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Project Polka Dot

Thursday, 15 August 2013


Why yes, I am shouting about it. I'm flipping proud of myself.

At least, I am now.  It's taken a while to appreciate the finished article, mostly because it took me about nine years to make it and I'd been staring at polka dots so long that I was sick of the very sight of them.

Why did no-one tell me that cutting all the pieces out takes so long?  I naively thought it'd take about half an hour to snip a few bits of fabric.  Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, good one Alex. Admittedly I had the twin handicaps of a marauding cat getting in the way and an utter inability to get my head around patterns (I take one look at the instructions and my brain goes NERRRGGGHHHHHHHHH), but still.


 I was drained. Drained, I tell you.  The pieces remained cut out but unsewed for a good number of weeks before I could muster up the energy to crack on with it. Never let it be said that I'm quick to finish a project.  Then when I did start, I reckon I spent more time moaning about how hard it was than actually sewing.  God love all of you who put up with me during the process.

Those of you who can actually sew are probably laughing at my utter feebleness.  It's not even a complicated pattern. But trust me, when you don't really know anything about sewing and are still a bit shit at the basic stuff like, ooh, sewing a straight line, it's HARD. So it took me ages to finish it.

I did, eventually.  Yay me, right? Celebrations all round, wearing it to bed because I loved it so much? Not really. I'd been looking at the bloody thing so long that I honestly wasn't excited about the fact I'd eventually finished it. I sewed the final stitch, ironed it, flung it on a hanger and went to bed feeling a weird mixture of disappointment and relief.  (I've been assured that this is normal with crafty projects)

It's now a few weeks later and I'm sure you'll be happy to know that the feeling of gloom has lifted. I love my frock!

I don't particularly love these pictures of it though - it was a Bad Face Day. Also, apologies for the fuzziness. The picnic bench I prop the camera on was in the sun: the brick wall was in the shade. It's not a good combo, even when you edit the crap out of the photos afterwards.  I only had ten minutes to grab the photos though so it's this or nothing.

I shall attempt to distract you from the crappy photos with better ones.

Look, look, POCKETS.

And look, look, darts and pleats. I'd never done either of them before I started this.

Dress - Simplicity 2444 (with a thinner waist bow and about 4 inches off the length)
Cardi - Topshop
Heels - Dorothy Perkins sale

If the frock looks familiar, it's because I also have it in toile and Victoria Plum fabric, courtesy of Char. She gave me the pattern and told me it'd be easy to make it myself this time. HA! Bet she was regretting that when I was trying to get her to explain darts to me via a stream of stressy texts.


  1. This blows my mind. An actual dress made with your actual hands. It should now be the only thing you ever wear.

    Now. Make ANOTHER.

  2. It's perfect! Fabulous material and cut. I hope you get much wear out of it. I'd love to make myself a dress one day :) x

  3. Congratulations! You look fantastic in it! I especially love that it has pockets. I'm about to start sewing myself a tractor print skirt and dinosaur print dress. Fingers crossed it works (or that I even get it done!) as I haven't sewn properly for a few years.

  4. The dress is amazing, love anything with pockets! I can't imagine sewing something to be worn everyday, I usually reserve my sewing projects to Halloween costumes and little craft projects!

  5. I'm very impressed.You may yet inspire me to try making a skirt or some such. In the meantime may I say just how much I adore that cardigan.

  6. This is gorgeous! good fabric choice :) 2444 is one of my fav patterns, nice and easy to fit it right.

  7. You clever little sausage! Can't believe you MADE it! It looks amazing on you, must feel so satisfying when you wear it to know that you made it yourself! xo

    Rosie | A Rosie Outlook

  8. OMG how utterly gorgeous is your dress?! And you made it!
    I can't make a single thing without my mum holding my hand, I don't understand dress patterns, what exactly is nap?!!!
    Well done and look forward to seeing your next creation :)

  9. and lovely it is too, clever you!:-)

  10. Now you get to say "Oh, this? I made it myself" *beams*
    It looks lovely and pockets, I do love a good pocket. Excellent skills Alex

  11. It is fabulous! You couldn't have chosen a better fabric either.
    Pockets, darts and pleats - wow. I've just enrolled on a sewing course for the autumn.

  12. Wow! It looks amazing, very professional!
    Really suits you as well x

  13. well done, the dress looks amazing! i have a sewing machine but have always been too scared to attempt making a full garment, it all looks very confusing!! x

  14. I used to be like that when I was at Uni, by the time I finished the item, I hated it and didn't want to see it ever again. I never kept any of my collections to wear myself! I usually loved when I got into the making and sewing of it, but the cutting out and pattern making wasn't so exciting. Well done on getting it finished though especially when you aren't used to doing it. Next one will be much easier ; )

    That cardigan is amazing!

  15. I love this dress, the print is so pretty, well done you!

    Maria xxx

  16. Yay I love your dress, fab sewing! :)

  17. Well done - the dress looks fab! Wish i had the patience...

  18. I thought a dart was something you threw at a board? No? Haha seriously though I would have had the same stressy experience trying to do this and u can see in a (reasonably) straight line! I would have given up and passed it tiny mum who would have whipped it up in about half and hour probably!
    Well done on you beautiful polka dot pretty-ness! You (and it) look amazing!

    Jen xx

    Bows Bangles & Bakes

  19. Utterly fantastic and a lot better made than some of the shoddy high street stuff you see in chazzas. You are one clever chick! x

  20. Ooh I love this dress so much! I also have cut out fabric pieces for a blouse .. maybe I should finish it after months. (Sorry for the bad english, love your blog) :)

  21. Congratulations on making your own dress!! It looks really well put together and is so much more unique than buying off the high street. Making your own clothes is such a brilliant sustainable solution- no sweat shops involved!

    Life of a Vegetarian Girl


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