Get your tissues ready, no not that kind of tissue silly, this isn't a tear jerker. I'm searching sewing patterns modern and vintage to find the looks featured in classic films. Although it might not be possible to duplicate the exact look, I'll show you how to easily mimic the feeling of the style. Soon you'll see that a silver screen wardrobe is only a pattern away.
A 1958 a romantic comedy about Tom Winters, a widower who makes up his mind to raise his three busy children on his own. In comes Cinzia taking on the role as a live-in nanny and housekeeper, when she is actually an Italian socialite. Much of this fun and mayhem takes place on a rickety old Houseboat.
and Cary Grant
Two years prior to filming Houseboat these two met during another production, a relationship began and Cary Grant who was 30 years her senior and already in his 3rd marriage, proposed to Sophia Loren. She turned him down, their love affair was brief but their friendship continued throughout their lives.
Costume Designer: Edith Head
"What a costume designer does is a cross between magic and camouflage. We create the illusion of changing the actors into what they are not. We ask the public to believe that every time they see a performer on the screen he's become a different person." E.Head
Here she is during a fitting on set for Houseboat.
Considering that Sophia Loren's height was a bit under 5'9 and sporting a 24 inch waist, Edith Head was a very petite woman.
With Edith Head as the film's costume designer, it's no surprise that Sophia Loren had some amazing fashions.
Nothing so fabulous as a perfect crisp white wrap blouse! Kind of like wearing that special guy's white suit shirt, tied tight at your waist.
All those skirt gathers sit lovely on Sophia Loren's curves, but try for a more controlled sense of volume, 6, 9, 12 gores should do it.
No, I'm not talking about a HORROR FILM about GLOBAL WARMING!
totally different gore on Gore...
gore: noun : a tapering or triangular piece (as of cloth in a skirt)
Sophia Loren did not win an Oscar until 1962 for her role in "Two Women". She did give that old gold guy a run for the money in this gorgeous gold gown.
AND THE WINNER IS>>>
although this isn't an exact match, this pattern has the right bust structure to give the look that Sophia Loren has all on her own. Nothing wrong with getting a little structure help.
Vogue 2372 DejaVuPatterns
ON that note...
Before we go any further...
Let's talk about about some support- getting that shape (or ummm close to that shape, or even not so close, OK in the same zip code as that shape) it is going to take more than a pair of spanks or a push up bra. We are talking structure here, under garment structure. With the proper undergarments 1950s fashions sit, fit, flow, and flare much better.
Ok so one of the things to look for when seeking a curvy-curvy-curva-palooza silhouette, think BASQUE. First thing that comes to mind, an excellent Basque restaurant in Fresno California...
But never mind not that, a BASQUE Waist!
But never mind not that, a BASQUE Waist!
A basque is an item of women's clothing. The term, of French origin, refers to a type of bodice or jacket, and in modern usage a long corset, characterized by a close, contoured fit and extending past the waistline over the hips. It is so called because the fashion was adopted from Basque traditional dress, initially by the French and then throughout Western fashion. (thanks Wikipedia!)
I also love the term Torsolette--it's fun to say, like saying Toulouse-Lautrec. Okay! So, Back on track
That's what I'm talking about!
Here are a few other stand out looks from the film.
How can you get all this style into your closet? I told you,
pull out your tissues! Pattern tissue that is, go sew it girl!
Below is a Pattern Patter Team Treasury inspired by the lovely fashions in Houseboat
Here's another treasury inspired by Houseboat, featuring some Pattern Patter Team Vintage Sewing Patterns, designed by Edith Head, along with other fun Etsy finds. Click here to view this treasury on Etsy