When Julia announced there was to be a second Mad Men challenge, and then Mel began organising the High Tea for a week earlier, I did what any Sewcialist would do. Started a Pinterest board for inspirational dresses. Very quickly, I found the One. Betty Draper in a full circle skirt with lace overlay and a crinoline?
I didn’t want to do a direct copy, but this Vintage dress (shown below) had my heart thumping. I was up for as direct as direct a copy as I could get.
The next biggest factor in design is the most practical, being cost. The cost per wear (excluding labour costs) needs to be not ridiculous. This unit of measure (ridiculous) varies significantly from dress to dress as it is affected by how much I love the dress. Knowing using a lace overlay was going to get a bit pricy, when rathdowne remnants had a scoopon for $100 worth of fabric for $30 I scooped it up (see what I did there? :P), as I LOVED the idea of this dress.
And then my dreams died a costly fast death. I’d planned on using some cream satin from my stash for the dress, but when I laid it out for cutting, as its vintage it was too narrow to accommodate all the pieces of my full circle skirt. *sad face*
Resigned to the additional cost of buying all that satin, I went shopping, starting with the lace. The cheapest back lace that was pretty was $50 per metre, and the hemline of my dress is somewhere between 4 and 5.5 metres. (Incidentally while shopping I ran into Blogless Anna who doing a quick fabric dash before bag making, who must have thought I was mad while in the throes in lace based despair)
Back to the drawing board (also known as Pinterest).
Rapidly flicking through the pinned images, this was the look I settled on, completely forgetting how much it looked like Julia Bobbins maternity mad men dress!
See the detail in the hemline, the scalloped hem? That detail right there was the real deciding factor on dress design. The final version will be sleveless and have a side zip. I’m also thinking about basting on a waistband, but this dress is clearly one being made on the fly! What I returned to social sewing with the below (just a sneak peak!) ready for hand basting at the seam edges to treat as one piece right?
Wowsers! What will happen next int his crazy adventure of lace and satin and full circle skirts? Will Sarah get it completed in time? Will any short cuts be taken on construction? How will the zip be inserted without ruining the lace?
Stay tuned for the next thrilling instalment, the construction and fitting of this madmen sewcietea dress