Timing of the truth and I feel a bit exposed. There was a wind machine exerting a nine force blow on my dress and I wasn’t sure the stitching would hold for long.
Two handkerchief-sized fragments of material (official name: bodice) were flying out of the waistband of his pants. There were also some disturbingly loose threads blowing in my face.
Whereas the dress can be bounce on request but at my age, that’s not a good thing. I don’t know about Marilyn, but there are many reasons why I don’t feel seductive (hamstring, spindly legs, hasty nail polish).
The original dress, worn for such a wonderful effect in The Seven Year Itch, was created by American costume designer William Travilla. Marilyn loved the dress so much that Travilla became best friends and dressed her in her eight films.
My weak imitation – which cost £ 18 – took 18 hours of blood, sweat and tears to make. Yes, I cried – twice – when I carefully stitched it together.
Furthermore, my new hobby took over my life. For the past two weeks, I’ve spent each night tailoring a small piece of Hollywood history. Too expensive a task, I haven’t seen the end of The Apprentice and the house is a tip.
My Bible is a quirky new book called Sew Iconic – a step-by-step guide to creating ten classic Hollywood dresses written by elementary school teacher Liz Gregory.
The book includes a template for each dress and detailed instructions explaining how to assemble them, along with engaging details on original old dresses.
A well-dressed person, Liz was also a film fanatic and that was how the book concept came to be.
‘My daughter suggested that I combine two passions in my life. So I did, ‘Liz, 50, who lives in Malton, North Yorkshire, with partner Mark, 51, a computer consultant, says. ‘I want to choose dresses that are not only iconic, but modern. The dresses that people will look at and think: “I can make and wear it.” ”
Reducing her options to ten was difficult. The Marilyn dress is an obvious choice. As for wearable – hmm, in my case, it would have been 15 years ago. Now it’s really indecent. Other well-known numbers have more appeal – classic LBDs like Audrey Hepburn won Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Rita Hayworth’s strapless dress from Gilda.