Mad Men Dress Plan & Liebster Award

Strap in…this post has two subjects, but I hope you’ll stay with me.

Mad Men Dress Plan

Apparently, this is gonna be the year of sewing challenges for me. I learned something from participating in Sew for Victory: sewing challenges/sew-alongs make me more productive. I don’t mean just when it comes to the items made for the challenge. I see an increase in my general sewing productivity when I have a special project to work on. So, over the next few months I’m going to hop onto a few other challenges: Mad Men Dress Challenge, Me Made May, and maybe even the Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge.

Anyway, I’m excited about participating in Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Dress Challenge this year, and I thought I’d share my plan.

I chose Joan as my inspiration character, of course. I went back and forth between two dresses, for a while.

Teal dress with collar and buttons down bodice front

Teal dress with collar and buttons down bodice front

Purple with light purple peter pan collar and sleeve cuffs

Purple with light purple peter pan collar and sleeve cuffs

I finally felt drawn to the teal dress (mostly because I already had fabric that would work for it). What do you think? I’ll probably still make a dress inspired by the purple dress in the near future. I just love the dark and light purples mixed together.

This is the pattern that I started out with.

Butterick 2952

Butterick 2952

I altered the pattern so that it has more of a V-shaped neckline and includes a button front. I also drafted a collar and facings. I should be cutting into my fabric today.

I’m going to make a scarf out of the leaf print below.

dress material and scarf material

dress material and scarf material

I may use that same material for the facings (heavily interfaced, of course) because I don’t have enough of the teal fabric.

Are you making a dress for the Mad Men Dress Challenge? Who is your inspiration character?

 

Liebster Award

I’ve got a few makes that I’ll be posting about in a few days. In the meantime, you can read a little about me, if you’re interested.

I’m playing along with the Liebster blog award thing (Thank you, Lara, from dreamingofavonlea for passing it on to me).

the-liebster-award

I don’t usually participate in things like this because they remind me too much of chain emails, which I really don’t like. But I figured it might be fun to share a few things about myself and offer some link love to some blogs out there.

Please don’t feel as though I will be upset if you don’t take part; I understand if you don’t. As I said, I’m not usually one to participate in these types of things myself. Here are 10 blogs I’ll pass the love on to:

Kathy Sews

Craft Sanctuary

Feather’s Flights

The Home Blues

Seamstress Erin

BecStitches

SewsNBows

Mrs. Hughes

Shanni Loves

The Girl With the Star-Spangled Heart

 

Here are my answers to Lara’s questions:

1. If you had to describe your style by comparing it to a fictional character, who would that be and why?

Wow, what a difficult question! Why do you have to make me think so hard?! Oh man, I’m having one of those moments. It’s like when you’re asked what your favorite book is and you forget every book you’ve ever read. I don’t know, what do you think?…Help me out here. Haha! I suppose I’d say Charlotte (Chuck) from Pushing Daisies, simply because everything she wears has a retro aesthetic. I wish my wardrobe was all retro styles, but it isn’t. So maybe it’s more of a style that I aspire to.

Yellow, yellow, yellow

Yellow, yellow, yellow

I've taken a similar picture in which I looked like I was eating a flower

I love daisies so much I could eat them, too.

I’ve taken a similar picture to the one above; it’s in this post from a few years ago.

Mmm, mmm. You smell so good I could eat you, little miss daisy.

Mmm, mmm! You smell so good I could eat you, little miss daisy.

There was actually a shot in which I looked like I was indeed eating the flower, but it was rather embarrassing so I deleted it straight away.


2. Do you have any other hobbies / obsessions as well as those you blog about (e.g. mine would be Harry Potter)?

I am a sci-fi nerd. Before you get too excited, no, I’m not the kind that dresses up and goes to conventions (although, how awesome would it be if I was? :)), but I love me a good sci-fi show, movie or book. Even if I don’t go to conventions, I know a lot about several series and I’ve seen a few multiple times through. I’m sure there are some of you scoffing at me for admitting this, but I’m not embarrassed. Haters gonna hate. 😉


3. What is your favorite thing you’ve made / posted about and why? Remember to show us!

That’s a difficult question. Out of my makes for the past couple years, I’d probably say my Louisa Coat.

Louisa Coat

Louisa Coat

I also really loved my retro swimsuit.

retro swimsuit

retro swimsuit

I forgot all about my 40’s blouse, and looking back at it makes me want to make another.

