Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mad Men Challenge Dress Revealed

Does hand sewing take everyone a long time? Or at least longer than you think it should? Well, never mind that! My Mad Men Challenge Megan inspired Little Black Dress is complete.
The actress that plays Megan is young, tall, thin and gorgeous, so I hesitate to re-show my inspiration picture. Aw heck, scroll down to Monday's post to see it, hee hee.

Back already? How'd I do?

Some details:

  • Simplicity 6094 (that's in Monday's post, too) was the basis. My pattern is a size 16, bust 38 released in 1973. I had to narrow the bodice, changing the shape of the armholes and the neckline just a bit, and I made the back neckline lower, though not as low as the inspiration dress.
  • Fabric is a cotton pique that I picked up at Mood during my New York trip. It has a wonderful hand and a slight sheen making it kind of dressy. Also, it is machine washable.
  • The cotton will make it nice for the 2 weddings that we may attend in Texas this summer. Where it's really hot.
  • You're looking at a hand-picked invisible zipper.
  • What?
  • I'm using my back up Bernina and I don't have an invisible zipper foot. I inserted it, by machine, with a regular zipper foot, but there was an unsightly gap, showing too much zipper. I solved it by meeting the edges of the fabric over the zipper, pressing and then using the prick stitch to secure in place. Not nearly as time consuming and as curse worthy as trying to pick out the black thread stitches from a cushy pique.
  • Can you see the trim around the neckline? It's not quite as big and showy as the inspiration dress, but more of an understated style that suits me.
  • I'm fine with those wrinkles in the back.
  • Much lower cut that I anticipated. I do realize that I had complete control over that, but it wasn't until I tried it on for hem placement that I became completely aware of the cleavage factor. Well, it IS a LBD for going out.
  • I tried to lighten up this picture a bit so you can see the underbust seaming detail. There is also a center front seam. Those seams enhance the fit over a simple shift. My muslin fit tighter, though I didn't make another muslin after I made the bodice changes and I think that affected the tightness and where the underbust seam hit on my body.
  • You still can't really see the trim very well. I purchased it at M&J Trimmings, also on the NYC trip.

I really like how it turned out. I didn't line it (the heat factor), but did line the front bodice piece where I made the cut-out, simply sewing right sides together the lining and the bodice where I wanted my square, cutting out the center of the square, understitching the lining, and pushing it through to the inside.

The rest of the seams are serged. I did use regular neckline and armhole facings, pinking the edges because of the bulk factor, and catch-stitching them all to the inside. I used narrow hem lace at the hem which I made 2-5/8" deep (after cutting off 5"!! these patterns were made for tall women). The hem was slip-stitched.

Am I forgetting anything? Probably. How about a couple of parting shots:


  1. You did a great job!! I love it!

  2. Beautiful! Another successful dress - the Mad Men challenge is such a fun idea.

  3. It's very much like the inspiration dress! I am sure you will love this dress. It's so pretty and will be so comfortable to wear made out of cotton pique and unlined. I'd like to have one myself!

  4. Lovely! Yours looks just like the inspiration dress! This is a dress that I'm sure you'll get a lot of wear out of.

  5. The dress looks great. Very retro. I enjoy putting zips in by hand, I find hand stitching very therapeutic.
    louise x

  6. It's a beautiful dress and you look beautiful in it!

  7. That's a super knock-off! Nice job!

  8. Great job with the Megan dress!

  9. Love that last photo - well done you!

  10. I love this dress and really don't think that the cleavege is too much. If you've got it....;-)

  11. It's a great dress and looks incredible! Well done! Hasn't this dress challenge been such fun?

  12. Superb frock Elle! Looks absolutely awesome on you too :D!

  13. Lovely!! How did I not see this sooner!



Related Posts with Thumbnails