Tag Archives: Mad Men Challenge

The Sleeping In The Past Pajamas (Mad Men Challenge #2!)

I am a big pajamas fan. I know this is a strange thing to love and enjoy, but I do. I love pajamas. I love making them. I love wearing them. I think at this point it’s actually something I have almost entirely replaced in my wardrobe with all self-makes, which I honestly cannot say about any other group of clothing I own. I have actually always really enjoyed pajamas, especially pajama sets, and as a younger person I demanded such things of my parents for Hanukkah year after year, which is how I ended up with a set with cow prints on it that I loved so very much I couldn’t stand it. My mother eventually convinced me to give it up when it had almost fallen to pieces, but that was a sad sad day for me. And for cows, obviously.

I particularly love vintage pajamas, or pajamas that look vintage. Not the little fluffy sets, but the actual full pajamas with collars and cuffs. And when we recently made a pajama set at work for a production of Marisol, I admired the silky seperates, and even felt sad when we had to scuff them and cover them in fake blood (it’s a strange play, go with it). So I thought I would make myself a pair of pajamas as a memorial to those fallen comrades. I picked up a vintage pajama pattern, McCalls 4201:

4201amay250

and got to work, basing my pair vaguely off of these Mad Men duds:

0b843c9c384c57ccfaa113a767606fcd-1I actually have glasses like this but what’s his face hates them so they are rarely worn. Maybe if someone arranges for a home massage for me I will break them out again.

SITP 2.jpgThese are a bit looser then Joan’s, of course, but come on, I just don’t see the point of tailored pajamas. I might make the pants a little slimmer next time, but as it is, I’m very happy in these, and I slept wonderfully in them!

SITP 3.jpg

If you look at the pattern you can see there was originally a dart in these but I just let that go. I really don’t think bust shaping is going to help me sleep better.

The collar is nicely rounded, which makes it easy to turn:

SITP 6.jpgIt’s a little blurry but you get the idea. Also, I don’t did three buttons. PAJAMAS. ARE AWESOME.

SITP 1.jpgThe fabric is a kind of seersucker, which I don’t think you can see in these photos with little flowers on them. I got it from work. This was very much a work-inspired project, as you can see. The fabric is lovely and light-weight, and very comfortable, and I must say, this is extremely silly, but I kind of love feeling fashionably vintage even as I sleep. I swear I had sepia-tinted dreams. A

SITP 4.jpgA little back view. See, the pants are baggy, which, well, they should be, but they could probably slim down a bit. Ah, well, next time. This was an easy and fun pattern, I can see myself making it again. Maybe with short sleeves and shorts for summer? That could be cute…oh, I am just filled with pajama plans!

SITP 5.jpgI know, I’m not Joan. But at least I can sleep like she does now!

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Challenge, McCalls Patterns, Sewalong, Sewing, Vintage

The Coco Mademoiselle Dress (Mad Men Challenge #1!)

I’m not a big fan of bandwagons. Unless you count the musical, The Bandwagon, because it’s awesome and Cyd Charisse is amazing and because musicals about Broadway musicals are hilarious. Fred Astaire does a dance in an arcade, it’s great. The point is, I’m not a big follower, never really have been. In fact I can be quite contrary, often neglecting to do something because it’s so very popular. I literally just saw Frozen last week. And you know what? It’s a-god-damn-dorable. Seriously that thing is charming as hell. I have no idea what country or time period it’s supposed to be in, but whatever I just want Olaf the snowman to be my best friend. And we could have adventures with Sven the reindeer and sing together and live our lives in utter happiness in some unknown mildly Scandinavian country, oh, it would be so great! But, tragedy of tragedies, I don’t live that life. I guess I have to Let It Go, right?

