I got a bunch of navy polka dot fabric from my mom and wanted to use it for something special. I think it's just a plain woven cotton (no stretch). I decided to make a dress inspired by this one from Angelic Pretty:
|(Not my photo - I found it online a long time ago)|
I didn't realize until after I took the photos that my scarf was ridiculously long. Oops.
The dress is a combination of several patterns: this empire waist top I drafted a couple years ago, Butterick 5603 for the skirt, and some puff sleeves I pulled from a blouse pattern (I don't remember what one it was). For the collar, I used a pattern from one a Japanese sewing magazine, but again, it's been too long and I don't remember which one it was. One thing I do remember is that I didn't use the Butterick top because commercial patterns never fit my narrow shoulders correctly.
The trim on the collar is bias tape, while all the white trim is narrow twill tape. There was a lot of topstitching involved in this project!
The collar is removable, so I don't have to look so over the top sailor all the time.
I wish I had figured the collar out a bit better. It has a hook and eye on the front, and some thread loops on the underside to keep a scarf in place. It just sits on the dress like a necklace. It would be nice to have something permanent to keep it from shifting around, but a safety pin does the job too.
All the photos above show the dress with a floofy petticoat. This is what it looks like without one:
I used some horsehair braid to stabilize the neckline, inspired by this post from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. Mine was much narrower, and I wish I had shaped it a bit more. The neckline wants to flip to the outside when I'm not wearing it because of the stiffness.
There is an invisible zipper on the side. Below, you can see the channels I created in the sleeves for elastic.
The hem is finished with twill tape on the underside. This, along with the two decorative rows on the outside give the hem a bit of stiffness even without a petticoat.
Overall, I'm quite happy with how the dress came out. I think I managed to do the fabric justice.