Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men challenge 3: Megan Draper inspired shift dress

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So at the last minute I am happy to say that my Mad Men inspired dress (as part of Julia Bobbin’s mad men challenge) is complete!

Those who follow me on instagram have witnessed my dress angst. I love the final result, but I am not exaggerating when I say: this dress made me crazy! I even became a bit superstitious about it towards the end. It seemed like a simple and easy design, but much like Don Draper attempting to have a monogamous relationship- it was doomed from the start! Anyway, more on that later (the dress, not Don sorry)…So here is the inspiration:

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I am not even going to attempt to do a Megan Draper impersonation, shes so fabulous and beautiful but I look nothing like her and besides the old fashioned telephone is at my parents house…my boyfriend and I don’t even have a landline!  Kind of wish I had my ears pierced so I could rock some earrings with this dress!

Feel free to click on the images to englage! They look better that way and my blog template shrinks them down a lot 😦

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I lost track of all the alterations I made to this dress, because there were so many. The main problem was the neck and the stand collar. When I originally tried it on, it was so tight and restrictive that I could not see myself ever wearing it. I think the burda pattern I used was an original repro pattern! Folks back then must have been used to things that were restrictive around the neck, but I just can’t handel anything that is too tight there (and my neck is not big)!

I took the side seams of the dress in and because of this alteration I also had to take the sleeves in, which in turn probably made the neckline even tighter!

Initially I thought I could just reduce the tightness in the neck by sewing out into the seam alloance a bit, but that did not do enough. I eventually ended up cutting off about 1 cm from the collar and the neckline and reattaching the collar. Golly there were a lot of tucks to contend with.

This project got me very well acquainted with my unpicker! Another challenge was the unusual darts at the shoulders. Even though these sleeves are raglan sleeves, they had these curved shoulder darts, which probably enhanced the fit, but boy did I re-sew those shoulder darts many times, very tricky to get them right (everyone’s shoulders are unique especially mine).

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I really like the fit of the dress, it’s sort of semi fitted. The print placement is OK. I am pretty proud of the placement on the little stand collar…The sleeves are so cute! I love the slight belle effect. Going through my photos I noticed how many of them had me with hands on hips, but that’s just because it makes the sleeves look cool, I promise!

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I really like the curved bust darts! So many 60’s dresses have them and I was surprised that they give a good fit. I also really enjoy wearing this fabric, it’s a cotton of some description and it has a bit of stretch, seems to be the perfect dress weight! Sorry about the shoes! I wish I had cute 60s shoes, I have been on the lookout for some!

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Despite my lack of expertise on the topic, I feel like this really does have a late 60s feel, I don’t know if someone as glamours as Megan Draper would wear it, but for a silly gal like me it works. As soon as Sydney gets cooler I will wearing it with some tights perhaps black or an embellished fishnet pattern!

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I can’t wait to see everyone Mad Men dresses and I am VERY excited about Mad Men’s return. I actually thought last season was one of the best, but if I told you more about my views on the show, I would risk revealing spoilers….

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The fit of the back is good :). Ugh 😦 I hate short hair that is long at the back! this is before the back of my hair was trimmed…Looks better now.

Who else is looking forward to the final season of Mad Men?

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28 comments
  1. Alice said:

    Oh this has turned out sooo well! I love it! It is definitely very 60s, and you can really pull it off!

    • Thanks Miss! Love your Betty blouse and congrats on the feature on your gorgeous wedding dress! 😀

  2. This is a great Megan Draper dress! And it looks great on you – all those sewing struggles were worth it! 🙂

  3. Jo said:

    Wow! Great dress! Too bad about the fitting woes – I have this pattern which I specifically bought because I love those curved darts too! I hadn’t noticed the shoulder darts before, but between the neckline and the darts, I may have to muslin this dress before diving into any fabric that is too precious (I have been known to skip that stage for less fitted styles especially!). Do you think this dress would work in a heavier stable knit? I am thinking maybe for winter.

    I am in Sydney too. Have you joined the Sydney Spoolettes Facebook group yet? Lots of great meet-ups are being organised.

    • Thanks Jo :). I think a muslin is a good idea. The darts can be adjusted without one, but the neckline was a little problematic so yeah, worth doing one!

      I think a stable knit is a good choice for this one! I saw this made up in a ponte or something of that sort and it worked really well!

      I’m not on facebook but I would love to hang out with fellow sewing enthusiasts, so I should get on that! 😀

  4. erin said:

    So glad the dress turned out well in the end. I know what you mean about changing one thing and it affects another. And I wouldn’t feel comfortable in a close fitting neckline either. Your dress looks like the dresses my aunties wore in the 60s and you’ve got fabulous Twiggy-ish hair to match!

    • Thanks Erin! I love the fact that this reminds you of the dresses your aunties wore in the 60s, I take that as a huge compliment, because that must mean it has a real 60s feel 😀

  5. sooo super cute on you! glad you persevered and didn’t succumb as donnie d would have.

    i’d love to see this with a big chunky long necklace…..

    • Haha Thank you! I love the Donnie d reference :).
      Perhaps it is crying out for some jewelry!

  6. Such a perfect Megan dress. She’s still my favorite. Definitely looking forward to season 7. You really made this dress work. It was well worth the effort.
    What’s your Instagram handle? I’m @shelleyhesson.
    You are rocking it, as always!
    Shelley

    • Thank you Shelley! it’s @kathborup. Yay! followed 😉

  7. At least your struggles paid off, this dress is so cute, and it fits you beautifully. Really really nice. You look like you belong in the 60s! You must have been wearing a shift dress in the womb – they all look so amazing on you.

    • Gosh that is the loveliest compliment :)! Thank you so much Kat!

  8. A) You are WAY cuter than Megan. B) This is adorable! I’m so glad you spent the time working out the issues with this dress because it’s super sweet.

    • A) You are so kind! I’m not sure that’s true but i’m going to pretend it is lalala hehe B) So happy you thought it was worthwhile!

  9. Sue said:

    Ooh, I love the way it turned out! The little collar is too adorable. 😀

    • You reign supreme as queen of the madmen challenge with your gorgeous Peggy dress, but so happy you like it 🙂

  10. I can’t imagine anything being tight on your neck! Must’ve been a strange pattern quirk. I think you nailed the look – I’m glad you persevered. And please do share your instagram name!

    • Thank you Morgan! Yes! My inital alterations (side seams and sleeves) probably didnt help, but I don’t think anyone would have been comfortable with a neckline that tight. My instagram is @kathborup

  11. This looks great. I made this dress and it was a nightmare for me! I got so confused by the welt pockets and I had major fitting issues. Yours looks fab! Oh and I love your hair shorter 🙂 Bring on Season 7 of Mad Men here’s hoping Pete and Peggy get together the tension is driving me crazy!!

    • Thank you! So glad I’m not the only one that found this pattern to be a challenge! Good on you for doing the welt pockets, I just decided to leave them off from the get go, because I’m cowardly like that heh.
      I know! The show can’t start soon enough!

  12. Mags said:

    Love your dress and it really suits you, I particularly like the sleeve shape. I went for Joan.

    • Thanks! Nice! Look forward to seeing your Joan dress 🙂

  13. What a talent. The dress is fabulous, retro, but on trend at the same time. I’ve got some lovely 50’s earrings that would complement it perfectly.
    A really interesting post.

    • Thank you :D! Makes me wish I had my ears pierced!

  14. Okay…you are Megan Draper! Fantastic choice of dresses for you! You look fabulous! The locket and the pumps really bring the whole look to perfection for me!

    • Hey Sue, thanks for the lovely comment, you are so sweet! 🙂

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