Saturday, 18 February 2012

Mad Men Dress Challenge - I'm In!

It's no secret that I'm a die hard fan of Mad Men.  Everything about it is just so well done: the complexity of the characters, the superb acting (I'm not a fan of child actors but the girl who plays Sally Draper needs some kind of award, she's mesmerising), the excellent, excellent writing, but above all - the clothes.  In the first couple of series, the late 1950's gear worn by Betty, Peggy and Joan had me virtually passing out in front of the TV each week. So when I read on JuliaBobbin that she was hosting a challenge to sew your favourite Mad Men influenced dress, I was in like a shot.  Check out the details of the challenge here.

So the big question, which dress to sew?  It was a toughy I can tell you, as well as replicating the style of a Mad Men dress, I knew I wanted  to sew something I'd be likely to wear.  I did initially want to try my hand at this gorgeous green cocktail dress of Joan's.


But realistically, I don't go to enough posh events to wear it and this needed to be a dress I would wear on a regular basis.  I eventually decided on a wiggle shirt dress.  

I have a real soft spot for shirt dresses and actually need a more fitted one.  I've got a few vintage shirt dress patterns, but sadly, none of them were quite right.  I knew I'd recognise the right pattern when I saw it though.  Then yesterday, just before we were about to go out for what turned out to be a 6 mile hike around the park (I blame having boys, they need exercising like dogs), I put in a quick search on Etsy.  Look what came up????!!!!  

And it's my size!!!!  Ten seconds later it was MINE.  The thrill of that purchase gave me the best high I'd had for ages (I live a very mild mannered life).  As soon as I get my mitts on the pattern I'll be starting work on my dress.  The pattern's from a US seller so I just hope I don't have to endure the horror of it going astray across the ocean.  Fingers crossed eh?!  Any ideas for fabric?  I'm thinking of a stretch cotton sateen.  Is anybody else doing this challenge?  I'd love to know your dress ideas. x 

32 comments:

  1. I love the dress you chose and it will be exiting to see how it turns out! Please keep us posted!

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  2. That pattern is perfect, and a stretch cotton sateen sounds just the ticket for it. I'm really considering the challenge and have filled my pinterest board with Mad Men outfits! I think I'm going to go for something worn by Trudy Campbell or maybe even Megan, though - I love Joan's style so so much, but I have a fair few RTW dresses that fill that niche for me, I'd like to do something a wee bit different!

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    1. Just been perusing your Pinterest boards! I LOVE the Trudy shirt dress and the one with the velvet bodice (and matching handbag). Both would look perfect on you Roisin. x

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  3. I definitely thought about doing that dress too! But I think I'm going for one of Joans earlier dresses I think I have the perfect pattern for! x

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    1. Ooh can't wait to see it! I'm sure I won't be the only one making this dress, I just love it though! It will be interesting to see if some of the less featured dresses get made. x

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  4. Oh Jane, I think it's going to be fab! Love the pattern. I saw the challenge and that about about joining, but decided that I would be good and stick to my own upcoming sewing plans (what restraint!). Mind you, if I read much more about it, I may be able to be swayed! :)

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  5. YAY! JUST love this dress!!!

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  6. This IS the same dress, is it not?

    btw, the credits at program's end should list ALL resources for it's customing

    ????? what do I know.
    hugs

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  7. I can see it on you now! Its going to be fabulous! I wont be joining in this one but I will delight in seeing yours x

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  8. How exciting!! Jane that is THE most perfect dress.... May have to check out that challenge....

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  9. Oooh, how fab. Can't wait to see how it turns out.. Will be following with interest.

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  10. Ooh, fabulous choice! I love that colour and the pattern looks perfect. I definitely know what you mean about the rush of finding a wonderful vintage pattern that isn't crazy expensive - yay!

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  11. Hi, Jane. I am a relatively new follower (and a new blogger, too -- www.SusieHomemakerMD.com). I love all of your finished projects; you are so talented!

    I saw this challenge on Julia's blog and plan to participate as well. I chose the same inspiration dress as you except I have the fabric but no pattern.

    I hope you don't mind if we are twinkies :)

    Take care,

    Katrina

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    1. I don't mind at all, I knew I wouldn't be the only one making such a popular dress! I'll be following your progress and e-mailing you if I get stuck! x

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  12. Jane, the pattern you found is absolutely perfect...what a match! This challenge is so awesome, though I'm not sure I'd meet the deadline so I may have to sit it out with a heavy heart!

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  13. Great pattern - size 16 is very hard to find among vintage patterns. I'll have fun watching this challenge from the sidelines.

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  14. Sounds like a fun challenge - and a great excuse to re-watch the previous series' (all in the name of research, of course!) I am about to start a New Look 6000 inspired by your Joan dress, I just picked up some of the purple double knit at Calico Laine. I guess if I was going to pick an outfit to replicate for this challenge it would be one of Joans too.

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    1. Of course it's all for research! I thought of making another NL6000 too, can't wait to see your purple double knit version. x

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  15. Oh, you bet I'm joining this challenge! I can't wait to find the perfect pattern for the perfect dress that I will also wear for work or church. It should be fun! LOVE your blue dress choice, and I agree, a cotton stretch sateen would be perfect.

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  16. This is all very new to me and this article really opened my eyes.Thanks for sharing with us your wisdom.Party Dresses|Sheath Wedding Dresses|Black Junior Bridesmaid Dresses

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  17. Oh my gosh! I would love to participate in this challenge!

    ps. Would you consider turning your word verification off please?

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    1. That's fab! Have turned off my word verification, the typing of two words was driving me mad too! x

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  18. Yeah, I know I'm gonna have some major dress envy with this challenge going on... alas, I'm gonna have to watch this one from the sidelines as I'm already over-project'd ^__^ I think a stretch cotton sateen would be gorgeous for this dress, for sure!! :)

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  19. Oh, I love that dress, and your pattern choice is excellent! I almost picked it but am going for another blue Joan number instead: http://pinterest.com/pin/251005379201630482/

    I already have a very similar vintage pattern on the way from Etsy and bought my main fabric, though I'm struggling with the fabric for the dickey/underblouse (pretty sure it's a dickey).

    One thought--stretch cotton sateen would definitely work, but if you want to emulate that particular dress more closely, the soft folds make me think that it's maybe a wool or rayon doubleknit, or maybe a woven (wool?) crepe of some kind.

    (That said, I'm making my dress in a wool doubleknit even though I believe the original would have been a woven crepe dress.)

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    1. Ooh just seen it on Pinterest, now that really is lovely. Yes, I'm investigating fabrics and have got a few samples on the way, I like the sound of a rayon double-knit, not sure if it's available in the UK though. Will be following your progress too. x

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  20. I love the idea of this challenge, can't wait to see how your dress turns out (and I am in LOVE with the green one!!). I was just thinking of you as I very quickly drafted a muslin of the collette peony pattern bodice and it's way off on me :( so I'm going to draft my own pattern, perhaps I'm just not a 'colette' shape. I always think of you when I think collette patterns as you make them so well! Beth (the linen cat)x

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    1. I think I am quite lucky in that most Colette patterns seem to fit me pretty well. I don't know anyone who hasn't had to fiddle about with the Peony bodice though! Looking forward to seeing your version. x

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  21. This will be absolutely fabulous!

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  22. Oh that is perfect! And it will look so good on you. Can't wait to see the finished product.

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