Anyway, I have been trying to cure myself of this knee-jerk anti-following reaction when it comes to sewing. When it comes to moral decisions and Juicy Couture sweatsuits, I think it’s positive that I make up my own mind about it rather than following others, but when it comes to sewing, well, maybe imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? So when Tilly released her newest pattern, the Coco top/dress, I bought it almost immediately, and assembled it the same day. Only, I had to wait for my fabric to come, because despite my stash of jersey fabrics, this pattern demands a jersey with limited stretch. Honestly, I might try it in a stretchier fabric in the future because minimal stretch jerseys aren’t easy for me to find and also, comfort is essential to all things, because the more stretch int he fabric, the more food I can eat, the happier I will be. But for the first time around I wanted to follow the rules (well, sort of, more on that to come) and use the right fabric. So I waited patiently as Cocos popped up all over the internet, biding my time, telling myself it was worth it to wait and get it right. And you know what? I think it was!

CM 1.jpgOkay, so I mentioned that I stuck with the fabric recommended. What I did not do is leave the hem as it was drafted. First of all, I lengthened it quite a bit, because Tilly, waif that she is, has drafted this dress to be shorter then even my diminutive stature would be comfortable with. And then I realized that the original flare in Tilly’s design wasn’t working for me at this longer length, so I cut off a chunk, slimmed down the skirt, and added the extra fabric back in as a band, neatly finishing the hem and giving it a slimmer silloutte. And I always want the word slim to involved with me, frankly, so I love it!

CM 4.jpgSo this is the first of several, yes, I say, SEVERAL Mad Men Challenge Dresses! I love love love Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Challenge (huh, maybe I AM a follower!) and I’m always excited to sew tribute dresses for the show that has changed the face of fashion on television. Even now, as we head into late 1960’s hell, I’m going to make it work. That being said, my next copy-cat will probably go a couple of seasons back. Come on. Can you blame me? phontoWhen I saw the Coco, especially Tilly’s mod versions, I thought, I bet there are some Mad Men dresses out there along those lines. And low and behold:

4071fba39e658f13b2b0d51141f9d2a4And then there is this:

2718d06b3097c8045f4bcd908298640e

And also, this:

830e552d5a2071ec6e4aa843f7d7f7d3Coral knit shifts seem to be the uniform for brunettes at Sterling Cooper Draper Price. That and misogyny. AM I RIGHT? So I tried to use elements of all three:

CM 3.jpgIt’s darker than this photo would imply, but not by too much.

CM 8.jpg

What I really like about the design is the funnel neck, which is sort of like a turtleneck but has the added benefit of NOT making me look like the bustiest person who ever lived. Turtlenecks are not my jam, but I do like the way they look, so this offers me a tribute-neckline without the negatives.

CM 6.jpgI cut the back on the selvage and seamed it, and the front on the fold. The sleeves didn’t quite ease correctly so I gave them a little pleat at each shoulder seam. I have to say, the thickness of the fabric is nice because it adds structure and warmth, but it’s still a comfortable dress. I used a Ponte de Roma from GirlCharlee.

I finally had time, given that this is spring break for me, to take daytime photos in my apartment alone with my tripod. Not only is the light good, but it has the added benefit of being able to include a guest star:

CM 9.jpgHe’s ready for his close up:

CM 10.jpgAnd so am I!

CM 7.jpgBoy am I glad I followed the crowd on this one. This dress went from dinner to a show to drinks afterwards and back home again in perfect comfort. It’s a nice spring dress for this brisk New York weather, and it’s just insanely cute for such a simple shape. Thank you, Tilly. I’ll get on your bandwagon any time.

13 Comments

Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Sewalong, Sewing, Tilly and the Buttons

Me Made May 30, The East is East Dress

East is East is one of my favorite movies. AND my screenwriting teacher from the past semester, the incomparable Sabrina Dhawan, informed me that this is actually a play as well, which just blows my mind. But beyond that, I titled this dress with that name because this derives from the fabric my friend brought me from India. Really, he’s only my friend BECAUSE he bought me fabric. Yes, I’m a fabric prostitute, but with friendship. Fun fact, if you want me to like you as a human, just bring me some fabric. It’s really that easy. Oh, and be awesome. That helps too. But honestly, I can forgo the being awesome for the fabric, and will, nine times out of ten. So, you know, one or the other. Whatever works for you. OH. Or have a great dog, like, a really wonderful dog. No poodles. All bulldogs. Okay, so there are lots of ways to be friends with me. Honestly, if you show up with whiskey I’ll probably give you the time of day. I know, classy dame.

