Also known as:
The “If You Don’t Like What’s Being Sewn, Change The Fabrication” Dress
When I started out on the year-long Sew Weekly challenges last year, it took me a while to get into my stride and get organised enough to sew a new garment or outfit per week AND blog about it here on Fanbloomingtastic. I'm trying to amend this because I'm in the process of building a 'Things I've Sewn' archive page.
So here's a dress I made for the "Mad Men" Sew Weekly challenge that some of you might have seen, but others might not.... (which reminds me, I need to get a SERIOUS move on finishing this year's Mad Men dress for Julia Bobbin's Mad Men 2 Sew Along, which finishes next Friday....eeek!)
Update: if you want to see my Mad Men 2013 dress (it's an attempt at Megan's floaty sleeved Zou Bisou Bisou dress) it's now finished, click here.
Fabric: 3 curtains from local Goodwill thrift store
$23.97 (and plenty left over), 2yds green poly satin $5.98, white queen
size valance $2.99
Patterns: Adapted from Vintage Vogue 2902 & Butterick 4443
Notions: 22″ cream zip $2.99 and thread
Time to complete: 20+ hours
First worn: 19th February 2012
Wear again? Yes, once taken apart and made to fit me better
Total price: My most expensive yet, but worth it = $35.93 (£22.61)
Challenge: “Mad for Man Men: This week, in anticipation of the Mad Men season 5 premiere, we’re inspired by total mid-century splendor!”
For much of this week this dress was going to be called the “It made me do a Draper” dress. To “do a Draper” is now a standard phrase in our household. I believe the exact definition is “when things go so wrong that the only option is to get drunk” but there is some dispute whether it may also mean “when things go so wrong that the only option is to smash some furniture and collapse in a runny make-up mess on the bed”…eg.
Yes, that’s me trying to do a Betty’s ‘breakdown’ in her sad clown dress (from Season 2 Ep 8 ‘A Night To Remember’):
But let’s have a flashback to happier times earlier…
Yes, the week started so well. I’d never watched an episode of Mad Men in my life until a fortnight ago but thanks to Netflix and a serious MM marathon I’d done the first two seasons by the start of the week, and had plenty of ideas what I wanted to make. (But as Joan so rightly points out, life is… “One minute you’re on top of the world, the next minute some secretary’s running you over with a lawnmower”).
But which from my list of ‘wanna-makes’ should I choose?
- a Betty shirt dress? That would come in very useful in the on-coming Arizona summer.
- a Joanie wiggle dress or pussy bow blouse and pencil skirt? I’d seriously like to tackle something very well tailored and especially when I received excellent advice on pegging from StephC last week.
- a Rachel Mencken suit? I adore her salmon pink and white suit or the fabulous emerald green & cream leaf combo and I love love love her matching of shoes, jewellery, gloves, nail varnish….and the chunkiness and size of those necklaces.
- Bobbie Barrett’s brocade bodiced, green skirted dress from Season 2 Ep 3…..yes, the one when Don does ‘that’ to her.
- Trudy Campbell’s gorgeous matching coat and dress when they visit the fertility clinic in Season 2 Ep 5? (and yes, I did try to style my hair on Trudy’s but despite heated rollers and backcombing never got the desired height).
So many, many lovely choices….some of which I’m sure I will revisit some time this year. Too many choices. Enough to drive me to do a Draper….
And if you haven’t checked it out yet and love Mad Men fashions you simply must look up Tom & Lorenzo. And that was even before I managed to get through Season 4 this week and find the scrumptious outfits and hair Peggy has moved up into!
In an ideal world with more than a week to make an outfit, I’d have sourced a huge rose print fabric to applique (like I did with the Up balloon skirt) and made the Kitty dress. I’ve been looking out in thrift stores for huge rose blooms on dresses/skirts/blouses but no luck…..I might have a go with this fabric, not ideal but you could get the colours and effect.
Instead I found some beautiful lined floral curtains at my local thrift store. I could probably
have done with just 2 of them, but bought 3 to be on the safe side. I got approximately the colours of Kitty’s dress and would match this with the shape and a less extravagant satin cummerbund from Betty’s dress.
I used the circle skirt pattern from Vintage Vogue 2902 but wanted a more 60s neckline, so used the bodice of Butterick 4443 view C. I mixed and matched patterns for the first time on a dress and moving the position of the zip in the skirt from the side to the centre back to match the bodice design. I also changed the back of the bodice to include a V-back seen on Betty’s dress. These were all firsts for me (thank you again Sew Weekly for letting me learn new things!).
But can you see that? This is the reason I found myself needing to do a Draper on Saturday morning. For some reason, yet again I had erred too far on the side of caution and made the dress far too big. And the V-back just made things worse. It hung off me. I’m afraid it drove me to drink and despair and messing up of immaculate make-up….
This is Goth Child’s favourite arty photo of the week. It’s the one she wants to include in her portfolio and on her Flickr. Great, so her art teacher will think me a drunkard and probably start sleeping with my husband (do you think my 52 episodes in 2 weeks has convinced me I’m actually Betty Draper?)
I’ve temporarily taken the dress in at the side seams and the green satin cummerbund helped a little…..but I had to recognise on Saturday that making a 50s/60s dress in a week….and during Spring Break when both my daughters wanted to learn how to sew (so we stopped and learnt together)….and making a bulky circle skirt petticoat out of a queen size valance…..is a tall order. So this dress is going to be an on-going side project. I’m going to take the bodice apart and with the extra curtain fabric cut graduating pieces starting a size smaller neckline to bust. I don’t want the shoulders slipping off all the time and the bust curves of the princess line will be more flattering if slightly higher up and closer in.
You’ll also notice horror of horrors that my accessories DON’T MATCH! Oh the humanity…. There were plans earlier in the week to make matching green satin gloves (see the Frankenstein’s monster of gloves on my Tumblr here). These are progressing and I will blog about them soon, but they weren’t finished within the week hence the burgundy velvet ones. I’d also been researching dying shoes, as those brown ones I’m wearing are crocodile-style like the handbag, but this didn’t come off in the week either. Enough to drive a girl to drink and taking up smoking….but not quite. I was only a 2 party blowers a week girl before this challenge, now I’m on 8 party blowers a day:
Anyway, I’m now set for Sunday night’s 2 hour premiere. The only issue I’m having now is having had 2 weeks of wall-to-wall Mad Men, what am I going to watch whilst sewing this week? I feel a Hitchcock marathon coming on….but which film to start with….