McCall’s 4994: The Joan Holloway Inspired Anti-Valentine’s Day Dress

by Janice

Front view.

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Front view, #2.

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I found this Trifari brooch at the thrift store down the street. This is one of my favorite brooches that seems to go with everything.

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Pattern used.

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I’ve been watching a lot of Mad Men lately, which has definitely inspired styling some outfits and a lot of what I’ve been sewing. I finished this last week for the Sew Weekly challenge and only had a chance to post about it now here.

The Facts

Fabric: Tropical wool, $12/yd, 60″
Pattern: McCall’s 4994
Year: 1959
Notions: Invisible zipper, $1
Time to complete: 20+ hours. I made a muslin of the bodice first, but after that maybe 8 hours.
First worn: I haven’t worn this yet.
Wear again? If I can get over the weird sleeves, yes.
Total price: $37

I greatly dislike Valentine’s Day, but anything for Sew Weekly.

I had some five yards of red tropical wool that was languishing in my closet since my failed Lady Grey sew-along, so I decided to make McCall’s 4994 in red. I made a muslin of the bodice first. I lowered the neckline about one inch and adjusted the waist.

The sleeves are my least favorite part about this project. They look strangely bunchy and I didn’t tweak the sleeves because I didn’t want to sacrifice mobility.

I got over all of my insecurities and wore it to work last week. I got some comments that it was “very Jackie O” so I suppose it’s a reluctant success.

Edit: After further perfectionist reflection, I’m going to have to fix those bunchy sleeves. Ugh.

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Pattern review:

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Probably. I didn’t read the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the kimono sleeves.

Fabric used: Tropical wool that I’ve been hoarding for the failed Lady Grey sew along

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The top could stand to be more fitted. The sleeves are really bunchy and actually bother me a lot.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I’ll be making this again at least one more time (maybe more once I perfect the fit). It came together very easily and would do just fine if the sleeves were adjusted.