Saturday, February 24, 2018

title pic My Jacqueline Kennedy Red Suit Reproduction

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on April 26, 2017


Earlier this year I received a request from one of my readers to recreate the red suit worn by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and portrayed in the new Jackie movie.  I receive requests on a regular basis to recreate various film costumes, but due to my very full schedule I am unable to do so most of the time.  


{On the left is the original, on the right is the movie version. Keep reading to see my version!}

Jacqueline Kennedy is one of my favorite First Ladies, and her red wool Oleg Cassini suit which she wore for the televised White House tour was just impeccable.  So when one of my blog readers asked me to sew this iconic First Lady’s outfit for a school project she was doing, I knew I just had to fit it into my schedule!


The sketch above is the original that Mr. Cassini drew for the First Lady.  It’s worth noting that this sketch features a red pillbox hat, but I don’t believe we ever saw Mrs. Kennedy in that red hat while wearing this same outfit.  You can see in the sketch that it has a rather unusual crossover hem at the bottom of the jacket, and the skirt is either a wrap-around or mock wrap-around style.  The jacket also has a standing boatneck collar which was a gorgeous frame for Jackie’s pearl necklace.

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Since creating the pattern entirely from scratch and doing mock-ups would be a significant undertaking, Caitlyn and I decided that I would make something inspired by the original design, but not a total replica.  We chose the materials and fabric, and when they arrived at my house I fell in love with the red wool suiting…  It was such high quality that I wanted to sew the whole suit right there and then!  (Years ago I worked at a high-end fabric store, so I’ve handled thousands of fabrics – this one was special!)

But the more I worked with the fabric, the more I knew I needed to ditch this 1960s pattern on my sewing desk and create the outfit from scratch.  It was an exciting challenge as there wasn’t time to create a mock-up version for the out-of-state customer to wear, so the first version had to fit perfectly and come out looking like the original.  I emailed Caitlyn and told her I was upgrading her outfit, and she was all for it!

I spent several evenings drafting and perfecting the pattern pieces for the jacket – (the straighter skirt had been sewn prior to my realization that I needed to go “all in”), and I sewed the lining first to see how the design would look in fabric.  It went up on the mannequin and it looked nearly identical to the original.  

So after pre-shrinking the wool, I cut out the jacket pieces and sewed the remainder of the outfit.  The jacket was fully lined, and I attached large red buttons as close as I could find to those used in the movie.  The buttons are more decorative than functional, so I closed the front opening with sturdy gold snaps to avoid enormous buttonholes down the front.


When the outfit was finished, I was thrilled and a little sad at the same time – I was elated to have it all wrapped up and ready to go, but I’m not used to parting with my costumes. 😉  I took lots of pictures so I could remember what the inside of it looked.  The material was a joy to work with and I was so happy with how it turned out!


Caitlyn emailed me a few days later informing me that the package had arrived and it fit her perfectly. (Happy dance!)  And she looked fabulous in it!  She gave her high school living history presentation in full “Jackie” costume, right down to the triple strand of pearls and the 1960s hairdo.  Her teacher told her that she had the best costume there, and I’ll bet she gave the best presentation, too!  She’s graciously allowed me to share these pictures of her here on my blog.  



So there’s my latest project!  I hope you’ve enjoyed it!  You can see my other Jacqueline Kennedy reproduction (which I wore several years ago at the White House) here


And now, I’m off to a wedding this weekend, where the bride (my sister-in-law) will be wearing a wedding dress I sewed for her…  You can be sure I will share pictures!

Happy sewing!


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title pic Vintage Easter Outfit 2017

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on April 16, 2017



Happy Easter!

My vintage Easter outfit for 2017 was made entirely from vintage Hollywood Patterns that were printed in the 1940s. This was a wonderful project to work on, but I especially had a blast making the ruffled, tiered sleeves.  




The blouse reminds me of one that Olivia de Havilland wore in the 1940s…  Someday I may spruce up the sleeves even more by adding lace trim at the edge of each ruffle.  If you look closely there is eyelet beading at the neckline that I wove peach satin ribbon through.  


Pattern: Hollywood Pattern #1875

Fabric: Ivory Eyelet from

Notions: Eyelet trim, peach satin double-faced ribbon, & three tiny gold & pearl buttons


A spring blouse sewing project which I may or may not have time to sew. #1940s #blouse #pattern #hollywoodpattern #vintagepattern

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Pattern: Hollywood Pattern #1830

Fabric: Coral cotton print by Moda Fabrics – “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” collection (I picked this up about 5 years ago)

Cinch Belt: Purchased 

Shoes: Poetic License (Purchased in 2014, so I doubt they are still available)


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The Hollywood pattern for the skirt is sort of a 1940s version of the circle skirt – it is much narrower than its 1950s counterpart, but it has the same fitted waistband, narrow top, and flaring width towards the bottom edge.  


