Well hello Joan!
How many of you were in general swoon when you saw that the Joan dress by Sew Over It was released last autumn? I Know I went into meltdown as it came out when I was camping sewing & I just desperately wanted to make one for myself ( but couldn’t for various reasons). However let me tell you a secret…even when I saw it back then, I harboured a fantasy to make Joan with her sexy curves & drop dead gorgeous tie neck….in a knit. The ultimate in style meets comfort & easy care. And if you have followed me for a bit, you know that those principles are the ones I prize very highly for everyday sewing/ wearing.
So the Joan dress is a fitted dress, with 3/4 length sleeves and a cute tie neck. It has a separate bodice/ skirt & on me you can see that this seam sits above my natural waistline. It has bust darts, waist darts (front & back – bodice & skirt), back neck shoulder darts & a kick pleat. Clearly inspired by Joan Holloway from Mad Men, this is a very grown up dress & one that is super flattering.
Having made the Colette Patterns’ Moneta – a knit bodice with a tie neck I felt confident that I could adapt the Joan dress ( a pattern for use with woven fabrics) to make in a knit. Potentially I could lose the zip & the lining, sewing all of it (or most of it) on my overlocker. The fabric needed to be a stable knit, and I thought a ponte de roma would do the job.
Well, I shortlisted three and asked the lovely folk at Girl Charlee to send me samples & opted to make my Joan dress out of the houndstooth in black/ café. (They were kind enough to provide me the fabric – thank you!) This is not my usual colour, (I would have usually gone for a monochrome dogtooth had there been one) but I knew it would fit with my wardrobe & I think the café background is warmer & less severe than a white background so a cool discovery & more gentle for winter skintone. I decided to go for pattern as I thought it would be a bit more racy than the maroon which would have been a lovely Joan and a safe bet. All of the samples felt delicious to the touch – lovely quality, & I have to say, this houndstooth was a delight to sew, but is so soft to wear. It is lovely.
To make it up, I had to do some serious fitting,& I think I could have made a bit more of a tweak on the sway back (& actually I still could since this dress has a separate bodice/ skirt so in theory I could review that back waist seam some more …) I bet you could really get that Joan Holloway figure hugging maxed out even more, however this is the fit that I am comfy with.
There were a few changes & allowances I had to make when adapting the Joan dress pattern for sewing with a knit, & I will write about those in the next blog post.
So I am going to leave you with some photos of the finished Joan dress & the wear report.
Folks, I felt strangely girly (Or actually it should be ‘womanly’ in the most positive sense) – & comfy – at the same time. Win! And then I washed it, hung it on the line & when dry put it straight into the wardrobe. No ironing. Score! It’s got the perfect amount of cosy for this time of year too – worn with black tights & a cardi I am sorted.
Tune in next time if you would like to see what I did to make the Joan dress in a knit.
PS Trying out different locations in my cottage as backdrops – this is the hallway that combines as a dining area (not that you get to see the dining area!)
Disclaimer I was lucky enough to have been sent a copy of the pattern by Sew Over It & the fabric was also provided to me by Girl Charlee UK in return for a review. All views are honest & my own.