Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Mad Men dressmaking sewing challenge

This week I have been making my Mad Men Challenge dress. This is the third year that Julia a.k.a Julia Bobbin has run the dressmaking challenge. The idea is to create a Mad Men dress inspired by of the characters in the series (1950s - early 1970s). All the entries will be posted in time for the start of the final series next week!

So after much deliberation and 'research' I decided to make a dress worn by Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) from season 6, which was set during 1967 - 1968. This is because I had a vintage pattern in my stash that looked quite similar and was printed in 1971. 

Source: Copyright Lionsgate

The vintage dress pattern was by Simplicity (9449) and I decided to make a mix of versions 1 and 2 - skirt length of version 2 but top of version 1 without the collar.

I found a perfect pale mint green satin fabric from Fabric Godmother. I spent a lot of time looking for a glittering silver trim for the dress and finally chose a silver trim from the haberdashery department at John Lewis.

The first thing I had to do with the vintage pattern was to grade it. I used the very helpful guide by Alana on A Stitching Odyssey via The Thrifty Stitcher. I traced out the pattern pieces and then resized them.

First I sewed all the darts and attached the bodice pieces together.

I then attached the full length sleeves, making sure to align the shoulder seam with the sleeve dart and that the elbow fold was sitting on the point of the elbow.

I also added a couple of hand stitches to the points of the bust darts to give them a smoother finish.

I then attached the four pieces of the skirt. The dress design has a seam down the front of the skirt and i'm not too keen on this, I think it would look better if the dress had three front skirt pieces and therefore two front seams.

I inserted a 22" zip into the back of dress. I couldn't find an exact colour match so went for a pale blue.

Finally I sewed the skirt hem and hand sewed the silver trim around the neck, sleeves and waist. 

And here is the finished dress! Plenty of 1970s sparkle!

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