Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mad Men Dress Challenge : So you're thinking about joining in...

After my post about the dress I picked to reproduce last week, I thought it might be fun to look at the three main female characters in the Mad Men series and suggest some patterns that could be used to make Mad Men inspired dresses!  It wasn't all my idea though - you can thank Rosalind Elizabeth.

I think we should start with poor old Peggy.

Peggy seems such a dowdy innocent lacking confidence!  I understand that she ends up working as a copy writer and pushing the role of women in the industry, but I just can't get over her lack of style!  She isn't for me, but I think that some of the outfits she wears are very typical of the day to day outfits of a 1950s working woman.

How about these patterns:

This pattern can be found here.

I think view two is very 'Peggy'.  Its got that whole buttoned up innocent thing going.  I even think the colours used on the pattern envelope are very Peggy!

And whats better is that this pattern is for a skirt and blouse so you can use what you make as separates after the challenge!

This pattern can be found here.

How cutesy is this jumper and blouse!  Still very buttoned up and very 'Peggy'

Ha!  I just noticed that both these pattern envelopes use that mustardy colour that Peggy is wearing in the picture above!  Coincidence....I think not.  Maybe the Peggy-people out there need to use the colour mustard!

Then there is Betty.

Ex-model Betty is the archetypal 1950s housewife who dutifully gave up her career to be a mother and a housewife.  And while she has a glamorous side (VERY glamorous side) she is often wearing the housewife staple, the shirtwaister.

What about these patterns:

You can find this pattern here.

This would have to be your typical shirtwaister, wouldn't it, but I love the way version 2 has the buttons hidden behind a placket.  Imagine this made in a gorgeous floral border print cotton (If you can find any!  That stuff is rare!)

You can find this pattern here.

This dress is a little more glamorous than the other one, and I think the only reason why is because its not a shirtwaister...   This would be a Betty Out To Lunch dress I think!

Then there is Joan.

Yep, thats my dress in the middle!

Joan.  What a cow!  A beautiful one, with fabulous taste in clothes - but if she was the manager in my office I'd quit!

Actually, I'm the manager in my office... maybe I'm more Joan than I'd like to admit!


I think the reason we all secretly long to be Joan is that she has an ahhhmazing figure, and dresses it so magnificently in form fitting dresses and separates.  Not to mention the magnificently constructed undergarments that must be going on under there....  Who doesn't love shapewear and lingerie!

How about these patterns:

This pattern can be found here.

This is just a very basic wiggle dress, but because its basic you can do any number of additions to it to make it more Joan.  Really, it just needs to fit very well and be tight!

 You can find this pattern here.

Ignore the whole overskirt thing - Joan would never do that!  How much does this dress look like the pink one above.  You'd just need to change the sleeves to be looser and more fluttery and you'd be there!

So what do you think of these suggestions?  Have I convinced anyone else to join in?



  1. I'm going for the classic Betty shirt-dress. - http://button-lover.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/madmen-2.html -
    I love Joans wardrobe but I din't think it would do much for my body.
    Looking forward to seeing all the dresses!

  2. In my mind's eye i'm joan. if i could stay pristeen all day id like to be betty. but in reality i reckon i'm more peggy :")
    id love to join in but NO! not til i finish that darn coat! still im' thinking about it...
    have a few patterns already

  3. They are gorgeous patterns:)
    thinking about it..