Betty Draper Mad Men Dress

I had a bit of a deadline for this frock. I wanted to wear it to the wedding of a girl whose dress I made.

By the time her dress was delivered, the Melbourne Autumn Winter fashion season was upon me, as well as a musical production I only had a week & very few free hours to sew.

I have been lusting after the Betty Draper cocktail dress from Mad Men season one(?) and also saving this gorgeous piece of Vintage Mark Learner/Learnerson Fabrics cotton sateen for just the right dress & occasion. I decided the wedding someone I used to babysit, who had asked me to make her dress when she was 5, was just the right occasion.
I tolied the bodice on the Saturday before the wedding, then the sewing gods freed up two more half days for me to get this baby done. I was still stitching the hem before I had to dash to work for 4 hours, before the wedding


I used Vogue 9712 & drafted my own ruched panel.
I am so pleased with how it turned out.
I also got to wear my gorgeous wedding petticoat underneath it, although it was close to 40c/100f so I ditched the petticoat after the ceremony.

The petticoat is hanging behind the dress on my bedroom door & was not some weird sleeves, as a few people thought on Facebook post.

• Meet the Author • empireroom


I am a costume designer & mobile seamstress. For as long as I can remember I have loved everything do do with sewing & creating. I would spend hours sitting at the end of my Mama's bed sifting through the fabric trunk & sorting the button tin. I made my first dress at 5 for my Barbie, & my first me size seersucker skirt with the sewing machine at 7. I have a ridiculous number of patterns & reference books, far too much fabric, wool & haby, & an alarming number of sewing machines.


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11 comments… add one

  • way pretty. I love the fabric

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  • I love it! Such a beautiful fabric. I think you made an excellent choice to use it for this dress.

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  • Just stunning! I hope you didn’t upstage the bride! ;-)

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  • The dress looks fabulous!

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  • Lovely!

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  • Very pretty dress!!! you did a great job!

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  • I thought you had more pictures in your blog, but don’t, please post more pictures and little bigger thna these one, I really like your dress.

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  • Wow, I love that dress. Very pretty!

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  • Don’t you just love that scene when Betty gets up from the table to go to the bathroom and that dress makes the most wonderful swishing sound from all those petticoats! I love the dress you made and am totally envious of your border print floral sateen fabric, that is my holy grail, it is so hard to find. That print is a little like the tulip border print in blue that Retrospec’d have.

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  • She wears the most beautiful dresses in the show. I especially liked her outfits in season one. Thanks for posting the photos and feel free to drop by me too when you have time.

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  • Really, really nice and dead on with the color-matching.

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