Sunday, 6 April 2014


All the lovely makes for the Mad Men III dress challenge are now on Julia's website. If you are a fan of Mad Men, or of sewing, or of late fifties/early sixties fashion, please do check them out!  

Last weekend, I was in a wee time crunch and didn't post any construction photos of my Betty dress.  For those that are interested, here they are, along with the usual bit of ramble.

I used a high quality 100% cotton fabric.  It's called Fairy Briar and made by Hoffman Fabrics, to state the obvious.  I purchased two meters and utilized the fabric to within an inch of it's life!  One of the interesting things I noticed, and appreciated, about this fabric, is that it does not fray!  It has a lovely high thread count, and a soft, silky feel.

Having said that, I lined the whole dang thing!  Why?  Well, I'm not overly fond of slips, so lining a skirt is almost always a given.  I used a cotton broadcloth for the skirt, and my custom A-Line Skirt Pattern serves as the pattern.  By using an a-line skirt for the lining, I'm eliminating gathers and pleats, effectively eliminating bulk.  'I need more bulk at my waist.' said no woman ever.  

The bodice and sleeves are lined with feather-light bemberg rayon lining.  Why?  Lining a bodice and sleeves means no facings.  Yes, but why?  I dunno!  I just do.  I like this style of construction and I use it a lot of the time.   I machine stitch the lined sleeves to the bodice, in essence treating them as one piece, and then my last construction step is to hand sew the bodice to the armhole.  Does anyone know of a different, um...yeah better...technique for this step?

The hem!  I was swooning over Oonaballoona's Pink Project Runway love it too, don't ya?...and I had to try using bias cut horsehair trim just like Oona does.  Me likey, me likey very much, thank you Oona darling!  It gives a little oomph to the hemline, a little bigger whirl on my twirl!  All good, it is!  

And last, but not least, a boob shot.  Kidding! But how 'bout we chat about the pleating on the bodice.  Not sure if I did this the right way, but it worked out well for me, so here goes; I pleated a rectangle of fabric to a size that I was confident my pattern piece would fit on with room to spare.  Then I placed my pattern piece on it, pinned, and then cut it out.  

All righty peeps!  Thanks for reading!  Have an awesome day!

Sunday, 30 March 2014


Mad Men Challenge 3, Simplicity 2444, Betty Draper Roses Dress
                        source: AMC - Mad Men

Mad Men Challenge 3, Simplicity 2444, Betty Draper Roses Dress

Mad Men Challenge 3, Simplicity 2444, Betty Draper Roses Dress
Top Left Photo Source: AMC Mad Men

Mad Men Challenge 3, Simplicity 2444, Betty Draper Roses Dress

Whew!  I made it to the lovely Julia Bobbin's Mad Men III with mere moments to spare. Truthfully, the deadline is April 1, 2014, but with heading into a work week, my personal deadline had to be tonight.  And, to think that I didn't find this pretty fabric until 2:00pm on Friday afternoon!  GAAAAAK!!!! My weekend has been a blur of activity!  Who knew the Mad Men Dress Challenge would drive me crazy?!!! Not only was there a veritable sea of dresses to choice from, but there are episode synopsis's {eek, is that a word?} all over the Internet.  Not having watched the series, I have come to learn that Mad Men is a big deal, I do live under a rock, and the Internet has both saved and forever damaged me.  I could not stop reading about Don and his torrid affairs, about thin Betty, fat Betty, naive but oh so talented Peggy, the wheeling, the dealing, the babies, the business breakups, and the business makeups.  I foresee a NetFlix binge of Mad Men in my future!

Okay dokey, a quick word about the Mad Men Dress Challenge III.  It's easy, and it's fun!  You can either recreate a dress worn by a cast member, or sew an outfit inspired by the show!   We've had six weeks, and in my case, that means five and half weeks to think about it, and two days to sew.  Again, um, why must I leave things until the last minute?  Well, in my defense, this time I really did try to beat the last minute rush.  I mentioned in an earlier post that friends had me pegged for Peggy Olson!  And yup!  I can totally see where that's coming from.  Gingham, check! Polka dots, check!  But, none of her outfits made me swoon.  The truth is, Megan's gorgeous coral and white chevron striped coat had stolen my heart.  GAH!!!  I love that coat.  But, could I find the fabric?  Nuh uh!  Sheesh!  Let me tell ya, it took more than a little while to let go of that obsession.  So, here's the kicker...the turning point was when I admitted to myself that I wanted to be Betty Draper.  Betty is pretty!  Betty wears pretty! And Betty's roses dress is all kinds of pretty!

