Mad Men Dress Challenge: Reflections

Last Friday I crawled across the finish line completing my Mad Men Dress on the day it was due in an episode that was quite reminiscent of my university days (I know Julia gave an extension but I was going on holiday on the same Friday – so no extension for Penny). I’ve posted a few photos of the finished product as well as some progress posts along the way.


In case you were wondering I made McCall’s 6454 circa 1964 in a navy, teal and gold brocade. I made a muslin in some shocking pink nylon-y material which I used as the lining.


This is the first sewalong that I’ve gone in on. I’ve really enjoyed being part of a community of people all working on their sewalong projects. However I found working under the time pressure of a deadline quite deflating. I really enjoy sewing. It’s something I do because simply because I like it. So the notion of having to time pressure was a bit unwelcome. That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed the sewalong experience. It’s been great to see everyone’s dresses and how they interpreted the brief. Perhaps I was a bit literal with my dress – I don’t think 1960s when I first look at it. Instead it’s more of a copy of Betty’s dress – brocade and a high neckline.


The plunging back was really a guess. I partly chose this design because I thought the high neckline on Betty’s dress front would need the low back to balance it out if you know what I mean, and partly because I already had this pattern perhaps being a cheap….


Overall I enjoyed the sewalong experience but it might be a while before I enter another!



Mad Men Dress Challenge – C’est Fin

After the marathon effort that was my experience of the Mad Men Dress Challenge 2013 I have finally finished!


I made a version of Betty Draper’s brocade dress and I used a vintage pattern too. I’ve posted a bit about the details previously. For now here are the photos. In the sprint to the finish to get the dress done on time I am in need of a nap. I promise to give you all the details in a few days!


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Mad Men Sewalong – Progress!


Over the Easter weekend I finally made some progress on the dress I’m making for Julia Bobin’s Mad Men Dress Challenge. Ages ago I let you know that I was going to attempt to recreate Betty Draper’s cocktail from the season 4 poster.


I will be using this navy, teal and gold brocade that I bought of Etsy at the begging of last year. I’ll be making this dress using a vintage pattern – McCalls 6564 circa 1962. Last time I made this dress I made it out of a deep blue velvet and I loved it! I still wear it, but it is definitely a winter dress (we’ve been having quite the Indian Summer here in New Zealand).


So what have I actually done since we last touched on this topic? WELL ACTUALLY (she said a little too defensively) I made a muslin. I know – I never make muslins! I convinced myself to do it by thinking that I could use said muslin as the dress lining if there wasn’t too much to change. And as it turns out all I did was take 1cm off the shoulders and subsquently lower the neckline and the armholes to match.


If you look closely you’ll see that the dress has bust darts, plus two darts on either side at the front and another four on the back. It has quite a high neckline and a deep V-back. Do you know haw many tailors tacks that is? Approximately a million. However, I decided as it was a long weekend that I would diligently put them all in – I know – you’re all so proud of me.

Who else is doing Julia’s Mad Men Dress Challenge?