The Not Everyone Can Be You Dress

You know how in your mind you may be one person but in reality you are in fact someone completely different? So, for example, in my own mind I’m thoughtful and contemplative, a bit shy, wryly funny, and rather ironic. To others, I think the irony and wryness shines through, but I doubt the other things take center stage, if I’m being honest. So just like I would love to be, long to be, crave being Joan Holloway (or Harris, take your pick) from Mad Men (like you don’t get the reference) , I know that in my heart of hearts, I’m Peggy.

And you know what? That’s really okay. After all, Peggy, despite her few enormous missteps, is actually doing quite well for herself. Girl has a job and an apartment and a cute radical boyfriend. She asserted herself with her boss, and she does something that makes her wildly happy. She even seems squared away with job and the Catholic Church, which is cool, if you’re into that kind of thing. She’s actually getting her life together. Joan, on the other hand, has her crappy sexual-assault prone-husband away in ‘Nam, she’s keeping Roger’s baby (spoiler alert), she gets no respect for her considerable talents at work, I mean, come ON. Still. She’s awesome. And I would love to be a Joan. But sometimes you just have to face the music, and dance. I’m a Peggy.

Still, a girl can dream. Or even be a Peggy with Joan flare, every once in a while. Just like Peggy herself did when she was trying to impress Playtex/assert herself as a woman. As Joan said, “stop dressing like a little girl”. And so she did:

And it was awesome. Peggy looks great in this shade of blue. But Joan, well, she rocks royal like it’s her job. Don’t believe me? Check it out:

Heh. This is from Nixon vs. Kennedy and they TOTALLY read Paul's one act play and it's amazing. This show. Always zigs when you think it's going to zag.

Or here:

But most of all, best of all, here:

I wouldn’t dye my hair red. I don’t really smoke, and I would feel a bit odd with that pen necklace, I think. But a royal blue dress? That I could do. And so I did. I used this pattern, McCall’s 7362, a vintage 1960’s darling from this etsy seller (thank you!)

And I used some royal blue wool purchased at my beloved Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet, bought at the PRINCELY sum of 14 dollars a yard (insane, for me, but WORTH it) to create this:

I took these photos with a mix of flash, which obliterates detail, and no-flash, which achieves an odd pink hue. I color corrected in picnik, but still. Sigh. First world problems.

The color is more like this:

And I love it. LOVE. IT.

The pleat detail is pretty cool, but it doesn’t really photograph all that well. But it looks a bit like this:

Cute, right? I like it. It’s less dramatic then on the pattern envelope (isn’t it ALWAYS?) but I like it. And the fit is lovely. It’s a touch big, but very comfortable and the sleeves fit really well, which has been a problem for me in the past. And with a belt the room in the waist is in now way noticable. Score.

I really like the slash neckline. It’s not lined, just faced, and I ended up hand stitching portions of the facing to the inside of the dress, just to make it lie flat and not re-assert itself.

This photo was altered using a setting in Picnik called Orton-ish. I don’t know what that really means, but I love it.

Yes, I’m feeling like a pimp, so I go ahead and brush my shoulders off. I made this dress over a month ago, but circumstances conspired to make me unable to photograph it until tonight. So there you have it, my blue wool “I want to be Joan but am Peggy but maybe just while I wear this I can be Joan” dress. I have to say, I should really make more of these. You are never going to be from Peggy to Joan on dreams alone. It takes really cute clothing. And accessories. Which I think I did well:

Which match:

This set belonged to my grandmother. I’m trying to wear more brooches. Don’t ask me why.

And there you are. Most of the time I may be a Peggy, but in this dress, I’m a Joan. Powerful. Sexy. Ready for anything, and wearing the shoes to match. How did I get so tied to a fictional character? Something to ponder, while I look AMAZING


Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


Filed under Clothing, Fabric, McCalls Patterns, Sewing

15 responses to “The Not Everyone Can Be You Dress

  1. lazystitcher

    OK, I love everything about this post. Your dress is gorgeous and your writing so true!

  2. Lovely, no…AMAZING dress and I love finding another person who is fusing/channeling Joan and Peggy !

  3. Your blue dress is absolutely STUNNING! You’ve done both Joan and Peggy proud!!

  4. oh, it’s lovely! i think every lady needs a killer primary-colored dress – so simple, but very very attention-grabbing 🙂

    i wanted to channel joan so i dyed my hair red, but i could never stay away from the bright/unnatural reds & keep myself in strawberry blonde territory. i think i’m more of a “peg bundy” type anyway lol 😉

    • Haha, well, Peg Bundy has her charms, and girlfriend WORKS the big hair in a way I sometimes secretly envy. Thanks for the compliments. I really do love the solid bright colors, as it turns out. I can’t wait to get my Colette Patterns Sewing Handbook for Chanukkah; I’ve heard that it has a section on editing your wardrobe and I can’t wait to paw through my clothing and see what I wear most, I suspect it’s going to be a lot of that…

  5. i think the best part about this dress is how much you love it! 🙂 you’re rocking the royal! very vintage office chic. and $14 a yard was definitely worth it.

    i think mad men has become like sex in the city. are you a charlotte or a miranda? now its are you a joan or a betty?

    • Thank you! I DO love this dress, I really do!
      It’s funny how we want to group ourselves into types. But I have to say, I would never want to be a Betty. I mean, she’s gorgeous but she’s so disturbed. And I love me some Trudy, but what a life she has!

  6. Really cute dress – it looks lovely on you and the colour is beautiful. A great Mad Men homage!

  7. Pingback: Not Only Is It 2012, But It’s Also Almost My One Year Blogiversery! | Struggle Sews a Straight Seam

  8. Your post came while I was doing research for my Joan costume this Halloween (2013) I love that you made your own dress is looks great. The power of Joan is in the confidence 🙂

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