Sunday, 3 February 2013

Polka Dots and Petticoats

Over the last summer, I came across one of the prettiest dresses I've seen in a while. It was a frothy pink polka dot creation with a plunging back and bows at the waist. The only problem was it was far too expensive for my diminishing student budget. Luckily, I happened to show a picture of it to my boyfriend's mother Susan (one of the loveliest ladies in existence) who then told me how she's a pretty dab hand at dress making! So, inspiration struck and we took up recreating this dress as a summer project. The only hold up was that I'm pretty useless unartistic and my experience in dress making begins (and ends) with making cloth sacks for Barbie to model. Pushing my lack of experience to one side, I went out and bought a dress pattern off the net, some pretty silk (from a shop somewhere in SoHo, London) and became closely acquainted with a sewing machine.

A few cotton reels, pricked fingers and stamped feet (I lack patience when it comes to fiddly jobs) later, we'd managed to create a dress straight out of Alice in Wonderland and more than perfect for summer picnics. This really went to show that anyone with a bit of persistence (and a large dollop of guidance) can create something beautiful for the fraction of the price of something shop bought! (If you're lacking  guidance from a physical person, it's always worth having a look for tutorials on youtube!)

The icing on the cake? Months later, my boyfriend's family managed to hunt down the original dress somewhere in the sales and gave it to me for my birthday! They really are amazing people.

Here's the dress we made- it had a full circle skirt and we created a pretty mint green petticoat to make it 'poof'.

I really do love those plunging backs- so flattering on everyone!

Here's the original inspiration for my creation:

It was from Jack Wills (I think the 2012 Spring/Summer collection, but it may have been earlier). As you can see, it really is a fairy tale dress!

I'd really recommend having a go at making your own dress at some point as it really was a rewarding experience. For anyone interested, I used a 'Vintage Vogue' dress pattern which I found online for around 15 pounds. So what are you waiting for? 

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