The “Rose Hips” Top and Skirt

Thanks for stopping by!  The 5th season is launching in the U.S. this week.  So to celebrate  our Sew Weekly challenge garment is to recreate a look inspired by the show.  Yay!

Alternative titles for this: The “Like Joan from the Back” Top and Skirt, or The “Hips like Joan” Top and Skirt.

This project has been brewing in my head for months since some time in 2011 when Mena first mentioned we’d be doing – I for one, am glad it got pushed back a few months!

My favourite dress from the show is Joan’s Dress with Roses, worn for that scene when she hosts her husband’s colleagues for dinner and he humiliates her.  Sad night – great dress.

I heard from someone who saw the actual costume in person, that the roses were roughly appliqued onto the dress.  I can do rough!

So, the top started life as an 80’s  Batwing Dress plus size dress from the Australian Label – Maggie T.  It caught my eye in the Op shop because it’s made from a lovely wool jersey.

There was not enough fabric to make a dress – so it became a top.


Cut out Roses roughly.

Iron the interfacing on to the reverse of the fabric

Cut out carefully

Zig-zag the edge

Topstitch into position

Attach facings

Sew side seams

Insert sleeves and finish hems

Makes it sound easy right?  It took hours – and was all done in stages


Of course this was not easy either due to a monumental stuff up I made.

The skirt, due to my lack of organization, acquired an extra pattern piece from another skirt – fate had it that I measured this piece to see if the skirt was going to bet too short (as I suspected) then, much to my surprise I discovered that it was long enough (except it wasn’t).

So I was disappointed to learn upon trying it on – that I had made the whole thing too short.  And I had used nearly all my fabric.

I had procrastinated so much I was now down to the wire.  I had a hair appointment scheduled for Thursday and was going to get my Hair Dresser Christina to do me an Up-Do.

Another few days delay to work out what to do – I had to add the ruffle to the hem.  I think it worked ok.  I still need to line the skirt and I wanted to line the ruffle in this fabulous red lining fabric I have had for years.

I got home from the Hair dressers and threw on the ruffle and put the zip in.


I have to say a big elastic belt covers a multitude of sins.  It makes a badly fitting. unhemmed top fit and covers up the unfinished waist of a skirt!

Photo day was a hot 30 degrees again – of course – sweating in wool again!  Pretend to be feeling really glamorous, while wondering to self “Maybe if I had spent more time on sewing than shopping for 60’s glass ware to make the drinks cabinet pretty – this would have been totally finished?”

And thanks to Maureen Elliott my Mum’s dear friend for the stunning  60’s jet earrings, which were a present a few years ago (with a matching necklace).

New Season of Mad Men – Bring it on!

The Facts
Fabric: Top: Upcycled Wool Jersey Dress and Rose Print Cotton Lycra Sateen, Skirt: upholstery Wool from stash
Pattern: Top: Simplicity 5939  Skirt: Simplicity Rebecca Taylor V1169
Year: 1965 and 2010 respectively
Notions: Interfacing from stash
Time to complete: 6 months including thinking time
First worn: For photos
Wear again? The top -yes.  The skirt – they both need more work really.
Total price: $25


14 thoughts on “The “Rose Hips” Top and Skirt

  1. Hey trish love the earrings and the whole look is totally fab on you… the 2nd photo where you’re standing in front of the north island map reminds me of the tv weather lady…kia ora and the outlook for tomorrow is …. ;D

  2. Love it! The ruffle around the bottom of the skirt is really cute – nice cover up job there. 😉 All these applique roses outfits are making me consider trying my hand at applique – they just look so adorable!

    (Also, we seem to have our sewing habits mixed up. I keep making far too light-weight things that I freeze in to get photos, and you’re the opposite way round. Funny!)

    • Thanks Kat, saved by the ruffle. May I recomment Vlisofix for applique – like double sided tape for fabrics. Everything stays put – why didn’t I use it? That is a good question – hmmmm.

      That is funny. Don’t worry, I have lots of chiffons and summer weights planned for my Autumn sewing, I shall be shivering soon!

  3. Wow – this outfit is stunning Trish – you are so talented. You inspire me and I have my sewing machine out all the time now… or as one of Kaleb’s friends told me yesterday… “oooh you have one of those textiles machine thingys”.

  4. OH wow! Red and black, Mad Men -esque, refashioned, roseprint and a perfectly fitted ensemble. All of my favourite things. You look stunning Trish. Thank you for the appliqué inspiration. That’s a fabulous idea 🙂

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