polka dots

i made this dress quite a while ago but it never made it to ye olde blog. mostly because i wasn’t that excited about it. i used mccalls 6503. now, i really, really loved this pattern. the minute i saw it i knew i wanted to make it. then it was always sold out at the fabric store (i’m too lazy and stingy to order directly). i think my mom 1600 miles away in kansas ended up buying it and sending it to me because i just couldn’t get my hands on it here. then, i had this super cute drape-y rayon polka dot material i just knew would be a perfect match.

i even added piping to the waistband!
i did a narrow straight ruffle instead of the
circle ruffle thing as on the pattern.


then, i had all the pieces months before i had a chance to make it. finally when i did, i just didn’t like it all that much. the fit was acceptable (i had even done a muslin!) but it just didn’t do anything for me. this style of bodice left my top half a bit err… deflated looking. then the polka dot thing happening just looked a little too retro for my tastes. don’t get me wrong, i love this style. but it really illustrated to me the difference between what i like to look at, and what i like to wear


the skirt was a little on the long side, so that wasn’t helping either. i wore it once (and even heard whispers of admiration behind me: did you see her dress? so cute!). in the end, i still loved the fabric, just not as this dress. it wasn’t me. so i took it apart. I’M SORRY. i know some of you just gasped in horror, but it was the right thing to do. i shortened the skirt and added a simple waistband with a double hook closure. hey, it even has pockets!

made that knit top months ago.
never blogged it. sorry.


believe you me, i love this as a skirt sooooo much more than as a dress. oddly enough, i’ve had trouble finding tops that match it. apparently i don’t have many solid colored tops. working on remedying that. i’ve worn it once with a black cardigan and black tights, but that’s so expected. i thought i’d try it out with some patterned tops in the privacy of the entire interwebs before wearing it out in public. yay or nay?


i’m currently on the hunt for a nice lightweight emerald green or fuchsia/magenta or teal knit to make a renfrew to pair with it. apparently those pantone people just named emerald green “color of the year” or some such nonsense (seriously. their declaring what the on-trend color is annoys me to no end). but maybe it’s a good thing, cuz it happens to be one of my favorite colors and i can never find fabric that color. maybe something will pop up now.


oh, and lest all the work i put into the bodice go to waste, i’ve saved it to add a different bottom half for later. i think if i have a nice fat midriff and pleat the skirt (like on this dress) i can eliminate some of the excess fabric to make it a little more flattering. i’m thinking a lightweight denim skirt would be crazy awesome, but that’s gonna have to wait for spring. i have too many cold weather makes to get to!

โ€”lisa g.

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18 thoughts on “polka dots

  1. Jenny says:

    oh I'm sorry to hear (read) that the pretty dress wasn't you. It was really pretty and actually, it does look awesome as a skirt. Good thing you were able to make it into something you're happy with ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. crystalpleats says:

    Well, I loved the dress and I love the skirt, too. I think floral and polka dots go great together! And I agree, there is so much I like to look at that I wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable wearing.

  3. Gail says:

    I love the dress, but I admire the guts it took to take it apart and make it into something that works for you. I'm digging the floral tee with the skirt. And this: " the difference between what i like to look at, and what i like to wear" – really hits the nail on the head. I need to listen to my inner voice when it's telling me I won't wear something I love to look at!

  4. soisewedthis says:

    it was a beautiful dress, but if you'd never wear it, then you made a smart choice! it's a very cute skirt and i'd wear it with a bright top, maybe red or yellow. i like the floral top with it and i usually don't mix patterns, but it's cute!

  5. Kathy says:

    I made this pattern, too, and had the SAME experience! I used a pretty fabric and everything, got compliments on it but I never liked it really. I ended up giving it away to someone who wears it much better then me. It just felt frumpy on me. It felt like there was sooo much fabric on the dress.I love the skirt you made from it!

  6. lisa g. says:

    i hesitated MANY MINUTES before ripping it apart. and the "look at vs. wear" part was my primary motivation for taking it apart and sharing about it. i'm sure other people have the same experience!

  7. Andrea B says:

    Eek, same here! I also took apart the dress I made from this same pattern (different view). I didn't make a muslin so my bust was drowning in those bodice gathers. I harvested the buttons and zipper but my fabric was so cheap it wasn't worth saving. Glad yours was!!

  8. HeathersSphere says:

    What a nice looking dress on you! Perhaps you could sew the same dress in a different fabric? You have the choice of what you really want to wear. But at least you made a cool looking skirt than can go with many types of tops, jackets, and so on. The versatility is a plus. Have a wonderful new year!

  9. poppykettle says:

    Always better to hack into something to make it more wearable than to let it lounge in your cupboards never getting worn, I say. The dress itself is gorgeous, but you're right – I'm just not 'feeling it' on you. That is by no means a snarky comment of course – just about everything I've seen you make looks good on. This theoretically should too… but the skirt is a lovely remake and I hope it gets worn, if only for your sake ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Carolyn says:

    Oh I did gasp a bit to read you had chopped it up; that wonderful red piping!! But it looks totally awesome as a skirt … and will be more versatile this way too. Happy New Year!

  11. lisa g. says:

    i think for this style, i shouldn't have more gathering than what would be taken in by a dart, which is considerably less that what this pattern has. no worries, i will re-style and use the top later, and i've already worn the skirt a bit. i seriously love the skirt!

  12. Susan says:

    Definitely Yay! The polka dot fabric is *perfect* for mixing with prints — so many would look great with it… florals, plaids, etc etc. Good for you for making it into something you'd wear. Cute on the hanger in the closet doesn't do you any good! ๐Ÿ™‚

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