1952 Italian Couture Design

In my spare time this summer, I’m adding lots of lovely vintage pieces to my wardrobe.
I bought this pattern before Christmas. McCall’s 8849 circa 1952, an adaption of an Italian Couture Design, as it says on the front.

Straight out of the movie Roman Holiday, don’t you think? I’m picturing myself as the queen of style, Audrey Hepburn, with my new short hair.

The envelope is in very poor condition, but the pattern & instructions were pretty good. And for once I didn’t need to do any alterations.

It arrived from the US in record time & in the 42C/110F temps this week I stayed inside & got cutting & sewing.

A friend was having a Champagne, Canapes & Cake celebration for their wedding on Thursday (when it was 44C) & I decided this would be a lovely cool option.


I used a navy & white cotton sateen for the skirt,$7pm, & white embroidered voile for the blouse, $2pm on sale. (which I didn’t realise until I got home, I would have bought the roll, it’s so lovely)
I miscalculated the voile, as the embroidered pattern stopped about 10cm from the selvedge & I also didn’t realise the blouse was cut on the bias. So I used some scraps from a production blouse for the facing & also for the pocket flaps, so it bought the two pieces together. I also altered the skirt pockets so the weren’t just in the side seam. The buttons are from my Bettina Liano stash. I bound the armhole with bias tape as I really dislike armhole facings.

I think this might be my favourite outfit this summer, & the blouse will go just as well with my vintage pants or my skinny jeans.

I teamed it with my red shoes from Florence, earrings from the Uffizi Gallery & my Mum’s necklace from the 1950′s.

• Meet the Author • empireroom


I am a costume designer & mobile seamstress. For as long as I can remember I have loved everything do do with sewing & creating. I would spend hours sitting at the end of my Mama's bed sifting through the fabric trunk & sorting the button tin. I made my first dress at 5 for my Barbie, & my first me size seersucker skirt with the sewing machine at 7. I have a ridiculous number of patterns & reference books, far too much fabric, wool & haby, & an alarming number of sewing machines.


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15 comments… add one

  • What a lovely outfit. The fabrics you’ve chosen are really nice:o)

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  • I really love that pocket detailing there!

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  • Love it!

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  • Wow!! Fabulous fabric choices :) Perfect for the pattern, and a very flattering style on you. Well done!

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  • Love the pockets! It looks great on you, and fab fabric choices!

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  • What a good idea to use different fabrics for the skirt and top. The skirt fabric is beautiful but if you’d made the whole thing in that fabric, you’d have got lost in it. The blouse fabric is beautiful too! Oh, I just adore it!

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  • Very Nice!!! I will have to look for this pattern on Ebay. I have a August wedding to attend and I think you solved my problem. :)

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  • This is gorgeous! :) Will have to see if I can get my mitts on this pattern!

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  • That is a lovely outfit. You did a great job with the colors. I really like the design of that blouse too!

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  • Such a beautiful dress!!
    The neckline is very cute!
    Congrats!

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  • I love those pockets!
    x

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  • This is such a chic outfit, love your makes!

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  • So pretty! Good job, and nice choice of fabrics!

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  • Fantastic blouse! I love the collar. Cute details on the skirt too.

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  • Your outfit is super cute! (And I love the rock display in the background.)

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