Mad Men SAL.
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!
This turned out lovely! Glad you stuck with the fabric, it is so pretty.
4/15/2013 03:06:15 am
I'm not a sewer so the giveaway isn't going to do much for me. But, seriously, HOW CUTE ARE YOU?! I'm kind of jealous, really. You can make anything look adorable. I make something adorable, put it on, and I look like poo :(
4/15/2013 03:31:32 am
Sooooo cute!!! Love the design and your color/fabric selection for this little number!
This dress is so lovely! The color is fantastic on you. I love that your shoes are a perfect match, too.
4/15/2013 06:48:20 am
I love the dress, the back is absolutely beautiful! You did a great job. And thanks for the giveaway! I follow on Facebook and bloglovin'
4/15/2013 07:25:38 am
Lovely dress! I agree with you about the effect of the skirt modification. It's pretty and wearable and you don't need to worry about hauling around miles of skirt when it's hot out.
4/15/2013 07:32:37 am
love the shoes with that dress. I continue to be impressed with your sewing! I was just watching Mad Men last night!....I didn't notice the bouquets right away....until you mentioned pattern placement and I went looking for the issue. I did some hand quilting this weekend (backing a knit blankie).....I'm REALLY slow with a needle and thread!.........I follow you via google reader and no, I dont have a plan for what I'll do when it is gone. :)
4/15/2013 08:26:31 am
Wow this dress is beautiful, and the photos are amazing too!
I actually didn't notice the more "scandalous" aspect of the dress until you pointed it out, maybe I'm just really fashion blind, but I don't think many people will notice it, they'll be looking at other aspects of the dress. You definitely look very Betty too! I agree with making the skirt differently, it looks perfect.
4/15/2013 10:13:48 am
Love it!!! Especially the blue solid at the neck.
4/15/2013 11:27:38 am
My 3 year old daughter says your dress "is fun. It have a fun pattern!"
4/15/2013 01:10:02 pm
This is so so pretty! I have a similar pattern that I plan to make up soon, it's on my list :)
4/15/2013 01:37:25 pm
This is a beautiful "Betty" dress - I'm also doing an "inspired by" dress instead of a direct copy, but I think it's fun! And a little more wearable for every day :)
4/15/2013 06:52:26 pm
Lovely dress, the back neckline is a pretty detail.
4/15/2013 08:06:38 pm
I follow on bloglovin. Love the neckline on this dress.
4/15/2013 09:07:35 pm
The "boobie bouquets" are not obvious. I didn't spy them until I'd stopped giggling at the terminology! And I do think the adjusted skirt is fabulous. I actually think it would have overwhelmed the dress at the full size.
4/16/2013 08:25:42 am
I love your blog! I follow you using Bloglovin'
4/17/2013 07:40:36 am
I'm not familiar with Mad Men, but that dress looks perfect for Spring!
4/22/2013 02:51:43 am
I love your new dress! When I see you sewing projects it always makes me wish I knew how to sew something more complicated than pajama bottoms. :-)
4/26/2013 12:20:56 am
Oh this is so so pretty... and I love the adjustments you made to the skirt to make it a little more wearable for "today!" I will remember that when I finally start working through my full skirted 50's patterns. I really love that time period because- well- the ladies were ladies! And so feminine! You definitely look the part in this sweet dress! ... I follow you on Blog Lovin and Twitter... :)
Leave a Reply.