The “Petite Holloway” Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

I think I’ve mentioned that I don’t watch Mad Men often enough to skip right over the reason (or more accurately, the lack of reason) why. It’s also safe to say that you’d have to be dead not to notice the buzz about the show’s wardrobe and style in general. I know that the characters are an indelible part of pop culture, now.

I also know that of every female on that show, Joan is the one most watch. I’ve seen enough sewing blog posts about Joan and her alter ego, Christina Hendricks, to know something of what made her style, her style. I still hit Google, Flickr and Pinterest looking for images. Two things were immediately obvious: Joan’s style is always about FIT and usually filled with SOLIDS. FIT & SOLIDS. ALL. CAPS. I was drawn to this look in particular.

It was also immediately obvious that there are women who are blessed to share Joan’s Cocoa Cola bottle shape, and that I was not one of them. The good thing is, you don’t need that shape to go with fit and solids. I thought I could do a look that was Joan-lite or…Petite Holloway (!) and be happy with that. I cut out a dress and there it sat. Then, I saw this image on a blog that I read. I wanted separates. So, at the last minute, I winged a top, cut out a skirt and drafted a high waistband for it. And then, they sat. My get up and go, had got up and gone.


Today (Monday), I forced myself to get to work. There are some things that are a bit misaligned and I made my waistband too big and did a quick fix rather than make another. Regardless, I am soooo pleased with the result!

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The Facts
Fabric | Teal Wool Crepe :: $9.98 a yard :: less than one yard used. Navy Stretch Rayon Jersey :: $4.98 a yard :: less than one yard used. Bronze poly something or other for the lining. I think it was in the $1.95 a yard section. All fabrics were purchased from my beloved,
Patterns | Simplicity 9823 with a swayback adjustment, a true TNT pattern now. I cut the top without a pattern based on the line drawing of this top.
Year | Current, I think, despite the old pattern and style that I’m trying to emulate.
Notions | Thread, a zipper and interfacing for the waistband.
Time to complete | About 4 or 5 hours. This is the first time I added a lining to a skirt, there was a bit of a learning curve.
First worn | While snapping flicks in my living room.
Wear again? Yes! But not on a chocolate craving week, if you know what I mean ;o) That waistband is a bit uncomfy right at this moment.
Total price | About $20 or so with the percentage off the fabric. I’m pretty sure that pattern was $1 when I bought it about 7 or 8 years ago, when I first decided to sew my own clothes. I bought a ton and I couldn’t follow even one. What a long way I’ve come!

PS- I wasn’t ready in time for my photographer (hubby aka the Oracle) to take my pics this week :p



Wanett Clyde is a wife, mama of four and library school student that manages to cram a lot into her days. She loves books, writing, creating, the color purple, sarcasm, summertime, staying up late, anything British, BROOKLYN(!!!), and her family.


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  1. Hi Nettie, that skirt came out pretty cute. Love the color of the fabric.

  2. You did a great job! Especially on the top without a pattern?! Crazy. I’d be lost! I’m a little sad you didn’t do pants though! I have a feeling we are going to be 100% skirts/dresses this week ;)

    • Thanks, Emily! I wouldn’t tackle a woven without a pattern but I have no fear with knits! I still have those pants planned for an upcoming week. I waited too long to have time to fiddle with the fit for this challenge.

  3. love that skirt and the copper lining! and please, finish the dress you cut out…the pattern is great!

  4. Very nice fabric and pattern. Looks like you nailed the fit, even though you had to adjust the waist-band. It really flatters your shape. I can’t believe you made that top without a pattern! I wish I was brave enough to do that.

    • Thanks, Barbara!! I am fearless with knits. The top is made from 5 pieces. Two rectangles for the front, a square for the back and two long skinny rectangles for the ties. It’s quite shapeless, the fit is ALL in the wrapping and tucking!

  5. Lovely results! For not watching the show, you certainly captured the spirit of Joan in your outfit. And, you made it look easy. I’m super impressed by the top and how lovely the gathers came out as well as the lined skirt!

  6. That teal wool crepe looks yum as does your skirt, a gorgeous colour on you, way to go with that top. Clever gal indeedy.

  7. Love the Joan-lite!!! I’m with you in that I love Fit and Solids! Your skirt is the PERFECT FIT (and in one of my favourite colours). The top is brilliant!

    • Thank you, Debi!! This color is much more beautiful than I was expecting it to be. That’s always a nice surprise. The top worked out better than I expected, too!

  8. I am loving the skirt/lining combo and the Joan-lite option heehee!

  9. I see coca-cola! Nice work on this outfit!

  10. Your badonkadonk looks like a million bucks in that skirt!! Can’t believe you self-drafted that top…it’s the bomb! You. Are. A. Hottie! The patterned tights (or are they fishnets?) are a sexy touch, too.

  11. Lol, thanks, Najah! My hubby agrees with you, btw. I emailed him these pics when I took them. He had a very enthusiastic response.

    They are patterned tights, I think they make the most basic look more special.

  12. Great outfit! Nice job working without a pattern for the top! (I’m still far from being to do that.) Glad to read the pants are still in the queue ;-)