‘Meditations in a Sewing Emergency’ Ensemble
Fabric: 2 metres of lightweight wool £10, 2 metres mystery lining material £1 and 2 metres of blue cotton sateen £10
Pattern: McCall 3260 and Maudella 1268
Notions: 9 vintage blue buttons (a gift)
Year: jacket pattern is from 1939 and the blouse is from the 1950’s
Time to complete: 16 hours
First worn: March 2012
Wear again? Yes!
Total Cost: £21
I love The Sew Weekly. I love Mad Men. Combine the two? How could I resist? In true Debi style, I gravitated to one of the few non-dress separate ensembles in the show–Betty Draper’s riding outfit. Riding is, I think, one of Betty’s true escapes. A place where she can be herself. Of course, she’s dressed impeccably and I’m so drawn to the English riding style–tweed jackets, formal yet feminine blouses and the utility of all the clothing.
I decided to have a go at creating a Betty-inspired riding jacket and blouse. First I made a bow-tied mandarin collar blouse, similar to Betty’s yellow riding blouse but in her characteristic blue colour. I just adore this pattern. I’ve never sewn with a Maudella pattern before. They are unprinted and the directions are printed on the back of the envelope (with no pictures!) Despite this, I found it one of the best patterns I’ve worked with. In fact, I think I may be developing a Maudella pattern obsession (uh oh! I can just hear the postman coming now!)
I made the blouse from a lovely cotton sateen and had a chance to use some vintage buttons a friend gave me that were the perfect match! I like the bow tied collar much better than I thought I would. It’s the perfect compliment for a tailored jacket! For the jacket, I used McCall 3260. Despite being a pattern from 1939, it’s equally contemporary in 1950 as it is in 2012. I found the fabulous lightweight English wool fabric on sale and snapped it up! The pattern was fairly straightforward and I even made my own version of tailor’s tape, did some padstitching on the collar and interlined the jacket. I tried to match up the subtle plaid wherever I could:
Most of all, I am proud of the collar. I have such a horrible time with double notched collars…especially that little area that lies between them. Getting that flat can often be a nightmare. I interlined the jacket collar and front facing with a medium-weight muslin fabric and then applied just a thin strip of interfacing to the edges (similar to what tailor’s tape would do). This made the collar behave really well:
I lined the jacket with some remnant pieces of a mystery fabric (it’s definitely not traditional weight lining fabric but instead has a medium hand). I really like how the rust colour offsets the subtle tweedy browns of the jacket. The only problem with using a heavier lining fabric is that I needed to add more width so that I had more ease in the lining.
I’m pleased as punch with my jacket and blouse–which is good, since I managed to sew them both at the very last minute. I definitely needed to channel the meditations in a (sewing) emergency to get them done in time for this week. Yup, some things never change ;)
What about you? What is your favourite Mad Men outfit? Are you a Betty, a Joan, or a Peggy style-wise?