Hot! The “Mad Roses” Dress

Joan's Inspiration Dress


Fabric: Black Double Knit, Cotton “Roses” and Poly Lining

Pattern: New Look 6910, plus self drafted sleeves

Year: 2010

Notions: Thread, 22″ zipper, Wunder Under, Shoulder Snaps
and a Hook & Eye Closure

Time to Complete: 20 Hours

First worn: Photo Shoot

Wear again? Yes

Total Price: $44 – Fabric $32, Notions $12

For the Mad Men challenge I chose the Joan Holloway “bold” and “sassy” character. A girl can never have to many little black dresses and this one with roses would give me a crack at doing appliqué work for the first time. I ironed Wunder Under to the back of the Roses fabric, turning the fabric into an iron-on decal and then cut out the Roses.

Zig Zap Stitch - Inside View

After contructing the dress but before I finished the lining, I ironed on the Roses, then zigzagged (.03 length, 3.0 width) for a decorative finish. This added a lot of time but I just love the end results. I also toyed with the idea of adding the roses to the back of the dress, but in the end just kept the Roses only on the front.

Joan was home entertaining in the inspiration photo, so we played with that concept in our photo session. This was a lot of fun to shoot, let’s hear it for “Happy Hour” and ladies I will be making more “Joan Dresses” in the near future, everything she wears is right up my alley.

The "Mad Roses" Dress 1

The "Mad Roses" Dress 2

The "Mad Roses" Dress 3

The "Mad Roses" Dress 4

The "Mad Roses" Dress 5

The "Mad Roses" Dress 6



Krista started sewing at the age of 10, but got serious July of 2010 when she had to replace her old singer and got a serger machine for a birthday present. She lives in Manhattan -New York City with her husband. Reading the SewWeekly challenges last year motivated her to try new things and rekindle her love of Sewing.


Comments are closed.

  1. I am so impressed! Everyone looks so great! Your pics are great!And what a great job on your dress! Fun!

  2. Gorgeous dress – I love shot 6 and your shoes too!

  3. Thanks Jen, the shoes I picked up a charity silent auction. I love them but they are slippery as heck on this wooden floor. I may have polished the floor for the just a little to much for the shoot. That’s our favorite picture too!

  4. You look just gorgeous in this dress! Great fit too!

    • Thank you Justine, yes I used the same pattern I did for the Coventre Blithe Fitted Lace Dress in the Make This Look Challenge.

  5. So stunning!! Your applique is superb! Especially impressive on a knit fabric. You hair and makeup are gorgeous! And, I love the shoes, too!!

  6. Hi Nettie,
    Wow, thank you so much. The appliqué was a real learning curve and I’ll definitely do more. I think knits, jersey, anything with stretch are fast becoming my favorites. I confess I never watched Madmen, but just looking at the pictures gave me great ideas for hair and makeup, also helped there is a “Ricky’s” store in my neighborhood. have a great weekend.

  7. Krista you look so pretty in this dress, way to go with the applique you have the patience of a saint. I think knits are your thing you are so good at it. Superb stuff indeed.

    • Hey Kazz, thanks, I love the dress you made. Naivety was bliss with the appliqué, I had no idea what I was getting myself into and then there was no turning back. I really love the knits, it’s so comfy to wear. I swear I never had so much luck with knits until i bought my Elna, that pressure foot setting makes it easy to sew. Have a great weekend.

    • Hey Kazz, thanks, I love the dress you made. Naivety was bliss with the appliqué, I had no idea what I was getting myself into and then there was no turning back. I really love the knits, it’s so comfy to wear. I swear I never had so much luck with knits until i bought my Elna, that pressure foot setting makes it easy to sew. Have a great weekend.

      I entered the other contest you mentioned in your post, this should be fun.

  8. O, wow! You look gorgeous!!! Never take this dress off of you! So pretty and my favorite of your SW makes, so far, beating out West Side Story! Gosh, I’m the third poster in a row to use the word “gorgeous”! See? must be true.

