Joan’s Addiction


My sewing skills are pretty slap dash at the best of times. Not marking notches, estimating dart dimensions because I have marked them wrong, adding zippers and waistbands before I have tried things on etc etc. Lots of silly mistakes that I believe at that moment will save me a few seconds. “A stitch in time saves nine Katharine” echoes my late Grandmother’s voice through my sewing room, taunting me for my idiocy as the quick unpick goes through another incorrect seam.


This project was different. I was totally and utterly addicted to getting this one right. Joan’s Addiction.  Perhaps a concern for disrespecting Janie Bryant, the Mad Men costume designer, maybe a desire to not piss Joan off, or maybe (although I doubt it) I have turned a new leaf.

Joan's Wave Dress

This dress is based on Joan’s Wave dress from season 4. I must admit I haven’t watched nearly as much Mad Men as I would like but a recent long haul flight with very poor movie options helped me to catch up a bit.


The base pattern I used was Burda 7137. Man I hate Burda patterns and this one was no different. I hate Burda Style even more. No seam allowance? WTF? Do they deliberately do that to make us fail? The pattern required SO much alteration to turn it from hideous sack to dress.

The fabric was an end of bolt special I got at Reverse Garbage in Sydney for $5.00. It seriously came down to the last scrap trying to make this pattern fit. Managed to stay true to the grain… Mostly…


The collar front is made from three circles sewn together. The arm ruffles are a seam free circle. I’m not convinced I like them, they are a bit like witches hats. I can be a bit of a witch sometimes so maybe that’s appropriate!

Had heaps of fun on this one and learned so much. Hope you all enjoyed your Mad Men Challenge too. Thanks Julia!


Oh to be Joan for a day. Or even to have Joan’s bust measurement for a day!



11 thoughts on “Joan’s Addiction

  1. Your dress is stand-out amazing! Congratulations. I too hate Burda so am very impressed you went to the dark side and used one!

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