Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sweetheart-neckline polka dot dress (rockabilly style)

Hey everyone!
So I got extremely lucky at the Salvation Army secondhand store the other day. I found this raspberry colored fabric with off-white polka dots. Actually, I found 6 meters of it (roughly 6.5 yards). For 4 euros (~$4.30).

Four euros! For six meters of fabric! Now that's cheap.

So anyway. For me, anything polka dot automatically means pin up or rockabilly. Or at least that's the first association.

So I headed out to Google Images and googled polka dot rockabilly dresses for inspiration.

I decided to try a sweetheart-neckline top with wide straps. I'd watched Coolirpa's tutorials on how to create a basic sweetheart top and how to make a lining for such top, and with these videos as my guide, I measured and cut out the pieces for the top, twice (I decided to use the same fabric for lining the dress since I had so much fabric to work with, but any fabric will do as long as the stretch of the fabrics is sort of similar).

Top pieces x1.

I sewed the top pieces together at the sides (right sides together), creating two identical top pieces. I tried one on for size, did a little trimming at the seams, and then measured roughly how long the straps should be. Now, the easiest would have been to make a halterneck like in Coolirpa's first video, but halternecks give me a headache. I mean literally, the strap pressing into the back of my neck all day gives me a massive headache, so hence the regular straps. I cut out two rectangles of the length I'd guesstimated the straps to be, with the width being twice what I wanted the finished straps to be. I sewed the straps into tubes right sides together and then turned the tubes inside out. So then I had two identical top pieces and two straps:

Putting the top together with the straps happens like this: Put the top pieces together, right side to right side, and the straps should be in between the pieces so that when you sew along the top line and then flip it open, the straps are where they're supposed to be. Sounds confusing, but it's actually really easy.

So I pinned the pieces right sides together with the straps in like this:

Then when I sewed along the top edge and flipped it open, it looked like this:

I top-stitched along the edge to prevent the lining from rising up and being visible to the outside:

So then I cut the skirt pieces. Full circle, of course, and since the fabric was kind of thin (not see-through though), I lined the skirt part as well, making it double-layer. I also added pockets like these in this tutorial. Add waistband, zipper and hem the dress... as usual. :D

And done:

Rocking the dress:


So, what do you think of this polka dot dream? :)



  1. It looks great! And the fabric was such a bargain!

    1. Thanks! And it really was, there was a bunch of it left over when this was done, too! :)