Titanic Pattern Resources

By Jennie Chancey

So many people have asked me to recommend patterns which could be used for “Titanic” gowns, so I’ve gathered that info together and placed it on this page. A few of the patterns featured on here are not specifically copies of “Titanic” gowns, but they will work if you are willing to do some alterations or make some additions to them. I’ve written a brief review of each pattern, noting where changes need to be made and offering suggestions for fabrics and notions. Please do note that patterns from the “Big Four” companies (Butterick, McCall’s, Simplicity and Vogue) are discontinued much faster than historical patterns by small companies. To find a discontinued pattern, I recommend going to Monsterpatterns.com or eBay. I hope this is helpful as you launch into your own “Titanic” projects!

First of all, my “1910s Tea Gown” pattern is available–inspired by Rose’s “swim” dress.


This info comes from Jennifer Cech of La Petite Trousseau: “An easy ‘repro’ pink [sinking] coat pattern is New Look 6103 — It is super duper easy for beginner! You can embroider the collar and cuffs and add buttons and Voila!! You have Rose’s sinking coat! As for her ‘revealing’ kimono — Butterick 6698 is an authentic Japanese kimono complete with the long sleeve! Add some lace appliques or beaded lace, a sash with two tassels and Ta-Da!”

Simplicity is offering two patterns for three “Titanic” look-alike gowns. I have scans of both patterns below. The one for the “jump” and “swim” dresses is pretty good. For the “jump” dress, I’d make some adjustments for a closer fit and take out the skirt gathers, which give it almost a maternity look. Crepe or a rayon blend would work well for the underdress, and fine netting or tulle will do superbly for the overskirt. I’d still recommend using a patterned lace for the bodice, like I did on Joslyn’s dress–unless you are a champion at hand beading! The “swim” dress pattern strays a bit from the film gown with the way it is layered. However, it is a good starting point. If you opt for this pattern and want to get as close to the original gown as possible, do not use chiffon, as suggested in the instructions. I use chiffon for my basic “swim” dresses, and it looks wonderful, but if you are a die-hard and want to be truly authentic, purchase pure silk georgette, which is opaque. The film gown bodice was of a very pale lilac silk georgette over a cream-colored lining with a cream lace inset (it showed up nearly white on camera). The topmost skirt layer is of the same fabric. The middle (sandwich) layer is a pale, pale rose georgette. Beneath this is yet another layer of the pale lilac, which is not divided down the center. The next skirt layer is of an even lighter lavender, and the bottom layer (which is the lining) is of the pale lilac again. The skirt back has a train of the two topmost layers, and the lilac layer was gathered up in the back (see my photos here). The sash has four colored layers, two of which go between the pale lilac bodice layer and the lining, peeping out at the bodice inset in front. These layers are pale lavender and darker lavender. The sash which runs around the waist and trails down the back is of pale pink and rose. These layers overlap each other, and the sash is pulled up into an inverted “V” in the center back. See my photos of the original gown from Paramount’s “Titanic” exhibit here.

The new “flying” dress pattern from the Retro Simplicity line is excellent. The few changes necessary to make it exactly like the film outfit are minimal. You’d need to move the skirt draping detail to the center front, rather than the left side seam, and the top of the lace bodice inset needs to be squared off. The rest of the outfit is just perfect.

Copyright Simplicity Patterns, 1999.
Click on the thumbnails for the full-sized images.

Laughing Moon has a wonderful pattern for the “swim” dress. You can visit their website by clicking on the logo below.

McCall’s has now brought out two “Titanic”-style formal/bridal patterns. #2035 is pretty close to the “jump” dress (see view A with its fringe), and #9688 is almost an exact copy of the dinner dress. Both patterns are available for sizes 4-18. Vogue patterns has another near match for the jump dress in pattern number 9936 (look in the Evening/Bridal section of the catalogue).

Copyright McCall’s Patterns, 1999.
Click on the thumbnails for the full-sized images.

If you’re willing to do a bit of work to come closer to the actual “jump” and “dinner” gowns, I’ve come across two patterns which are quite good. For the “jump” dress, McCall’s #9107 would work well. Some minor adjustments to the bodice would be necessary in order to do the V back and the slit front. You’d also have to add the overskirt(s), which would not be difficult. To get the proper draping, I’d recommend using crepe georgette or another poly silk or rayon blend. The overskirts (there are actually two) are of fine black tulle (netting). For the “dinner” dress, Butterick 4772 is nearly perfect. The neckline would have to be squared in front and the scoop widened in back, but the overall shape is just right. Silk taffeta is what was used for the film gown, along with black chiffon for the overskirt, bodice and sleeves. Happy beading!

Wingeo has introduced a set of patterns for the Boarding Suit. One pattern is for the skirt, while the another is for the jacket. They also offer a hat pattern! Below is a thumbnail of the jacket pattern. Click on it to go to Wingeo’s index of patterns, where you’ll find the “1910-1915 suit” listed.

I highly recommend visiting Harper House’s Homepage. Harper House has a super pattern catalogue, which includes “Attic Copies.” These are reprints of original period patterns. There are several from the Titanic era, including a couple that could be modified for the “flying” dress and boarding suit. Harper House has also introduced a beautiful pattern for a 1912 evening gown.

As for where I found the beaded fringe I used on the “jump” dress, it came from The Fashion Company in San Francisco. They carry the fringe for $13.50 per yard, which is the cheapest I’ve ever found. The fringe is very high quality, and the Fashion Company will take your order over the phone and ship immediately if they have what you need on hand. The number to call is (415) 626-5641. A gal named Jennifer sent me the following information on the perfect beaded trim for the “jump” dress:

While looking for beaded fringe I came across a great company on the web. If anyone else is looking for beaded trim for their jump dress I would recommend they try Cybertrims. You can see the trims offered at this page. This company has a great selection of trims & other neat things. The fringe I picked out was only $7.50 per yard. Also, the man I talked to was exceptionally nice and helpful. An interesting thing he told me was that their company made the trims for the “Titanic” movie dresses (but unfortunately they are not selling those exact trims).

Another lady sent me the link to Phoenix Textiles. They carry the little rhinestone buttons seen on the front and shoulders of the “jump” dress.

Have fun with your own “Titanic” projects, and be sure to visit my Show and Tell page to see how other gals have re-created some of the outfits from the film!

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2 Comments on Titanic Pattern Resources

  1. DiAnne
    April 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi,
    I have been looking for a pattern for the jump coat and New Look 6103 is a skirt.

    thanks

    Reply
    • Jennie Chancey
      April 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi, DiAnne! Most of these patterns were recommended back in 1998 when “Titanic” came out, so they are out of print. You can often find OOP patterns on eBay if you search by brand and number. Your other best bet is to ask Tracie Arnold of Movie Gowns for recommendations, as she is the “Titanic” pattern expert!

      Reply

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