Mad Men: The challenge

Disclaimer: If this all goes t*ts up, please don’t be disappointed in me.

Fact 1. I love Mad Men. I’m a relative late comer to the series and had to catch up using certain nefarious websites and DVD box sets, but now I’m absolutely 100% hooked.

Fact 2: I love Julia Bobbin. Her dresses are always super-cute and flattering and her pics are to die for. She’s also a dab hand at adapting and creating her own patterns.

Fact 3: Julia Bobbin is also a BIG fan of Mad Men, and when I say fan I mean she’s openly admitted to hunkering down for the night with binoculars just outside their open windows (in her head anyway).

Fact 4: Julia has thrown down the gauntlet to stitchers everywhere with her Mad Men Dress Challenge: Recreate a dress from the series by the end of March.

Fact 5: I must be certifiably insane as I have signed up.

Fact 6: I have no more facts so let’s stop this nonsense.

Yes, it’s true. Despite the fact that I am woefully behind on the Minoru sewalong and I’ve signed up to Tilly’s One Pattern, One Week challenge which entails making at least another – possibly two – Violet blouses, I said YES JULIA.  I quite literally dribbled when I read Julia’s post. I may have had a little cry too, right there at my desk.

I’ve been pinning pics of Mad Men dresses on Pinterest and doing google image searches for hours, but I keep coming right back to one dress. In fact, the dress which may have inspired Julia to create the challenge in the first place. This one:

Joan Holloway - blue

It’s just too wonderful to resist. Julia has created the most divine version of this dress. I only wish I had her skillz in being able to draft patterns, but after a long search I think I’ve come up with a pattern to fit. I hope she doesn’t mind me shamelessly copying!

I’ve just purchased Simplicity 5961 on Etsy. I think the empire bust line is perfect and in fact the A-line skirt will be more wearable for my small height. I really do want this dress to be something I can wear a lot.

Simplicity 5961

I’ve already chosen and purchased two metres of royal blue pure wool crepe from Truro fabrics. Sheeesh – it was expensive. Whoever said making your own clothes is a money-saving option needs their head read.

If you’d like to sign up to this awesome challenge just mosey on over to Julia’s blog where she has a button and deets all waiting for you.

Wish me luck!

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25 thoughts on “Mad Men: The challenge

  1. Good luck!!! That pattern is lovely. I’ve been wondering whether to enter the challenge as well using pregnant Betty as my inspiration. Not sure I’m skilled / brave / crazy enough to though :-)

  2. I’m all for shamelessly copying – nothing wrong with that?! I’m making a blue Joanie shirt dress for the challenge. I’ve just ordered 3 metres of royal blue Bi-Stretch (whatever that is). I fear it may look a bit nylony though, will have to wait and see, happily I paid peanuts for it. Right, off to look at your Mad Men dresses on Pinterest. x

  3. I can completely understand your comment about the cost of making your own clothes. I am doing Simplicity 5914 for the Tilly challenge. My neighbor said she envied me making my own clothes because it’s so thrifty. I didn’t have the heart to tell her the fabric cost me $25 for the Simplicity skirt. Cost saving, no. Sanity saving, yes. When my life feels like it’s hanging by a thread (no pun intended), I head to the sewing machine for some “me time” therapy. Love the pattern you chose for the Mad Men challenge.

    • Absolutely true Pat. Although I suppose if you get a bargain fabric and you already have a tried and trusted pattern it evens things out! Love simplicity 5914 – a skirt will be a really flexible and wearable garment for Tilly’s week.

  4. Haha, I’m so in this boat! I’m doing Sew Colette and Tilly’s Challenge, but I was like, Mad Men? What? Yes, Julia, I will do anything you say….so I think I’m going to try to emulate a mix between someone Dr. Faye wore and a Joan Season 1 awesome thing. Let’s see how it goes….

  5. Ahhh I love Julia and her amazing creations too!!! I bashfully admit I’ve never seen Mad Men, but I adore the pics that everyone is posting; the styles are to die for!! :) I am overcommitted as it is, and getting behind in Sew Colette so I have to sit this one out… but I am enthralled with the idea of doing a copycat project – just have to learn a few more skills first; like maybe how to fit a bodice maybe perhaps?? LOL.

    Speaking of which, the very reason I (and I’m sure many others) decided to learn to sew my own clothes… not to save money, but to achieve that perfect fit, in the style, fabric, and colours we REALLY want ^__^ Feeling good in your clothing is priceless… wouldn’t most women pay anything to have that? :)

  6. Sounds like you are going to be busy…but I can’t wait to see what beautiful garments you make. I am all into the Couture Dress @ Craftsy class and just spent three evenings grading and marking the pattern, redrafting sleeves. I will have to pass on other challenges for now :o(

  7. I have a tonne on but I’m in too. Joanie all the way to the bank! Still not decided, which one but I’m gonna give it my all :) Can’t wait to see yours my dear :)

  8. I so want to ‘officially’ sign up to this, but I’m scared I won’t make it on time…or well for that matter (my track record with dresses is not great)! I love the pattern you’ve chosen to work with and I love how you’re going to make it your own with more of an A-line skirt. Can’t wait to see it ;o)

  9. I can’t think beyond my Minoru jacket and Tilly’s project without hyperventilating right now – but I can’t wait to see what everyone does with this challenge. Please don’t link to gorgeous, expensive fabric websites again!!! Sheesh, they have some gorgeous stuff. And those pries are per half metre!

    • I know Karen – it’s absolutely mental isn’t it? I did go to McCulloch & Wallis yesterday but their wool crepe was £35 a metre (and they didn’t have royal blue) so I saved a tiny bit by buying online.It needs to be dry cleaned too – what have I done!

      • It will be worth it. Quality fabric always looks so good. I’ve been dying to work with wool crepe for ages – I should just bite the bullet and invest. I saw some nice crepes at Goldhawk Road.

  10. Glory be – that is going to be amazing! I haven’t (whisper it) ever seen an episode of Mad Men but the images of dresses I see across the blogosphere are utterly compelling. And I agree with Karen – linking to fancy fabric sites should be made illegal! I must have a browse around… strictly for research, you understand!

  11. This is gooooorgeous! I can’t wait to see your version. :)

    I figure making my own clothes well is cheaper than buying well-made clothes in the stores.. Not always cheaper than Target, but waaaaaaay cheaper than, say, Banana Republic or Anthro or RL…

  12. Looking forward to seeing your finished dress!!! I am making the mustard colored dress that Rachel Menken wore. It’s the only one I think is simple enough for my beginner self to make!

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