Finished Object: Megan’s Vendetta

Episode 10, Season 4

I finished my Megan dress for the Mad Men Challenge- the second zipper stayed put!  I’m calling this dress Megan’s Vendetta because she fought me every step of the way, I never knew such a malicious dress.  First I couldn’t find my regular bodice block  so settled for making the bodice from another bodice.    Then, characteristically, I over-complicated the pattern by drafting a separate midriff section.  I don’t want to sound whiny, but I unpicked and unpicked the bodice-to-midriff seam to make it sit smoothly under my bust more times than I can count.  The seam area began to look shabby so I left it alone, but my fingers are still itching to get in there and pull it apart just one more time.

This is what I should have done.  Much simpler, but of course it didn’t occur to me until halfway through construction.  I’d fold the darts out on the pattern pieces to create a shaped band and sew them together.  Then I’d sew two strips to the bottom to make the very nice Megan midriff section.

After all the careful sewing, we’ve had rain almost every day this week which means no outdoor photos.  Eventually, we settled for indoors shots, which we find much trickier than standing around in the yard.  I felt more like I was on the set of Psycho than Mad Men.

That said, I’m still very fond of this dress.  I used a knee-length half-circle skirt, shorter than my usual skirt length but I like it.  The fabric is a very lightweight but firmly woven cotton poplin with a whiff of lycra.  I’m sure the lycra contributed to my midriff seam angst.

I like this style, too.  It’s comfortable and feminine and while the insets lend it some visual interest and a whiff of vintage flair, it’s not fussy or over the top.  The dress itself is quite comfortable, too.  I want to take a second crack at this dress using a simplified process and shades of blue.  Or greens.  I feel like I’m really, really close to an awesome pattern.

If you haven’t already, check out the Mad Men inspired dresses on Sew Weekly.  Because of my snafu, I missed the deadline to show my dress.  I feel terrible- I keep missing it.  Oh well, there’s always next week, right?

Julia Bobbin is also running a Mad Men dress challenge, and if you haven’t seen her “Easiest Button to Button” dress, I suggest you go take a look.  It’s incredible.


98 comments

  1. That’s absolutely wonderful! This is the first Mad Men challenge completed dress I’ve seen and it’s fab! The effort that’s gone into that midriff section is unbelievable – well done indeed!

  2. Good job! It does look like it was a lot of work to get those pieces lined up and fitting so nicely.

    • I kept kicking myself for not taking more time over the pattern.. If I had, it wouldn’t have been so twiddly…

      Thank you! :)

  3. It’s gorgeous. The colours really suit you and the white band on the outside of the neck seems to throw highlights on your face or something. I really like the whole effect.

  4. Wowzers! It looks beautiful. I’m glad you were able to get it to a place you’re happy with, after all the struggles. I agree, I think those colors look great on you. I’m picturing a blue version too :)

    • Thanks, Donna… :) I’m sorely tempted to go pick up a few meters of blue fabric and have another stab at it very very soon.

  5. It looks beautiful! I watched that episode last night and shouted, “Hey, one of the bloggers I know is making that dress.” My husband just looked at me :)

    • Yeah… I think my husband is used to my “blogger” stories and doesn’t raise an eyebrow anymore. Don’t you love the internet?

      You made me smile! I kind of want to go back and watch that episode, since I’ve been so involved with this dress lately and all.. :)

  6. Great job! You can still enter posts after the deadline, it’s just not likely to get the “top 5 feature” thing because Mena will have already picked those out. I’ve seen plenty of posts entered after Monday and get published during the week. And you should definitely post some of these pics in the community pool! I don’t think anyone else tackled this particular dress :)

    • Ah- I just submitted it, but I feel rather bad about it.. But I *think* I’m on top of next week’s challenge, we’ll see! :)

      Thank you.

    • Thanks, Kira. Sometimes it’s tricky to work with vintage inspiration to make it “wearable,” but I think it’s a good length too. :)

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  8. Gorgeous copy of that dress and no matter how many hours or frustration you went through you have learned another valuable lesson that can be applied to other garments. If it was easy from the start everyone could do it…but that’s simply not true, only the most persistent and clever people get this far. Well done, Steph!

    • Thanks, Melissa… I think I want to get back into wearing more vintage hair… I sort of slacked off when I cut all my hair off but it’s getting longer now…

  9. Oh, awesome! It looks great, totally worth the effort (including the zipper sproing)! Hmm, I wonder if adding some kind of wash-away stabilizer to the stretchy cotton would’ve eased the piecing? Or maybe it was just going to be a pain either way. Anyway, whatever minor issues are irking you, they’re totally invisible to us—it looks great! And I especially love the V in the back.

