Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mad Men Dress Challenge : Thank Goodness for Gertie!

First up, I must apologise for not posting last week.  All I had to show you was the giveaway skirts (which are painfully close to being finished) and I really don't want to show them to you until Shannon and Leah send me their photos.  And I still don't have a sewn item to show you this week.

On the weekend I had a self imposed sewing holiday as two of my close friends came to visit from Sydney.  We had a fun afternoon, then a sunset picnic of Moet and cheese listening to Neil Young playing a live concert on the property next door.  Following that we rocked up (very late!) to a friend's 40th birthday party at another friends house.  And this friend MAKES HATS and she has hundreds of them in a special hat room!!!  The girls and I spent about 2 hours trying all the hats on.  It made for a very fabulous night!

This is us at about 1am, and these are our favourite hats

So no sewing, but I did get some time to do some thinking, and that's where the title of this post comes in.

I've been thinking about having to draft a pattern for this dress, and how I really wanted to take the easy way out and follow someone elses pattern.  I have a heap of things on my plate at the moment and just didn't think I could commit enough headspace to the project to draft a pattern, but I didn't want to pull out.

So I sat down with a cup of tea and some of my sewing books, and whilst flicking through Gerties New Book for Better Sewing:

Which you can buy here
And you can read her blog here

I found this dress:

It is perfect - even has those underarm gusset things to make the kimono sleeves close fitting!!!  AND it will be easily adjustable to look like the Mad Men dress I chose!  I felt so much more relaxed at this point, you have no idea!  And to top it all off, Gertie's lovely green dress is sewn from WOOL CREPE!  Admittedly, her's is double wool crepe, but at least I was on the right track with my fabric purchase!

So, thank goodness for Gertie!!!

Also, going back to my previous post about which fabric to choose from the ones I found online, I purchased three of them : The New York skyline, the leopard print satin charmeuse, and the silk plaid.  Two of these have arrived:

The New York skyline

The silk plaid

And while I really like the silk plaid with the wool, there was only a fat quarter of it so squeezing what I want to get out of it might be tricky.  On the other hand, the New York skyline is DIVINE!  The colours tone perfectly with the wool, and if I pick where I cut my pieces from it looks abstract and not like a city skyline at all.  However, I will reserve my judgement until the leopard satin charmeuse arrives IF it makes it here by my deadline.  I want to have this dress complete by the end of March.

Oh, and I picked something totally over the top for my lining:

No one is going to see it, so why can't it be a bold bright magenta rayon?  I also thought that this would be a nice lining given that this will be a winter dress.

So, what do you think of my choices?  And has anyone sewn anything from Gertie's book yet?  This will be my first project.



  1. Loving the lining ;)

  2. Love the hats! I especially love that ivory hat your friend on the left is wearing. It's divine!

    Look at you all prepping for the dress. I still haven't ordered fabric! I can't decide if I want it in silk or something a little easier to care for as I know me and I'm a klutz. lol For yours, I'd still go with the leopard, but that's because I'm a complete sucker for leopard and would wear anything leopard to death. The NYC fabric I'd turn into a scarf and wear with all sorts of things because it is awesome and really deserves to be seen a lot. That's just my opinion, though. You need to do what is right for you. :)

    1. I'm a sucker for leopard too Relynn, and I'm reserving my judgement until it gets here just in case its better than the New York print (which is cotton by the way so I'm not sure how it would go as a scarf).

      But I kind of like the way that the New York print references where Mad Men is set... and I could use the yard of leopard to make a simple blouse to wear to death :)

  3. I was gunning for the NY skyline all along. good choice!

  4. I love the New York skyline one. I think that one would work really nicely. I've had Gertie's book since it came out but haven't sewn anything from it yet. I'm planning on making up the shirtdress soon though, in a red check cotton for summer.

    1. I have had it since then too Ginny, and while I've referred to it a couple of times this will be my first 'project' from it.

      I love a red gingham dress for spring and summer - makes me think of picnics!

  5. Oh how I'd love to be in that hat room. They are fabulous!!!

    1. Oh Joanna, you'd just die! There were so many hats in different sizes and shapes and styles and colours with varying levels of crazy. It was such fun!!!