My Mad Men Dress

I have been wanting to make myself a full-skirt sheath dress from the 1960’s for a while now.  I love this style, with the full skirt and the fitted bodice.  Very feminine, and probably considered a special occasion or dressy dress today, but only 50 years ago, women would have worn this as an everyday dress (I think). 

Unfortunately the martini glass is empty — just a prop!

I have been searching for patterns (mostly on Etsy), and finally found Simplicity 4360 from Two Buck Pattern Truck.  This circa 1960 pattern originally came with a full skirt sheath and pencil sheath and jacket.  The pattern I purchased was missing the pieces for the jacket (which I didn’t need) and was only $2!!  View 2 (left on the pattern image) was exactly the style I was interested in and the pattern was $2!!  This is very inexpensive even for a current pattern, let alone a vintage pattern.

View 2 is on the left.  Doesn’t she resemble Betty Draper just a bit?
The dress came together pretty easily.  I had to make a few adjustments because I think the ladies in this era had much smaller waists and were much more busty than me.  Not a problem.  I took in the bodice darts and it fitted me comfortably.  One feature I loved about this pattern (and many other gathered skirt patterns that I have seen from this time frame) is that the skirt is gathered in the sides and back and then falls into soft pleats in the front.   Using the pleats in the front makes the look so much softer than if the gathers were to continue around the entire circumference of the skirt. 
Here are some views of the dress.  I used Amy Butler “Martini” in Mustard from the Midwest Modern fabric collection.  I am a very bad model, so please forgive me.


 Now hubby and I just have to arrange a date night so I can wear this great new dress!  🙂

0 thoughts on “My Mad Men Dress

  1. Jane Zillmer says:

    I love your dress creation and the pattern purchased from my sister's etsy shop. I also love Mad Men and grew up in that era. And I did sew all my own clothes back then. I'm a quilter now and still love fabric. You have a very nice blog and etsy shop.

  2. Arianne says:

    Thanks so much! I love the styles from the 1950's and 60's – women's clothing was more feminine then. I love the patterns on your sister's shop too. It is amazing to me that so many vintage patterns still exist.

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