Easter Dress 2014: Mad Men, Retro & Babcha Inspired

Buy Dress Pattern here Spaghetti Strap Party Dress

Floral strapless beige bolero easter dress marusya

 A Few Notes About the Video

Before I begin sharing my project, I want say thank you to my old friend from Notre Dame friend, Pat McKillen. He gave me permission to use his song Found for my video. Even though it’s one of his older songs, it’s still one of my favorites as it seems to capture my journey over the years. Some of my other favorites include: Carry On Caroline, Cover Time After Time, and Cover Galway Girl.

Even though I am still developing my talents as a videographer, I filmed all the clips for this video. Ditto for my sketching skills, (My sister is giving me lessons!) I’m a little embarrassed to even post it, but I did want to share it. Please remember that it is a very rough sketch.

It’s been a year since my babcha (grandmother) passed away.

One would guess that my daily life wouldn’t have been affected so much living so far away from her. I was not one of her devoted caretakers. Nevertheless my life has changed quite a bit.  In all aspects of my life, I have seen my hard work pay off and show results. Coincidence? I think not. I have no doubt that Babcha has lent a hand in some way.

With Ash Wednesday, it was time for me to start my annual Easter dress. There was no question that Babcha was my inspiration – but with an unusual twist.  This year I’m  incorporating Mad Men fashion to the dress, and participating in Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Challenge. (I don’t watch Mad Men, but the outfits inspired me!)


Ukrainian Floral Pink Cotton Floral Fabric Marusya

For about a week, I was set on a collared dress design. (I don’t want to share my first design because I hope to make it in the future!) But when I started looking through my fabric, I realized I should use my babcha’s vintage floral fabric.

Last July I started making a dress from this fabric, but I ultimately scratched the dress because it looked too dated and vintage.

But now – this fabric is exactly what I’m looking for!

Floral strapless beige bolero easter dress marusya

With my vintage looking fabric laid out on the table, I gathered ideas from the web & vintage Pinterest boards.

Below are the photos and details that caught my eye and inspired my overall look.

 easter dress inspiration

At first, I wanted a silhouette similar to my black velvet Christmas dress and the Chanel dress worn by Keira Knightly, but with a long fitted skirt. I envisioned the top layer of the bodice having an asymmetrical design using the floral stripes from my babcha’s fabric.

Floral strapless beige bolero easter dress marusya
boning in front and back bodice

I started with Burdastyle’s boned strapless dress pattern. Before draping the loose bodice piece on the strapless dress, I checked the fit of the dress.

As always, I had limited time to make this dress. I skipped the step of making a mock-up in hopes of saving a lot of time and money. I have consistently worn the same size in Burdastyle Patterns, so I thought I would have no problem. But this time, the dress didn’t fit. The hips were too tight!!

I didn’t have enough fabric to cut a new CF skirt panel. Instead, I added a floral stripe down the front of the skirt.  I don’t really like the stripe, but it did its job and now the skirt fits!

 The stripe down the front of the skirt threw me off! I felt that my original bodice design wouldn’t work with the new skirt.

Floral strapless beige bolero easter dress marusya

Ultimately, I decided to keep the dress simple and make a bolero jacket using the floral fabric instead.

I modified a Burdastyle jacket pattern for my bolero jacket. I designed the bolero as I went along and didn’t have a specific style or design in mind.

Floral strapless beige bolero easter dress marusya

In the end, I was very happy with the final bolero design and construction.

Floral strapless beige bolero easter dress marusya
The dress has boning in the front and back.

In conclusion,  my dress looked very different from the Mad Men dresses I originally picked out. But  if I had to choose, I could see Joan wearing this outfit.  This is crazy because I originally set out to make something Megan Draper would wear!

joan mad men fashion

Floral strapless beige bolero easter dress marusya

Floral strapless vintage bolero easter dress marusya

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32 Floral strapless illusion bolero easter dress marusya
This was the dress I started with the floral fabric back in July.

Create a year’s worth of beautiful cards that your friends and family members are sure to cherish!

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  1. Reply

    “Sew” gorgeous! Loved the video. The dress is just fabulous. You are such a gifted young lady! Your Babcha is smiling down on you 🙂

  2. Reply

    Beautiful dress and bolero! Looks very MadMed yet also modern in a way, love it!

  3. Reply

    I really loved the video and the music. The dress is fabulous. Gorgeous fabric and the trims really add a nice touch. Congratulations!

  4. Reply

    Brilliant Video and dress a perfect outfit for a summer wedding.

    1. Reply

      Thank you Teresa!

  5. Reply

    Gorgeous – the dress, the bolero, the video. Stunning. You are so talented in so many aspects, this could only have been a success. Well done. x

    1. Reply

      Thank you black label!

  6. Reply

    […] With the exception of the adult upper bodice, both coats are made from self-drafted patterns. I used an old (and loved) Burdastyle pattern to help build the bodice of the adult coat. (I used the pattern from this Easter dress bolero pattern.) […]

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