Continuing to work on what I call my Polka Dot Project - adding polka dots to my wardrobe - I have been enjoying so much this versatile print. I used larger dots on a heavy fabric for my 1940s skirt, a delicate fabric with pin dots for my New Look dress, and now a floral-and-polka-dot cotton for a 1950s dress.
Doing them in order of era was unintentional - I should have started with a 1930s pattern!
This one was from a rare find - a complete Australian Journal pattern on Ebay in my size.
The instructions were differently worded than American patterns, and were very...skimpy...so I did a good deal of my own interpretation for this dress.
It has a sweet scalloped neckline and sleeves, but they were the biggest headache since there was no facing pattern piece and it took me a while to figure out something that worked, though I still have trouble with them laying flat around the sleeves.
The bodice also has my first try at slanted dart tucks from the side seam.
The skirt is truly a circle skirt - my crinoline isn't wide enough to show its potential.
Since I wasn't wearing it for these photos, I had the obliging mannequin "sit down" to display the width.
Instead of pleating the skirt, I took an idea from the alternate version on the pattern cover and did the back gathered, and the front darted with radiating darts. Another time I'll try the pleated version since you can't see the darts anyway!
But I never like gathered skirts on me - they just make me feel too big at the waist. So to counter that, instead of a traditional belt, I did a cummerbund style belt instead.
I paired with a vintage blouse which I think is from the 1980s, but it worked perfectly with this dress. I have had a hard time finding things to wear with it, but this one fits and displays all the cutouts perfectly, as well as tying in the flower print. The only problem was that since the dress was intended to be worn without a blouse, wearing a blouse with it made it a little snug around the arms.
The fabric is a cotton blend from a full size flat sheet I got at a thrift store. With the wide skirt, I ended up not having much more than scraps left, but it was sufficient. I did cut a few corners while making it, like just turning up and top-stitching that immense hem instead of doing it by hand, but it was still a mostly enjoyable process and I was happy with the end result.
You'll be seeing more polka dot projects throughout the summer and I keep enjoying this now-favorite print!