Mad men Challenge 3: Don’t raid grandma’s closet.

Mad men Challenge 3: Don’t raid grandma’s closet.

Hi friends,

Sewing challenges are so much fun. They unite the wide community to make something, share and I feel that much is gained when one take part. I have joined Julia’s mad men challenge from the start (v1. v2) and this is my third year entry. 
Let’s start addressing the elephant in the room: I’m not keen on this make. This dress is so blergh!
I like all the singular elements alone but not combined. Like when you put many of your favourite foods together and the final recipe turned out wrong.
The fabric colours are my favourites (navy and forest green). The knit fabric is soft to wear but the outside texture looks like old furnishing. One of the reasons that would give my outfit an authentic vintage feel. The fabric travels well. More than 3 hours on a car and all day wearing before pictures. I even dropped diet coke on it in transit. Opps.
The pattern: Simplicity 2145.  I love the blue version of the envelope cover. Wrap and fake wrap clothes are up high on my list of favourite styles. Just check a few: Ultimate wrap, Coppelia, Reese Skirt, DVF, Summer wrap dress…
Cut size 10, lengthen 3 inches on the bodice. The back was still too big so I took 1 inch from CB. The fit was still loose so I added 2 extra pleats on the front and back skirt.
The skirt part of the dress is not what bothers me the most, altho I feel the back pleats don’t look particular flattering. I lack a bit of booty which in theory a bit volume would help.
What bothers me is the bodice front. No, I’m not wearing any extra padded bra either my boobs grown massively from last make.
 The excess of fabric, print combination and ‘decotage’ hight give me a heavy top illusion.
Not as bad on the side where I’m back to my proportions.
The pattern wrap goes under the pleat and was gaping so badly. I had to raise the neckline, sewing both of the sides after I finished. Suits the vintage look of the challenge but makes me feel so old. 
Leaving it open was an option but I would need to wear a slip underneath and the excess fabric was just wrong.
I have stabilised the neckline with normal bias and worked quite well. I will be doing that again. 
The fake wrap was made but removed because was adding even more attention to the front bodice area.
My inspiration for the challenge was the early 70’s so I’m giving you an “old feel”picture.

When I think about my sewing failures they gone though a clear evolution. Before it was mainly “bad sewing”. As my sewing got better with time the failures are turning to be based on my aesthetics taste. I do mess up badly sometimes when trying something new but mostly can be saved by unpicking and redoing. 

I’m a lot more critical to what I choose to wear in terms of handmade. Before I was just proud to make something and who cares if it’s all wonky. Now I feel there is a certain expectation from myself and others in the quality of what I make and wear.  Well, I’m digressing again.  Would I make this pattern again? No. There are too many changes and other patterns I like more. I’m not wearing this fabric again either. Let’s be honest here, you won’t see me wearing this dress again.
  • Very beautiful! Your dress is perfect

  • Sue

    Oh, I think this is so cute and quite wearable! I can definitely relate to feeling “meh” about a finished project that had so much potential to feel awesome, though. le sigh.

  • This really doesn’t look as bad as you seem to think…even the fabric looks nice (in the pictures) but ultimately if YOU don’t love it it doesn’t matter what anyone else says!! But I think you look fab in it. X

  • This really doesn’t look as bad as you seem to think…even the fabric looks nice (in the pictures) but ultimately if YOU don’t love it it doesn’t matter what anyone else says!! But I think you look fab in it. X

  • I love the fake wrap and I love the fabric too! Such a shame that the bust area just didn’t work for you this time. Your figure is so beautiful that you should only wrap yourself in beautiful garments!

  • I love the fake wrap and I love the fabric too! Such a shame that the bust area just didn’t work for you this time. Your figure is so beautiful that you should only wrap yourself in beautiful garments!

  • Not a bad dress, but just not you! (Looks more like something I’d wear to teach in, which is generally not the look you go for! ;P) Give it away so you won’t feel bad for not wearing it!
    I just made a couple Carmine jacket/shrug/thingys that were technically fine, but all wrong in fit and style… and I won’t be wearing them either! Now that I’ve got a closet full of clothes I love, I’m much less accepting of things that are just good enough. I’m glad you posted your dress though – Always nice to know none of us hit home runs every single time! 🙂

  • I think the dress is lovely and elegant. It would look amazing with knee-high boots and a floppy wide-brimmed hat!

  • I think the dress is lovely and elegant. It would look amazing with knee-high boots and a floppy wide-brimmed hat!

  • Lovely coloured fabric that suits you, and I think you have dissected the problem with the bodice perfectly ~ not a failure at all, just a small design fault that you aren’t happy with. You could always just add a different top half in a plain fabric in a style that you prefer … J

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    • Hi Rachel,
      I have a very similar body shape to you. I find that empire waistlines generally don’t suit me for the reasons you mention above: not flattering on the but and creating a top heavy illusion. Maybe this is why the dress doesn’t work for you?

  • Awe, I don’t think the fabric or the dress is that bad. But I understand when an dress or garment doesn’t feel or fit right it is not going to be worn.

