Monday, 31 March 2014

Madmen Challenge 3, a bit of Joan!

Well I have just managed to finish my dress for Julia Bobbins Madmen challenge which finishes tonight.  I decided to channel my inner Joan which means a 60s wiggle dress (without her figure of course).

I didn't want to try and copy a dress exactly but come up with a version I thought I could actually wear, and was rather attracted to the idea of a large collar as in the left hand image above.  Burda 7178 looked pretty original to the 60s. 

This was my first Burda pattern and you have to get used to the rather minimal instructions.  I decided to use a  ponte knit fabric for comfort.  I had a few problems with the sizing (though I really liked the very full measurements Burda give).  I made a lining which proved to be a bit tight, so I decided not to use it and couldn't be bothered to make another.    (I should have noticed from this that the shoulders are far too wide but I didn't and even with using a 3/4" allowance on the sleeves didn't completely solve it).

So  I went back to facings.  The dress itself is too big (it would look great on someone with more curves). 

The collar plus facings was a challenge and particularly difficult to fit at the top of the zip, but I love the collar at the back!  You may be able to see that I had a bit of difficulty with the zip and facing at the back.  So overall not my favourite make, but an interesting challenge.  I hope I do get to wear it sometime, when I'm not sure.

I think I've had enough jersey for a while, as I just find that I can't get a really nice finish inside!  I've got lots of plans though for a slip, emery dress, swing dress, more trousers, a blouse and I've two jumpers on the go and a Chanel style jacket, busy, busy! 
I've was away for 3 nights last week.  I spent two nights with my oldest friends Katie and Bob on the South Coast.  As always when I visit them I had a great time.  Katie has the most gorgeous garden.

We caught the bus to Brighton and felt smug to get upstairs front seats where the views were fabulous

We visited the Brighton pavilion

which was really interesting and rather crazy.  The interior was absolutely over the top but very interesting.

Then I spent a night in London, here is my hotel
Only kidding!  This was taken from the bus, couldn't possibly afford this and my own hotel was a bit of a dump!  I was there to attend a conference but also managed to fit in my first trip to the V & A.  The Coffee shop was suitably grand.

The main purpose of my visit was the Fashion exhibition which was wonderful.  The condition of the gowns were fabulous and you couldn't believe the age!

You can never have enough knitted swimwear!

And my favourite a Dior New Look Suit (which was red rather than orange).

I can fully recommend the collection (and you can take photos!).  Just wish I could catch the Italian fashion exhibition about the start.
So its been a busy couple of weeks.  If you are a mum hope you had a lovely day yesterday, I did, be more of this next week.  Must get off to bed now especially as the clock change is catching up with me.  Have a great week.


  1. It's such a lovely dress, and I think it looks remarkably good on you. I could certainly see it as a dress to wear to a wedding

    1. Thanks Kaitlyn, yes it would be good for a wedding, none coming up though!

  2. Oh Mags, I am beaming from ear to ear - that dress is stunning and you look sensational in it! A dress which looks as good from the back as it does the front is very elegant, I always think.

    How lovely to catch up with friends, and in Brighton too, one of my favourite places. Nothing like the sea air and general bonkers-ness of Brighton to lift the spirits! x

    1. Thanks so much Gillian, your comments are such a tonic, and a real morale booster. x

  3. I like what you have done with the collar... it is funny, I just bought that pattern. Now I can't wait to make something and maybe put on a collar, as well.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Look forward to seeing your version Cherie, the collar does change the dress a lot, but with the low back I think it can take it! Shame I can't wear it to work though!

  4. Love the colour and collar on your dress.I can't see from the pattern - did you add it on yourself? Hope you managed to get to Ditto in Brighton - they have a lovely range to increase your fabric stash with

    1. No the collar comes with the pattern, otherwise it is a very plain round neck. I missed Ditto I'm afraid but hopefully will be there in the summer so will make sure I find it. Fabric stash needs reduction though! What can I say.