Home » Finished Sewing Projects » My Peggy Olsen inspired ‘Reneta’

My Peggy Olsen inspired ‘Reneta’

I love Mad Men, I still watch it on a continuous loop, usually when I’m sewing. The wardrobe has been an endless source of fascination and inspiration. It’s easy to be drawn towards a specific characters sense of style, there’s Joan’s bombshell wiggle dresses, Betty’s classic understated chic, but for me though it’s all about Peggy. There’s many Peggy dresses I would love in my wardrobe but I’ve been particularly obsessed with the cowl necked Damson number for years.

At SewBrum in October I set myself a mission to find the perfect fabric for my own version. Possibilities arose in Barry’s but they were either too purple or too red. There was nothing on the Rag market (I think the reason I bought so little fabric at was because I was so intent on finding ‘the one’) I prepared myself for disappointment but struck gold at Guthrie and Ghani, hiding under the cutting table was the holy grail, one of their Luxury Jerseys (A blend of Silk and Model) the colour was spot on, it draped beautifully and was so soft, it really lived up to its name.

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I used the cowl version of the Sewaholic Renfrew  which I planned to morph into the Colette Moneta skirt. I was initially going to be good and make a muslin but in the end decided to live dangerously and dive straight in (my justification was that I knew both patterns fitted, it was just a matter of how to fudge them together)

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Renfrew in red Moneta in green

The cowl on the Renfrew is quite deep, I wanted to get as close to my inspiration as possible so I raised the neckline by 2 inches and shortened the cowl accordingly. There’s a big difference between the two patterns, particularly around the shoulders and armscye. The best course of action was to keep things simple so I used the Renfew until the bottom of the armscye (sleeves and cuffs included) then measured the length of the Moneta bodice and drafted that onto the bottom half. The skirt was all Moneta.

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It came together without a hitch, there’s quite a bit of weight to the fabric and I was worried it may pull the skirt down as it did on my last Monetas. Just in case I shortened the elastic in the waist seam to keep it snug. When I tried it on it fitted but I felt something was lacking. I’d contemplated attaching a waistband during construction but decided there was far too much chance of making a mess and ruining the whole thing. Instead I made a tube of fabric, gathered it at the side and l hand stitched it to the waist at three inch intervals to allow for stretch.

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(This is the third outfit taken on my windy day photo shoot!)

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 (I’ve just noticed that I hadn’t pressed the hem after sewing!)

It actually turned out better than I’d imagined, the gathered waistband really balances out the drape of the cowl. The fabric feels lovely to wear, very cosy and perfect for the colder weather. Unfortunately I don’t have a cardigan that works with it (I could really do with a black one but it would be so boring to knit) it does need something to break up the large expanse of boob though! I’ll definitely make another but not until the Autumn as my head is full of Spring sewing, I expect yours is too!

Helen x

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25 thoughts on “My Peggy Olsen inspired ‘Reneta’

  1. What large expanse of boob! You look FABULOUSLY fabulous! Love the waistband and the colour and the cowl neck. Well done Helen! 👏👏 Renata is a success💕💕

  2. This looks great on you and as you say the waistband does balance it out perfectly. Love the colour as well.

    Now have you heard about backward knitting, I’ve been told it take the boredom out of stockinette knitting, still have to work it out myself but just a thought.

    • Thank you Sharon, I’ve not heard of backwards knitting, I’ll definitely be googling it as I’m intrigued. Ideally I’d like another Audrey in Unst and a black one would get a lot of wear, I think it would be impossible to buy black yarn though when there are so many lovely colours to choose from! x

  3. Helen, this dress is incredible! The cowl is identical to Peggy’s and the waistband is a perfect compliment to it. It looks very comfortable and very stylish. I love it!

  4. This is so much like Peggy’s dress – it looks really lovely – the colour is so rich and the waistband makes it very different to a Moneta! I still have to sew up my fabric – its all on the list!

    Louise

  5. Your dress is so pretty! I think your modifications to the neckline are perfect. The waistband is a great detail and pulls the whole thing together so nicely. I love your Peggy dress!

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