40's blouse

40’s blouse


4. And the least favourite?

That’d be a jacket that I mentioned several years ago, but never finished or posted about. Everything about it is a reflection of the poor choices I made while sewing it. I made poor fabric and lining choices. I didn’t make a muslin first, even though I know that Burda patterns are often a terrible fit on me without alterations. I tried to do the buttonholes on the machine, but back then I didn’t have a machine that could handle such hefty material. Truly, it’s horrible and nothing can be done to fix it.

Eeeppp! What an embarrassing fail.

Eeeppp! What an embarrassing fail.

On the bright side, since I pulled it out, I found a bunch of missing pins left around the hem. I don’t know why, but finding an unexpected hoard of pins always makes me giddy.


5. If you could only make 3 more things and then you had to quit sewing forever, what would you make and why?

Wow, that’s depressing to even think about. Would life be worth living if I had to quit sewing forever?! (Insert melodramatic sigh, here) Right, well, first on the list would be a bra with a “perfect” fit. I have yet to try my hand at bra making, but I sure would love to be able to put bra shopping behind me. Second, I’d make a pair of jeans. Then, I suppose I’d want to give myself a real challenge and sew a couture gown or wedding dress.


6. Where do you find inspiration?

Anywhere and everywhere! I may be out and about on a run and see a flower or an insect that inspires me. Food inspires me, at times. I was once inspired by a napkin.

"Let's Go Sailing" Top

“Let’s Go Sailing” Top

So, inspiration is really everywhere. I love watching TV shows and movies that have beautiful costuming (yes, I’ve been inspired by sci-fi costumes before ;)). I am inspired often by other bloggers, of course. I also like to browse style magazines, and walk through clothing stores.


7. How do you feel about the whole lining vs facing vs binding debate (I may be imagining that it’s a debate)?

I think this is all a matter of personal preference. I find that I may use any one of those three options, depending on the item in question. I love using bias binding in place of facings, at times, but there are some occasions when a facing is the best option. I’m definitely not one to line everything that I make. If the material is lightweight, or the item will look more finished with a lining, then I’d probably add it. In the spring and summer, I prefer to have the option of wearing very few layers. So, if I think I might wear something during those months, I’m more likely to leave out the lining, use facing and/or bias binding to finish edges, and just wear a slip underneath it, if necessary.


8. What is your least favourite part of sewing (and do you do it anyway or cut corners)?

For some reason, I wish I could skip cutting out the pattern (which is why I like the pre-cut vintage patterns) and cutting out the fabric. I’d rather get straight to the sewing and the finished product. I also wish my seam ripper, Jack, and I had a less familiar relationship. But, unfortunately taking things apart and fixing them is just a part of the sewing process. I used to despise hand-stitching, but it has grown on me over the past year. It just adds an extra level of neatness to the finished product.


9. How do you like your surroundings when you sew? I.e. Do you clean up as you go, listen to music, face the window, watch telly? Basically describe your sewing situation.

I tend to let myself get quite messy in just about all of my creative endeavors, and I usually have several projects spread across my work spaces at the same time. I do like to listen to music. Sometimes I watch TV or a movie. Lately, I’ve been listening to audio books and occasionally, language learning audio books. However, I don’t mind sewing in silence and letting my thoughts wander. I prefer to have a window near my work space because I am much more productive in a brighter space. Plus, I need a window to stare out of when I’m designing or planning something new. It’s fun to people watch once in a while, too. I know, what a creeper!


10. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would definitely pick my great-grandmother, Frances Coles.

My great grandmother, Frances Coles

Doesn’t she look so adorable?

My great-grandmother and great-grandfather in a wedding picture from 1931. Her dress looks so pretty and delicate.

My great-grandmother and great-grandfather in 1931, in what I’ve heard is the closest thing to a wedding picture they had. Her dress looks so pretty and delicate.

I was too young while she was still alive to remember her well. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about her, and it seems like she was such an amazing woman. From all the pictures I’ve seen of her, she was also a very stylish lady. How awesome would it be to talk to her about sewing and fashion? Honestly, I’d love to talk to her about just about anything. Luckily, my grandmother and her sisters all keep in touch, and I have gotten to know some of them. I love how everyone tries to stay connected; I have such a fun family. 🙂

I would really like to do something inspired by my great-grandmother for the Great Gatsby ’20s sewing challenge. I know that would mean something more appropriate for the late ’20s, early ’30s (she was too young in the early ’20s), and the Great Gatsby is set in 1922, but I’m sure everyone will forgive me if I’m not exact.

I know there are several of you Coles sisters out there who read this. 🙂 So, I would love to get in touch with you about any and all pictures you have of my great-grandma Coles from the ’20s through the early ’30s. I’ve looked in the Coles Kin Facebook page for a few, but I’d love to see more, if they’re out there. I’ll send my grandma an email about it soon (Although, I’m sure you might email me before I email you. 😉 I love you, all!).


