The Joan Process dress

Hi! I am new to the site (though I was on the old Sew Retro site) and this is my first post. I sew clothes for me and my friends between working and uni and I am at least not quite as bad at it as I used to be!

I pretty much learned to sew so that I could make clothes that made me look like Joan from Mad Men (not a particularly original idea!). Although I have been sewing for over a year, this is my first real attempt at making a Joan dress.

I used Woman W400 as the pattern (though it got modified in most areas! I changed the neckline and sleeves, and omitted some skirt darts and the zip as my double knit was stretchy enough to not need them. The wide band round the bottom is a happy result of an accidental chopping too much off the bottom moment! (why did they always draw pattern envelope where the skirt appears 7 inches shorter than the pattern makes it?)

I drove myself slightly mad with this dress, as I seam ripped every single seam at least once, and the darts were a terribly nipply disaster for a long time! But now I love it! It is incredibly comfortable and I can wear it for anything! It does give a “I am Joan, mess with me at your peril” sense of empowerment too!

• Meet the Author • monkeysocks



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20 comments… add one

  • Beautiful. Who doesn’t want a “Joanie” dress? And I am so impressed this is your first go at making a dress. You did a fantastic job. I hope it inspires you to make many more.

    Reply
    • Thanks honey, I have made one proper dress before, but it was much more straight-forward than this one! I do feel quite inspired, I had been in a bit of a rut and this has made me feel a lot better!

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  • Well it was definitely worth the effort – you look fantastic!!! Joan Holloway eat your heart out!

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    • Thanks! I did feel pretty awesome wearing it -it was so comfortable yet felt really grown up (in a good way!)

      Reply
  • I recognize that dress! You looked great wearing it at the Crafters’ Ceilidh. Wonderful color!

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    • Thanks – the colour is amazing, I painted my front door a similar colour, I’m a sucker for bright blue!

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  • Lovely! Great idea using the blue doubleknit and omitting a zip. Also, I’m in LOVE with the pattern — great choices!

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    • Thanks! It did all come together beautifully (in the end!) And I’m really glad I didn’t have to tangle with a zip-although the double knit sewed like a dream so it would probably have been fine!

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  • FABULOUS dress! It was so great to see you at the Crafters’ Ceilidh in this fabulous dress…you’ve done ‘joanie’ proud!

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    • It was great to see you too-thanks so much for organising it!

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  • You did a great job with that dress, I like the pattern !

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    • Thanks! I had been looking hopefully at the pattern for a while so I decided to jump in!

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  • Wow I love it. The colour is amazing and it fits perfectly. Well done!

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    • Thanks-the fit did take a long time but it was worth it in the end!

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  • Oh I’m so excited to see this dress – I’ve got that exact pattern and have been wandering what it would look like made up. Your version is absolutely gorgeous and you look wonderful in it! You’ve definitely inspired me to try the pattern, thanks. x

    Reply
    • Thanks, and thanks for popping over to the blog. I hope your dress involves less seam ripping than mine did! Of course you could always try doing it in less of a hurry..!

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  • This dress is perfect for you. The color is amazing and the fitting in the bust area is really good. I also like the sleeve length you chose, it’s very complimenting.

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    • Thank you! The sleeves were a bit of a guess as I improvised the sleeve cuff, but I really like how they turned out.

      Reply
  • Girl, you are smoking! This is a fantastic Joanie dress, great color and well-fitted. Some day the thrift/upcycling gods will send me some double knit love :)

    Reply
    • why thankyou threadsqaure! I do love doubleknit now!

      Reply

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