ANYway. The thing I made. It is a dress! And I adore it…

EIE 7The pattern is Simplicity 5355, a vintage pattern from 1964. It has gathers at the waist on the back and front bodice pieces which is a bit odd, but I’m okay with it. Initially I was a bit concerned about this fit, because I very much did not muslin it, because I am a degenerate, but it somehow worked out! It’s a little billowy, especially in the back, but it’s comfortable and I just belt it and go.

I actually made this for my Mad Men Challenge dress, and, like a fool, didn’t get around to photographing it until THREE DAYS AGO. Fail. Just, fail. It’s inspired by Megan’s outfits of the previous season, which I think were sort of Indian influenced:

02f4d7d2bb7d9301d5d73af4f1766325

b07bab9533f266f9d37ece000ca6e488Especially the second one. I’m not one to imitate Megan, because, um, I don’t exactly share her attributes, but I figured a sheath dress can work for both of us. Thoughts?

EIE 1I do so love this fabric, it’s an ikat and a bit darker then it seems in these yellowy indoor photos. I took these at work at the costume shop, because I really wanted to prove that I work in a costume shop, I was a bit worried that you might think it was all an elaborate ruse…I am so prone to ruses.

EIE 3I went for the sleeveless version. Obviously.

EIE 4A little semi-back view for you, or as my boss Sam, (hi, Sam!) says, the 3/4 view. THEATER. It’s the best. It’s got a word for everything. How nice is it that my boss took these? She is the best. Friday was my last day at the shop until August (and oh! In the Fall they are doing Ragtime and I made the majority of a corset last week, so I’m feeling like a boss, or at least an account manager of some time), and so I’ve got the summer off from the shop and then come August it’s chemises and bloomers and 1910’s stuff galore!

EIE 2The back view. I have nothing to say about this, except that I like it, and that I hope internet creepsters don’t find it.

EIE 5It wouldn’t be a blog if I didn’t share the moments in which I look like I’m having a seizure. And here is one of them…

I’m trying to think of any construction details that are worth mentioning. Really this was a very simple dress to make. I ommitted facings and lined the bodice in white cotton, and hand picked the back zipper like I always do, and there is a tiny kick pleat. Should I make this again, I would extend the kickpleat up the back of the skirt, because given that I am short and even the “short” version of the pattern which I shortened on the pattern piece seems to have been made for a gazelle, I kind of ate up the kickpleat shortening the skirt once I had assembled it. Sigh, it is my cross to bear…Other then that I think this one was easy peasy lemon squeezy.

EIE 6I’m doing the pigeon toe thing here. I always see it on fashion blogs and they look so elegant and guileless. I think I look like I’m about to fall. Oh, well…

And there you go! I have one more Me Made May post to go, a new outfit that deserves its own induvidual post, and then we are DONE. Thank goodness. I’m exhausted.

12 Comments

Filed under Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Uncategorized, Vintage

“Don’t go to the well, Peter, there’s no more water there”

People, sometimes being a planner can be a problem. I’m all about the plan, the inspiration board, the concept. I thought I had this Mad Men Challenge in the bag people. IN THE BAG. The best laid plans of mice and men. Am I right? AM I RIGHT?

Let me start by saying, I am a huge fan of the TV show. Just a really huge fan. I know there are people out there who are into it for the vintage style and the pretty ladies, and that’s all well and good. And I know there are people who don’t even like the show itself, and while I literally can’t understand that, I totally respect your right to not invest in the story. Hey, man, I couldn’t get past chapter 1 of The Hunger Games (but I swear I’m going to try again! It’s such a  disturbing concept…) and I don’t even watch The Wire! So I’m guilty of some stuff. When it comes to Mad Men, however, I am a fanatic. So if you don’t get some of the references and direct quotes coming up, just ignore them, that’s totally fine by me. But know this. They will be coming at you fast and furious. Get excited.

