Joan dress (by Sew Over It) in a knit!

Well hello Joan!

Joan 1

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.

joan dress

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.

So over I went to Girl Charlee UK, specialists in all sorts of knit fabric to peruse their pontes.  And I have remarked before how extensive their range is.


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.

joan dress

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.

joan dress

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.

joan dress

So I am going to leave you with some photos of the finished Joan dress & the wear report.

joan dress

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.

36 thoughts on “Joan dress (by Sew Over It) in a knit!

  1. Jane

    Goy-jus! I await your conversion to knit fabric post with bated breath Winnie – sewing and adding the lining take forever and a knit version would look amazing. Love those colours on you too, they really suit your colouring. xx

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thank you Jane ! I am looking forward to encouraging you to feel the freedom of sewing Joan in a knit, since the Joan dress is just so you. And I can’t say enough how fab it is to have such styling in such an easy care and easy wear fabric …..

  2. Mark

    The dress looks amazing, thanks for featuring our fabric. It’s such a great pattern and the finished dress looks so sophisticated!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thank you Stevie, I’m smitten both with this gorgeous dress and with my cottage. I think I appear confident because I’ve found the environment to take photos in that I am least self conscious. And anyway, everyone knows I’m an idiot in my photos, It’s the only way I can put them out there, online! Can’t take myself too seriously ?

  3. del

    Lovely colours for this knit, and gorgeous pattern for you! Nice to see some heels once in a while.
    [He-he! You worked that doorway like a pro!]

  4. Hannah S

    I love this so much! It’s a gorgeous pattern and it looks amazing on you! The glamour puss photo shoot tips it over the edge 😉 Ooh, and I have this fabric in my stash! (not enough for a dress though, boooo)

  5. Mags

    I’ve made a wren from this fabric and I like it, but it is not wearing fantastically. It is pilling at the front already. Love your dress.

  6. Kyle

    That looks really gorgeous and the fit looks great to me! And I love all your poses, you look like you have SO MUCH FUN with your photo shoots!!
    p.s. You convinced me to buy the ultimate pencil skirt after seeing it with your sarah shirt in your post 2 weeks ago or so and it arrived this week, yay!.

  7. Jane

    ooh – that’s lovely. I’ll definitely be back to find out how you adapted the Joan dress to stretch fabric.

  8. Pingback: How I made the Joan dress out of a knit - Scruffy Badger Time

  9. Bella

    Winnie!!! GREAT MINDS! GREAT MINDS! I am trying the same thing with a different pattern & some lovely knit wool from Elliott Berman in NYC. Velosewer encouraged me…but I got a little freaked & had to go for help with Valerie at But between your blog & Valerie, I think I’m ready to go. Gotta find the pattern…will send soon.
    p.s. when are you coming to the US?!

  10. PsychicSewerKathleen

    Such a helpful reminder that most woven patterns will work with a low stretch ponte while providing all the ease a girl could want. Love the fit of this dress on you and the material looks lovely.

  11. Patricia Wilson

    Wow, I simply love the idea of a jersey Joan dress. I’ve cut some azure blue ponte out to have a go this afternoon. It turns a glamorous dress into an everyday dress- perfect !

  12. Alessa

    What a fabulous dress! I actually got a copy of the Joan dress when I was in London a few days ago, and I’ve got a lovely double knit that I want to use. 🙂


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