Warning – picture heavy post alert!
Wahoo, I’ve finally finished my dress for Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Challenge.
In the end I went for a sleeveless shirt dress in the style of Peggy. I spent plenty of time planning this and trawling the web for images of what I wanted to make. Here are some images I focussed on…
The peach version and the white and green version screamed out to me “Hey – you have some fabric like this AND a pattern that would work, I must be made!” So of course I obeyed (after all, stash busting is the way forward).
Here I am trying to recreate one of the poses…
I took my time again and I think because of that it was only half as stressful as it might have been. The pattern I used was a rather heavily adapted version of a Butterick Glamour Collection pattern.
I wanted the buttons to end at the waistband so I added a side zip (more about that later).
I wanted to line it so I cut out lining in the shape of the fashion fabric and then altered it so that I could line it like a jacket – I love how neat the inside of the bodice is.
In case you’re wondering about the art in the background, here’s a picture of the whole thing. It’s a beautiful wallhanging by my very talented mum. Check out her website and facebook page if you want to see more.
I also wanted a pleated skirt so, because of the vertical stripes, I just cut out 2 basic rectangles for the skirt back and front.
So back to that side zip – this was the trickiest part of the construction as I wanted an in seam pocket and a side zip. I looked at a few online tutorials and referred back to Claire Shaeffer’s Couture Sewing Techniques, they were all slightly helpful, but in the end it was mainly trial and error and it’s very nice to have learnt a new technique (still fitting with my sew for enjoyment resolutions ).
The next tricky part was choosing the buttons and buttonhole direction. I wanted to stay true to vintage designs, so I made horizontal buttonholes, but I couldn’t for the life of me decide on buttons. I had a few options as shown below, but I think the pearl or burgundy ones, although quite fitting, might have made the dress a bit drab and dated now, so in the end I went for these gold and black vintage looking ones and I’m quite pleased with the choice. Plus they go with my Betty-esque black button earrings!
I really like this dress and I’m so pleased with the construction, especially the different stripe directions. However, next time I will take it in around the bust for a more vintage / fitted shape and now I need to make a petticoat to poof my dresses out a bit!
I hope your Mad Men dresses are coming along nicely. I can’t wait to see them all.