Last year, JuliaBobbin issued a Mad Men dress challenge and I was dubiously inspired by Peggy's sensible plaid dresses. My attempts to create a Peggy dress were thwarted by poor fabric choice, but later I managed to recreate the classic Joan sheath dress silhouette, albeit in a very un-Joan print fabric. Well, almost a year later, I've finally gone and put everything together and made the consummate work-appropriate sheath dress for the Joan-look in Peggy-fabric. As I said earlier in the week, this is Vogue 8319, but with lots of fitting to get the look I wanted, i.e. radiating ladylike professional confidence, instead of shapeless-sack-that-happens-to-be-made-out-of-plaid-suiting.
|With thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch for helping me with the back fit in my dream.|
|Between the back vent and the stretchy fabric, I can actually take large, comfortable strides!|
|Let's go for another teaching children means influencing the future of tomorrow pose, or some other equally idealistic inspirational phrase.|
I originally cut the fabric out last fall, but never got around to sewing it for two very silly reasons: 1) I was afraid of potential bubbliness where the princess seams end on the skirt, and 2) I didn't want to deal with inserting a zipper, since at the time I'd made a whole spate of knit dresses and was out of practice. Well, the princess seam ends are still a bit bubbly, but not enough to bother me. Wonder of wonders, though -- I hadn't realized that my mystery-blend plaid was actually stretchy! A very stable stretchy, but stretchy nonetheless. Which means, miraculously, that despite its being a close-fitting sheath dress, it passes the Mena Test! W00t w00t!
|Okay, so the seam end bubbliness isn't perfect, but dang near close enough.|
|A look at the insides, bound within an inch of its life. It would've |
been nice if I had matching bias tape, but I didn't feel like going
out and buying more when I had so much in my stash already.
Fabric: 1.5 yards of a mystery-blend grayish-brown stretchy plaid with quite a stiff hand and a stubborn refusal to press properly, from SAS in Tucson four years ago! The pattern calls for lining, but since I wanted to maintain the stretch factor of my fashion fabric, I didn't bother with lining. The fabric is pretty heavy, too, so I didn't want anymore bulk.
Notions: Bias tape for the neckline and armholes, seam binding, and a tiny eye for securing the back vent (thanks to Amy for the idea!)
Techniques used: Plaid-matching?
Hours: Ten, with a good three hours spent fussing over the fit.
Will you make it again? While I love how a good sheath dress looks, I'm not enamored of how tight they feel when there's no give to the fabric, so unless I find another stretchy woven, I probably won't be making another one.
Total cost: $5. Mystery fabric = no idea of content, but cheap.
Final thoughts: I'm pleased as punch about how nice this dress looks, and especially excited about the lack of a zipper! I think this will become my go-to dress for events where I need to look professional, i.e. parent-teacher meetings and open house and the like. Of course, that also depends on whether I retain the ability to shimmy this over my shoulders, but then I guess I can always go in and add a zipper if necessary. In the meantime, I'll just revel in the fact that Mr. Cation loved this dress. According to him, I've never made anything so professional-looking...I guess my previous incarnation of Vogue 8319 didn't quite pass muster in that department (gee, I wonder why? Although, incidentally, I did wear that version of Vogue 8319 to school for Spirit Week on Superhero day).
|Apparently, smiling too hard is also unprofessional, so I'm practicing maintaining teacher composure?|
I still have another 1.5 yards of this fabric, so I think I'm going to try to squeeze some cropped skinny trousers out of the remainder of it. IMO, stretchy fabric just asks to be made into fitted clothing so that one can pretend to be all professional while smiling secretly at the comfort of fabric that doesn't constrict.