Hello, Betty! Well, Michelle, actually, but I feel like a Betty in my MadMen SAL dress.
I chose Betty Draper, circa season one, as my inspiration- same as last year. Except, this year, I didn't single out a dress to use as the basis for my creation.
Instead, I used some elements of early Betty and applied them to my project: florals, pastels, youthful, full skirts, etc...
Using my fabric stash as a start point, I found a piece of vintage cotton/cotton blend measuring slightly over three yards.
As I scrolled through my pattern boards, it seemed apparent to me that the vintage floral fabric and Simplicity 2105 were begging to be together.
The pattern required 5 yards of fabric, but, I felt certain my standard modifications would help me skate by with the 3ish yards that I had. I adjusted my skirt pieces, removing seven inches from the total length. I took 3/4 inch from the bodice length. Then, I crossed my fingers and laid the pieces on my fabric.
But, it wasn't gonna work. I could either fit four skirt panels and no bodice, or two skirt panels, bodice, with about a yard to spare.
By that point, I had my heart set on sewing this combination. I decided to stay the course and halve the skirt. Each skirt panel measures approximately 35 inches across, giving me 70 inches of material to gather into a 28 inch waist. That's still a fairly substantial skirt.
The skirts on dresses from the 50s are insanely full. I think the forced modification, in combination with the shorter skirt length, makes the dress much more contemporary looking and wearable, actually. That's a plus.
The pattern incorporates a self-faced bodice lining, and I added I lining to the skirt. The fabric isn't sheer, but in the right light, it's a bit transparent and not worth the associated risk.
My poor pattern placement creates enough scandal for me without adding a see-through skirt. Although, I don't think the boobie bouquets are as overtly crude as I feared they might be.
The inside of this dress is tidy. All the seams are French seams. (When I line a dress, I press all the opposing seams in opposite directions so they lay nice and flat on top of each other). I turned under an inch on my hems before securing them, so the raw edges are hidden away. The lining hem is machine stitched, and I did my outer skirt by hand. I also used a French seam at the waist join, in a similar way in which you would do a sleeve. My closure is an invisible zip at the side. Overall, the fit is pretty good. I do feel I need some sort of adjustment between the shoulder to eliminate the small amount of gap there. Otherwise, I'm satisfied with it.
Before I sign-off, today is the 15th! That means, it's time for a giveaway! This month, you can win $25 to Etsy to use towards sewing patterns, yarn, fabric, or anything else your heart desires. This one is open to blog followers only. To enter, let me know how you follow TresBienEnsemble in your comment. Winner will be selected at random and announced on April 30.
Thanks a squillion to our lovely SAL hostess, Ms. Bobbin for organizing another fun-filled challenge! Be sure to hop over to Julia's blog next week to see the other Mad Men sewer project. Au revoir!