Behind the Seams: The “Giddy with Polka Dots” Dress

I was absolutely thrilled when I learnt about this week’s TSW theme “Imitation is the Sincerest form of Flattery” and couldn’t wait to search my etsy favourites for a project to recreate. My TSW post can be found here.

With the busy Lunar New Year preparations, I decided to select a project which was not too difficult, something I could hopefully modify from a sewing pattern I have and finish quickly. I spent some time shortlisting the garments and eventually came up with these.

The shortlist

I love the peplum and back opening on this 80s dress but didn’t really have a suitable pattern to work with for the bodice though I could redo the peplum skirt from the Sunny Day dress. I even considered recreating the second grey ruffles dress with the Selfish seamstress’ Coffee Date dress pattern and simply adding sleeves to it. And the vintage pink dress with rose was just calling out to me but I’m sure I could sew that when I have more time on my hands.



Eventually, I decided to recreate MichelleTan’s Renee 1950s Retro Dress (picture above). If you have been following my blog for sometime, you’d have probably heard about MichelleTan’s shop from my Favorite Etsy Finds post many moons ago. Why this dress?

It is such an adorable dress isn’t it and I have a pattern I could use to recreate this dress by adding a self drafted collar. The pattern used was View A from Simplicity 2591 Threads Magazine Collection and I thought it would be a doable project given the short amount of time I have. What’s more I have had this sewing pattern for months now and couldn’t wait to try it. Yes, besides stash busting, I have lots of sewing patterns to start utilizing!

The Gallery

Here’s my humble knock off version finished with ric rac trim.

Pattern Review

Simplicity 2591 Threads Magazine Collection is a dream to work with. The instructions are simple to follow and very clear. Usually I do have to take in the seams to create a better fit for the dresses I’ve made. This sewing pattern is one of the few which I didn’t have to make any adjustments. It fitted really well. I also adore the hidden pockets behind the front panel’s curve. Most of all, I heart the retro vibe I am getting from the dress and am really looking forward to wearing it later this week 🙂

As I drafted the asymmetrical collar for the dress, I didn’t have to sew the facings.

I will definitely recommend View A which is the dress I’ve made from this pattern and am very keen to make another version with it.

Drafting the collar

* Sorry that the blue fabric pen I used is so light in color. I’ll use the pink one for better clarity next time*

Step 1: Tracing the front and back necklines onto a paper

Step 2: Draft the desired collar shape outside of it. In this case asymmetrical collars

Step 3: Cut and pin the draft onto the dress

Step 4: Fold in the “bulky”/ extra bits. Pin onto the fabric and add seam allowance only to the bottom/ outer seams but not the neckline seam.

Step 5: Cut the fabric and pin to dress again to ascertain that they are fine. We’re ready to sew!

I used a light weight interfacing for the collar as I didn’t want it to be too stiff but as an after thought I wished I’d used a heavier interfacing as it seems to have a mind of its own being so light. Nonetheless, I am happy with my first attempt to draft an asymmetrical collar.

This week, my photo shoot ended up indoors once again. We have been having this kind of weather due to monsoon. And there I was looking forward to Spring 😛 (Photo was taken at 12 noon and we experienced two days of non-stop rainfall!) I hope you are experiencing better weather over there:)

Oh!  And yes, I finally trimmed my hair, all for the Lunar New Year celebrations this Thursday and Friday. This week I also completed 2 shirts, one for daddy and one for my lil’ prince, I’ll snap some photos when they wear the shirts this new year so you can see them:)

Happy Year of the Rabbit my sewing comrades!


29 thoughts on “Behind the Seams: The “Giddy with Polka Dots” Dress

  1. Great collar tutorial! This will come in really handy for the project I’m working on at present, thanks! Also, love the end product for your polka dot dress; very, very cute.

  2. Your dress is just gorgeous! I adore the shape – it suits you so well, and the fabric is lovely. Well done:)

  3. The dress is wonderful, but I love your shoes! So adorable. I need. They would looks so good with my dark denim trouser jeans! I love that I found your blog because of TSW.

  4. You are right that the collar would lay better with a heavier interfacing. Your dress is beautiful. I love your shorter haircut, too!

  5. hi! i saw your dress on the sew weekly blog, and just fell in love with it! i love polka dot fabric, and secret pockets…everything about this dress is so adorable!

  6. What about those SHOES. Looks like you made the dress to go with the shoes.

    Navy white and red look so good together. I remember once making a long dress in the same sort of fabric with red ric rac trim. It always felt cool.

    Kung hei fat choi from hot and sticky Sydney.

  7. This is such a cute and beautiful dress! I love everything, from the polka dot fabric and the trim to the collar and buttons! I might have to indulge in some flattery, too, some time…

  8. You should be really proud of your version. It’s a great knock-off and done with all the busy-ness as well. Those balloons look like so much fun.

  9. Dear Adey,
    I was looking for this simplicity pattern high and low, I really really want to try it but can’t find it in the UK, I tried to buy it from simplicity website but postage and handling fee works out at $40 for just 1 pattern + price for the pattern, too expensive for me. Can we please do a swap with return, I have a small etsy shop you can have a look here: and you can choose anything you like there and I’ll post it to you and you’ll post simplicity 2591 to me, after 3-4 weeks we’ll return patterns to each other. Please let me know what you think.
    Kind Regards,

  10. Pingback: Your favorite dress and my 2011 sewing targets | The Sew Convert

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  12. i have the same pattern and have not tried view A- but you have inspired me to! what type of fabric did you use for the polka dot?- basic cotton (weight?)? it lays really nicely.

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