McCall’s 4387: a Halston and a stowaway 

Here we have McCall’s 4387, published in 1975. It’s a Halston.

Halston was, as you know, an American fashion designer highly associated with disco, Studio 54, and ultrasuede. Also pants, caftans, working in bias, and designing for the relaxed urban lifestyle of the American woman. Here’s a neat post on Pattern Vault, titled  Yves Saint Laurent + Halston; Fashioning The 70s. Lots of patterns to daydream about over there. 

With all that info in mind, I was pretty pumped when I saw this pattern as part of a miscellaneous lot for sale on eBay. Even more pumped when I won the lot. 

These are the pieces that are supposed to be in this envelope:

A skirt, pockets, waistband, a belt, a cape. You can see where this is going, right?

These are the pieces that are actually in the envelope:

Belt, Cape, as expected
What?! You are not a skirt?! What are you?!!!!

As you can see, that’s the cape and belt. But instead of the skirt, waistband, and pocket pieces that are supposed to be there, there is a pair of pants, waistband, and tunic belt belonging to a whole other pattern.

Which is just what happens sometimes. The seller clearly stated that the patterns were used and there may be pieces missing. The risk is part of the treasure-hunting element of inexpensive miscellaneous eBay lots. I’m fine with that. 

And, to be honest, I’d already been planning to change the skirt. Glancing at the cover art, I had thought it was a wrap skirt with a D-ring closure. But on closer inspection it’s just a regular old A-line type deal with a center back zipper and a completely separate belt. 

Here is the quick post-it doodle I made for myself for how to improve upon Halston:

Obviously I’m joking about improving upon Halston. Let’s say personalize, instead. 

My plan was to cut the back and front on the fold, then cut an extra half CF piece (actually 3/4 would be better), seam it into one side seam, leave an opening under that seam at the top for getting in and out, no zipper, the whole thing cinches closed with an attached belt and D-ring. A semi-faked wrap. Halston would not approve. He liked things that really work. Wraps that really wrap, etc. 

Sew It or Throw It:

Throw It all. 

The stowaway pants because I don’t have the envelope, and they are a size 8 which is very very tiny in pattern sizing, and they’re not exciting enough to size up. 

The rest of it (cape pattern, belt pattern, instruction sheet) I’m putting back in the envelope, writing Skirt Pattern Missing across the front, and throwing into the thrift shop donation bag. 

I was excited about the idea of a Halston outfit, but to be honest I figured I’d wear the cape and skirt to a few parties and then reuse the cape as fabric for something else after the holiday season. Big drapey things with no closures, requiring my awareness to keep them on my body, aren’t a good fit for my non-party-time lifestyle.

So hopefully someone else will find it, and now they’ll be forewarned about the skirt. 

If anyone wants to approximate this cape at home: it’s a half circle, about three feet radius, with one rounded corner and a neck area scooped out. Lot of drama to wear, nice and simple in shape. 


7 thoughts on “McCall’s 4387: a Halston and a stowaway 

  1. #teamsewitorthrowit when it comes to the wrap skirt. Fake all the way please. I DO NOT need to be worried about accidentally showing of my undies (and probs shoddy bikini line maintenance) in public thanks. Halston was a guy right? #ladytroubles


  2. pity about the pieces missing (there is a fb page vintage patterns lost and found which is helpful for getting traced pieces)…… the cape sure looks theatrical, I miss those 80s soap operas, and perfect for having the final say and swooshing out, 80s soap opera which seeemed to the place that a lot of these clothes lived (no left an office quite like joan collins)


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