The pretty polka dot has timeless appeal, that's why we've created this dreamy dress to give you a slice of fifties flair. Consisting of a fitted bodice and multiple skirt pieces for added swish, this frock is perfect for crisp cottons and lightweight linens.
- Spotty fabric, 4.3m (150cm)
- Concealed zip, 56cm
- Front bodice: cut two on fold, one for lining
- Back bodice: cut two pairs, one for lining
- Skirt: cut three on fold (one for centre front, one each for side panels); cut one pair for back, with a seam through centre back for zip
- 1.5cm seam allowance used unless otherwise stated.
1 Stitch the darts into the front and back bodice pieces, sewing from base to point, then press towards the centre front and back. Divide this into two bodices, then match, pin and sew the shoulder seams, right sides facing. Press the seam allowances open.
2 Lay one of the bodices out flat, right sides uppermost. Position the other on top with the right sides facing down. Match the necklines, pin and stitch around the neckline, and clip the seam allowances. Repeat for the armholes, pinning, sewing and clipping the seam allowance.
3 Turn the bodice to the right side, threading the back through the shoulders. Tease out the seam allowance round the neckline and armholes, then press. Match the side seams, pin and sew from base to underarm, ensuring the armhole seams are open, and press. Fold the lining inside the bodice.
4 Join the skirt pieces, right sides facing, and sew. Neaten with overlocking or zig zag stitching. Using your machine’s largest stitch, make two rows within the seam allowance across the top of the skirt. Pull up the thread to fit the bodice waistline and distribute the gathers evenly. Pin to the outer part and stitch.
5 Match, pin and sew the two neatened edges at the back of the skirt, leaving a gap at the top of the seam for the zip. Measure down 53cm from the top neckline of the bodice into the back of the skirt, then stitch the remainder of the seam together.
6 Sew the zip into the back opening using a regular or concealed zipper foot. Fold and press the seam allowance along the sides of the back opening, then open out. With right sides facing, position the opened zip face down, matching the teeth to the crease line in the seam allowance, and pin in place.
7 With a concealed zipper foot, place the zip teeth into the groove; as you sew, the foot uncurls the teeth and the stitching is placed alongside the teeth. With a normal foot, uncurl the teeth with your fingertips. Leave 3cm of the zip base unsewn. Back-stitch and sew the other side of the zip. Thread the zip pull to the right side at the top of the centre back seam, and pull up.
8 Neaten the base of the skirt with overlocking or zig zagging. Fold and press up a 1cm hem and machine sew. Hand slip-stitch the lining bodice, folding in the seam allowance along the edge of the zip and across the waistline. Make sure all raw edges are covered by the lining. Pin and hand-sew to finish.