Hot! The ‘Polka Dot Party’ Dress


Going Steady Dress from Shabby Apple

The Facts

Fabric: About 1/2 yards of black and white polka dot cotton ~$21
Pattern: New Look 6968 ~$1
Year: 2010
Notions: Red invisible zipper from stash $1.50
Time to Complete: 5 1/2 hours
First worn: For the photos, January 2012
Wear again: I’ll definitely be wearing this for a night out!
Total Price: ~$23.50

One of the great things about knowing how to sew garments is that you can make a lot of the items you would want for your closet.  Some of which I wouldn’t typically picture in my closet, or that I probably wouldn’t go out and buy, but I’d still love to own them for special occasions.  This is the dress.  I don’t know if I have ever had a ‘wiggle dress’ in my closet, but I think this classifies.  And I love it!


The dress that inspired this is the Going Steady dress from Shabby Apple, retailing at $82.  The fabric is large polka dots on cotton that I believe I picked up from JoAnn’s.  But really, polka dot fabric is pretty easy to find, I just liked the larger size as it was closer to the original dress design.

The original dress was one top/bottom piece, but I used New Look 6968 as it had the same shape that I was looking for, in a fit that I knew would work for me.  The dress was simple to assemble, but the seam finishing still took ages. Sometimes I wonder if a serger would be faster than using my regular machine to overlock the edges.  I also used a zipper from my stash.  I only had a red invisible zipper in the right length, but luckily I’ve become such a pro at putting in invisible zippers that the only hint of it is the little red zipper pull at the top of the dress back.

So yes, this is my ‘sexy dress’ for a night out on the town.  Maybe wine tasting at the local wine bar? Maybe a dress for Valentine’s Day? I have a cold so I’ve been confined to the house, but otherwise, I can’t wait to wear it!



Christine started sewing in late 2010, inspired by the many crafty bloggers and their gorgeous, self-made outfits. When she's not sewing, she's doing Irish and Scottish dancing, needlework or other various crafts, and hanging out with her hubby and fur babies (1 dog and 3 cats).


Comments are closed.

  1. I think I actually like your version more than the Shabby Apple one – perhaps it’s just the photo, but the original looks like it would be an awkward length. Anyway, great job! And the invisible zipper works well, I can’t see it at all :)

  2. Lovely! I agree with Megan, I prefer yours to the original! Feel better soon :-)

  3. Ooooo! LOVE IT! I have a small obsession with polka dots, and this one is HAWT!

  4. Lovely dress. A serger is a really, really fast and easy way to finish seams. I was doubtful about getting one at first, but now couldn’t bear to be without it. I have the ubiquitous Brother 1034D and don’t see any reason to upgrade. If the red zipper pull bothers you (I think it’s a cute touch) you can paint it with nail varnish.

    • Ooooh, I may need to start looking into sergers. I’ve put yours on my research list. Thanks for the feedback and that’s an awesome idea for the zipper pull! I’ll have to remember that for future projects when I can’t get a matching zipper.

  5. That is gorgeous! The shape is very flattering on you. I want to get a serger too. I think it would be heaps quicker for finishing seams and looks a lot neater too.

    • Yeah, I could never tell if it was just more seamless in appearance or if it was actually faster. My sewing machine can finish the edges but it just seems like it’s chugging along. I need to make the leap at some point. I admit that the multiple spools of thread intimidate me too.

  6. Definitely a sexy wriggle dress!

  7. Polka dots! I love polka dots and this dress shows them off perfectly – along with your lovely curves. A serger is great for finishing seams – so quick! Invisible zips are my fave to insert. To tell the truth, I think that little pop of red at the neckline works!

    • Thanks Sharon! Aren’t polka dots so fun?? And I rarely find the large ones, usually they’re tiny or sporadic. I can’t get enough of invisible zippers right now! I almost look forward to that part of the process. Ha!

  8. Yes! You must get a serger! I have the brother 1034D and I love it. I took a class to learn how to use it, which was a big help. I’m making a LOT more projects now because it’s so fast and so fun.

    Love your dress, by the way! Congrats on being a pro with invisible zips!

    • That’s two for that model! I think I need to look up my nearest Brother store to make sure I can get a class on it. Because I know that’s the only way I’ll be able to figure out how to work the thing. :)

      Thank you!

  9. Very lovely! That was a great choice of pattern and fabric. You look adorable in it, so make some more wiggle dresses!

  10. Oops! I just realized that I only listed 1/2 yard of fabric. It should be 2 1/2 yards of fabric.

  11. wow that looks great on you!

  12. Hi Meg, I think the dress looks fabulous on you and the fabric is definitely better then the original.

  13. I can just see the red zip tag and I reckon it looks cool, but any other time if you don’t lie it, you can paint the tag with nail varnish – or so I’ve heard. Your dress looks great anyhows.

  14. Woops- you already got told that. Don’t know how to edit on this yet, but the K on my laptop is dodgy, so obviously I meant ‘if you don’t like it’ on the last post!

  15. love it and you look fab in it. I also have a brother 1034D serger and believe me they are easy to use (I live in the middle of nowhere so classes weren’t an option for me and I had put off getting one for ages after reading horror stories or threading etc etc but I have had mine for over a year now and have not had any problems threading it at all – it is all colour coded – and it makes overlocking quick and easy and sewing with jersey also becomes a dream!) but back to your dress – excellent job and I actually love the contrasting zipper pull at the top – the little unexpected which makes it so unique. Congratulations!

  16. Gorgeous! You look stunning in it and I think every girl needs a wiggle dress in their wardrobe!

  17. This is simply lovely. And so flattering!

  18. LOVE! The fit is great, length much better than the inspiration piece, and oh-so-flattering on you. I love bold, graphic prints like this, and the red zip is perfect.

  19. That dress is fun AND elegant.

  20. LOVE it! And I agree with others…your version is so much better than the original!

  21. It is a truly fabulous dress. The cut and style are so classic and flattering – not to mention that it’s polka dots!!! I hope you get to wear this often, and on many fantastic dates!

  22. Very cute! I love polka dots. The fit is fantastic!

  23. It’s a great classic dress, this one. Classy too.

  24. Another classic winner Christine. Fabulous!