I admittedly searched endlessly for fabric that was a close match to her dress, but the reds were always either too maroon red, {so not my colour} or the patterns too Christmas-y or juvenile.  When I saw my fabric, I did a little happy dance all the way to the cutting table.  This fabric is a dash of Betty and whole lotta Sue. The skirt is a basic rectangle with pleats at the top.  The bodice, a major renovation on Simplicity pattern 2444.  My plan had been to debut Simplicity 2444 next month, as in April, which YIKES, begins two days from now, but it worked really well as a template for my Betty bodice.  Don't worry, you'll still be seeing another 2444! Betty's dress has a decorative bow on a narrow waistband.  Instead of the narrow waistband, I made a narrow belt; otherwise, I think my design is pretty spot on!  I think I may do another post to show a bit of the insides. Julia will be publishing everyone's photos and blog links on Sunday, April 6th.  It's going to be fun to see all the inspired versions!

Special thanks to Samson for being my Don Juan!

Dress:  Me-Made
Shoes:  Bandolino
Necklace & Earrings:  Me-Made

Linking Up With:

Julia of Julia Bobbin for Mad Men III: The Big Reveal
Patti of Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday
Rosy and Sacramento for Share In Style: Flowers

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity Pattern 8575

A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity Pattern 8575

Hi, hi, hi everyone!  Word on the street is that pastels are in this season, and with several soft hued pieces of fabric in my stash, know.  Now, it's no secret; I veer recklessly towards bright tints, if they had a bumper sticker I brake for brights, you'd think of me!  But, I do enjoy wearing pastels in moderation too.  Okay, I have been kinda, sorta, trying to assess what holes might be lurking in my spring/summer wardrobe, but organization and planning aren't strong suits for me. Yeah, um, it's fair to say it's not going so well, but in light of just finishing two dresses and two jackets, I thought it would be safe to shift my focus over to sewing some tops and pants or skirts...separates.  Now isn't that a grown-up word?...separates. As a kiddo, I wore a lot of tops and bottoms, but I'm betting they weren't called separates.  Nuh uh!  So today's project features recently thrifted  Simplicity Pattern 8575, a lovely little semi-fitted top...the perfect spring staple.

This next paragraph is mostly sewing technique, so skippity-loo past it if that's not your thing...

This top pattern is definitely a keeper.  It sewed up beautifully.  Although I shortened it at the petite line by 1", I'm not sure I will do that in future.  I do like the silhouette, but I can't really wear the top with pants that sit below my waistline.  Well, technically I can, but you see my skin, which I don't really like.  I made sure to give my skirt a high waistband.  One thing a little odd about this pattern is that it has a very generous amount of wearing ease, yet it has a zipped back closure. Doesn't it make sense to have a more body conscious design line?  I know!!! I took in a couple of seams; not a lot, but enough to give the top a little more shape. And, of course, I put in an invisible zipper...I'm a bit addicted to them at the moment...and I thinks I needs to be careful with all these back zipped clothes.  In future, I might find I'm unable to dress myself, and that would be bad, very bad.  There are all kinds of options on this pattern including different necklines and a sleeveless version. And whoops, just remembered that I found the sleeve a little short for my liking, so I added a sleeve facing, for those that care. As far as remakes go, I can totally imagine it in a crisp white poplin, or perhaps a print or a stripe...polka dots anyone?  The skirt is my no fail rectangle of fabric.  I keep coming back to it because it works for me. This go around, I wanted to match the side front and side back pleats with the open seams of the top.  I cannot believe how long that took me.  Um, really? Yep, really!  In the end, they matched up perfectly.  The photo of the back isn't showing the magic, but really, it really does line up. And! Can I just say that I am well aware that as soon as learned to sew an invisible zipper, exposed zippers became all the rage!  Huh?!  I think my next skirt will have a super sassy exposed zipper!  {And yes, when I was reviewing my photos, I remembered that I had intended to wear a beige bra...sigh}

Okay, a question about style for you stylish ladies please!  Sewing is awesome, but I get a little lot overwhelmed with the choices..there are no limits.  There is also the not so small wrinkle that you never know for certain how the finished garment will look on, until you're finished.  Currently, I have two garments on my wish list, an awning striped dress and a lace top.  What do you think?  And...okay two questions...what's on your spring/summer must have list?  Tell me in your comment, tell me in an email, or write about it on your blog! The lovely Glenda of So What To Twenty has just posted a list of her top ten spring wardrobe essentials, and I love it!  I know your must have's will inspire me too; they could even become my next project!

Enough, enough of my ramble!

Coat :: D Studio, thrifted and last seen here
Top :: Simplicity Pattern 8575
Skirt :: Me-Made
Pumps :: Nine West

Linking Up With:

Patti from Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday

Won't you please follow me on...