Reply Ket Chup 12th April 2012 at 22:18

    Cool project you have here and you have some serious skills.

  • Reply Miss Fash 12th April 2012 at 22:19

    Wow you’re so talented, a genius you are! Can’t wait for part 2.

  • Reply darcee 12th April 2012 at 22:20

    I would love to see you in that jacket for your outfit post.

  • Reply northwest is best 13th April 2012 at 10:14

    Looks amazing so far. I’m in awe of your skills, but I’m starting a pattern cutting evening class next week. Hopefully I’ll be a competent amateur by the end of it.

  • Reply Toni Tran 14th April 2012 at 08:36

    This is literally amazing. Haven’t seen any person do this on their website before, step by step. Great representation and floral is right on trend! Especially love your hand craftsmanship in making this one off design. Fits perfect on the retail shelves!

  • Reply Duck 15th April 2012 at 12:37

    Kit this is amazing! I had no idea you were such a gifted pattern cutter/seamstress! Ah, Dior…

  • Reply DIY: 1950s style jacket, part 2 » STYLE SLICKER 26th April 2012 at 20:26

    […] this is my finished jacket, thank goodness there is no flaw on the interior and exterior, the jacket can be belted or worn […]

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