March 22, 2014

Plans of Shocking Pink for The Mad Men Dress Challenge 3

Yes, it is that time again and I am in. Believe it or not I am working on a JOAN dress. The dress is from season 5, episode 2. One to always make an entrance, Joan wore the shocking pink beaded cocktail number into the office at mid day to introduce the new baby and receive reassurance of her place at the firm. I found the over dressed emotional wreck that is Joanie in this scene extremely endearing and the wiggle dress in my favorite colors to be right up my sewing alley. I have decided to use a floral for my fashion fabric a la Joan.  
My floral fabric has yet to arrive but my plans are in motion. 
First I attempted to find a pattern in my stash that matched the dress outline. 1960's Simplicity 4650 was very close. 

I need to redraft the bodice and neckline as well as elongate the sleeves. 
Pattern adaption: 
I decided that because my bodice front would be two pieces I would also make my bodice back into two pieces. To do so I traced my vintage pattern and then adjusted for my broad back. I added my broad back width at the upper back shoulder dart and adjusted for my square shoulders. The shoulder dart was 1/8" (0.32 cm) originally and  the dart became 5/8" (1.59 cm) once my additional back width was added. Then I connected the upper dart point to the waistline dart point dividing the bodice back two pieces and adding seam allowances at the new seam line. 
 The bodice front was divided in a similar manner. After tracing my vintage pattern I extended the darts to the apex point and then shifted the side seam dart to the arm using a curved line to achieve my princess line. The bodice front was divided and seam allowances were added to the new seam line.
I made a muslin and will spare myself inter-webs embarrassment of personal photos. But it did not turnout half bad.
The only big fix was a gaping neckline, I had to wedge out 3 little darts. I also decided to adjust the neckline scoop.
Sorry this 1980's scrap quilting cotton is SO busy you can't really see my darts
Once the fit was set I was able to adjust for the bodice front gathers. I traced the side pieced then added lines across the pattern piece about an inch apart. 
The lines are slashed and spread from the curved bust line with 1/4" in between each slash. The new slashed and spread pattern is traced and the gathered curved edge is connected. 
Note the difference in the pattern pieces. The original bodice side pattern piece will be the lining pattern without any gathers. My pattern is drafted. 
Making neckline piping: 
Joan's dress has black satin piping, I am using a cotton sateen in shocking pink for my version of the dress.  
To make I first have to make bias strips. I fold my yardage on a 45° angle press the fold and cut the fold.
Then I measure and cut the bias strips. For the piping I used 1 1/2" (3.81 cm) bias strips.
The bias strip is merely folded over rat-tail and stitched to form piping. I used an adjustable piping foot for stitching, it is similar to a zipper foot but is completely flush on the side to not to interfere with the cording. 
Finished piping for the neckline.
Wish me luck I am hunting for beads and have yet to decide on the belt. Should I use the bow belt from the pattern or the fabric wrapped closure belt like Joan? 


  1. Oh, this will be marvelous. I vote bow belt.

  2. Great dress choice, and your colors. Look forward to seeing it. I completed my muslin today. I am doing a Betty dress.

  3. Cannot wait to see the fabric and the final dress -- pink is my absolute favorite color and with your coloring it will look ahhhhhhhhmazing.

  4. Can't wait to see your version! I like the belt Joan is wearing, but you can go either way and it will look fabulous

  5. Oh! I can not wait to see the final dress. Your sketch is so good :) I am also participating the challenge n still working in my dress, my choice is Megan dress.

  6. That's is going to be FABULOUS!

  7. Goodluck, I can tell it's gunna be a good one! x

  8. that's going to look great! i am working on mine at the moment too! i vote both belts to change it up a bit!


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