The ‘Wish They Show Mad Men Here’ Dress

Confession No. 1: I have to admit. I have not watched a single episode of Mad Men but yet I am taking up this challenge.  I have read and seen the Mad Men ‘explosion’ from the web and sewing community and have seen uncountable screenshots from the series, and I must say I am really interested to watch it but alas the local cable in Malaysia does not show it yet!

Confession No. 2: I didn’t start out this pattern with a view to join this challenge, the akin-to-60′s style of this pattern just ‘coincidentally’ allows me to fit into this week’s challenge! yay! Don’t you love it when these things happen?

I must say that I really like the styles from this show, and my dress inspiration is from the following pictures:-

Mad Men Inspirations

Image source: www.tomandlorenzo.com

I realized that the collar with tie details are popular in the 60′s, certainly my kind of style!
Coincidentally (again!), I have a similar black houndstooth fabric that mimics one of the inspiration pieces.

The Facts

Fabric: Black houndstooth cotton fabric at RM18.80/USD6 per yard, 2 yards of 60 inch width required.
Pattern: New Look 6968. I noticed that this is the ‘go-to’ pattern for Mad Men styles.


Notions: Invisible Zipper, Interfacing for the faux welt pockets
Time to complete: Didn’t count but as I sewed sporadically over 2 weeks.
First worn: Last Monday to work
Wear again? Of course!
Total Cost (excluding pattern): Approximately RM43/USD14

Pattern Notes and Thoughts:

I found the instructions for this pattern a little odd.  They asked to underline the bodice but not the skirt portion and later to use facings to finish the collar.  Both methods call for cuting out lining pieces anyway but fully lining as opposed to underlining+facings produces a cleaner and seamless finish, so I did the former.

Since I also installed an invisible zipper (I got a nifty zipper foot finally!) so I had to change the way I approached the construction of the dress.  I still consulted the instructions for collar, the collar is tricky if you didn’t clearly mark the dots on the collar pieces in the first place; otherwise you should be fine. The tie bow collar detail was what drew me to this pattern at first. I must say it’s very cleverly designed and so cute!  If you noticed, I tied the bow a little differently from the model’s, I flipped it downwards, I think it looks better this way.

The bodice called for a side dart in addition to the general vertical darts on the bottom of the bodice.  I am not sure if the side darts are so relevant because initially it produced so much ease for the bodice.  So I ended up moving up the vertical darts and narrowing them to remove the excess ease.  I think this pattern is meant for a bustier woman, much like the characters in Mad Men (alas, not for me!). I also took in the excess that formed along the armsye, pivoting it into my bust dart, which also meant altering the sleeve cap to fit the change. With all these changes I must say I am pretty happy with the fit.

This is a great sheath dress pattern, I wished that they had instructions and pattern piece for a real welt pocket though instead of just slapping us with a faux one just for decorational purposes. Nevertheless, the faux version is still a great detail to have on the dress. :)

I cut a size 12 as I am usually 10 on top and 12 on the bottom.  With all the abovementioned alterations, I think I needed a size 10 for for the top and a size 14 from waist down (this is non-stretch fabric, as I sewed a 1cm allowance instead of the specified 1.5cm from waist down). Note the envelope says, ‘Close-fitting Dress’!

I couldn’t resist to post a picture of my best new sewing gadget, an inexpensive invisible zipper foot (RM2.80/USD1 bought from local craft store). I have used invisible zippers before but sewed them with a normal zipper foot and wondering before why the results are not exactly ‘invisible’. I even lamented to a seamstress friend that ‘perhaps invisible zippers produced in Malaysia are different from the USA ones, that the former ones are not exactly “invisible”‘.  Hehe! How silly of me, I never thought of getting an invisible zipper foot until someone suggested it in my blog (thank you!).  The result is so professional with one. Now I really need to think of what I should do with my normal zipper stash as I love invisible zippers now. I used Colette’s invisible zipper tutorial and referred to the Colette Sewing Handbook on how to sew the lining to the zipper with a sewing machine.  The only hand sewing I had to do was to slip stitch the lining at the armscye and attach the buttons on the welt pockets.


Please excuse the wrinkles at the back, from sitting!

I know that this week’s challenge will be very popular with fellow SW contributors, judging from what I saw from the online sewing community so far. I can’t wait to see others’ contributions!

Author

sertyan

Sertyan is a full time working mother from Malaysia with a 2.5 year old daughter (fondly nicknamed 'Little Terror'). She started sewing for Little Terror 1.5 years ago and she was hooked on making clothes ever since. All she thinks about constantly is sewing! She has started to sew for herself in the last 6 months. Before making human clothes, she used to sew for her Japanese dolls. You can see all her sewing creations at http://sertyan.blogspot.com

17 Comments

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  1. It’s lovely! Nicely fitted, and beautifully lined, and I love the black-white-red colour combo, particularly your styling with the red shoes.

    I also love the backgrounds to your pics – tiny glimpses, but they bring back great memories of my travels in Malaysia, which I loved – thankyou!

  2. Sertyan it is lovely – so you! I really like the pops of red.

  3. This is lovely! It suits you quite well. I really like the houndstooth with the red accents and its so nicely finished. (Im partial to full-linings too) Great job!

  4. Sertyan, I agree this dress really suits you and your style. Nice connection to Mad Men! Love all your details!

  5. Darling! Love the back view too. I almost made this pattern this week, and now I definitely have to at some point. I think I’ll follow your lead with the full lining.

  6. This looks so great! I love the little pops of red on the pockets.

    I’m using this same pattern (sans pockets) for my Joan inspired dress (the green one pictured in this post) for Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Dress Challenge. I was pretty freaked out by the bodice lining instructions…very weird. The way you just opted for full lining and didn’t do the facings looks really lovely! Nice work. :)

  7. Beautiful job! You did a great job with the sizing; it looks like it fits you well! And, like the others, I love the red ‘pops’ you added!

  8. So many fantastic details on this outfit! The neckline, the red buttons on the pockets, the shoes–it all looks great.

  9. This is really cute! You’ve nailed the bow and knot details that show up a lot on MM. You could still probably add real welt pockets. I don’t know the exact technique, but I imagine it’s just a slit, attach pocket pieces to slit, attach welt. Anyway, yours looks great!

  10. Hi Sertyan, love the dress inside and out, you did such a fantastic job on the dress.

  11. I have this pattern too! I just love it! It looks lovely on you. I am admire your attention to detail and your great photos. I need to make another one now with that cute collar detail.

  12. Really, really cute. I also have taken note of all the intersting necklines there ave eben in that show. Nice job!

  13. The dress is lovely on you and the neckline is oh so cute! And I really love the contrast of the red buttons and your shoes rock!

  14. The dress is gorgeous! You know, you can watch all the Madmen seasons on Netflix. I did :)

  15. That dress looks so cute on you and beautifully finished. I also don’t watch the show but love the clothing!

  16. Beautiful inside and out….you did a marvelous job making a Mad Men dress without having every seen the show. Can’t wait till it reaches Malayasia…you’ll love it!

  17. I have this pattern but had my doubts about it.. now I’ve keen to try it out – I love your dress!