Mad Men and Woman in the Snow


I actually wanted to title this post “A petition to Julia Bobbin”, followed by a plea to change the date of the Mad Men Dress Challenge for next year (I hope there will be next year?) to later in the year. I mean, c’mon, doesn’t your heart just break looking at me modelling my lovely summer dress with heaps of snow in the background?

Hello? Is it spring you’re looking for?

But anyhoo, this dress is inspired by Betty’s dresses. She is not one of my favourite characters, but fairly early in the series they showed her working away at a sewing machine, and at that moment Betty stole a piece of my heart. How could anyone not love her day dresses, or those breezy, summery party dresses?

PicMonkey Collage

Fitted bodice, and a full skirt, in pretty, pretty colours. That is the general style that I desperately wanted to duplicate, because I have never had a dress like that. Since a very early age my mother discouraged me from wearing dresses, she believed that they did not suit me. So I abandoned the notion of dressing pretty and turned into a total tomboy. It is only now that I have the confidence to embrace my body the way it is, and I acquired  certain amount of sewing and fitting skill that I want to try to regain some of the girliness that I never had. So here it comes:

Circle skirt: check!
Twirl: check. OK, kinda, too windy and too cold to twirl.


Now for the deets: the bodice is the same as the black dress. This time, I boned the front and side seams with plastic boning (in the black dress I put boning only in the side seams). I really enjoy the look and feel of a boned bodice, and again I am so surprised how easy it is to work with plastic boning! The front of the bodice, after drafting and installing straps, became quite short, so I drafted the waist band (a loooong rectangle), to which I added the circle skirt. That circle skirt was cut in the summer, and at that point was not meant to be a dress, just a stash busting experiment. Then it was marinating on a hanger for the next 7 months (to get the stretch out from the bias sections, I think the 7 months did the trick)! I lined the whole thing with cotton batiste, installed the zipper, discovered that I did not have any more hook and eye closures, trimmed the skirt, and added the lace to the bottom. Then I went to install the horsehair braid to the bottom of the skirt, following some well-meaning but wrong advice. The advice was to use thinner horsehair, since I made a narrow hem. Later, when I was flipping through Gertie’s book, I read that the more drama you want, the wider the braid you should use. So tomorrow at work I will be purchasing some 2″ or 3″ horsehair, rather than the measly 1/2″ that I was working with. And I will probably shorten the lace a little bit, it seems to be too long for the proportions of the dress, no?

So that is that. This is a dress that makes me feel like a million bucks. This is the dress that trumps ALL of the sewing messes that I’ve made so far.  This is the dress I’ll be wearing in bed when I catch a cold from twirling in 3 centigrade weather. And the dress also wants me to buy me a string of pearls…

Keep your eye out on Julia’s blog and the challenge roundup on April 6th, to see what other participants of the MMDC3 came up with. I expect it to be inspiring, as always!



20 thoughts on “Mad Men and Woman in the Snow

    • OMG, Sarah! I feel so amazing knowing that I inspired somebody to start learning this wonderful art! You’ll have a great time with it, I know it, you are an incredibly artistic person with a good taste! Can’t wait to see your creations!!!

  1. I am so impressed with the whole thing. I love your hair, your style and that dress is amazing. I’m also pretty impressed that you’re out in the snow half naked!!

  2. That lace at the hem is FABULOUS! I mean, the print is amazing, and then my eye travels down, and it is *BAM* lace! I love it.
    Girl, you were made for dresses. You wear this with so much attitude and confidence that it’s hard to believe that you weren’t born in a dress.
    Stunning, really.

    • Thank you Angela! I love that lace, it was not cheap (you know, for polyester lace), but I bought extra for some future project. And I really appreciate your kind words.

  3. fabulous dress.
    I agree you need wide horsehair braid I think that will give the bottom of the dress the drama it deserves. You look gorgeous!

    • Thank you. I bought 3″ horsehair yesterday, will apply it hopefully later on today and snap some pics to show off the difference. I’m with you on more drama!

  4. Every detail is beautiful – your hair, makeup, dress styling, fabric, colours, You look marvelous! You must make more dresses and soon as summer may only be one day in August. Please wear this to the next TO Sewcialists get together!

    • Oh I hope you are WRONG about the summer, but both you and I know that that might be the case… I’ll see what I can do re get together. Thank you for your lovely comment, Liz!

  5. Looking good! Your dress is so spring – I hope you get to wear it soon. And I love your new sewing term – “marinating” made me laugh!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s