Hot! The “Get it Together!” Dress

The Facts
Fabric: Black polka dot knit $9
Pattern: Stretch & Sew 1575
Year: 1974
Notions: 7 buttons from stash
Time to complete: 8 hours (6 eps of Fortysomething and a Project Runway or two)
First worn: Just for pictures
Wear again? Ehhh…if I seriously redo the collar
Total price: ~$9

This challenge didn’t start out with this dress. I was going to make a simple white blouse out of peachskin. But I chose a complicated pattern, and set myself up for failure. So that project is sitting in pieces in the corner while it thinks about what it has done.

I procrastinated getting started on the blouse until Thursday after work. And about an hour later I was so unmotivated and sick of looking at the thing I threw it aside and came up with plan B, this dress. Well, plan C. For about 5 minutes I was going to refashion one of my husband’s unwanted button-ups, but that idea didn’t last long. I had traced these pattern pieces onto tissue a month ago, so that meant I could get cutting right away. Also there were only a few pieces, two darts, and no inside finishing required! Sold.

I had to finish up most of it that night because we were going away for the weekend again and I wouldn’t be able to do anything until we got home on Sunday afternoon. I hate waiting until the last minute, so I was already on edge, which probably caused me to mess up more than normal, which just made me more frustrated with the whole thing. And I ended up with the worst collar I have ever made. Rushed construction plus 1970s styling equals serious ugliness. It’s just too big for my taste. I knew it when I was cutting it out but I guess I just ignored it?! Anyway, it needs to be fixed before I actually wear this out in public.

I had been so lazy with the challenge, and busy with real life, I needed a kick in the pants. But I’m SUPER excited for my plans for the next two challenges. I can’t wait to make those up!!



Liz has been sewing since April 2011 but has been crafty all her life. Her full-time job is as a museum curator at a smallish institution, where her DIY skills often come in handy. Liz likes to sew while watching TV, which she uses to measure the amount of time it takes to finish.


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  1. I can’t really see the collar in these pictures so I’ll take your word for it. I do think the dress is pretty and love it on you. I hope you get around to fixing it and I can’t wait to see what you have planned for the next couple of weeks.

  2. I think it’s fabulous but it’s also polka dots so how can you go wrong? We’ll have to take your word for it on the collar issues, the pics certainly don’t show anything amiss. Can’t wait to see what you do for the next two challenges!

  3. I think we all are looking forward to the children’s book challenge. It’s hard to see the collar, maybe when you redo make it all white.

  4. Love this dress, if I hadn’t read your post I wouldn’t have thought it was anything less than perfect. The polka dots are gorgeous. I love the A line look skirt. The styling with the belt. And your featured pic looks ace – it looks like you’re channeling Peggy Olson…in a good way.

  5. She looks pretty damn good from here Liz, it wont take long to fix the collar, you have to wear this! it’s fab.

  6. Love the polka dots and pairing it with the black belt! It turned out great, I think :)

  7. You can’t go wrong with polka-dots! It doesn’t look bad, but I can see that it would look better after you fix it. I’ve learned the hard way that stretch knits need to be cut smaller. Hopefully it’s an easy fix.