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!

50s Inspired Sabrina Cape Dress Part 2

Thanks for waiting, I am now ready to unveil the 50s inspired Sabrina Cape Dress. Yes, the entire outfit!

With cape

Without cape

This outfit was inspired by the image below originally posted by the Selfish Seamstress. Do you think my part modern, part vintage pattern combination successful delivered the outfit?

My review on burdastyle’s Sabrina dress sewing pattern can be found on my previous post.  I adapted the cape portion from my seriously overused butterick B5032.

It’s funny that I’ve used this cape pattern for two very different capes and never the one on the pattern cover. The other one is here. I cut the pattern pieces for the front and back of the cape, did the darts, sewed the front and back pieces together and did a fitting with the dress on. I identified where the front had to end so that the cape can be buttoned to the dress. I cut away the excess fabric and sewed on a poly lining.  After another fitting to ascertain the placement, buttonholes were sewn on.

Oh! And I just wanted to show a better photo of the cute egg colored buttons i mentioned in the last post and the iron-on hemming tape I discovered at Daiso.

I read about the Very Purple Person using the hemming tapes on her projects and was curious about it. So, I decided to give it a try when I found it. It is a dream to use! Your hem is finished beautifully in a few seconds!

TGIF! Have a fantastic and rejuvenating weekend everyone!