The “I Never Get to Go Out” Dress

Name & Location: Rebecca Bean, Chicago

Blog: Becky and the Beanstalk

How long have you been sewing: Since elementary school in some way shape or form.  But I’ve been sewing regularly for the past 6 years I would guess.

Why did you want to commit to The Sew Weekly Challenge: I wanted to commit so that I would sew more often.  I used to sew every day, but now I’m lucky if I break out the machine more than twice a month.  I’m hoping to get back to sewing all the time!  And my dog loves to help me by holding down my fabric and trying to play with my pattern pieces, so she’d love it if I brought out sewing stuff!

What do you love most about sewing garments: I love the first time I wear an outfit out after I’ve made it.  The pride in knowing that I’ve sewn and often designed an outfit is fantastic.  And I always know that I can make something that fits my personal style perfectly and my body too.  This is why I have around 2 dozen dresses in my closet that barely ever get to see the light of day (like the one pictured!).

What do you hate most about sewing garments: Hemming.  I hate hems.  I get so lazy that I often just use my machine instead of hand sewing it or figuring out the slip stitch attachment… By that point in my construction, I just want to be finished with it!

What do you want to accomplish this year with regard to the challenge: I want to sew much more often than I have been.  I would also like to branch out from skirts and dresses.  I haven’t made a pair of pants in years and need to make shirts more too.

Your biggest non-sewing goal of 2012: To get my career in shape.  In the past few years, I’ve finished college, adopted a dog, gotten married, moved to a new city, etc.  I’m only a substitute teacher, so I’m hoping this is my year to find that dream job!  Or just a full time job in my field.  I think I might start bringing baked goods to all of my placements so the administration gets hooked and they have to hire me… that’ll work…. right?

What are your favorite sewing/fashion blogs: I have lots of go to blogs that I read daily, including the wonderful Meg’s over at Meg the Grand.

The Facts

Fabric: Red stretch satin and sheer white satin.
Pattern: None.  Drafted by myself, based off of an outfit from the tv show Mad Men (Betty Draper).
Year: 2011
Notions: Zipper, and button at upper back.  Nice and simple!
Time to complete: This probably took me around 6 hours to complete.  It has simple lines, but drafting the pattern and getting the top to fit correctly took a bit of figuring out.
First worn: I brought it along on my honeymoon, but we didn’t go anywhere fancy enough.  So it had to wait until a Christmas party a couple of months later.  I wanted to wear it for New Year’s too, but again… we didn’t go anywhere fancy enough… I think I’m just going to start wearing cocktail dresses while walking the dog…
Wear again?  Yes!  I just need to find a place to wear it!
Total price: $20.



Becky Bean has been sewing since she was in elementary school, including personal use, for other people, a mini alteration business, and a stint in a theatre costume shop! She loves vintage style and is hoping to find more time in her busy schedule to keep up the weekly sewing!


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  1. This dress is really beautiful, I really like the stripey silhouette at the bust area.

  2. OMG HAI BECKY!!!!!! Love your pretty face so very much, and I’m so glad you are here!!!

  3. It turned out lovely, I also like the bodice…

  4. It turned out lovely, I also like the bodice… Striking

  5. Love what you’ve done with this dress! I mean, anything copied of Mad Men is going to be fabulous, but you’ve really nailed the look! Beautiful!