Have you seen the new Sew Over It pattern called the Joan Dress? It is such a fun retro style based on the wardrobe of Mad Men's iconic Joan Holloway. I was drawn to the lines of this dress right away, such a classic look.
Only one problem, I really didn't know if I would wear a dress in this style much. I did know I would wear a top based on this pattern
Let's talk sizing, it is pretty true to what I find in the Big 4 patterns and I went with a 12. To change this dress pattern to a top, I just combined the bodice and the skirt. Drawing a straight line parallel to the grainline on each piece. This was the lines I used to tape the two pattern pieces together. I added a bit to the side seam at this new intersection line, creating a gentle curve. After I had the top completed, I just pinned in the darts (in the front and back) for my desired fit. I went with a semi-fitted top. I am not sure this is the correct way to make the changes but it is what worked for me.
I used a ponte knit from Joann's Fabrics, which this is a very nice fabric. The collar is a darker gray knit, which I stabilized with a knit interfacing. I am thrilled with the matching of the back invisible zipper but it took about 3 times to match it. The back collar is my only disappointment with my sewing, the two back collar points are a bit off.
My thought was a tunic length but I didn't quite add enough length. For the pictures for the blog post, I went with black leggings but in reality I will wear this with skinny jeans.
In this picture, you can see the gentle curve of the front darts. Don't you love these long darts in a pattern? It really allows for the fit you want from very fitted to no darts at all.
Take a look at the collar, it is such a nice looking collar. The pattern calls for it on the bias, which would of worked better but I only had 1/4 yard of the dark gray knit. The collar was cut with the stretch to help with the curve. The pattern calls for a lining and that is how the neckline is finished. I did not see the need for a lining with my ponte knit. After stitching on the collar, I serged the neckline to finish the seam and turned the raw edge under. Lifting the collar, I stitched 1/4" from the neckline to hold the finished edge in place. A bit of handstitching held the finished edge in place by the zipper.
I have been really thinking about how to get rid of that fold at my armholes, after seeing the same fold in pictures for this Joan Dress. I don't notice when I have my arms to my side and the top pulled down but after any movement, the wrinkle appears. I think I might try dropping the armhole just slightly 1/4 to 1/2" and see if that helps with the pull of the fabric. I noticed this was one of Froggie Girl's alterations on her Pattern Review of the Joan Dress