Is it a Blair? Is it a Betty? Nope it’s a…

bonafide Lara.

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Now, fair warning, this may be a picture heavy post because I love this dress. It came about for a number of reasons.
1. It’s going to be my entry for Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Challenge – isn’t it so Betty inspired?
2. I was planning to replicate this dress worn by Blair Waldorf – planning a Blair off with a friend soon.
3. I’ve been wanting to replicate this dress for a long time – specifically the hook and eyes as a front closure.
4. And yet the final version just ended up being perfectly me.

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I carried on the 3 person inspiration in how I styled it up…
The shoes and tights – 100% Blair.
Earrings – totally Betty.
Overall look – me, me, me.

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Keeping up with my new years resolution, I chose the pattern for this dress from one that I had included in my pattern list (Butterick Glamour 6203 – which I actually used for my last Mad Men dress as well). And (for maybe the first time ever- sorry), I made a muslin. I don’t really know why I haven’t done this before.

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I’ve always thought they would be too time consuming and waste precious garment making time, but actually it was much quicker than I imagined and made the final sewing far easier. I cheated a little bit and used the lining fabric as a muslin, but I’d already made notes on this pattern so I knew it would only need little tweaks here and there. I think if I was making a muslin for a brand new pattern, I’d make a completely separate piece. Anyway, I digress…so, for my ‘luslin’ (lining/muslin of course) I sewed it all together using my longest stitch, tried it on, made the alterations (shorten the back bodice, reposition the darts, scoop in the armholes), then took out all the stitches so that I could transfer these adaptations to my pattern. I am SO pleased I did this as this is now one of my best fitting bodices!

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I hope that you appreciate that I braved the cold, cold, cold, Welsh weather to take photos sans cardigan and coat might I add! Suffice to say I had a few confused looks from dog walkers in the park.

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Slightly frustratingly, the skirt is an inch or two too short. I used up every scrap of the fabric for this dress and couldn’t for the life of me squeeze any more for the skirt. As it is I already had to patchwork the skirt pieces and do a really narrow hem. I think with tights it’s still very wearable though.

Oops, needs pressing!

Oops, needs pressing!

Speaking of fabric use – how cute is the contrast lining on the bodice and the collar? I love little peeks of other fabric.

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Finally – can I just draw your attention to these shoes? I LOVE them. They are the perfect heel height and oh so shiny! They deserve a few pictures of their own!

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As if this time last year we hadn’t watched a single episode of Mad Men! I knew it was meant to be as soon as I clapped eyes on the fashion – I just had to be a part of the craze. All caught up now and very much looking forward to season 7! Has anyone else finished their Mad Men dress yet? I’m so glad I already had this dress planned.

Goldilocks and the Three Dresses (from one)

Once upon a time there was a lovely sale on in Monsoon. The shop was full of pretty dresses and clothes, but one in particular stood out. This dress was perfect. It could be worn to school in the day and yet it would look smart and feel nicer on. It fit perfectly and the fabric was a beautiful colour and weight. A young lady went into the shop and knew that she had to have it.

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Unfortunately, the dress was too long.

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So she chopped off 5 inches and hemmed it.
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Oops, now it was too short.
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What could she do?

The lady looked at the pieces she had left. There was the lovely, albeit too short dress and the chopped off hem section.
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“Aha!” thought the lady. “I know just what to do. I’ll reattach the hem higher up on the skirt so that it is a bit too wide. That way I can pleat it in place to give it more volume and flounce.
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And that is just what she did. She measured 3 inches from the new hem and reattached the bottom section.
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This time the dress was just right.
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With the addition of a hair band and a bow pin, the lady knew that Blair Waldorf would be proud of this outfit. This made her happy and then she and the dress lived happily ever after.
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What a difference an inch (and some more exciting styling) can make

What a difference an inch (and some more exciting styling) can make

Consider Exhibit A: a simple pleated skirt from Zara – here it looks pretty standard, a bit dull, and quite frumpy. Like this, it would be fine to wear to school, but I wouldn’t feel particularly stylish. Now take a … Continue reading