I have completed the Julia Bobbin Mad Men Dress Challenge!!
The dress I chose to make was the dress worn by Rachel Menken in season 1, episode 10 'Long Weekend'. The reason I chose this dress was mainly because it looked like something I could actually make!!!! As a beginner, my sewing skills are quite limited, I would be dreaming if I thought I could make something more extravagant like the dresses that Julia Bobbin makes. I recently fell in love with bias binding and was thrilled at the opportunity to make something using more of it.
I wasn't very confident that I could pull of the mustard colour, I only own two dresses in the yellow family. I decided to conduct a fashion experiment, I bought a RTW mustard dress, wore it to work and got plenty of compliments. Yay.
I looked everywhere for mustard coloured fabric (I have been referring to it as mustard, but I'm not entirely sure if it is mustard... but anyway!) but I couldn't find anything so I bought some gold cotton from Lincraft. I still wasn't convinced I would look nice in gold - I am still traumatised from wearing those hideous gold polo tops in primary school - so I kept looking.
Lucky I waited because the next day I found mustard cotton at Spotlight! On sale! $3m! It was perfect, except that it was very sheer, but for $3 I bought enough to line the whole dress. I even had enough left over to make a tie/belt/bow.
I made the dress using the M5845 bodice as a sloper and skirt pattern from Simplicity 2117. I simply replaced the two darts on the front bodice with two folds and changed the neck to a crew neck. On the skirt, I removed the pockets. I used 25mm bias binding around the neck and armholes.
I wanted to use an invisible zipper, but silly me tried to insert the zipper at 2am and I effed it up so badly... but I continued on sewing the lining and dress together, and the back seam. I ended up spending hours unpicking the entire thing the next day. I usually ace invisible zippers, perfect first time almost everytime, but my eyes were so tired that night. After all that unpicking, I decided I did not want to use an invisible zipper anymore (traumitised now), instead decided to do a hand picked zip. I quite enjoyed the handpicking! I zig zagged the edges of the hem, and finished it by hand using the new handstitching technique I learnt last week in dressmaking class.
Size: Size 6 bodice, graded to size 8 waist, size 8 skirt.
Fabric: 2.2m cotton (mustard), 25mm bias binding (black).
Notions: Dress zipper (buttercup) 24", Gutermann thread (325, 000).
Time: 6 hours to draw up pattern, cut and sew, 2 hours unpicking, 2 hours handpicking zip and hemming. Total of 10 hours.
New techniques learned:
|My first time handpicking a zip.|
Invisible stitching on the hem.
|Folds on the front.|
I love bias binding.
|Darts on the back.|
Check out my handpicking. So proud I had the patience to handpick 1.2m of zip.
I am so happy to have completed this challenge, I actually want to make more dresses inspired by Mad Men!!!!! If I have time, I will try and make another by March 30. Ooooh, other exciting news, I bought an overlocker on Friday!!! I haven't opened it yet, still wrapped in the box. I'll open it once I learn how to thread it :D
I also have other super, super exciting news, which I will share once it goes to press (hint, hint!).
I hope you guys like my Mad Men copycat dress. I love it, and I am now open to wearing mustard. Woo hoo.
Now somebody host Mad Men party so I can attend wearing this dress!