It has been a little while since my last ‘Inspired By…’ post and who better to break the drought than my all-time favourite Betty Draper. Mad Men has never really been the same for me since the greatly reduced Betty focus that happened in series 4 but recently she seems to have come sneaking back into the spotlight a bit. Hooray for that!
Generally the fashions in the show are no longer really to my taste either- the late sixties aren’t really my thing. I was ecstatic when I first discovered the series, hours and hours of very well done, pretty, early sixties outfits; I literally couldn’t believe my luck and so I was a little sad when there was such an obvious and dramatic styling change at the start of series 5. In the current series, however, Betty sports a super-cute little outfit that I found myself coveting.
I loved how classic and retro this outfit was and I had just the fabric for it in my stash: Liberty tana lawn in Nancy Ann. I love this print so much- it has little strawberries and cherries on it! Can’t get any more kitsch than that!
I recently made up Simplicity 1880 and I really love the shape and fit of the top half so I decided to be lazy and just make a blouse pattern based on that rather than pattern cut it myself. In order to convert the top half of the dress pattern into a blouse I followed the following simple steps:
1- Traced the dress pattern back and front down to the waist, marking in seam allowances and all markings.
2- Extended the CF (centre front), CB (centre back) and the button-stand line about 20cm (8 inches).
3- Mark the length I wanted the blouse to be on these lines, in my case this was 15cm (6 inches) down from the waist line.
4- Squared across from the CF and CB line at the 15cm (6 inches) mark.
5- Calculated the width I wanted the blouse to be at the hemline based on my high hip measurement plus adequate ease and then marked a quarter of this measurement from the CF and CB on the line squared across to create blouse hemline.
6- Added seam allowance to the hem.
I didn’t mark in the waist tucks/ release pleats on the paper pattern initially; instead I wanted to make up a toile of the blouse first and position them whilst wearing the blouse. I chose to do this as blouses don’t want to be nipped in at the waist to the extent that Simplicity 1880 is, so I wanted to adjust the amount of fabric in the tucks and check their position at the same time. With the toile on I pinned away the correct amount in the desired positions on the front and back of the blouse and then transferred these amounts back onto the paper pattern.
The shorts are my lightweight denim version of the vintage McCall’s pair I blogged here. As predicted I have worn these a LOT as they go with everything, they are definitely going to be more of a staple than the fun yellow pair!
I am also wearing a yummy cashmere cardigan from Boden that I am loving this summer, the shape is perfect over summery tops and dresses. Although it’s been really hot in London over the last couple of weeks having a few summery-looking but super-warm cardigans is so handy over the British summer if you actually want to be able to wear your dresses. This cardi definitely falls into that category and is such a summery colour too- it was described as soft red but is actually a beautiful coral in reality. It’s as close as I could get within my cardigan collection to the lovely collarless cable knit worn by Betty later in the same episode.
Are you watching the current season of Mad Men? What do you think of the fashions in the show these days? Are there any you have been inspired to replicate?
Thanks for reading!