The “Driving Men Mad” Dress
Fabric: Linen (dress & trim), cotton batiste (underlining)
Pattern: Simplicity 2648
Notions: Zipper, hook & eye
Time to complete: 22 hours
First worn: At photoshoot
Wear again? Abso-freakin-lutely!
Total Price: $20
Here I am! Fashionably late and fanatically fitted.
The “Driving Men Mad” Dress was inspired by Joan Holloway’s Season 4 wardrobe. In particular, this fitted number with contrast trim at the neckline and hem.
Now, don’t let the name of this dress fool you. It hasn’t been seen by the public yet, so the only “men” I’ve been driving mad is my husband — who’s had to put up with me obsessing over this dress for several days. Joan, however, certainly drives men mad…especially the ones at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. With her sultry hips and ample bosom, she is a “brick house” the Commodore’s would eagerly serenade. Queen of the Wiggle.
What’s Joan’s secret? Besides those extraterrestrial curves, Joan knows how to dress her body. Everything she wears fits like it was custom tailored for her. Anything less just wouldn’t do her body good. My curves have the same needs. And, this is why Joan is one of my style icons. Even starting following the What Would Joan Wear blog for further confirmation of me Ms. Holloway’s curvy kinship.
In the spirit of Joan’s superbly fitted threads, I set out to alter Simplicity 2648 for my figure so I could begin using the pattern as a sloper for endless dress variations. As you can see, the basic pattern is full of potential. Once I retrace it without seam allowances, I’ll be ready to transform it again and again. I could probably recreate most of the dresses in Joan’s closet with this one pattern — a princess seamed bodice is her secret weapon (and now mine).
I am very satisfied with my version of Joan’s Season 4 dress. The final alterations came after only one muslin, but construction was riddled with eff-ups. Likely because my sewing time was so scattered. Life and work have been bigger time sucks than usual, so getting this dress finished became a hell-or-high water situation for me. By the 19th seam un-picking, my pisstivity transformed into tranquility… “Go ahead universe…give me your best shot…I am finishing this dress whether you like it or not!”. When it was time to apply the constrast trim, three hours of handstitching miles of bias binding sounded better than a spa weekend. That’s how bad I wanted to gitterdone.
You could you say the “men” in the dress title also stands for WOmen. Specifically this woman. The dress drove THIS woman a little mad. But all for a worthy cause: curve-hugging fit and a dress pattern with infinite possibilities.
Thanks for looking (even though I’m late to the party).