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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Project Peggy Dress - Free Pattern

The Project Peggy Dress is complete!  This is my first self-drafted pattern inspired by too many hours watching Mad Men.  The dress is based on two different Mad Men dresses (worn by Joan and Peggy) with a few changes of my own.  I posted about the process in Project Peggy Part One.

One of the changes is that I made the skirt more of an a-line instead of hip-hugging.  I also made the sleeves a bit looser.

The dress zips in back with a hook and eye at the top.  It has a wide peter pan collar that opens in the back.  The modified empire waist has four darts in both the front and the back of the skirt.  The back bodice has two darts, the front bodice has gathers.

The opening in front is actually a faux opening - the front skirt has two pieces sewn together and folded over.  Buttons are sewn on the edge of the fold.  It doesn't actually open.

The sleeves in the photo show two darts, but I changed the pattern to have only one.

The zipper is an invisible zipper that is put in by hand.  I have better results with hand picking zippers than I do putting one in by machine.

Here is a photo of me next to one of the inspirations.  My version has a closer collar and an a-line skirt.

Although, you can still see a little Joan pop up in the final dress:

More news I am thrilled about - I am putting the pattern online for free!  It is my first one, so I am excited at the idea that someone else will sew it.  I haven't graded the pattern, so it is only available in one size.... mine.  I am approximately a size 12 in ready-to-wear.  This dress will work for a 38" bust and 31" waist.  The hips on the dress are more or less open since it is a-line.

In return for the free pattern, I only ask three things:
  1. Please don't post it anywhere else.  I worked hard on the pattern.
  2. If you sew it, I would LOVE to see pictures.  I will link to them from my blog.
  3. If you have any improvements to suggest, just let me know.  I am not an expert and this is my first e-pattern.  I am excited about techniques to make my e-patterns better.
I haven't written any instructions for the pattern, so an inexperienced sewist may get frustrated with the pattern.  I would definitely post a sew-along if people ask for it.

Without further ado.... here is the link to the pattern on Craftsy.  Enjoy!!!

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  1. Just how clever are you! This dress is brilliant from conception to completion, and including the handpicked zipper - well done...J

    1. That's amazing! one of the nices dresses around.
      I'm glad you made it slightly A-line. Figure hugging pencil dresses are impossible to fit most people, let alone be able to walk around in.
      I have never made a dress before and this has given me the inspiration to start learning.
      I have saved this for when I am ready to start.

      Are you able to make and sell? just incase im unable to make my own?

      Many thanks for sharing!
      You have talent!

    2. Oh, that is so sweet, thank you! Let me know if you need some clarification. I have been meaning to make it again, so I will post a sew-along if I do. I don't sew for other people (if I spend time on a dress I WANT IT FOR ME), but there are other people who do and who are probably better sewists than me, anyway. I'd look on Etsy for dresses and see. There are some talented people who make custom dresses there. Maybe they would be wiling to work something out. If I were starting sewing, I'd take Craftsy classes, for sure. There are some great ones. (I swear, they should start paying me commission)

    3. Thank you.
      The dress looks so beautiful on you.
      Have you thought of putting the white band across the back as well?
      It looks so pretty on front.
      Cant wait to start making.

    4. You could totally put the band around the back... If you do, make sure when you cut the pattern, you add seam allowance on each side of the pattern piece so you don't lose length.

  2. I think it looks fabulous. I'm imagineing what it would look like with top half and skirt in different fabric so looks like seperates. How much ease have you got in the top half?
    Never used craftsy before. It says free on the site but also 'add to cart'. do you need to give all your card details to join to download it?

    1. I only have about an 1 1/2 inches of ease... I used a cotton/lycra blend, so that helps if you would care to sit down and/or breathe in the dress.

      That is an excellent question on the credit card info. I signed up for Craftsy classes, so they had my credit card info. I don't know if it is required for free patterns. I do remember being nervous about getting the free patterns when I did it, because they have you go through the "purchase" process and it feels like you are going to be charged something. But, no charge.

      I'd love to see the dress done in different colors! Ooooh! What a great idea!

  3. wow! that is so awesome that you made and are sharing a pattern! the dress is lovely! <3

  4. Hey I just found this pattern on craftsy and I followed the link to your blog. Thanks for the pattern. I will make it up and post pics on my blog and craftsy. I hope you design more dresses soon (and sell them - I prefer to give my money to indie designers than the Big Four)

    1. Yay! Your comment made my day! I can't wait to see your results. Also, since this is my first pattern, I'd be interested if you have any suggestions for improving it. Thanks! Can't wait to see your results!

  5. Fabulous dress! I'm heading over to Craftsy now. Thank you!

  6. I love this dress & would so totally make it... IF I wasn't a really big busted size 16. :( I've been doing my own research on how to grade patterns though, so I did download it for sometime in the future. ;) I'm hard to fit, store bought or handmade. I'm short. I have a small waist for my overall size but a huge bust. I like everything to come to the center of my knees as well so I often have to lengthen hems too.

    1. I wish I had experience with grading. It is on my list of things to learn, as well. I am looking at pattern drafting software to help. I also looked at the most recommended grading textbook and it is out of print and 400.00. Ugh. I'd love to know if you find a better resource for grading and it works out. Thanks!

  7. Very nice. This would definitely fit me, though my waist is a bit smaller. Lovely. I may try this one, but with an open peter pan collar (in the front) and tighter sleeves (my arms are very skinny) and zip on the side. If I sew it, I send pics.

  8. I’m thrilled I found your website and blogs. Nice guys!!!
    bubblegum casting

  9. I'm thrilled! I want have tham stright awy. Which format of paper it is? Because I have only A4 on hand. Thank you for designing such lovely dress.

  10. Hi Cherie,
    first of all..thanks for sharing this wonderfull patern. I printed it out today after months of keeping it in my downloadfolder. Was hoping for the sew along some day but I guess I'll just figure it out myself :)
    One question, could you tell me how much fabric I need for this dress? I know you used a cotton/lycra mix so that's what I'm going to look for in the fabric store!



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