    • Thanks, Julia. :) Your dress is ab-fab, too… I was thinking I’d do another (outdoor) photoshoot before I send you the pics, because indoor photos make me feel kind of twitchy.. ;)

  10. That V in the back is just divine! I had to choose an adjective with a V in it to describe it. ;) I really like the look of the inset, even if it was fussy, and despite my fear of matching seams I’m itching to try hacking one of my patterns to do this. Excellent job!!

  11. This came out really well! Excellent copy-cat! You should still submit it to Sew Weekly for everyone to admire. Mena will post entries submitted after the deadline. (Sadly, I think I’ve done that twice…)

  12. It looks lovely! Hopefully the seam settles down a bit once it’s been washed a couple times, just so you can relax and enjoy wearing the dress!

  13. The back and front are equally spectacular, what a great look on you! I want one! I fear that my own Mad Men dress is going so slowly (I’m still on the muslin stage, oops!) that I won’t make Julia’s end of month deadline.

    • Thanks!

      That’s ok about the deadline- I bet your dress will be amazing, you do gorgeous work… And the design you picked is so cool. :)

  14. Oh Yay! It may have been a headache, but I think it was well worth it – it looks fantastic! It’s so perfect on you too – you look better than Megan!

    • Thanks, Leimomi… :) I was looking through other Megan dresses and I’m dying to make the one she wears in California.. The black one with the cutout neck. Ooooh weee..

  15. It’s gorgeous Steph! Beautifully-fitted, fun and flattering. I think it will always be accessorised with a big smile :)

  16. Great job! Looks like you’ll enjoy wearing your Megan dress even though it gave you grief. And when you perfect the pattern, you should offer it on Craftsy. I’m sure you’d get a lot of takers given the excitement around Mad Men.

    • Thanks, Lee. I’m working on it, conceptually I mean. It might take a little time, because I don’t want to put out a pattern that will cause grief so that means plenty of notches and dots and planning and so forth. But I like the challenge…

      And I want to get stuck into work on the “Flavor of Edwardia” blouse… That’s the next thing after this month’s hack. :)

  17. Gorgeous!! you have once again done an amazing job, and the “copy” has your unique mark all over it :-) i would love to see this pattern on craftsy, too

    • Heh, thanks Monika! I think you’d rock a dress like this, done up in shades of green maybe or orange… You can wear some orange, right? :)

  18. Hah! That is so great, what a perfect homage. Love your hair, too! Can’t wait to see you do your Downton Abbey-inspired blouse, complete with Edwardian updo!

    Selfishy, I wonder if you could help me increase my technical learnings from your project and expand on this: “I’d fold the darts out on the pattern pieces to create a shaped band and sew them together. Then I’d sew two strips to the bottom to make the very nice Megan midriff section.” I don’t fully take your meaning here (sorry), but I can tell that it’s a very good idea.

    • Hooooo boy, I don’t think I have enough hair and/or rats to be a Gibson Girl! Too much pressure!

      Fodling out the darts just means sticking new piece of paper or whatever on top of the bodice pattern I drew on to look like the illustration above. I’d trace each section. Then I’d bring the dart lines together because it’s kind of silly to sew a dart in a band like that for shaping. Then I’d re-trace the newly shaped, dartless band and add seam allowances. If you fiddle around with paper you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  19. Oh how did I miss this post sooner…
    The final dress is just lovely. I am a huge fan of the back actually. I can see how this would be fun and comfortable to wear. Well done.
    And as to the time spent with the pattern vs dress, sometimes you just have to dive into a project.

  20. Oh my goodness that dress is so damn cute!!!!!!!! It looks just like the Mad Men version!! I am hella impressed!I love all the different panels of colors. My Mad Men dress was. Rachel Menken dress, it was the easiest one I could find to replicate! I really love ur dress! X

  21. I’m a little late to the party but this dress is fantastic and the colours are lovely. The darkest pink is bright bright and suits you wonderfully, though I seem to remember you thinking about it first. Glad you went with it. Beautiful.

  22. Totally fabulous. I haven’t seen much Mad Men (but I really think I want to), however I get a serious Star Trek vibe from this dress. Very futuristic looking.

  23. It’s very beautifully made Steph, well done! The feminine style suits you perfectly, love the fuller skirt. You look great in it too.

  24. I am so in love with this dress! It’s such a great interpretation of Megan’s pink frock! By the way, did you see the Season Five premier? She wore some pretty cute stuff!

  25. I think you look better in it than the original. Very nicely done. I agree – it’d be great in blue, green, or even black and white.

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