    • Joann,
      I’m officially blushing, thank you for such a great compliment.I’ll confess it’s it’s my favorite so far too. Truly SW has made it so much fun to sew and I really like seeing what everyone is making. Have a great weekend.

  9. Oh wow! So glad you did Joan’s Rose dress! I just watched that episode again last night. Your roses turned out fabulously and I love how nice it looks inside as well! The pictures are so much fun! I love them!

  10. This looks great! The roses look very well done. And its knit? So, it’s classy and comfortable – bonus!! Great job!

  11. Thank you Jennifer. The Roses were fun to do, this was the first time I used Wunder Under and it worked really well. I just washed the dress and everything held in place.

  12. You look like a star!!! I love the dress….the red on black is so contrasting. I love this hobby of yours. I look forward to seeing more it.

    Miss you guys….

  13. So awesome! Thanks for the tip on your settings for the appliqué, I was thinking of doing it eventually. Great job!

  14. Thanks Liz, send pictures when you give it a try. Now, I’m reading up on appliqué methods to see if there are others ways to create. Wunderkind Under was reco to me because the flowers were cotton and the base fabric was knit and it was a precaution to prevent any puckering. Maybe it’s not needed if you seeing to non stretch fabrics.

    Have you decided on your city theme of Sidney yet?

    • Thanks for the follow-up! I’m still committed to Sydney but I don’t know exactly what I’m doing yet. Still open to suggestions!! :)

  15. I love the dress! I especially love the way you applied them to the bottom half of the dress. Your photos are a lot of fun too! Wish we all lived closer together-we could do a Sew Weekly group photo.

  16. That’s such a great idea with a group shot, I wish we could do something like that.

    On the bottom Roses in addItion to sewing around the Roses, I also add some connective vines. I showed my haiRdresser ate photos and she thought the dress looked very Cuban.

  17. Love it! Great results with the applique and channeling Joan more I don’t see how you could go wrong.

    • Hi Lee, thank you so much, considering I had never watch an episode of MadMen until tonight. Curiosity got the best of me.

  18. What a great dress Krista! Top marks for effort for doing the roses on the skirt too! I love how you seem to be getting more comfortable modelling your work – looks like you had lots of fun shooting the photos.

  19. You knocked it out of the park (er, cocktail lounge) with this one, Krista! I’m thoroughly impressed. Especially with your applique work. The dress looks amazing in that black, double knit (I must find and sew some), and your fit and construction of it are beautiful.

    Photoshoot, updo and martini props make this my favorite photoshoot of the week. You are indeed the hostess with the mostest. Thanks for sharing your creative “hospitality” with your honored “guests”.

    • Oh Wow, thank you Najah. It was a great challenge and I think there are at least 5 dresses, including yours that are on my to do list to make!

  20. It looks great! Very Joan indeed – you nailed her look perfectly! I also the love the Happy Hour setting – very appropriate :)

  21. Thanks Meg. I loved this challenge.

  22. Yes! Super well done. Love the dress, love the photos (#6 my favorite;) and love your creativity and eye for drama. You are fun to watch, I look forward to your future posts.

  23. Love this! Your appliques look so nice and smooth. And the photos–you can tell you’re having fun with this.

    • Thanks Z, I think I’ll do more experimenting with stitching. I always wonder what you could do with all those stitch settings on a machine. I rarely use more then a straight stitch.

  24. This dress suits you so much! I don’t know you in person, but somehow this dress reflects your personality :) Great job and great look!

    • Oh thanks Inna, I’ve worn it to work once a week since I made it. It is so comfortable to wear and its definitely my personality. Happy sewing.

  25. That dress is absolutely gorgeous! :)

    • Thank you Cherish, love the sewing trousers on your blog and love the Tornado updo, wondering if I can mimic that style for my next dress.

  26. I’m “sew” in love with your dress, the rose details you did are fabulous. I want a dress like this! This was such a fun challenge.

    • Hi Brianna, I loved the green Maxi Dress you did, fabulous fabrics. It was a really fun challenge and there are about 3 more dresses that Joan wears I want to do sometime this year!