The thing that sets this outfit apart from many other spring outfits I’ve sewn in the past, is the fact that these are separates instead of a one-piece dress.  So I’m looking forward to mixing and matching these two pieces with other items in my wardrobe this year!



I hope you all have a wonderful Easter Day, and I’ll try to post another update soon!  I have some exciting projects to share in the next few weeks!

Happy sewing,


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P.S.  Thanks to my awesome husband for taking these pictures for me! 😀


title pic The Jerusalem Dress

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on February 15, 2017

A 1950s Dress in Jerusalem, Israel


I realize that I missed my annual Christmas 1950s dress post – not for lack of sewing Christmas dresses, but for lack of time to photograph and blog about it!  I still hope to share pictures soon, but I have something else to share first!  Last year my husband and I had the amazing privilege of traveling to Israel, and naturally I *had* to sew a vintage dress for the trip!  Israel is one of my favorite countries, and it holds a very special place in my heart.  

So for a 1950s dress I planned to wear in Jerusalem, I spared no expense! 😉  I purchased five or six yards of a beautiful blue floral print designed by Gertie for Joann Fabrics, which reminded me very much of a watercolor Marc Chagall painting.  I felt it was the perfect mixture of 1950s flair with a nod to the Jewish theme at the same time.  For the bodice I chose a coordinating eyelet fabric, since that was one of the options on the pattern I was working with.  (I’m sharing Instagram pictures below from the sewing process, so not all captions are present-day.)

Because I loved the fabric so much I took LOTS of photos during the sewing construction of the dress!


It makes me happy to match the pins to the color of the fabric I work with.


The bodice and sleeves are cut in one piece as you often see in 1950s styles.  It makes for a bit of extra bulk under the arms, but it’s the way they used to make many of their dresses back in the day.


The ruched waistband was attached to a flat base.


Then the bodice was stitched to the waistband, with gathers in the front.  It’s starting to come together!


Cutting put four layers of skirt panels all at once. Fabric by @gertie18

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Once the full rectangular skirt was attached to the bodice, I folded under the inside waistband to completely encase the raw edges and make everything polished and professional.


Finally, I hand hemmed the yards of full skirt with tiny, invisible stitches.  On such a colorful print I could have hidden larger stitches fairly easily, but it’s more fun to do an impeccable job!


In Jerusalem

I purposely chose the high boatneck and three-quarter length sleeve design not because of the weather (as it was absolutely stifling in Israel in late summer), but in order to be respectful of the Orthodox Jewish dress code that many religious Jews in the area observe.  Orthodox women usually cover the neckline up to their collarbone and never let their arms show above their elbows.


 For me personally, I don’t feel that it is wrong whatsoever to wear short sleeved or even sleeveless tops, but I think it’s important particularly when you are in foreign countries to do everything you can to not offend people or dress in a way that they feel is not appropriate.  Israel is also a very secular country in many areas and there are lots of women who dress in typically modern fashion, but I wanted to try to stick to a more conservative dress code around Jerusalem since I was staying in the very heart of the Jewish quarter.


These pictures were taken directly outside the Israel Musuem which, among other things, houses the Dead Sea Scrolls.  I learned to read Hebrew when I was a teenager, so going through this place and reading fragments of scrolls from the Bible dating back thousands of years was unbelievable!

The sun was shining so brightly on the white limestone that it was quite hard to not squint, and I was not wearing a crinoline petticoat at all.  Between the lack of petticoat and the addition of sandals instead of high heels, this was definitely a rustic version of my usual 1950s outfit!  But I absolutely loved wearing it in Jerusalem, and I’ll never forget the day I wore it there!


While in Israel I also had the chance to visit Middle Eastern fabric stores and pick up some gorgeous fabrics in Tel Aviv!  That’s for another post if I find time, but you can see more pictures of my trip on my Instagram page if you scroll down several months.  And if any of you are heading to Israel in the near future (which I highly recommend!), you must check out the fabric shops in Nachalat Binyamin!


Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to update the blog as often as I did when I was single, but I do still sew prolifically!  I do more actual wearing of my dresses to events in real life now that I’m a busy married woman, as opposed to blogging about them when I was single! 😉  But if you want to keep up on what I’m sewing, you can see regular updates over on my personal Instagram.  I can’t promise when I’ll have the next pattern or post ready, but it will all happen! :)

Hope you all are having a wonderful 2017, and happy sewing!

Katrina Holte

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“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure.  May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” Psalm 122:6&7