I decided to start a lovely project to flesh out my wardrobe. I’m a huge fan of old movies and Old Hollywood glamour. I live for TCM, if that was the only channel left in the world of television I would be just fine(maybe also PBS). I have always lusted after many of the costume from the films.
One movie that I watch every month just so I can look at the lovely clothes is How to Marry a Millionaire. Everything that the three leading ladies: Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable wear is simply divine. If I could have any movie wardrobe it would be this movie. Of all the beautiful creations to grace the screen(and even the one to be cut out) my favorite dress is shown for a minute or so and even then we never see a clear shot of the dress. Never the less I love it. For the color to the way it moves in the quick pace of the scene.
In a rush Marilyn Monroe’s character Pola Debevoise run in the front door of the girls’ apartment to answer the phone after being out (it’s about an hour into the film). Pola is in one of the most beautiful green dresses I have ever seen. She was out running errands and working in that beautiful dress. By today’s standards that dress would be a date night or business dinner dress. Nothing about that dress says, “I have to run to the bank before it closes.” The dress alone is a beauty but to add to the everyday glamour of it she had such lovely accessories, A lovely hat, pair of gloves and a fur muff. If those three don’t say 1950s day time glam, I don’t know what would.
After years I watching the dress in the movie, I wanted to finally wear the dress. Since I didn’t have a full on picture of the dress I worked with the bits and pieces I had to work and redraft my dress patterns. Once that bit was done I went on the hunt for fabric. I knew since there’s wasn’t a picture of the dress anywhere to be found I knew I wasn’t going to find any information about the fabric used. After searching and not finding anything and about to give up and change my dress idea completely. I came across this lovely Laundered Twill in hunter green. It was perfect; it even had a bit a stretch to it.
I had gather a lovely assortment of notions for the project. I didn’t really know if i was going to end up using but It’s better to be prepared. My favorite find is the perfect color match vintage seam tape I found.
With my fabric ordered I decided to make a fur muff to go along with the dress just like Pola. I wanted a big faux fox muff. I had my eye on this lovely arctic faux fox fabric in black. It looks lush and not costumes monster fur.
For the muff I used the pattern I made for the 18th century muff I made two years ago with a few alterations. Instead of a small thick muff I extended the width. When I made the 18th century muff I stuffed it to the brim with poly-fil but for my 50s muff I used quilting batting. The batting gave the muff a bit of weight and warmth but allowed it to have an even slim look. To add to the functionality of the muff I added a last minute pocket with zipper in the inside. It’s bit of a mess but it’s well hidden.
I did make a belt using remaining dress fabric. For my belt i wanted to do a matching fabric cover buckle. While searching around I found this kit that lets to cover your prong buckle. I gave it a try. Everything was going smoothly until I tried to pull the backing paper off the back. I would not off. I tried for the better part of an hour to get the paper off but my work was in vain. the buckle was useless. But I had a back up plan. a simple yet perfect gold buckle that worked.
As I worked on the dress I just fell in love with it. I need to make a hat to wear and learn how to make gloves to add to the 50s glam of it. Maybe I’ll take a crack a pair of glove later this year.
It’s one of the most elegant dresses in my wardrobe. I simply love it.
Maybe I can find that Millionaire I’m looking for….