When it comes to polka dots, I’m a true fan. To me, they’re a fun, easy-to-wear print; a timeless, classic look that’s fun and light.
So when I spied the polka dots on this cotton knit at Mill End, I couldn’t wait to throw that bolt of fabric in my shopping cart. Imagine my surprise when the woman standing next to me scoffed at my choice. “Polka dots!” she exclaimed. “I hate those things. They send women back to the fifties every time someone wears them.” Well, as you can see, I ignored the hater and bought those dots anyway. But she made me think even more about those innocent-looking circles of color.
Of course, one of the reasons I love polka dots is their history. Some well known vintage fashion moments included polka dots.
Marilyn Monroe made history when she wore this bikini in the fifties.
Elizabeth wore them too.
And here’s Katherine Hepburn in polka dot pajamas. I’d love to channel her when I wear my dots!
There’s no denying that those dots do have a decidedly fifty’s vibe, a time when women struggled, many without the choices we enjoy today.
But leave it to Zooey Deschanel, a successful woman who loves polka dots and full skirts and peter pan collars, to sum it up so well.
My polka dot tee is Vogue 9128, a pullover top (close-fitting through the bust) with neck binding, front seam detail, and a peplum with shaped hemline. I decided to make this pattern when I noticed it included details that are a bit unusual for a tee-top, like front seams and the fun peplum. I made the long sleeved version because I wanted a transition top, something lightweight enough for warm afternoons, but with long sleeves to protect on cool fall mornings.
As most tees are, this was quick to put together. I love the way the peplum is constructed, (attached to the center front panel). The seam lines at the bust are great too and the curve is so gradual, it isn’t tricky to sew at all. One note about fitting – – the pattern isn’t designed so that you can modify the waist length with a mid-bodice adjustment. For me, this wasn’t a problem as the waist was positioned correctly for my shape ( a minor miracle, since I almost always have to do a waist adjustment.) But if you’re long waisted, you might want to take extra care to figure out if the fit will be right for you.
Here’s a back view of the contrast.
What do I like most about this pattern? You know me – – it has options! You can mix and match fabrics by using contrasting solids or patterns or both. And it’s a great stash /remnant buster because it only takes 5/8 of a yard of fabric to make the contrasting panels.
It’s highly likely that I will make this top again, as the pattern just screams to be color-blocked. I probably won’t use polka dots again, although, to be honest, I do have another remnant in my stash (LOL). So, how do you feel about polka dots? Love, hate, or just so-so?
Happy sewing, and thanks for stopping by!