I do love a good Instagram community challenge! Last year I took part in Me Made May, but this year I decided not to take part. I just don’t have enough homemade pieces in my wardrobe right now to make it significantly different from last year, and though I am sure no one else would have noticed, I would have gotten fairly bored with it. Thus, I was excited to see that there was another challenge being hosted this month, called “The Vintage Fashion Challenge”. (It’s nice to see a vintage focused event on Instagram). This one is being hosted by Carla of tinyangrycrafts, jennylee.knits and iliveinmylab and these three ladies came up with different prompts for each day of May. I have not been posting every day, but have been taking part when I have something for the prompt of the day. At the beginning of the month, as I was looking through the monthly overview, I saw a couple of prompts that I would need to sew something for. One was “Me Made Style”, (which I will be sharing next week) and the other was “Movie Style: A Film Inspired Outfit”. I decided that I would combine some of the prompts with blog posts, and to finish in time, I have been doing a fair bit of sewing this month- maybe at this rate I will be able to take part in Me Made May next year after all! 😉
I was quite excited about the “Movie Style” prompt, and started brainstorming for that one, before the challenge had even started. I love old movies, (actually I love new movies too!) and one of my favourite things about movies is the costumes. Costumes can make or break a film, don’t you think? It can be a great story, but if the costumes are off, it just ruins it. Conversely, sometimes I watch movies just for the costumes- even if the storyline isn’t that good. 🙂 I always enjoy good costumes, and then dream about “someday” sewing similar pieces for myself, but rarely do I ever actually end up creating those pieces. Having a challenge to create a specific film look was great, as I knew that it would force me to actually come up with something. (If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you might sense a trend here- I need deadlines in order to finish things- otherwise I procrastinate!!!)
Before anything else, first came the hard part of deciding which film look to recreate. So many old films, feature elaborate garments which I don’t have the skill or resources to create, and I also wanted to find a look that would be a valuable addition to my wardrobe. I mean, I do love the costumes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but where am I going to wear a sapphire blue evening gown or a leopard cape and muff. Ok, never mind- if those were in my wardrobe, I would find a reason to wear them! But, while so many costumes from movies are extremely glamorous and elegant, they aren’t very wearable for my lifestyle. Thus, I started combing through old movies, to find a film inspired look that would be both useful and versatile to wear, and reasonable to recreate. When I came across Roman Holiday, I knew I had found what I was looking for!
I haven’t seen the movie for ages, (if you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend it) but I knew that Audrey’s Roman Holiday outfit would be perfect to recreate as all I needed was a circle skirt. The colourized photo versions of the costume show a blue skirt, but I found this image which shows a tan skirt. I believe that the original costume was tan, which for some reason was colourized to blue in the photos. Tan is a great colour for my wardrobe, so I decided to make a tan circle skirt, though I thought that if I couldn’t find any suitable tan fabric at my local shop, I would make it out of blue chambray. I did find fabric, but since I really like how this skirt turned out I might end up getting some chambray anyways. I have been wanting a circle skirt for a while and this tan circle skirt has proven to be a great addition to my wardrobe already. It goes with everything. I made it out of a tan slubbed cotton/poly fabric. I wish that it was 100% cotton, but they didn’t have any nice cotton fabric, and so I decided to just go for it anyways.
The skirt took me a few days to sew up. I sewed it in one evening, left it to hang for 24 hours, and then went to finish it two days later. Of course, despite all my meticulous measuring, I ended up having to take 1.5 inches out of the waistband. I hate having to pick things out, and it took me a while to redo it all, but I still ended up finishing this project relatively quickly. The most time absorbing part was the hand stitched hem- this is how I prefer to finish my garments, but it sure is time consuming! I hand stitched it with lace hem tape, but did it while watching movies (over two evenings), so it went relatively quickly, and at least I got to enjoy a movie at the same time 🙂 I also made a separate slip to wear underneath as the loose weave of the fabric is slightly sheer. I decided to make a separate slip, rather than just lining the skirt, so I can wear the slip with other dresses and skirts.
All in all, this turned out to be a very quick sewing project and the only part left was to style it as a Roman Holiday look. I didn’t want to take this outfit literally, and copy the shoes, the belt, the scarf etc. exactly as it was in the movie, but rather took the basic formula to create my own look.
I chose this tie front blouse, which is actually quite similar to the one Audrey wore, with the rolled sleeves and collar, because the colour of tan in the leopard print pairs perfectly with the colour of the skirt. I think that this shirt goes so well with the skirt, and as I haven’t had much to pair it with so far, I am excited about being able to wear it more often.
