The “Sun’s a Ball of Butta’” Polka Dot Dress
Fabric: Unknown (to me) fabric from Fabric Outlet - 2 yards for ~$.99
Pattern: Simplicity 8630 ~$.20
Year: c. 1969
Time to complete: ~6 hours
First worn: October 2010
Wear again? Yes!
Total Cost: ~$1.20
There is absolutely no way I could make a sailor necktied, late 1960s, drop waisted dress and not reference Ms. Barbra Streisand. And despite having “Don’t Rain on My Parade” stuck in my head during the six hours of construction, making this dress was a fairly uncomplicated and enjoyable process.
I’ve been on a late 1960s kick lately — the majority of my Hawaii dresses were made from 60s patterns — and I’ve even grown to appreciate the properties of polyester. While I would have previously run screaming from any polyester print, I actually have gone through my stash and revisited all those pieces of fabric that have been perpetually in the “get rid of this” pile. While this fabric is not necessarily polyester, it’s some weird Monsantian fiber that I can’t figure out. Or maybe it’s just a cotton than needs to be laundered.
Regardless, I love my Barbra dress.
As you can tell from the pattern illustration, I took some liberties with the necktie. While I love how it looks on the envelope, I could not make it work with my frame. I needed to belt the dress because it was just a little too frumpy with my big hips and chest. Because of the need to belt, a long tie was just too busy.
This is yet another dress in which I cheated and skipped inserting a zipper. I’m still waiting for that trick to backfire on me, but for the most part, the fit is fine and I just have to struggle a little bit to get it over my head.
There’s just something about this dress that makes me so happy.