Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Easiest Button to Button - Butterick 5603 strikes again



Introducing the latest part of my soul, and it's not a horcrux (I'm not so tricksy with a wand and my face doesn't look melted plastic).

It is a Mad Men inspired, button riddled, red extraveganza. Or Butterick 5603 if you want to simplify it.


I'm more than a little bit excited about this dress and for a few reasons.

One: it fits (that's always a relief - my energy IN compared to my energy OUT ratio is seriously out of wack at the moment. Apparently walking up the drive way twice does not burn off a box of doughnuts. Whatever.)

Two: it's red. Enough said.

Three: It fits. Oh wait.

Four: It pulls in and pushes out in all the appropriate vintage ways. I do love me some vintage.

Five: (and this one's my favourite) It has a row of the loveliest fabric covered buttons all the way down my centre back. And who doesn't love buttons. Seriously.


OOoooh yes. Aren't they wonderful? There's 12 buttons folks, and yes dad, I did actually count them correctly this time (father-daughter inside joke).

Why do I love these so much? I can't quite explain it?!! There is just something so immensly satisfying about seeing a row of neat(ish) little matching buttons nestling between each verterbrae.

You want to hear something that makes these buttons even more exciting (to me any way) ...

The button closure at the centre back is ... fake....
Yes sir-ree! I have a fraudulent button closure! Scandelous!

Check it out.




Looks pretty convincing right?!! I knew I wanted buttons down the centre back to mimic this delicious Joanie look which is so vintage appropriate.


But here's the problem that happens with buttons. There always seems to be a bit of pull and stretch where the button meets the button holes and this can look pretty unflattering in the 'rounded' areas. And God knows I have some areas that are rounded.

So to keep things stable and neat with maximum support; I faked it. How cheeky of me! I unashamedly love the result!

     

  
I instead closed the dress with a sneaky invisible zip on the side seam.

 
So sneaky!

Curious about how to make a fake button closure? If you're interested I just might do a tutorial.

This is the third time I've employed the use of Butterick 5603 and that officially puts this pattern in my box of favourites.

Here are the other two vintage dresses that I have made with the aid of this pattern. One 'Peggy Olson' dress and one 'Joan Holloway'. You can see the blog post by clicking on the pictures.


On all three of these versions I altered the skirt to make a pencil shaped skirt. You can see my detailed photos on my skirt alterations on my Peggy Olson dress post.

Side note - how cute are these shoes?!!! They have bows at the back for crying out loud!


My original inspiration for this dress is the fabulous orangy/red dress worn by one of my growing Mad Men favourites: Megan.


I am also in LOVE with the green bow dress worn by the girl on her left (our right). Though in this photo her face looks like she's thinking about vomiting, not how wonderful her dress is. Attitude much?

The dress is made using wool faille that I purchased from Tessuti Fabrics.
This is the first time I have sewn with faille and it was an absolute delight. It was like sewing with butter. It was so soft my Janome would start purring every time it bit into it. The faille has such a lovely drape to it that makes me want to sew up my next ten garments in this fabric.



The dress is fully lined, except for the sleeves. The skirt hem is blind hemmed and I had the buttons covered with the same dress fabric at Button Mania. The woman at Button Mania is superb and she also does fabric covered belts. Her work is precise.

 

I added a brooch for a simple vintage touch which breaks the solid red of the dress in just the right way.



I bought it recently from a little store in the city (Melbourne) and I held it greedily to my chest like Gollum and 'the ring'. Note, there was more than a small part of me that was a little bit dissapointed on discovering that the brooch didn't render the wearer invisible.

 

I added sleeves, just like with my previous two dresses.

 

And a collar front and back, just like the inspiration dresses.



You can see how I drafted the collar on my previous 'Peggy Olson dress' blog post.

I really love the shape of this dress. I love how it's not flashing too much flesh, but it's still feminine.


 

 

This is my third Man-Men inspired dress to add to my collection and something tells me it's far from my last. It's a style that just keeps on begging to be made.

Mad Men Q&A's and Inspiration

How's everyone going with their Mad Men dresses? I have already received some amazing submissions in my inbox that I can't wait to share with everyone. Golly there are some talented people out there!

Haven't chosen a dress yet? Check out the addictive Tom & Lorenzo Mad Men page for endless inspiration. A few readers have pointed me to that website and I couldn't believe I hadn't see it sooner. They do a 'Mad Style' post for each and every Mad Men episode with an abundance of screen shots of the many dresses to drool over.
I have also started a pin board on Pinterest with some Mad Men dresses I fancy, that you can check out also.

Here's a few QA's that have popped up recently that perhaps some of you have also had tinkering around in your noggin.

Q - I don't have a blog, can I still submit a dress?
A - Heck yes! It's open to everyone. You do not need to have a blog to participate.

Q- I have a dress in mind that isn't based on a particular dress on Mad Men, but it has the same style/feel as the clothes from that time. Can I still take part?
A - Absolutely! Any dress that is from that vintage is more than welcome.

Q- Can I submit more than one dress?
A - Yes! The more the merrier! Or, if you've got a 'Mad Men' dress that you made previously you can submit that also.

Q- I have chosen a dress based on one I've seen on Mad Men but I want to make it in a different print/colour, is that OK?
A - Definitely. The theme is Mad Men but you can take the inspiration and change it to what ever takes your fancy.

Happy Sewing everyone!

P.s. - I may have just purchased another overlocker. I am out.of.control

111 comments:

  1. Very pretty Julia. I really love the buttons.

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  2. Your creations are seriously inspiring, this one is gorgeous! Love the shoes too!

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    1. Thank you so much Benedicte! I was very happy to find these shoes on sale, that never happens to me!

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  3. i think the precious has more power than you realize. also could be magic in those shoes, cause you're knocking it out of the park on like A DAILY BASIS.

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    1. Oona from the mysterious land of Balloona; you complete me.

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  4. Wow, what a gorgeous dress! The buttons are a great touch. Love it! X

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  5. Hello Julia, I love the dress, esp the buttons. Also have this particular pattern. Made it up in December, perfect fit.
    Would love to see the fake button tutorial when u are up to it. Regards.

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, looks like I'm doing a tutorial! I'd love to see your version of this dress!

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    2. hi julia,
      mailed you about a few weeks ago about your inspiration to start my own blog... well i have finally started, yipee!!!
      although i must admit i dont know how to do a lot of things yet. like sending links. (will learn). when i get to wear my butterick dress again will post it on my blog, and send you a link. keep up the good work.:)

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  6. Entirely lovely! And Red! My favourite part is the v-neck at the back with the colour! The buttons are awfully gorgeous as well :)

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    1. Thank you Miss Kettle! I do love buttons!

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  7. This is a beautiful dress! I'd love to see a button tutorial when you get a chance!

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  8. Lovely!!!! Absolutely lovely! The front, the back, I cannot decide what I like the most. Perfect shape!

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  9. yes.. perfect dress.. and shoes to die for

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    1. And would you believe it, the shoes are so comfy! Thanks Momosha x

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  10. Beautiful as always..and its red, so all the better.
    So which overlocker have you got your sights on?

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    1. Oh not only do I have my sights on it, I also have my mittens on it. The Bernina 1150MDA

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  11. I don't know how you keep churning out these gorgeous Mad Men inspired dresses so fast...you make it seem so effortless! You're definitely onto a winner with this particular style, it flatters you beautifully - I love the back neckline detail of this one and the faux button closure is delightful!!!

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    1. Marie you are too kind, thank you! X

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  12. Just gorgeous! The neckline is so lovely, very feminine, and the fake button closure is very clever :-)

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  13. Another knockout dress! I'm so impressed with your skills. I would be interested in the fake button detail in the back tutorial. I'm sure there was a much less wordy way to say that. :-)

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    1. Stacie I like your description of the tutorial so much it just may be the blg post title! X

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  14. It's perrrrfffeeccccttt!! Absolutely stunning.

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  15. Every time I come to your blog I'm inspired by your creations! If you came out with a book I would totally buy it! Thanks for being awesome!

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    1. Ada that is the best compliment ever! Thank you so much x

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  16. Woot - you are adorable. The dress is devine. LOVE those buttons down the back are they okay for sitting on? and the shoes, oh my. My first MM dress will be on my blog on Weds but I'll send you the link too.
    You.Look.Amazing!!

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    1. Thanks Miriam! Much appreciated!

      Looking forward to seeing your MM dress and reading all about it! xxx

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  17. This is hot! I heart the buttons a lot! And the shoes. In fact, I heart the shoes so much that I actually purchased them a couple of months ago! How funny - what spectacular taste we have ;p Look forward to hearing more about the new overlocker - very naughty!!

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    1. Are you serious?!! We are ace with our tastes! Oh yes, the overlocker. Very excited!

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  18. That dress is gorgeous!!!!! I was inspired to make a red dress after reading a post on Curves Patterns and Pins, and after seeing your red dress i am definitely doing it!!!! You have an awesome figure!!! The dress very, very much like Joan's dress!!!! I am currently blogging my Mad Men challenge dress, finished it this afternoon. AND I also bought an overlocker this weekend, hehehehe.

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    1. Neeno I LOVE your Mad Men dress!

      How exciting on your overlocker purchase! We must be brain twins seeing as we've both gone and bought one at the same time! Hope you love yours and get plenty of use out of it xxx

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  19. Gorgeous dress and you look absolutely fabulous! I love the brooch with your dress - it really sets it off. I have some lovely 1960s Mad Men brooches on my ebay site (named 'ruemiraldi') and would like to send you one to style with your next Mad Men dress creation.

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    1. I would LOVE that! I just checked out your ebay site and you have some stunning items. They would look fantastic with a mad men dress. Thanks so much!

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    2. My pleasure Julia,
      I will email you separately for your preference and for address details.
      Happy Sewing!
      Regards,
      Lorraine

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  20. Another triumph Julia! I love the buttons and the sweeping back - stunning! I've got my fabric and lining all cut out and I've done my muslin and checked fit - we're ready to rock!

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    1. How exciting! Can't wait to see it! Thanks Joanne x

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  21. Beautiful dress, I love the details on the back - the collar and the buttons and great shoes!

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  22. OMG the back is so effin fantastic, and I don't normally swear. Definitely do a tutorial on the fake buttons, want, want, want to learn. Puh-lease...

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    1. ha! Swear away, I highly encourage it! I will be getting a tute together shortly. Thanks for your comment :)

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  23. Georgous! The dress, the colour, the buttons, the collar... And not to forget: the shoes! They are great.

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    1. Who could forget the shoes! I am a sucker for a nice pair of heels. Thanks Miriam x

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  24. It's gorgeous! Love everything about it. One question - are the buttons uncomfortable to sit on?! Or have you strategically positioned them to avoid any sitting bones?

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    1. After I wiped the drool from my chin, I wondered the same thing! Exactly how does one sit with all those GORGEOUS buttons down the back? Or is this a standing only dress?

      I also wondered how you manage to whip out such delightful outfits so quickly? It takes me FOREVER!

      Either way it's fabulous and you, dear Ms. Bobbin, have set the bar incredibly high!

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    2. Thanks ladies and good question!

      Actually it's a question that I'm now pondering myself. I haven't yet worn this dress out so I'm not sure what it feels like yet to sit on! I'll have to keep you posted! Thanks for your lovely comments xxx

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  25. my friend showed me your blog and i am sooo happy she did. i just started sewing my first piece of a clothing (a button up shirt) and was getting a little discouraged because it didn't come out perfect. i'm glad i have your blog so i can see all the things that i can eventually make if i keep at it. you look amazing in that dress!!! it fits so perfectly!!!

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    1. Oh thanks Barbara and welcome! This is such an exciting time for you, getting started with sewing! I never would have attempted a button up shirt as my first piece of clothing so you're miles ahead of me already.

      Thanks for reading and good luck with all your sewing adventures!

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  26. Aaaaaahhh no!!! Julia strikes again! Ho my! Gorgeous as always! I will definitely lack of great adjectives if you keep going on like this!! But that's not bad, it makes turn a little bit over excited and it inspire me! It's shaking my brain to do more!
    But i'm always slow taking decisions for sewing, just a lack of self confidence i hope it will disapear when i will have more sewing experiences!

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    1. Thanks so much Alice! You definitely get better the more you sew. I remember when I first really started getting into sewing I used to spend most of my time unpicking; I made so many mistakes! But it's through all those mistakes that things start happening with your learning.
      Just take your time with your decisions and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Who knows, an accident could lead to a fabulous new fashion style!

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  27. Julia, this red dress is too beautiful!!! I love!!!
    Magnifique réussite!
    You are the BEST!
    Have a good evening!

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    1. Thank you, you are too kind Dentelline x

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  28. Gosh. I love this pattern and what you've done with it. Will be placing it on order asap! Looking forward to seeing your Mad Men entries.

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    1. You definitely should order it Suellen, it's a winner! Thanks for your comment :)

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  29. Julia--quick question. Did you have to do any adjustment to the bust? If so, how did you go about doing so? I have this pattern, and am thinking of using it for the MMC, but require a FBA.

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    1. Hi Tina,

      I didn't do an FBA on the bodice and I really should have. It is quite fitted in that area and so I have been forced to go bra-less with it. I do look a bit squashed! The good thing is it's gathered under the bust, so it shouldn't be too hard to add extra room in that area. I'll be giving it a go next time I use the pattern.

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  30. I love this dress and the other versions you made as well! Please do post a tutorial on fake buttons. I just found your blog through A Fashionable Stitch by the way and am so glad I did! You are so talented and the dresses you have made are georgeous!!

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    1. Wow, thank you StaceyB! I'm so glad you stopped by and I appreciate your kind words. I will get cracking on the tutorial!

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  31. You MAY have purchased another overlocker? You're not sure? Girl, you're definitely out of control! :) I LOVE YOUR DRESS. And I am so going to copy this one, too. (Just give me some time - I am a bit slow with a 3.5 year-old boy hopping around in my place...
    Question: Can you sit a lot in this dress (buttons!) or is it more of a stand-up-dress?

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    1. I know I know, I have a problem! I haven't worn the dress out yet so I'll let you know when I do. It could get interesting ....

      I hope you make a version of this dress!

      Thanks for your lovely comment x

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  32. Oh, Julia, this is unreal! It's so well fitted, it's a glove of awesomeness. Color me impressed. Really lovely.
    strugglesewsastraightseam.wordpress.com

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  33. Ooh, I'm in LOVE with this red number! I love the collar and the buttons!!! I've actually picked Joan's green dress as my inspiration for the Mad Men challenge, but had NO IDEA it buttoned down the back!!!

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    1. Oh fantastic! I know what you mean about not knowing about the buttons. I've seen a few dresses that I've fallen in love with where I have only seen pictures from the front.

      Thanks for your comment Sue

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  34. Julia, can you make something ugly for a change? Come on! If you keep going like this I'll have to come down under to shake your hand (and to steal that Butterick pattern from your stash).
    You had a great idea with the buttons. Now really, stop being so fabulous before my boyfriend sees my computer screen!

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  35. Oh, your dress is awesome!

    I'm still working on adjusting the pattern for my dress, but I've done my sketch and bought the fabric... and tested the hairstyle too! http://www.polkadotoverload.com/search/label/madmenchallenge

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  36. This is STUNNING! I love the faux button panel! Very Sneaky!

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    1. I do like sneakiness. Thanks Michelle :)

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  37. It looks gorgeous! Yes, please post a tutorial on fake button closings.

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  38. Oh seriously... I saw the dress and went "Yes, Julia has done it again, this is a great dress!" but then I saw the buttons and I swear I almost wept.... By George, girl, you give me MAJOR dress envy!!

    I would love to see how you did the fake button closure; I think it's a brilliant idea, and that's it... I'm adding this pattern to my wish list.... enough is enough LOL.

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    1. Hahaha! Oh Symon you are too kind! I'm so glad you like the dress! I will make sure I do a tutorial on the faux button closure.

      Thanks again! x

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  39. Another fantastic dress! I'm so envious! Really, it's lovely and I can't wait to see how you faked the button closure. Yet another of your ideas that I'm saving for future inspiration :-)

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    1. Thanks Jennifer, so glad you like it! It's a great dress pattern and I highly recommend it!

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  40. Holy guacamole!! This is gorgeous! Great job! I'm absolutely BURNING with envy over your lovely dress and perfect figure!

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    1. :) Thanks Ginger! And I love your guacamole reference; one can never have too much guacamole.

      You are too kind! Thank you for your comment

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  41. I think I finally sorted my Mad Men dress issues (Lesson learned: always purchase fabric when you first happen upon it, other wise it'll disappear).

    Also, I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award. If you're interested--and you're so not obligated to play along--feel free to check out the details on my blog http://retrorabbithole.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much Tina! I will definitely check it out when I get back in country. I'm overseas for work at the moment!

      Thanks for being awesome and for the nomination :)

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  42. What a fantastic dress! And what a versatile pattern! I definitely need that pattern!!!

    Em

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  43. I nominated you for the Liebster blog award :) Check out the nomination here: http://sewalluring.com/color-me-excited-awards-season-at-sew-alluring/

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  44. The buttons over the tush are SO sexy. Really looking forward to seeing what everyone has made.

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    1. Ha! Thanks Naomi, you're making me blush! Let me know when your fabric arrives too! x

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  45. Your blog and your dresses are outrageously beautiful and as we are saying in France: "This is not pretty, it is worst".

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    1. Then I hope everything I make from now on is 'worst'!

      Thanks Angel :)

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  46. I've been reading your blog for a bit, but this is my first time leaving a comment. I just want to say that I love your sewing style, and this red dress is absolutely gorgeous! Love it! You have great taste. :-)

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  47. This dress is superb Julia as is all of your previous Mad Men crushes. Just stunning. Sew Weekly are having a Mad Men theme this week. I'm going to see if I can still edit my post and pop a link to your challenge. I think that would be lots of fun. :P

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  48. I showed my mother your blog post as she is from that era and she says the sheath dress was very popular and you msde a very beautiful dress fitted perfectly to you!

    She also said that while the buttons are an interesting touch, the secretary of that time would have not worn that dress to work. It is very much a standing-up dress. To sit on those buttons all day was to invite discomfort (and if they were not faux buttons---disaster as they would pop). Perhaps Jan did not consider that when dressing Joanie in the show.

    I am totally envious you can wear these silhouettes without girdle and waist cincher! Gorgeous!

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    1. Wow, that's such high praise thanks Rowsella! And I love that your mother knows her attention to detail, in particular the social accuracy of whether or not a secretary would have worn a dress with buttons to work. It's a great insight!

      Thanks so much for your kind comments and for showing my blog to your mother! xxx

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  49. This is a really really really gorgeous dress. I want to raid your closet now! The collar, the fit, the buttons, such a cool dress. Love it. :)

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  50. Lovely dress and gorgeous button back technique and clever side zipper but in all the photos the back of the sleeve looks weird with drag lines from the top pleat to the back where the notch would be. Part of the 50's was to have perfect set in sleeves and I understand making this modern but for some reason the back of the sleeve just needs some tweaking.

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    1. Mrs. Mole you're very right. I rushed the sleeves in my excitement to finish the dress and I didn't properly think the shape of the drafted sleeves in relation to the pattern bodice. Problem is with me is that once I've finished a dress it's hard to discipline to go back and fix the problems; I'm always so impatient to start my next project! Thanks for your tips and comment :)

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  51. I love this dress. The shape is so simple and stunning. I love the buttons down the back. And there was me wondering how you did it up for a while! :-) My favourite bit is the neckline. It's so flattering.

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    1. Thanks Nikki! I love the neckline too, the shape is so lovely and I don't know why but it just works!

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  52. This is such a wonderful blog and I love your style, your work, your pictures! And you know what: I´ve started this Butterick Dress and I already love it- it is not finished yet but I will certainly sew it again and I will add arm too. Your blog is such an inspiration to me- I am much older, but I also like this feminine style- great!
    Best regards
    Claudia

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  53. Wow that dress looks stunning, I'm speechless at how good it is! The fabric, the style, the colour is just astonishing and it looks so great on you! I love the buttons too, I'm definitely checking this pattern out! I'm new to your blog and really liking your style, definitely following! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk/

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  54. How much did you have to alter the pattern? The pattern the link goes to has a full skirt and no buttons. So cute!

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  55. Hey! I've made Butterick 5603 twice now, once in cotton, the second time in dupioni. I'm re-making it for the third time now in light green tweed, lined with silk, ready for for a trip to Iceland and my harsh Québec winters. I was wondering, though: did you design those sleeves yourself? And did you modify the armhole before adding the sleeves? I want sleeves on my wool dress, of course, but seems to me the holes are a bit small, even for my generic sleeve pattern that I've used before... I usually leave about 2 inches of ease on sleeves, since I like them to be set in... Thoughts?

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  56. This is a truly gorgeous dress! Very very Joan for sure!
    I am relatively new to sewing but that pattern is amazing, I might have to pick it up.

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  57. Hi Julia!
    Great dress! I like your version of the dress better!
    You have great vision, girl!
    Kisses from Portugal!

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