The Polkadot Dress

There. Look at that kid. LOOK AT IT. See the determined look on her face? Her jaws relentlessly destroying that lollipop while contemplating some unimaginably grand scheme? See the polkadot dress? The grand plan that girl had was to keep wearing that dress – for ever. No matter how big she’d grow, no matter what futuristic fashion-trends would lay ahead, that polka-dot dress would become her uniform.

Unfortunately, I grew out of that dress quite soon after, as five-year olds tend to do. No big deal, it just means I have to find a new polka-dot uniform. And last week, it was mission accomplished. I sewed a dress! The fabric is super loud white dots on red cotton, because why not, right?

Fabric: lightweight cotton 
Bought at: Local market 
Soundtrack: Crosby, Stills & Nash – Wooden Ships

I’m super happy with the fit. Laurel is a shift dress, which isn’t a too hard a shape to make. One of the things I wanted to learn from this pattern, apart from getting more into dress making and sewing in general, was experimenting with getting the fit right. The Laurel dress is such a simple shape I was really able to focus on the fit and shaping.

See, as is the case with most women, my body doesn’t come in a standard size and I have to make adjustments to clothing to make them fit. With knitting this comes natural: because of the stretch of the knitting and the ease of decreases and increases sizing comes easy to me. With sewing however, not so much. My particular problem with the standard sizes is the bust area. I found that in order for patterns to fit right I have to tweek that area quite a bit. I think for a gal that can’t wear a lot of commercial dresses because the bust areas don’t work out, I’m pretty pleased with the fit of this handmade dress.

I’m not sure if I would have bought a shift dress kind of dress when stumbling on it in a shop and I wasn’t sure whether I liked such a style on me. In the end however I’m quite chuffed with it, it screams 1960’s and that is something I can totally live with 🙂

As with many sewing patterns, Laurel comes in several versions.  I choose model 2, which includes pockets! I think the gathered cuffs of version 3 aren’t really for me on a dress type such as this one. To this date this is the only laurel version I’ve sewed up, but I can see more of them in the furure. I’m already dreaming about a second ‘version 2’, with the pockets in chambray.

What I would change next time is the biasband for the neckband. The one I bought for this one turned out to be rather stiff, and although I’m sure this has many advantages, I found that for the neckband it was a bit to stiff. I’ve now sewn another dress (spoiler!) with a different, more flexible, bias band and I find the look of it much better. But this was my first time using biasband so yeah, what did I know? If I use more bias band in the future I might actually invest in some biasband makers to not be restricted to store-bought biasband. I’m not sure yet whether I prefer bias band to other hem-techniques so I’m not sure how much I would use it in the future.

Because of the serious lack of a ravelry like website  for sewing, I’ve set up a flickr account for my sewing projects. I find that the flickr groups for specific sewing brands are the best way of seeing the results of sewed up patterns by people. I have heard that Colette, who designed this pattern, is considering starting some sort Ravelry-Sewing, but so far I’ll make do with flickr. If there is however some sewing website or community that I’m missing or totally in the dark about, feel free to delight me with it in comments! 🙂 You can find my flickr here!

In other news, past week my life at university started and I’m quite busy again. I managed to injure myself in the first week, by being stupid with steam and a iron fighting dragons, a few severe burns on my arm were the result and I can’t do much with it now really. So barely any knitting or sewing for me for now, until it heals up (SEND LOTS OF SYMPATHY!!!) Just so you know, these pictures were taken before me being stupid my heroic moment, so no charred arm yet 😉 Gosh…lesson careful with that heat people!


6 thoughts on “The Polkadot Dress

  1. Hey Nelson,
    Heel goed, een meisje dat op jongen leeftijd al weet wat ze wilt. Vanaf je peuter al fan van Polkadot! Denken aan je jurk, rokjes,broek, koffertje en niet te vergeten de pyjama’s. Super grappig en leuk stukje. Daar wordt je vrolijk van.
    Gr Frank en Margot

  2. Mooie kleed.
    Kan je zo meedoen met de tour (ben je altijd een winnaar)
    Ik hoop dat de wond helemaal geneest en er niks meer van te zien is over een tijd.
    Groeten aan iedereen.


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