Friday, March 30, 2012

the Joanie remodel

So like everybody else on We Sew Retro, I have been bitten by Mad Men fever this month. I didn't even realize that there was a sew-along going on for Mad Men dresses until this past week, but as soon as I caught on to what was going on, I decided that I had to join in on the fun too. So thank-you Julia Bobbin for the inspiration!

Instead of making a copy of a specific Mad Men dress, I was more inspired by specific fabrics.  One of the $15 estate sale dresses that I picked up a few weeks ago was this mid-century monstrosity.  Although the shape seems like something Betty might wear, the fabric reminded me of a dress that Joan wears in Season 4.  Both fabrics are a mottled mess of turquoise, olive, terracotta brown, and magenta.  It's so wrong, but oh so mid-century modern right!

In its original state, this dress was definitely wearing me more than I was wearing it.  And when I got it home and started looking at it in good light, I realized that all of the magenta and terracotta colored areas of the fabric had discolored to bright purple and blackish-brown on the bodice.  I'm not sure if that was from heat or perspiration or who knows what, but once I realized that, it drove me crazy and I couldn't look at anything else.  Then I discovered that the sewing thread was rotted and the whole dress was splitting at the seams as I was wearing it.  I started wondering why on earth I had bought this silly thing, so I decided that it was safe to put this dress out of its misery and reuse the undamaged skirt fabric for something new and improved. 

1953 - Simplicity 4410So the skirt of the original dress has now been reincarnated into a wrap blouse using this pattern from 1953.  Although the pattern dates from a decade earlier than the show, Joan wears a wrap blouse in Season 1 so I decided to go with it.  Plus it seemed like a very timeless blouse shape, so I might get away with wearing it in my modern wardrobe from time to time too.


1959 - Vogue 4079The skirt is a very basic pencil skirt made with this Vogue pattern from 1959.  I used some vintage estate sale wool from my stash for the skirt, and I picked this fabric because this type of warm brown is a color that Joan wears often on the show, including in the scene with the wrap blouse.  Although it was a snap to put together, I had to re-sew it 3 times before I could get it tight enough, and I'm still not wearing it anywhere as tight as how Joan wears her clothes!  The skirt pattern also had gathers in the front which made the fabric pooch out in an unattractive way, so I sewed darts in the front where the gathers were.  I really love the way this skirt turned out, and I can't wait to make more blouses to wear with it.

So that's pretty much it!  It was a really fun little diversion, and once again I was amazed by how fast vintage dresses are to make after working on older historical costumes the majority of the time.  This stuff is quite addictive. 










19 comments:

faith said...

This looks really amazing. Of all the Mad Men inspired outfits I've seen of late, this is definitely my favourite.

Trystan L. Bass said...

Ok, I admit, I hate most Mad Men anything, BUT, your outfit is so awesome! It's s'thing I'd wear to work & feel super powerful in! It's chic & stylish & not really of any specific era, IMO. Love the look :)

Maggie said...

Wow, you look fantastic!! Love it!

Samantha B. said...

this is FABULOUS!!!

Jenni said...

Beautiful! This is such a great era/look on you!

Lynne Williams said...

Great upcyle my dear. Your pencil skirt is oh so correct Most excellent!

Jo said...

This is MadMen without screaming retro and it's very flattering!

saraquill said...

How did you style your hair like that? Was it difficult?

Peggy of Plush Nest said...

such a great re-purposing of the dress. If you hadn't told us, I wouldn't have guessed that it started as the skirt. you look smokin' hot.

Silverstah said...

Love it!!! I would TOTALLY wear that outfit to work all the time. :)

Tara said...

This is a great ensemble!

busanalayali said...
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Sue said...

Lovely! This look is simply adorable. Great idea re-purposing the estate sale dress fabric.

mkonieczki said...

Incredible transformation of that estate find! You really did a wonderful job evoking Joanie with this project!

Liz said...

Agreeing with many others above. This outfit is timeless and I hope you wear the heck out of it. Smashing!

Lynneb said...

A fabulous re-do! It looks great!

frk.bustad said...

What a great outfit! The skirt looks superb, and very nicely fitted!

Magickwyrds said...

LOVE this whole ensemble! Great work- thanks for sharing!

Coupon Codes said...

Nice outfit! You look fabulous.

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