Pin Curls and Polka Dots

This dress has got me so excited!! When I first bought the pattern, I was a bit like, yeah, it looks cool. Might be fun to make. But oh em gee!! The pattern (almost) fits me perfectly, its brilliant to sew, I didn’t mess up. I read the pattern. And it has been made out of the COOLEST polka dot fabric! If it isn’t obvious that I was rather going for a 50s rockabilly theme, maybe this picture will convince you:


When I first started teaching myself dressmaking (using a book from the library, a sew magazine pattern and hand sewing everything) two years ago, my aim was to make a polka dot 1950’s dress. Now, two years later, I HAVE FINALLY SUCCEEDED! It’s a 1970’s pattern, and I am so chuffed with how it turned out!

Of course, I did encounter a few problems. But most of them were due to my own idiocy – like misreading which parts of the facing were to be edged, and which bits were not. I spent a good hour unpicking! I’m just glad I decided to use zigzag stitch! It would have taken even longer otherwise. But once that was sorted, the facing was sewn into place, pulled through, and skirt construction was underway. The skirt is actually in seven parts with a zip down the back. I had no problems with the skirt.


The zip was problem number 2. Once again, I misread the pattern! Like last time, I bought a zip that was too short. Which isn’t surprising given how I bought all the material and trimmings for the two dresses at the same time. But instead of, like in ‘Summer Sewing’, putting the zip in at the notches and just adding buttons, I put the zip in from the top and sewed up the bottom. It means I have to put the dress on over my head every time, but I can live with that! 🙂


I wanted to learn new techniques with this dress. And I always get annoyed with the facing or lining because they slide up/move out of place. So, after watching episode 1 of Season 2 of the Great British Sewing Bee a few weeks ago, I decided to try ‘understitching’. For those of you who might not know, understitching is where you use a running stitch to sew the facing to the seam allowance, as near to the seam as you can get. The stitch basically keeps the facing with the seam, and stops the facing from slipping out of place and getting on the wearers nerves. It was actually quite simple really!


This dress is so comfortable! I had a moment with the horrific wind where I was worried I was going to pull a Marilyn, but that was more poor judgement for wearing a big skirted dress on a windy day! Awkward! I’ve been looking for a reason to wear my little red heels for ages, and they go so well with this dress! And my pearls. And curling my hair. And red lipstick. I am so in love with this outfit…


Happy Sunday!

Bea xx


4 thoughts on “Pin Curls and Polka Dots

  1. What a pretty dress! I’ve done the same thing with zippers!! I usually just sew up a little higher to make up the difference and hope for the best. 🙂 I love that you had this entire “look” in your head and have made it a reality–well done!


    1. Thank you! I’m pretty new to this whole ‘lark’ as well, but I love it, and blogging gives me a different sort of pride in my work 🙂 good luck with all your blogging endeavours!



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