Hot! The Summery Polka-Dot Sundress

The Facts

Fabric: Navy and white polka-dot rayon, $5/yd 60″ wide
Pattern: Simplicity 1578
Year: 1945
Notions: Navy invisible zipper, $1
Time to complete: 16 hours, maybe more
First worn: Never been worn yet!
Wear again? Yes
Total price: $11

Pattern used:

It’s the middle of winter here and since every week has been 30 degrees and freezing. It’s refreshing to work on a summery rayon polka-dot sundress.

I’ve made this pattern once before unsuccessfully. This time around was different.

Using a fabric with good drape and hand was crucial. The rayon is lightweight and has good drape. This pattern also reminds me why the 40s is my favorite sewing era. I have enough leftover fabric for a skirt, a blouse or shorts and the silhouette is vintage enough to be authentic yet doesn’t look costume-like or overwhelming.

Some construction details:

  • made a muslin (which accounted for the 16+ hours)
  • basted all the seams before sewing it up
  • inserted an invisible zipper in the back
  • used seam bindings for the armholes
  • serged the seams
  • used some leftover navy gabardine for the neckline facing
  • hand-tacked the facing at center front to prevent it from flipping up

I don’t know how many sleeveless sundresses I’ll be making but this silhouette is definitely a win.



Janice has been sewing her own clothes for the past few years and enjoys sewing from vintage patterns, especially the 40s, 50s and 60s.


Comments are closed.

  1. As always, I love your work. :) You’re so right about those 40’s dresses, they blend well into “modern” living…

    I think I have a bit of navy blue and white polka dot rayon lying around, too.. Hmmm.

  2. Wonderful pattern and fabric choice! It looks very lovely on you.

  3. That’s a really great pattern, and this cut and style looks great on you.

  4. This looks simply stunning! The polka dots just add to the whole 40s vibe :D

  5. This pattern has the nicest neckline. Lovely dress.

  6. That’s so cute. Really worth all that time and work.

  7. Gorgeous polka-dots. Excellent work.

  8. Very cute! I really like the shoulder detail.

  9. That is adorable on you! Polka dots never go ‘out’ either.

  10. Totally adorable! The pattern is wonderful and the polka dots, icing to the cake!

  11. Gorgeous! Love the polka dots, the pattern, in fact everything about it.