Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mad Men Sewing Challenge

Hey Everybody!

At least it's not raining this weekend, but still very cold (mid 30's Fahreinheit)  overcast and gray.     This morning took my doggies to the dog park.   We have a lovely one in town and I have met lots of nice people and their puppies there.

My dog Charlie (my beagle mix doggie) was born to run, and he is fast. Every time we go he gives the dogs a good work out playing chase (the other owners love him as he tires their dogs out).  

Calvin (my mini-dachshund) was never particularly fond of the park. He always has been anxious by breed and nature, and the first several times we went, I couldn't even put him down, he would just hover around my feet and then beg to be picked up.   He eventually got used to it though, and would wander around a bit.  As the park is covered with pea-gravel and not grass or dirt, I think the little stones bother his feet, he never really ran while he was there.   Also, since his injury, moving around has been difficult (Calvin ruptured a disk about 6 months ago, due to IVDD and as a result, his hind legs are mostly paralyzed)
I sling-walk him, and we will soon be getting him a little doggie cart. (the vet said to wait awhile before getting a cart once they get used to using it, they don't make much progress with trying to use their legs).
Here are some pictures:
At home - Calvin & Charlie snuggle in the warm laundry

Calvin at the doggie park

Charlie romping with a Great Dane
Back to Sewing....

  I spent last evening cutting the pattern and fabric for the beginning of my Sew for Victory project, but will post about that shortly.   I believe I was going to talk about the "2nd Mad Men Dress Challenge" from Julia Bobbin's blog.

Here are the reveal pictures from last year's challenge.      Julia is absolutely cute as a button! (From the same tiny island nation as my sweetie Chris, btw ....  Australia)

I have to admit that before this, I had not even heard of the TV show "Mad Men."
I sort of wondered if there was a 'beyond thunderdome' connection (she being Australian and all) ...but alas, no, it is a show about TV execs in the 1960's.  
That being one of my favoritist decades mind you, I was almost immediately sold on the idea of doing the challenge because the dresses WERE RIDICULOUSLY GORGEOUS back then.

So I looked at her inspiration ideas as well as did a bunch of googling about the show and came up with the following dress that I would love to do:

Betty from Mad Men

I did some looking around for fabric, and have to tell you to my dismay, that not too many fabrics sport roses now-a-days :(       A few quilting fabrics had little rose designs, but nothing as large and beautiful as the Betty dress.     The other drawback was that the dresses from back then were very voluminous, and require around 5 yards of fabric, so I wanted to be careful not to have to spend a small fortune on fabric.
 In true Scarlett O'Hara fashion,   I did some thinking and came up with a creative solution.  I found a lovely set of sheets with a beautiful bold rose print in purple and violet.  I got it at a local discount store for $10, it is a queen sheet set, and had some additional pillowcases (which I'm always needing extra for my home anyway)

A Queen flat sheet runs 90" x 100",
A fitted sheet is 60" x 80" (with about 8" along the gusseted edges)

so if I were to cut the flat sheet in half, I would have 2 pieces 50" wide by the 100" -which is 2 1/2 yards long. (This is for theoretical calculation purposes so I can figure about about how much fabric I will end up with that would be equivalent to what I would buy at the fabric store off the bolt.  I may not end up actually cutting it in half -I have to see how best the pattern pieces lay out first),  
 For the fitted sheet, I would leave the 60" width, and have the 80" (which is a little less than  2 1/4 yards long). So all in all, about 7 yards of equivalent 54" fabric, which is plenty to do this project.









For Patterns, I went through my collection, and found 2 that could maybe work:



More than likely I will end up using the one from the first picture, McCall's 6146.   The bodice on my inspiration dress is a little different though:





so I will need to make some alterations to the pattern so that the finished product more resembles this bodice. I will, to quote sewing guru Tim Gunn: "Make it Work."

I am really excited to get started on this project!   The wrap up date is April 19th to get pictures emailed to Julia.  



Before finishing this post, I thought I would include a picture from a skit comedienne Carol Burnett did.  (I was remembering it earlier while thinking about Scarlett O'Hara)   It is a parody of "Gone with the Wind" from her Carol Burnett Show that had me absolutely in stitches (no pun intended).    If you have a couple minutes for a good laugh, you can check out the entire skit here on youtube.




Have you used alternative fabric sources for any of your sewing projects?  Do share!    Thanks for reading!

Update ~ 4/22/13  See my completed look....

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