11. Do you prefer to make things for yourself or others?

I prefer to make things for myself mostly these days. I make things for others sometimes. In fact, I just finished several dresses for two of my sisters and my mum—which I’ll post about soon. Occasionally, I get custom item requests through my Etsy shop. I’ve definitely been feeling more selfish about sewing lately though.

 

Well, that’s all for Lara’s questions.

And because I’m lazy, I’ll pass along the same questions to the other bloggers. 🙂

1. If you had to describe your style by comparing it to a fictional character, who would that be and why?
2. Do you have any other hobbies / obsessions as well as those you blog about (e.g. mine would be Harry Potter)?
3. What is your favourite thing you’ve made / posted about and why? Remember to show us!
4. And the least favourite?
5. If you could only make 3 more things and then you had to quit sewing forever, what would you make and why?
6. Where do you find inspiration?
7. How do you feel about the whole lining vs facing vs binding debate (I may be imagining that it’s a debate)?
8. What is your least favourite part of sewing (and do you do it anyway or cut corners)?
9. How do you like your surroundings when you sew? I.e. Do you clean up as you go, listen to music, face the window, watch telly? Basically describe your sewing situation.
10. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
11. Do you prefer to make things for yourself or others?

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11 Responses to Mad Men Dress Plan & Liebster Award

  1. Ashley says:

    Hey, thanks for nominating me! I love seeing myself pop up on a blog I love and read 🙂 I’m not going to participate, because I was already nominated for a Liebster award a couple of months ago, and already posted about it. I will tell you, however, that I wish I had made a retro swimsuit as cool as yours and I’m off to stalk that post, I hate facings, and I also HATE cutting patterns! Looks like we’re in the same boat there! I was fortunate enough to know my Nana (my great grandmother) until the third grade, but I wish I had known her as a young lady in the 20s. We would have been most excellent shopping/sewing buddies, I’m sure of it.

    If you’re interested in my other list of liebster facts about myself, you can check it out:
    http://www.craftsanctuary.com/2013/02/the-leibster-blog-award.html

    Thanks again!

    • Becca says:

      No worries! I understand. You’ll have to make a swimsuit for yourself for the summer. I know, cutting patterns feels like such a waste of time, doesn’t it? I’m sure you and your Nana would have made great sewing buddies, too. It’s fun to think about. Thanks for the link to your Liebster facts. 🙂

  2. larakrjacobs says:

    Ah yay I’m so glad you took part, especially as you don’t usually. I never thought of these like chain emails, but now you mention it, I guess they are very similar! Love your answers though, it’s great to hear what makes other sewers tick! xxx

    • Becca says:

      It was fun! I agree, it is interesting to read about the habits of other sewers. Thanks again for passing it along to me.

  3. GA says:

    I will alert the ‘sisters club’ to look for pictures for you. Your great grandmother would adore you as we do. Sweet post, thank you.

  4. Auntie Anne says:

    Wow, Becca, I love your blog today!!! I had to answer (in my head) as I read! I have much to say about sewing ~ for me and for others. My dear Mother, pictured above taught me to sew. She sparked a deep interest in fashion too. I made many of clothes all thru the years starting in jr. hi. She made so many of our clothes ~ and I have a few stories about that! I’ll look for pix of her in fashionable attire!

    • Becca says:

      Thanks! I want to know what your answers were! I’d also love to here those stories you mentioned. It sounds like she was a very busy woman making clothes for all of you! Thank you for sending me those pictures. I’ve been enjoying looking through them.

  5. Sarah Lewis says:

    What a great read this was! Your Great Grandmother Coles would be so proud of you. She was quite the seamstress, staying up late at night sewing clothes for all of us. In her later years she did some sewing for a very persnickety lady and make good money doing it. This lady loved ‘slinky’ materials and our mother was always up for the challenge. I ironed a lot of those pieces for her. I am not a seamstress but I have always enjoyed ironing. I like to tell people that I “ironed” my way through college! I’ll send you any pictures I have but I would think your grandmother probably has all the same ones I have. Your Aunt Anne will be a good source for photos also. Love you, Aunt Sarah <3

    • Becca says:

      Aww, thanks for saying that. I have heard that she was a very accomplished seamstress. Sewing for that persnickety lady does sound like a challenge. How fun that you spent time ironing for her. Thanks for sharing. Love you too. 🙂

  6. Pingback: In Progress – Great Gatsby Challenge Dress | Creative Notions

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