Mad Men Challenge: Joan Bow Dress Plans

Mad Men Sewing Challenge Sketch: Joan Dress

A royal blue figure-hugging V-neck Joan dress with cuffs? And a bow? Oh, yes, please.

Are you as excited by Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Challenge as I am? A Joanie dress has been on my epic to-sew list for EONS now. I actually missed the entire last season of the show (I blame my awesome toddler for being way more fun than watching even a really excellent show) but no matter. Also: I used to work on Madison Avenue! (In marketing, not advertising, but still).

I’m not sure what I think–I’m not as in love with the drawing as I expected to be, but I think it’s the hair and the fact that I couldn’t figure out how the dress would work on my narrow shoulders–which is why I didn’t draw in the brooch. Maybe I need to convert it from the set-in sleeve of the pattern to the kimono sleeve of the real Joan dress?

I have the main dress fabric (and some boring gray doubleknit from the stash for a muslin) but I’ve been frustrated in my dickey fabric search. As you can see above, I got some random cheap poly chiffon that sorta works–but Joan just strikes me as a genuine silk charmeuse kind of woman. I’m struggling to find a silk charmeuse with an even vaguely similar or 60s-appropriate print. This awesome printed silk remnant on the Denver Fabrics site is perfect, but I emailed them and they’re only selling it as one big 8 1/2 yard piece… I need like, 1/2 a yard:

I’m also working on a modified Ruby Slip to wear underneath (I considered a half slip since I have one cut already, but I know I’ve seen Joan wearing a blue silk full slip in several scenes).

Mad Men Sewing Challenge Sketch 2: Under Options

So are you in? Have you picked a dress? I DID consider a non-Joan dress… briefly. But really, my figure type is closest to Joan’s, and I’ve never drooled over the other character’s clothes the way I have hers.

More details on my dress/plans over on my blog, Polka Dot Overload.

• Meet the Author • m1khaela

Cartoonist, illustrator and graphic designer with delusions of making as many of my own clothes as possible and an obsession with bright colors, bold prints, retro and vintage styles and sewing projects far out of my skill set. I live in Brooklyn with my cartoonist husband Masheka and our sleep-averse toddler Ms. Z.

3 comments… add one

  • Cool! You choose a great pattern, I’m sure you will do a great job, I saw in Sew Weekly thay have this too, to do MAd Men style dresses, this is really nice!

  • I cannot wait to see how this turns out – keep us posted! 😀

  • I’m (most likely) doing this as well! I think I’ve decided on a dress–and it’s Joanie and it’s blue as well! I’ll probably be trying for this using a vintage pattern that I own that nearly duplicates the look! More info on my blog if anyone is interested…


Don’t Be Shy » Leave a Comment!