Next was the shoes. I have these brown shoes which used to have a zigzagged elastic which made them into a slip on shoe. However, by the end of last summer, the elastic in one of the shoes had stretched out, so I had been thinking of replacing the elastic with proper tie laces. This look is quite trendy right now, but is quite a vintage look too, as illustrated by Audrey’s look in Roman Holiday. For these photos, I used black shoe laces (that’s what I had), and tied them around my ankle for the same look. I am planning on getting some shorter brown laces, and not wearing them looped around my ankle. (I don’t think it is the best look for me, though it was fun for this outfit)
The final touch to this movie inspired Roman Holiday outfit, was adding a vintage off-white sheer scarf. In some of the pictures you can see I’m wearing it tied around my neck, while in others it is under my collar. I decided after a few photos, that it looked like a neck brace in some of the photos, and having it tucked under my collar looked better 🙂
The only thing left to do to finish my Roman Holiday outfit, was to bring out my bicycle. As I don’t have a vespa, like in the film, a bicycle will have to do for my own “Rural Holiday”. 😉
Have you seen the movie Roman Holiday? Have you ever watched a movie and then wanted all of the outfits? If you were going to recreate a movie look, which would outfit would you choose? Share in the comments, so we can all look up your favourite movie costumes. . . and then add them to our own lists too 😉
May 24, 2017 @ 2:28 am
So awesome! The Roman Holiday outfit is just one of the most perfect casual elegant vintage looks around, in my book, and I’ve always wanted to do something similar myself (and it always makes me want to cut my hair too). I love the way you’ve interpreted it your own way and in colours that will work for your wardrobe in other ways.
Also, yes to the leopard print cape and muff from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Excuses would be found! I’ve always wanted that outfit too!
May 24, 2017 @ 5:31 pm
Thanks so much Tanith! I really think that this will become a wardrobe staple for me. And while I love all of the costumes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes- (50’s glamour at it’s finest!)for daily life, something like Roman Holiday is a bit more suitable 😉
May 24, 2017 @ 2:51 am
This is so lovely! The scarf under collar trick is very nifty, something for me to try. X
May 24, 2017 @ 5:34 pm
Wearing a scarf under your collar, as opposed to just around your neck is more comfortable too, in my opinion, and isn’t as hot as a scarf on your neck for warm summer days.
May 24, 2017 @ 10:17 am
This turned out great! The photos and the outfit.
Bravo to you showing off your fine sewing skills.
I agree with you, the scarf does look better under the collar.
I was also very inspired by the clothing the last time I watched Roman Holiday.
I’d probably choose Bonnie and Clyde and borrow Faye Dunaway’s timeless look, beret, scarf, fitted sweater and fitted pencil skirt.
May 24, 2017 @ 5:35 pm
Thanks Suzanne 🙂
And that outfit from Bonnie and Clyde is so classic and so chic! You should definitely recreate that outfit- it would look great on you!
May 24, 2017 @ 11:51 pm
I’ve always loved the costumes in Roman Holiday and you did a great job capturing the spirit of them! I have a large canvas that is a picture of Audrey on the bike with the biggest look of delight on her face that was on the wall of my dining room in my old house for years 🙂
May 25, 2017 @ 10:55 pm
Thanks! I think that this is one of the more “ordinary” outfits from Hollywood.
That picture you had of Audrey sounds amazing! It would be the perfect thing to have hanging as a poster- you couldn’t help but be happy whenever you looked at it 🙂
May 27, 2017 @ 12:42 pm
Your skirt turned out great! It makes me want to go sew a circle skirt now. . .
May 28, 2017 @ 10:40 pm
Thanks so much! As for sewing one for yourself, you definitely should! It went together so quickly, and I’m sure you would love it 🙂
May 29, 2017 @ 7:48 pm
I love Roman Holiday! It’s such a sweet, lovely movie. I rewatched it recently and it’s really remarkable how bittersweet it is – I’d completely forgotten that they don’t end up together at the end.
You did a great job putting together a look that’s inspired by the movie, but doesn’t take it too literally. The neutrals, the cute little tie front blouse, the scarf. And I love your hair at this length, it’s growing out really gracefully. Adorable from top to toe!
May 30, 2017 @ 10:20 am
Thanks Jessica! I had such a fun time putting together an “inspired” outfit, that wasn’t a costume. And it’s taken my hair a long time (a year) to get from a pixie to a bob, and I’m loving it 🙂
June 6, 2017 @ 1:56 pm
I enjoyed reading all about this and you have done a great job. Lovely photos. I can see that skirt being such a useful wardrobe addition.
June 7, 2017 @ 2:42 am
Thanks Kate-Em! I’ve already worn it a few times 🙂