A couple of weeks ago, Project Sewn had a sew-a-long challenge called “Leading Ladies” — sew something inspired by a leading lady. I had recently purchased V8825 (pictured above), a pattern for a 70’s style faux-wrap dress with long puffy sleeves. I figured I’d use Faye Dunaway’s Oscar-winning performance in the 1976 movie Network as my leading lady inspiration. She plays a television producer in the late 70’s, and wears blouses with similar styling to this dress. (Added bonus is her character is a role model — one of only a few women being taken seriously in a producer role at the time. She’s pretty much the only woman in a big sausage party of a movie.) If you want 70’s style wardrobe inspiration, look no further than Network. This article talks more about the film and in particular, the wardrobe worn by Dunaway.
So, here’s my attempt at recreating this vibe. (If I’d really wanted to stay true to the inspiration, I would have sewn this in brown — brown was pretty much THE colour of the 70’s, it seems — but I couldn’t picture myself enjoying wearing this in brown. Instead I bought a couple of yards of ponte knit in purple.) In any case, HOW FAR OFF IS THE FRIGGIN’ SIZING ON THIS PATTERN. I thought I was sewing a dress but it turns out it was actually a pattern for an oversize bathrobe. Seriously. LOOK AT THIS DISASTER.
The only saving grace about this one is that if I wanted to, I could transport groceries in the extra space in the bodice. Allow me to demonstrate: plenty of room for the sweet peppers I picked up at the farmer’s market, with room leftover for a bunch of bananas!
Hey, that’s actually not a bad impression of Joan Holloway from Mad Men (well, if you pretend I’m a drop-dead gorgeous redhead). I’m quite sure this dress would fit her. It definitely is no where close to fitting me. After checking the sizing specs, I cut and sewed a size 10 (2nd smallest; I normally wear size Small), but this came out at least a Large if not Extra Large. If you choose to sew this pattern, be warned that you can go down two or even three sizes if you’re not interested in the grocery cart model, particularly since it calls for stretch fabric and has pleats along the lower edge of the bodice that create even more room.
So, I don’t know if I’m going to attempt some surgery on this one, or just send it off to the Salvation Army store. I’m not sure I’m so in love with the design that I want to spend a few frustrating hours hacking it down to size. What do you think, worth a try?
Thanks for reading.