Let me first say that I knew from the very begining that I didn’t want to emulate Joan. Don’t get me wrong, I love Joan. I love Christina Hendricks! I loved her on Life! Remember Life? Great show. Sorry it was canceled. Damien Lewis, please feel free to CALL ME. But I didn’t want to go for Joan. SO mainstream. How can I express my true and complete fandom by dressing like the one character everyone knows? So I thought at first I was going to replicate something of Trudy Campbell’s. Not only does she have the same last name of one of the best people I know (talking to you, Lisa!), but I just adore her. Yes, she has gotten repeatedly screwed (on many levels, HEYo!) by Pete, and yes, she wears some insane hats. But I love her. Girlfriend is a treat. “This is America, you don’t just SHOOT the President!” Fact. Love her. But then I realized that because Trudy is so fashion-forward (read, trend obsessed) she rocks a lot of ensembles that don’t suit my personal taste. Okay, I thought, I have a near-encycolpedic knowledge of this show, let’s do this. I did love me some Helen Bishop! All progressive and pro-Kennedy despite her son Creepy Glen and her scandalous divorce. But she’s clearly an Autumn. And I’m a winter. That’s no good. Megan and I have simular coloring! But she’s a stick. And also more into the late 60’s aesthetic which frankly is abhorrent to me on so many levels. (Mod and I do NOT get along.) Allison is pretty! But she dressed pretty terribly, let’s admit that, shall we? Plus, she slept with Don and then freaked out and took it out on Peggy (and I’m very protective of Peggy) so I don’t want her life. Kitty is cute! But rather garish, though I do love her! And I don’t want to end up married to a gay man. Dr. Faye is super cute! But she’s a blond. That’s not happening.  And I’m not really into the boho thing going down with Madge (though I love me some Rosemary DeWitt). As a Jew and the decendent of department store owners, the Rachel Mempkin thing seemed a TOUCH on the nose, plus her best thing were her suits, which I don’t feel up to right this minute, or this amazing nightgown: Super practical. Where WOULDN’T I wear that? I loved this golden dress Bobbie Barrett wore, but I really have been trying to shop my stash and there is a curious lack of gold up in there: Besides, who wants to emulate Bobbie? Girl had issues. “The full Don Draper treatment”? Gross. I’m not going to discuss Betty and Peggy, because my mom already thinks I dress like a little girl, so those full skirts and florals aren’t going to do me any favors, and besides, I already have a ton of ’em.

So there I was. Sigh. I didn’t want to go there, I really didn’t, but in the end, I ended up with Joan. Still, if you have to end up with anyone as your inspiration, oughtn’t it to be the most gorgeous woman on television? With curves for days and some of the best most silkily delivered insults anyone has every heard? “The last thing I would have thought Paul was was open minded”. GOOD lord. “I’m not a solution to your problem. I’m just another problem.” JOAN. Be my friend, please. Thanks.

So I decided to try and emulate one of her outfits. No big deal, right? Of course not, easy peasy lemon squeezy. I wanted to use Simplicity 4558, which I had bought on Etsy. HOWEVER. When I took said pattern out to make a muslin, I had the shocking realization that this pattern is skirtless. I mean, I’m sure there was a skirt originally included but somehow I had bought the pattern without a skirt. No wonder it was so cheap….

