Tuesday, November 9, 2010

V8413 • The Joan Dress

Look! It's all the beautiful people – all in one place.
I have a confession to make. I love Mad Men. From the amazing period clothes and furnishings to the clever dialogue and twisty-turny storylines, I look forward to every episode. I love the characters, even when helplessly flawed. And root for them when things get a little rough. (Although I'd love to take on Betty Draper and her pearls in a mudwrestling match! That girl needs to loooosen up! And maybe take a parenting class or twelve…) 

Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway
Also, when I was snoop shopping in Rome last month, Fendi had a similar dress in a mustard colour ($900…really, Fendi? REALLY?). Around the neck, they'd placed a $800 fur stole. I knew I could rock that look… and I put the whole shebang together (including leopard heels!) for less than $100. This dress alone, I will wear for YEARS. (Look for the fur stole tutorial coming soon!)


Pattern Description: Close-fitting dress have bodice, sleeve and collar variation, straight skirt with front pleats, back darts, zipper and vent. Three-quarter length sleeves, princess seams and one piece collar. Hem hits at mid-knee. (I made View D)

Pattern Sizing: 8-24.
I made 14 bodice and a 16 skirt. My usual combo.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope 

Vogue 8413
once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? I looked at them once to figure out how to put the cowl and facing together.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This was a quick dress to make! The design lines are simple and it's an elegant garment I can dress up or down. My kicky black boots will look great with this, too!

Fabric Used: Polyester double knit, which I'd never sewn with before. It's is a dream, and I'm planning on using it again in dresses and other garments. (See Gertie's link for sewing with doubleknits.)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

1/2" princess FBA, added 1" to bodice length, high round back adjustment. I'm 5'9", so I added 2" to hem of skirt so it would cover my knees.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I can see it in red… and purple… The design variations in the pattern give a lot of flexibility.

Conclusion: This dress is amazing. I can dress it up or down and it's comfortable without looking slouchy. I think it'll get a lot of wear this fall and winter!


  1. I'm right there with ya! I love MadMen and good quality double knit. Great dress btw. You are right, it is a classic black dress. You can dress it up or down and get loads of use out of it.

  2. LOVE the period clothes of MADMEN.. I'm not in the era I should be! LOL Love the dress Darci.. with those leopard print shoes to boot! Do I need to share my vintage patterns with you?

  3. I love Mad Men too! I like Betty's outfits the best, even though if I had to 'be' anyone on the show I'd like to be Joan. (I've just started watching though so I'm only up to Season 2, maybe that will change!) I was totally born in the wrong era.. although the great part about 2010 is you can wear whatever you please - vintage, modern or a mix.
    Anyways, back to you! This is a fantastic dress, so classic and versatile. And doubleknit - so comfortable! Lovely job, I bet you'll reach for that one a lot.

    We must be on the same wavelength, as I just posted my Betty-inspired dress today :)

  4. OMG! It is FANTASTIC!!! You are rocking the look for sure, and the shoes are the icing on the cake. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!

    BTW...great photo today! Nice staging and composition. (The subject is clearly making it easy to get a good shot! ;)

  5. Well as is well documented I adore that colour, so; love your new dress! The cowl neck is gorgeous! It looks really comfy as well as versatile, you can rock it up with all sorts of accessories, I'm guessing it will be a oft-worn dress!
    Fur stole tutorial? hmmm, yes, please!