  • I think this is all types of wonderful, but I completely understand all of your reasonings as to why you won’t wear it again. (sigh, if only I lived near you!!!). My Cake RedVelvet was the same, so blurghh on me, but I hope someone has picked it it from the op shop & is wearing it & enjoying it 😉

  • Beautiful pictures and a sweet dress! 🙂
    Kisses
    Tabea

    Auf Wolke 3

  • Beautiful pictures and a sweet dress! 🙂
    Kisses
    Tabea

    Auf Wolke 3

  • That is such a shame you don’t feel comfortable in it, there’s a lot going for it and the fabric is beautiful, but if it’s not ‘you’ then you’ll never feel comfortable in it. You still look gorgeous by the way 🙂

  • That is such a shame you don’t feel comfortable in it, there’s a lot going for it and the fabric is beautiful, but if it’s not ‘you’ then you’ll never feel comfortable in it. You still look gorgeous by the way 🙂

  • What a shame you don’t like it, always a bummer after all that work. But you sound pretty decided that it’s not for you! I love the print though x

  • T

    Nothing as disappointing as investing a lot of time and love into something you make and then feeling all “meh” about it when it’s finished. In the midst of your stunning makes of late this one is good but if doesn’t feel like your style ditch it. Life is short and an ocean of other fabric awaits!

  • i have just made a dress in the very same fabric and i too love the colours but know what you mean about the texture. It sewed up much better than i thought it would and is so easy to wear. mine is a simple shift dress 60’s style; I used new look 6145 without the collar and with long sleeves. I think your dress looks great but i so know what you mean about things not feeling right. I have a fair few garments i have made that i am not totally happy with, though i have decided to wear them a few more times and accessorize differently and see if they work better for me before i decide to keep or pass on.

  • What are you talking about? This dress looks really good? Maybe the photos are making it look better, but I actually really like it on you.
    Anways, it’s always disappointing to reach the end of a project and realize you don’t like the finished product. Put it aside in a cloth swap bin and trade it later for sometheing else you’ll like more. That weay it won’t feel as bad!

  • What are you talking about? This dress looks really good? Maybe the photos are making it look better, but I actually really like it on you.
    Anways, it’s always disappointing to reach the end of a project and realize you don’t like the finished product. Put it aside in a cloth swap bin and trade it later for sometheing else you’ll like more. That weay it won’t feel as bad!

  • Things like that happen to me all the time. And whenever I say I don’t like it, people always say they do 😛 I think it is cute on you! But if you don’t wear it, you don’t wear it, right? I think you sold me on the pattern though, lol. I have plenty of booty and not a lot of cleavage, so top heavy and no volume on the bottom sound perfect 😉 Sorry it didn’t work out for you! Hopefully you can reuse the fabric for a shirt or colour/pattern blocking dress or something.

  • Oh my gosh, I was there in the 70s, and the problem is that the center front is going up too high in the bust. Take that seam down in between your breasts, just like in the movie “American Hustle.” We used to hang out all over the place. What were we thinking LOL!
    There are vintage patterns by Halston on Ebay that will give you the right look. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/325525879287318970/ All cleavage, with the hem right below the knee. Check out the Diane Von Furstenberg patterns from the 70s, too. It was a very specific look. I’m so glad you gave it a try, though!

  • Rachel, I am so sorry that the dress didn’t work for you.. You did a great job making it.. It looked really pretty on you..but when we are not comfortable in our makes….just not worth wearing..
    Happy Sewing.

  • I really like this dress on you, but I can see what you mean about the boob area. I think things always look much worse to the person wearing them though…

  • We all have makes like that Rachel! I made a wrap dress last year which was just all wrong. I think just chalking it up to experience is a good way to look at it. I think the dress and the fabric suits you overall but like others have said if its not you then its not worth worrying about! x

  • Oh dear – there is nothing like a pattern that in theory is perfect but then doesn’t come together. This is still a cute make but totally understandable why you wouldn’t go with the pattern again!

  • I really like the dress on you – maybe give it time or try styling it differently? What was your inspiration dress – I’m guessing this is a “Megan?”

  • Oh no! I’m sorry it didn’t work out 🙁 hope your coat is giving you more joy!

  • Oh no! I’m sorry it didn’t work out 🙁 hope your coat is giving you more joy!

  • oh rach! this is the one blue envelope that gave me grief. not their best effort. i know you’re decided, but maybe put her in the closet for a bit. she’s a fun running-errands-need-to-look-cute-quick dress, no???

  • oh rach! this is the one blue envelope that gave me grief. not their best effort. i know you’re decided, but maybe put her in the closet for a bit. she’s a fun running-errands-need-to-look-cute-quick dress, no???

  • Just beautiful Rachel!

  • Isn’t it funny how, as you become a better sewist, the things that would have once been a win are now only so-so? Sorry it didn’t work out.

  • I’ll be honest I think you look cracking but I totally understand when you don’t feel it. Maybe file her to the side and give her another try when there’s less emotion in the room.

  • Shame it’s a fail as you’d never guess from the photos. You look amazing in it and I really like the print. I’ve seen photos of the new series and the characters are now in the 70s. I gonna have to wait ages for the dvd as I don’t have satelite.

  • Shame it’s a fail as you’d never guess from the photos. You look amazing in it and I really like the print. I’ve seen photos of the new series and the characters are now in the 70s. I gonna have to wait ages for the dvd as I don’t have satelite.

  • I like it and think it looks great on you even though you have misgivings about it.

  • Not to sound like a broken record, but I agree with the masses. I didn’t notice any flaws in fit or design! In fact, I was thinking how beautiful you look in your Mad Men inspired dress! But! If it feels wrong, I understand that feeling only too well myself! It happens, and with sewing, we don’t find out until trying on the finished garment! It’s just that this print, and the colours suit you so very well! I say, try it one more time when the weather is warmer and you can forego tights?

  • Very cool dress! Love the print

  • i think you’re a bit too hard on this dress 🙂 i think it’s a really pretty dress, print is beautiful, and colors look lovely on you

  • You are a perfectionist and I admire you for it, but really this dress is beyond beautiful, and it fits you perfectly. Wonderful print too!!

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