I did it! Mad Men, here we come!!

What’s a girl to do when she feels down? She makes a pretty dress and takes photos with a pretty car : ) THAT is a 1966 Gold Cadillac. No, it’s not mine, it lives in the same garage as the 1940 Packard. What can I say? I have friends with cool toys…

What else can I say? I love Joan, so I decided to take a crack at this dress:

Lo and behold, look what pattern just happens to resemble Joan’s dress:

The Facts
: Silk from Bay Area Sewists fabric swap (free), lining ($7.43)
Pattern: Butterick 5814
Notions: Zipper, boning all from stash
Year: 60’s inspired
Time to complete
: 3 1/2 hours
First worn: March 2014
Wear again? Yes, to the right event, perhaps some fund raising dinner : )

A few weeks ago, at the Bay Area Sewists fabric swap, Meg from Made by Meg (who is seriously adorable so be sure to check out her blog!) brought this lucious piece of silk dupioni. I had to think about it a LOT since the whole POINT of the swap (to me!) was to get RID of stuff, not bring armloads back home. I caved and I’m glad I did.

I had been wanting to try Gertie’s retro pattern, especially after I saw the version that Laura Mae did last year, and since I waited until the last minute to really DO anything about the Mad Men challenge, this is it!

All in all the pattern was easy to understand, a decent fit and I’m about 80% happy with it. What I need to fix, and had my suspicions about up front, are those sleeves. They’re a little too big on me but I’d rather have too big than too tight. Since my height is in my legs most tops are a little long and while the body of the dress hits about right I feel like I’m swimming in the sleeves. The horizontal “pull lines” you see in the photo above are equal parts arm position and a last minute pinning of the bodice pieces my photographer did so you wouldn’t see the top of my spanx : ) Yes, it needs to be tacked or, in the next version, raise the whole front so my boobs aren’t so INYOURFACE. The darts are in the right places, but the day was cold and breezy so some things/parts are *showing* that otherwise shouldn’t be – we shot these photos in between some very necessary storms. Still…

I know, I know, my shoes aren’t very cha-cha. At least they’re pointy. And then John said “Wait! I’ve got this great Christian Dior hat you HAVE to try!” and he hobbled/skipped off (for a man who broke his hip a few weeks ago he did remarkably well helping me out but I think I exhausted him).

THIS is what he came back with:

I feel a little like Liz Taylor here.

He also lent me the BEST hat to wear with one of my Sew for Victory creations. Now that I’ve overcome my “Oh my god I just HAVE to do the Mad Men challenge” hurdle it’s time to make the half a dozen or so 40’s outfits I’ve got rattling around in my brain…

Thank you EVERYONE for your very kind comments last week. You are truly all the BEST : )

16 thoughts on “I did it! Mad Men, here we come!!

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  2. Gorgeous! That is a perfect interpretation of Joan’s dress and it looks fantastic! Would you believe me to be objective if I told you you should wear more green? This shade looks lovely on you. I am not just saying that!!
    Congrats on finishing the challenge!

  3. Oh I’m so glad you took that fabric swap….and that you also included the inside pic to show it’s sheen/vibrancy in detail. That’s lovely. And cool pattern….I bought this too in one of Butterick’s $2.99 sales but still haven’t found the fabric that sings out to be matched with it. You look so cool with that car and what a fab friend John is! That hat is fabulous but I love what you did with your hair in the other pics too.

    (I failed-but-didn’t-fail with the Mad Men challenge this year…..I have a 75% finished outfit that has taught me lots of useful lessons for sewing and fabric choice in the future, but it didn’t get finished… and it isn’t giving me joy, and I need a little creative joy at the moment, so I’ve cut my losses, put it to one side and enjoyed the process even if the finished articles won’t get worn out to any parties)

    Can’t wait to see what fun stuff you make for Lucky Lucille’s 40s sewalong 🙂

  4. What a great recreation! You have nailed this challenge, the dress is absolute gorgeous, the hat adds a special touch and love the car. Very sexy!

  5. Despite the girls saying “Hi there” this is a terrific dress on you! I love the way you’ve styled your photos, it sounds like you had a lot of fun taking them, brrr. But well worth it, you really look wonderful. LOVE the green on you too.

  6. What a beautiful dress! This color looks great on you. (Can’t believe you got such gorgeous silk at a pattern swap.) The hat looks great and I love the earrings – they’d probably look great with your peacock coat.

  7. Wheeeet whoooo!!!! This is a HOT dress! I love this style on you. I think you do Joan beautifully!!! I hope you tweak the fit of the sleeve so you feel comfortable wearing it for a night out on the town. It’s a show stopper.

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