Finished Object: Mad Men Challenge - Betty's Picnic Dress

11:13 PM

Finally!!!  After a long weekend of marathon sewing, I've finished my first successful garment of 2013!

I'd originally planned to make Trudy's blue party dress for Julia's Mad Men Challenge, since last year's attempt was a bust, but, once again it wasn't meant to be.  Royal blue cotton sateen just wasn't to be found.  Even when I ordered it online, the order was canceled and I was left with no fabric.

But, what luck that I should remember this red and pink floral cotton sitting in my stash.  And, how much I had liked the sundress Betty's wore for a picnic in season 2.  Clearly, I was meant to be a Betty this year.  I'm even taking on a Betty trait... sticking to the older, fuller fashions rather than embracing the cute mod looks so many of you are sporting.


Even browsing through my vintage patterns, I couldn't find one with the right silhouette.  So, I searched every pattern currently available to find a bodice with spaghetti straps and no princess seams (I'm so bad at trimming those).  New Look 6886 was the one and only.  With two muslins, (yes! me! muslins!!) I turned out to be just what I wanted.


The pattern's skirt, however, was too modern.  I planned on using a vintage Simplicity pattern but, when I took out the pieces for ironing, I discovered only the pattern's coat pieces remained!  Oops.  So, I turned to retro Butterick 5747 for its similar style lines.  Once I folded out the button placket, it was a perfect fit.  I just love the box pleats!

In the end, my Franken-pattern, and a tweak or two of my own, have me a comfortable cotton sundress with just the right vintage touches to make me smile.  I couldn't be happier to be sewing again and I feel like this was a huge win.





And, of course...
Not to worry.  No trash was left behind in this park.

Stash/spending notes:
Fabric:  2 yards floral cotton broadcloth from stash – $6 from Fabric Mart; .5 yard white mercerized cotton batiste – $3.75 from Gail K
Pattern:  New Look 6886 for the bodice (with modified straps) – $3.95, Butterick 4757 for the skirt (button plackets removed) – $1
Year:  Contemporary/Retro 1960
Notions:  invisible zipper from stash – $.50?, grosgrain ribbon from stash
Time to complete:  Way too long, as usual
First worn:  22 April 2013
Wear again?  Absolutely!! I believe "enamored" is the word I keep using :D
Total cost:  ~$15*
*Can I just say how proud I am that I shopped my stash for everything but the lining!  Woo hoo... that's 1 down, 7 more to go!

For those interested in more modification/construction detail, I posted my notes on Pattern Review.  (I've really got to get the hang of this blogging thing again!)

Happy sewing! x

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38 comments

  1. Adorable dress!! I'm in love with florals, as you probably know hehehe. Very pretty Betty dress xx

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    1. Thanks, Neeno!! Actually, I thought of you when I realized I'd decided on a floral dress with fitted bodice and full skirt :)

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  2. Oh, this is so pretty, you look adorable! Nice work!

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  3. Yay you're back and with a gorgeous dress to boot! So pretty!

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    1. I am and I'm so excited! (You can't tell, can you ;) Thanks!!

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  4. This looks absolutely stunning! What a fabulous tribute to the picnic dress :) I love the Frankenpattern magic you've worked here!

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  5. Wow - this is really beautiful. The fit is fantastic. I really love the little bows on the straps - so cute! And your photos are so lovely!

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    1. Thanks, Suzie! It turns out, muslins are worth the extra effort (who knew! ha!) - I'm so pleased with the results. I'm glad you like the bows - I hoped they'd be a cute vintage touch but, they're secretly also a cheat...spaghetti straps frequently fall off my shoulders so, I wanted to make them adjustable. Shh ;)

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  6. Your dress is so so great! I'm loving every inch of it. Thanks for letting us enjoy the close up pictures. I always love a mix of those...and somehow I always forget to post my own. :) Perfect dress.

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    1. Thank you, Leila!! I always love them on other blogs too but, rarely remember to take them. Lucky for me, Brandon is eager to enhance his photography skills :)

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  7. Wow Jennifer, your dress is beautiful. It was clearly meant to be (move over Trudy, you're a supporting character!)

    Unfortunately for me, I'm beginning to forget the early series and most of the dresses in it... But I don't think I'll ever forget the Drapers picnicking then chucking their empties in the bushes!!

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    1. Thank you, Marge! I'd have to agree - since nearly everything was in my stash waiting for me, it seems it was meant to be :)

      Ugh, who *could* forget that scene!? So terrible by today's, fortunately, more eco-conscious standards.

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  8. Love your dress!
    P.S. You should use one of those top 2 photos for your profile pic because the sun glowing around your curls looks fab!

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    1. Aww, thanks!! I've actually been meaning to change my profile pic for a while. Maybe I'll try one of these out :)

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  9. I love the fabric you chose! It's a perfect Betty Draper dress. I'm with you -- I prefer the full-skirted, earlier looks to the more current mod dresses.

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    1. Thanks, Cindy!! You wear the fuller styles so well. I don't think I have the right look for mod but, I do see more of these in my future too :)

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  10. Such a pretty dress I love the fabric looks great! Perfect for summer!

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    1. Thanks, Erin! This one is definitely coming with me for our Independence Day vacation.

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  11. This dress is heaven!! Love it so much. Beautiful photos. Great job Frankenpatterning!!
    Shelley

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  12. This is so cute!!!!! I love it! You look absolutely adorable!

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  13. Beautiful! So gorgeous and elegant :)

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  14. Rachel RasmussenMay 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    That is so dainty and lovely! Great job :)

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  15. This is so pretty! You look so adorable in it!

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  16. That dress is absolute perfection. I confess I've got a chunk of that fabric in my stash as well. Between the giant roses and the wee bit of stretch, it looks like it's perfect for vintage dresses!

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  17. How kind! Thank you, Joni!! I'd love to see what you make from the fabric. :)

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  18. Hello Jenny, that really is a cute and quite perfect dress.

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  19. Hope you don't mind me posting. Love classic fashions.

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