MadMen 3 Challenge Dress

Can’t believe I haven’t watched Season 6 yet.   Too busy sewing my MadMen Dress for the Challenge hosted by the lovely Julia Bobbin.

Actually I have cheated outrageously on this challenge as I actually made my dress last summer.   I had planned on making a 60’s two piece dress for this year’s challenge, using a lovely original vintage pattern.   However that has had to wait due to curtains, blinds and upholstery projects.   Think I need to give up my day job!!!

More than a bit crushed, but remember - it is only March in Scotland - so still at the back of the wardrobe!
More than a bit crushed, but remember – it is only March in Scotland – so still at the back of the wardrobe!
The dress Betty is wearing in the photo on the right has many similar features to my dress.
The dress Betty is wearing in the photo on the right has many similar features to my dress.
Love all of these!
Love all of these!

 

The pattern was from as US seller on Etsy and although the packaging was in quite poor condition, the pattern itself was perfect.   No adjustments were made to sizing at all (due to good luck rather than good judgement).   I decided on version 2, sleeveless and with concealed buttons under a central placket.

 

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I used a pindot cotton print in French Navy and Cream and lined the dress in royal blue silk with an underlined bodice.   The buttonholes and placket were a new challenge for me but, despite how it looks in the photo, when the dress is ironed it all looks great.

I decided to go all out with a self fabric belt and the buckle is an original vintage plastic which I had in my button box.

 

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This is probably the the nicest vintage pattern I have ever used
This is probably the the nicest vintage pattern I have ever used

To add a bit of a twist the dress also looks good with a tan leather belt.

In the photo I am wearing (not that you can see them) a fabby pair of vintage marcasite and faux pearl clip on earrings, which I love but which are pure agony on the earlobes after about 2 minutes.

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I have loved taking part in the Challenge this year and, all going well, I will have my two piece ready 2015!!!

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I really should have ironed the dress before the photos were taken!

Adventures in Upholstery!

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Doesn’t sound very exciting does it?   For the last three weeks I’ve been going to  a class in traditonal upholstery all day on Saturdays and I’m absolutely loving it.   The class takes place in a tiny village on the way to Aberfoyle – about 40 minutes drive from my home in Central Scotland.   The  workshop is a tiny schoolroom attached to the original school master’s house.   Cosy and quaint , it’s like stepping back in time, several hundred years.

In the workshop

My tutor believes in natural products, recycling materials and ethical sourcing so it is just great to use natural jute webbing and hessian, recycled flock filling and sustainable coir or horsehair.

My first project is the complete revamp of a mid century vintage rocking chair for my son and his girl friend.  This is a major starter project and great fun – post to follow as this progresses.

I also took along this  antique captain’s chair which belonged to my mum and dad as a little side project.

New webbing

Padded with coir and covered with calico
Padded with coir and covered with calico.

Hessian webbed, hessian based, stuffed with coir, covered with calico and a layer of flock, before a finally being covered with fabulous Harris tweed from the lovely people at the  Harris Tweed & Knitwear Company it has taken on a new life and a true beauty.

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I am so proud of the finished result.  

The final trim which is attached with upholstery pins,  is actually bias fabric as I didn’t really see a decorative braid working well on the tweed.   The oak frame was quite dirty and tired looking after being in storage for some time.   I stripped back the dirt using wood restorer, then applied a generous coat of wood polish and oils blended.  Finally I applied two coats of Liberon natural beeswax and buffed this to a lovely burnished sheen.   The natural patina of the wood and wear to the arms etc.  still  glows through maintaining the character of this lovely old chair.