In Sewing

Mad Men Peggy Dress

The deadline for Julia’s Mad Men challenge is quickly approaching (April 19th) so I’m starting to get into serious planning mode.


The dress I plan to make is one that Peggy wears in Season 2 Episode 5. It’s a fairly simple shirtwaist but with some extra little tidbits, such as these decorative tabs found all over the dress, to make it unique. They’ll be a bit of a challenge to recreate since I’ll have to draft them myself, but that will be half the fun of making this dress come to life!






I think a pink gingham shirtwaist is a true summer wardrobe essential, wouldn’t you agree? I might have to put this dress together with some patterns I already have in my stash because it’s harder than I thought to find a shirt dress pattern that doesn’t have a gathered yoke at the front and back. I already have a pattern piece that will work for the skirt, so it just comes down to finding a suitable pattern for the top. At this point I’m half tempted to go with a simpler Joan or Megan dress and just use one standard ‘ready to go pattern’ so I can get this dress done quickly. Maybe if I’m really ambitious, and have the time, I’ll draft the whole dress myself as instructed by this new class I just bought from Craftsy!

I ordered my fabric already so I can’t really back out now! Wish me luck 🙂

Are you participating in Julia’s Mad Men Challenge?
What are you making for it?


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  • Rachel Proffitt

    Oh how thrilling to find the exact pattern!! (worth extra exclamation points at least ;))
    Can’t wait to see how it goes 🙂 I want to make a shirtwaist, but I really REALLY need the petticoat to make it look better 😉

  • Jessica Cangiano

    Absolutely, a pink shrtwaist dress is a total must in one’s vintage summer wardrobe. They’re like the closet equivalent to cotton candy, and certainly every bit as fun and sweet!

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Thank you very much for your recent wonderful blog comments, honey. I completely agree with you about how having a dog is truly one of the best things in the world. It’s been so many years (mid-teens) since I last lived with a dog and feel so blessed to share my home and life with one again.

  • Kat Sultanie

    I’m making a Joan wiggle dress. It’s green Nd she wears it with a little green silk scarf.

  • Kate

    Can’t wait to see it! Looks like it was a common style – I found this one in a different fabric, I think it’s vintage – on etsy 🙂

  • Helen McFadyen

    This will look great and I’m sure you’ll do it justice. I hope you figure out those tabs, cos they are what make the dress IMO!

    I am making a Joan inspired dress. Finally made some good progress on it today, so feeling happier about that. Can’t wait to see what everyone else makes!

    • Just scored a vintage pattern on eBay that’s pretty much this exact same dress!! So excited right now.

  • very cute dress–I can totally picture it on you 🙂 Alas, I don’t have time for the Mad Men challenge, but I so look forward to following along and seeing all the awesome outfits!!

    • Thanks! I barely have time for this one but I’m going to make it work 🙂

  • Ooh, this is going to be adorable! I can’t wait to see it!

  • I don’t think you need luck – you’re stuff is always amazing!! But either way, good luck <3 I think it will look amazing and I do love all the details it has. I've been hemming my skirt for the Mad Men challenge and after that just a few touch ups and I'm done! I need to do pictures in my Sew For Victory dress and that one will be done too! So exciting!

    • Aww thanks 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your dresses!

  • Charlotte Boyer

    I seriously can’t wait to see the finished product!! The dress inspiration is so absolutely cute!! We actually own a 50s (more early 60s I think) shirtwaist dress pattern very much like the dress you want to make 🙂 the only differences are the fun tabs and extroverted box pleat (if that’s what you call it ;)!

  • It’s going to be so cute!! Can’t wait to see! My Mad Men dress plans have changed several times.

    • Yeah mine usually do except this is the dress I had planned to make last year and didn’t, so I needed to see it done!

  • Can’t wait to see the finished product!

    I am indeed participating, I am almost done my dress actually, and I don’t want to do anything else until it is done, but I guess I should probably make it to work so I can support my sewing habit, ha. I drastically altered Simplicity 2444 to make this:

  • sewperstitious

    This dress reminds of the one I am making at the moment – its McCalls 5238.

    • SabineC

      Wow, that is a close match indeed!

    • WOW that’s pretty much the exact same dress!!! Thanks for showing that to me!

    • Just found that same pattern on eBay. I bought it. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing that link with me. You just made my life infinitely easier!!! xo

      • sewperstitious

        Great! I am glad I could help.

  • Rachael-Lynn

    This is a great dress! Peggy always looks cute! As soon as I’m finished with my Sew for Victory dress I need to get cracking on the Mad Men challenge. Season 5 was just released to Netflix so I can watch while I sew! I have several vintage patterns I purchased at a flea market to choose from.

    • I’ve been watching Mad Men on Netflix too! Can’t wait to see what dress you come up with 🙂

  • Sassy T

    Ooo am looking forward to seeing it. Love the tabs aspect.

  • The tabs really are so cute, I hope you do that! The one on the back reminds me of a pocket, lol! I wonder if you could draft out the gathers on a blouse pattern? Although that sounds kind of like a PITA!

    • Yeah that will be my last resort situation, but I may have found the perfect pattern!

  • I have a dress that I made from one of Gertie’s Butterick patterns that’s totally Joan. I have nowhere to wear it (I made it for my art school portfolio), so I might as well submit it to the challenge!

  • sewinsteady

    So excited to see your dress! I’m just finalizing my plans for my Mad Men dress. I’d originally thought I might make two dresses, but am now thinking my eyes were bigger than my stomach (or my sewjo?).

  • thequirkypeach

    So cute! I love the tabs, and especially the little envelope shaped detail on the back! I’ve been thinking I might change my Mad Men project to something a little easier too – especially b/c the dress I picked is definitely a winter dress, and I want SPRING! 🙂 Good luck with whatever you go with!

    • Oh you gotta go with a spring dress! Especially since there are so many cute ones to choose from in the show 😉

  • dokucug

    That is one fantastic dress! I also wanted to tell you that I’ve been planning on making Burda 7179 (envelope pattern) this spring, and the basic structure is very much like this one – you’d just have to add the tabs. Just in case you want to take the easy way out!


    Oooh, great choice – I love all the additional cute details! Good luck, I’m sure you’ll do great and make the deadline. Speaking of deadlines, I’m very nearly done with my Sew for Victory dress…just the hemming and a few buttons left. Thanks again so much for extending the deadline!

    • Yay! Looking forward to seeing your dress! 🙂

  • This dress is adorable and very “Rovhelle!” 😉 And you sew so quickly, I know you won’t have any trouble making it.