Okay, I thought, I can use a skirt from so other source, no problem. Then I make the bodice muslin. And I just thought, no. This is not good. I do not like this. A. it needs a FBA (god, that’s just going to be my life, isn’t it? How did I get away with not doing them for TWO YEARS?) and B. I just didn’t love it! So what was I to do? Then, like manna from the heavens, I thought, the Pastille dress! I like the pattern, I’ve already adjusted it to fit my frame, I know how to make it, let’s do it! I ditched the pale pink and pulled out a hot magenta viscose I had bought at Mood Fabric all those months ago. It has a great drape and a nice hand (look at me, using fabric words!) and I thought it would be perfect in replicating that amazing magenta dress Joan wears. Of course, it’s a promo dress, I don’t think it ever made it onto the actual show, but you know what? I don’t even care. I DON’T EVEN CARE.

Ah, Joan, you help me stay calm.

So anyway, I’m almost done the bodice and then it’s skirt darts, attach skirt, install zipper and hem. I’ve made a few adjustments to the original pattern that I will outline later in more detail, but I’m just so thrilled to have something that I’m happy with and happy to be making and, hopefully, pays homage to one of my favorite things on television. And I watch a LOT of TV, folks, so that’s a stiff competition right there.

So, what’s going on with you? Are you a Mad Men fan, or do you just not get the hype? Did my Hunger Games confession concern you? I promise, I’m going to try again!

24 Comments

Filed under Clothing, Colette Patterns, Inspiration, Sewing

Ba-car-di-Eisenhower

Happy March, everyone!

I’m off today to Puerto Rico for a four-day trip, so I wont be back until Monday evening, but I wanted to leave you with my March crafting plans! Looking ahead, which is what I do, I’m a planner, I can tell that March is, more likely than not, going to be a bitch, schedule wise, so let’s hope I can actually accomplish the list of things I’ve created in my sewing notebook (that charming little covered moleskin featured in my Jump Or Be Pushed Jacket photos)! But at the very least I plan to continue with my Sew Colette challenge (expect a final draft of the Pastille to come, and then it’s on to the Truffle!) and I’m also joining in on the Mad Men Challenge, and I’m using this pattern:

To make a replica of this dress:

I was totally going to go Trudy, guys. I mean, everyone is going Joan, you know? I don’t want to be a follower….But in the spirit of the replica, and in an effort not to buy any new fabric I would rather “shop” my stash and Joan it up. However, in my defense, it’s also reminiscent of this awesome dress worn by Dr. Faye:

Nice, right? Oh, Dr. Faye, you were so awesome. Don, I love you, but you are a stupid stupid man. Megan? Have you seen her TEETH? COME on.

As an added bonus, I may or may not also make this, just for kicks:

Oh! And the lovely Lavender of the delightful Thread Square has gifted me with an award! How lovely is that! This is, in fact, why I think of her as lovely Lavender…(and have you SEEN her Sew Weekly contributions? Girlfriend is on FIRE)

My face is just one giant blush right now. Just one big giant blush.

And now I’m supposed to pass this thing along. So pass it I shall!

According to Lavender:

The Liebster Award is designed to send some love to the online stitching community, and when giving the award, one should stick to blogs with under 200 followers. (Note from Leah: I don’t know how to gauge this, so I’m just going to give it away willy nilly. Just try to stop me.) In other guidelines:

  • You must acknowledge the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  • Give this award to 5 other bloggers. Please let them know through a comment on their blog.
  • Post this wonderful award on your blog.
  • Bask in the glory bestowed upon you and appreciate all the amazing bloggers out there.
  • Enjoy and spread the good vibes around.

I can totally do all of those things. Thank you, Lavender! So here are my five choices, though I can honestly say that ever blog I read deserves an award! Thank you all for your lovely creations, wonderful stories and awesome advice. Go forth and enjoy your awards!

Cindy of Cation Designs

Misty of Misty Skies Aloft

Natalie of Splatastic

Kelli of True Bias

Leah (awesome name) of A Vintage Thread

Now, I’m off to San Juan, and in my bag I’ve got at least 3 garments to photograph in the hot Caribbean sun. Have a lovely weekend, folks! Anyone up to anything fun? March crafting plans? Upcoming trips? Share is out!

7 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage