Learn How SIMPLE
Digital Patterns Really Are!

Sign Up to Receive
The Ultimate Guide to Digital Sewing Patterns eBook + a FREE Skirt Pattern!

Mad Men Party dress

Added Mar 12, 2011

by smallone

San Francisco, C...






Well I wanted to make a top with a nice lace overlay so I chose some lace from the internet….but when it arrived what I had assumed to be a small floral repeat turned out to be rather a large floral repeat and being petite it would overwhelm me as a top…..hum!

However next day an invite to a Mad Men party arrived. Ah ha! a new use for the lace – a 60’s lace overlay shift more suitable to the larger repeat.

This is the BurdaStyle Fatina pattern without the collar, with a slightly raised neckline, and widened at the shoulders for a more 60s Mod feel. I also added back darts, and for the first time ever made a muslin, which helped imensly with fitting – I did not want to work out fit with lace overlay and wanted to get the length right so I could position the scallops at the bottom of the hem correctly when cutting my lace fabric.

Biggest challenge was that I only had 1 yard of the lace so some creative piecing together of parts had to be undertaken – the dress back is made in 3 parts with seams at the yoke and hips (and if you look carefully one of those panels had to be cut upside down) – I literally had just scraps of fabric left after cutting out.

The lace is over and attached to a stretch charmeuse under layer – working that out was interesting. I think what I did worked OK, certainly for a one off party piece….

…..but right about when I’d finished I found Sherrys wonderful Emerald Dress and FABULOUS instructions at her blog Pattern – Scissors – Cloth – if you want to make a lace overlay anything – read her blog post first ……Shows you how to underline your fabric, lace in my case – something I’d never heard of but realized the benefits of after having muddled my way through without an underlining. It basically allows you to treat the lace and underlay as one piece of fabric and boy do I wish I’d found her blog first!

Anyway dress was a hit and I think I managed to carry off a 60’s-esq look – thanks to shangrow for pointing me to the hair tutorial via her lovely Grace Kelly Halloween ensemble. I am wearing more hairspray here than I have in the previous 10 years!

and lastly but not by any means least thanks to Angela Kane for her excellent invisible zip videos – first invisible zip went in first time with her great and clear instructions!!

Material Notes

Green lace over purple stretch poly satin charmeuse




Garment Type
Lace/Sequins, Satin


Photo credits to Drew Altizer Photography (minus the one that is obviously mine in bad light)

10 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Img_3334_large

    Aug 24, 2012, 04.58 PMby Jodi Wade

    Great outfits!

    1 Reply
    • Charlie-deeshadows1_large

      Aug 27, 2012, 08.32 PMby smallone

      Thanks Jodi!!

  • Bd108cac0a8824476921567ec40331c07e237efe_large

    Jul 31, 2012, 08.40 AMby saxsilverain

    you both look perfect! your dress look like an original dress from the 60s, and along with all the items you wore & your hairdo, you look like you just stepped out of a 60s TV show ;)

    2 Replies
    • Charlie-deeshadows1_large

      Aug 27, 2012, 08.32 PMby smallone

      thanks really enjoyed putting this together a ton of fun!

    • Charlie-deeshadows1_large

      Aug 27, 2012, 08.32 PMby smallone

      thanks really enjoyed putting this together a ton of fun!

  • Emilykate_large

    Feb 13, 2012, 09.54 PMby emilykate

    You guys look great! I love your dress and your whole look is perfect.

    1 Reply
    • Charlie-deeshadows1_large

      Feb 13, 2012, 11.50 PMby smallone

      Hey thanks! yeah it was super fun to put this together.

  • Img_1347_large

    Sep 24, 2011, 05.42 PMby anniemm

    gorgeous fabric and a great dress

  • Img_0316_2_large

    Aug 16, 2011, 10.21 PMby sigrid

    Perfect !

  • Img_6207_large

    Aug 16, 2011, 02.07 AMby The Tropical Sewist

    You nailed it! That lace is perfect for the dress, good call. And you really looked the part – was there a prize for best-dressed?

    1 Reply
    • Charlie-deeshadows1_large

      Aug 18, 2011, 05.25 AMby smallone

      no prize …just the prize of a very fun evening :)

  • Img_0509omena_large

    Jul 13, 2011, 07.49 AMby Rikamekko

    Beautiful dress!

  • Unt300_crvena-itled-1_large

    Mar 28, 2011, 08.15 PMby FEDRA

    I like the dress and shoes too! excellent combination!

  • Image_large

    Mar 14, 2011, 03.57 AMby rifka

    Great dress! You couldn’t of picked a better way to style this lace. Extra bonus points for finding a handbag to match too!

  • Enlarged_hilarity-copy_edited_large

    Mar 12, 2011, 03.53 AMby Testosterone

    The ’doo, the color and print, the overlay, the handbag, that neat and trim gent (what a prop!), and of course those cocktails!

    smallone, I could see you driving up to the party in a DeSoto you know he’s going to trade in for that new Javelin AMC is about to come out with.

    Did you bring rumaki, or a jello mold? Or maybe a bottle of chianti for the host and hostess?

    Looks like the evening was all yours!

    1 Reply
    • Charlie-deeshadows1_large

      Mar 12, 2011, 07.03 PMby smallone

      Yes thanks Etsy vintage for the jewels, handbag, and men’s vintage sports jacket – the man is my own ;) Unfortunately we arrived in my 2008 Subaru Outback but were able to secret it around a corner.

    • This is a question
  1. Sign in to add a post

Add to Favorites 2 people added it

This project is based on