Sewing the scene: The Aviator

Last time sewing the scene was organised by The Unfinished Seamstress, the whole universe conspired against me to prevent me from participating. This year it did the same, but being determined to succeed, neither the hospital visit that knocked me out for two weeks, nor the nasty cold that followed it, were able to stop me.


My inspiration image was the same as the previous time. A still of Cate Blanchett playing Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. Somehow Cate Blanchett features very often in my inspiration boards. I guess I like slim, tall figures who have no resemblance to my own, haha. If only I could grow longer legs… That aside, I consider Cate Blanchett an incredible actress and one of the most stylish women that elevates any garment she wears.


As you can see, I went for the faithful interpretation, with the golf bat and everything. I really liked the style of all the pieces and although I will probably not wear them all together as in the pictures, I think they are very useful individually. The jacket has definitely proven to be so. It was made by my grandma a bit over 40 years ago and my mum wore it over her dress at her wedding reception. I was planning to make a similar jacket for the challenge using burda jacket 06/2011 #115B by refashioning one of my partner’s jackets which was too small for him but quite big for me. I thought I could bleach the jacket so that it turns white-ish, but it only acquired a slightly pink hue, remaining otherwise unaffected, despite sitting in bleach for days. At that point 1) I was running out of time, 2) didn’t want to spend more money ( I can be very stingy at times) 3) decided it was highly unlikely I’d need another white jacket at this time of the year, 4) the existing one would work just as well in terms of achieving the style of the inspiration image.


The shirt is the burda pleated blouse 01/2018 #118B in a cotton poplin brown polka dot. It was really hard to find the specific polka dot in a different fabric, without breaking the bank. This is great but it’s a bit stiff for this shirt and you can see it creating a bit of a bulk inside the pants. Nevertheless, a perfectly wearable shirt, which I think will look great with a pair of jeans.


This is only the third shirt, I’ve ever made and the first one I’ve ever sewn with pin tucks. I have to admit that once more the burda instructions for this pattern required a bit of imagination. The original pattern has 3 pin tucks but I had to make 4 as I ended up with some excess fabric due to my bad maths. The buttons are also meant to be concealed but I decided against it, since I liked the exposed buttons of my inspiration image.  I think I could have gotten away with the smaller size too, as I feel this is a bit too buggy for my taste.


The back of the shirt features the usual pleat and is much simpler than the front.


I still find sleeve plackets quite intimidating but these turned out nicer than my previous ones. I did put the fabric on the wrong side out though, so I cut another piece of slightly smaller size to the original placket and sewed it on top. I quite like the effect it’s produced, with the wrong side of the fabric underneath, creating a frame around it.


For the trousers I used my TNT pattern the Megan Nielsen flint pants, lengthened for to about 8cm to work well with heels too. I followed the tutorial on the blog to remove the release tucks and convert to a flat front.

The fabric is a poly crepe, which is bit shiny but has this gorgeous maroon colour. Again it was hard to find a fabric in a similar colour to the original image at an affordable price. It seems like good quality and I like the drape and flow of it. This is by far my mostly made and worn pattern. You can see it here and I’ve also made a linen version, which hasn’t been blogged yet.





‘Howard, we’re not like everyone else. Too many acute angles. Too many eccentricities.’


About delightfullypeculiar

I'm Vasi, Greek living in the U.K. I wouldn't call this blog my sewing journey but an attempt to make and do the things that make me happy, sewing being one of them.
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6 Responses to Sewing the scene: The Aviator

  1. runsewread says:

    That cool image of Cate/Katherine is seared in my mind from seeing the movie just one time in the theater all those years ago. One day I’ll make those pants for myself. Super job in recreating the outfit. It looks great on you.

  2. What a lovely copy! I love the maroon colour of your trousers! Nice work!

  3. Colesworth says:

    Fabulous ensemble, very true to your inspiration and you look great ;o)

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