Hot! The “Rose arrives at the Titanic” dress

Vogue 8633

The Facts

Fabric: Striped linen, interfacing, interlining and lining from stash, dark blue linen from Joann’s ($8.19)
Pattern: Vogue 8633
Year: l955
Notions: Zipper & self-covered buttons from stash, ribbons on hat ($21.84)
Accessories: Hat ($16.02)
Time to complete: 12 hours
First worn: February 2012
Wear again? Yes but probably as separates

Total Cost: ~$46.05 + $3 for linen shirt at Salvation Army


There are moments in movie history where an image, or a short series of images, takes your breath away. These are the moments that a Costume Designer lives for, plans for, hopes and prays for…

This was one of them : )

I have to confess when “Titanic” first came out I was loathe to see it. Not only was it HUGELY popular, especially with the teen/twenty-something set, but it was directed by James Cameron whom I…well, let’s just say his ego is a little off-putting and move on. It was probably 10 years before I saw the whole thing and on TV WITH commercials no less : ) But when Rose first arrives at the Titanic and gets out of the car is one of those moments that live in a Costume Designers soul. Stunning work by Deborah L. Scott, she was pitch perfect with this movie and I knew one day I’d have a suit like Rose’s. (Too bad the rest of the movie didn’t measure up to the costuming!)


When I first read through the list of challenges and saw the Oscar challenge, my mind went blank. Being an Historic Costume major most of the movies I love are period pieces AND I’ve made outfits from almost every era so what to do??  As I would check out the Sew Weekly page I kept scrolling past the “Last Dinner on the Titanic” event and couldn’t shake it. Titanic…Oscars.. Titanic…Oscars…and here we are : )

I had a big hunk of white linen with a navy/black pinstripe so we were half way there. I dragged my mom up to Joann’s to look for a piece of navy linen, thinking I’d have to dye it to get the right color but lo and behold, what they had was perfect! One yard later I was set. I needed a pattern that had the semi-princess seaming and found this lovely 1955 gem in my collection. I used the basic cut of the pattern, redrafted the front for the double-breasted lapels and made a muslin. I had to trek to my girlfriends house (with the horrendous cold of last week) to do a proper fitting. Back home, it took me 2 episodes of “Big Bang Theory” to get everything cut out.

A couple hours of sewing a night, a day off to fight off the worst of the cold and then back to it and I was cruising. I decided the WHOLE outfit needed to live and a random stroll through Forever 21 (can you believe it??) produced the hat! When I had met up with some of the Bay Area Sewists at Britex I had bought some ribbons on the off-chance I’d figure out the hat issue and, as my daughter pointed out, the ribbons cost more than the hat. That’s ok, they are pretty fabulous : )

The hat : )

It’s not an exact reproduction of the movie, and it’s not meant to be. I want something I can wear out into the real world and be close enough that you get what I’m going for without looking like some Faire geek who got lost in time : ) The real test will be if I can wear this on BART to work this summer.

I pulled out a men’s tie pattern from the early 80’s and made the tie on my lunch hour at work. Friday night I decided to make the skirt so another episode of “Big Bang Theory” and I was ready. Saturday I put in “Julie and Julia” and finished the jacket handwork. “The Help” and the skirt and hat were done. The shirt is a $3 find at Salvation Army and 100% linen.


After the unmitigated success last week with cars this week we trotted out to Jack London Square for the boats!  This whole picture taking thing is getting easier but its SO much easier when you’re not sick and cranky…

Neither sick nor cranky : )

I suppose if I had corseted myself I could have gotten a *little* closer to Rose’s look in the movie but the whole point was to make this wearable today. Here’s the irony – I made this entire outfit in LESS time this week than last weeks dress and petticoat AND I like it better! C’est la vie…



Loran is a Bay Area designer, stitcher and suburban farm girl. Having done theater for years she's finally taking on her most demanding client (herself!) and fashioning a wardrobe from her huge stock of vintage patterns and fabrics, all while writing her daily tablesetting blog. Let's see if she can keep up with both : )


Comments are closed.

  1. Hi Loran, I love, love , love your outfit. It’s amazing and the photos are so cool, it tells a great story. It’s amazing how you redraft the coat, sewn to perfection. It put a Friday smile on my face. I think you did a great job with the ribbon and the hat tops off the whole look.

  2. That is absolutely gorgeous! If I would have been at Jack London Square, I would have assumed you were a movie star! It looks so chic, so rich. You really did a fantastic job.

  3. Being a costume designer I loved this post and actually read the whole thing (I’m terrible, I usually just look at the pictures). The whole thing is just stunning and I can’t believe you made it in a week. I bow to your sewing skills!

  4. This came out great a perfect match of costume and modern day.

  5. All hail the Queen! For she is the bomb! If you were a passenger on the Titanic wearing that masterpiece,, it would’ve swerved around that damn iceberg. Genius work! Truly.

  6. This is amazing and fabulous and spot-on! Well done, madam, well done!

  7. wow…this is such an amazing outfit you’ve created!! Absolutely lovely!

  8. wow, gorgeous outfit!! I knew you were heading for a ship at first sight :)

  9. That is simply stunning! I’m impressed at how close to your inspiration outfit you’ve got it, and yet it’s still completely wearable. Gorgeous work! :-)

  10. Ohhh!!! WOOOOOW!!!! just amazing!! you did a great job!!

  11. Gorgeous! Just gorgeous!

  12. Absolutely glorious! That moment when she steps out of the car in that outfit always takes my breath away.

  13. Looks amazing! You look fab!

  14. Holy Cow! But I am not at all surprised! Perfection! Like everything have seen you create! Bravo!

  15. wow – and to repeat WOW
    Can you post of a pic of how you will wear it on the BART? It is such an amazing outfit, so iconic, that I am finding it hard to see it as regular wear.

  16. You are a genius. A true talent well done.

  17. Phenomenal work, as usual. As always. You rock the world, Loran.

  18. Spectacular! The hat is go gorgeous, the suit is fantastic and how so much detail in, it really looks like the original and the boat setting is just perfect. You are so great!

  19. This is wonderful! And I am so glad I’m not the only one who measures sewing time by how many tv shows/movies I watch while working.

  20. Beautiful! You nailed it, and you look fantastic.

  21. Wow! This is amazing! You did it exactly like the movie’s rendition. You look beautiful. Superb work(wo)manship!

  22. Stunning! Absolutely gobsmacked, I am.

  23. This is amazing. Seriously. Ridiculous.

  24. Wow, this is just perfection. You have such a wonderful eye for detail. Love it!

  25. Speechless. You are Queen of the World. I hope you create a bubble around you for BART wear! It’s too gorgeous for public transit grimy mishaps.