Hot! The “Polka Dot Pop-over” Dress


The Facts:

Fabric: Cotton/lycra blend from Chic Fabrics, NYC = $5
Pattern: New Look 6478 = $0.69 from Value Village
Year: 2005
Notions: bias trim leftovers
Time to complete: 1.5 hours, including tracing the pattern
First worn: To daycare on September 17th
Wear again? Probably
Total price: $5.69

Challenge: Polka dots


So I had bigger plans for this week than a simple pop-over dress, but I was sidetracked at the 11th hour by my daughter. She saw me sorting through my latest batch of patterns from the thrift store and HAD TO HAVE THIS DRESS!  Then she saw this fabric on my ironing board and HAD TO HAVE IT TOO!  Considering that I only started on Sunday morning, I didn’t think I was in any position to argue; it was either a quick and easy project, or finish late, as I am wont to do.  Eeep.

I planned to make Simplicity 2892 using this fabric because the yardage was just barely enough (if I used another fabric for the facings), and it matched the pattern envelope, so no imagination was needed to see how it would look when made.  I bought this during the NYC meetup last September when I got to meet Mena, Debi, Oona, Nettie, Devra, Meg, and some other people that aren’t on The Sew Weekly, but are still cool. Strangely, this is the first of the fabrics from that meetup that I’ve used.  Hoard much?

Before: made wide enough to last until next year!

Hmmmm, what to say about a pop-over dress?  Umm…..the instructions were lousy, so I ignored them and made it my own way.  This “Sew Easy” pattern instructed you to fold over the arm and necklines once and topstitch, then tack some ribbons on for ties.  No seam finishing?  No bias tape or facings for the armscyes?  There’s easy, and then there’s sloppy.

My  daughter is tall for 3 years old, so I cut size 5 in length and size 4 in width.  I figure she’s only going to get one or two wearings out of this dress before next summer, so I erred on the side of too big rather than too small.  The bodice was very wide (see the photos above), so I put a temporary pleat in the centre front and back.  I’ll release them next summer when she fills out a bit.

After: pleat in front and back to temporarily take in the extra width. I just had to include this photo of her in action, defending my sewing corner, scabbard held firmly in place by her underwear.  Maybe I should make her an Erin-style thigh holster for her sword!

I’ve been pretty tied up over the last two weeks because we had a site visit from our research funding agency (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), so I had to rush through some last minute data and prepare a presentation of all the results from our centres in North America, and needless to say, I was freaking out just a little bit.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, because besides the continued research, more funding means minimum 2 more trips to Africa, and all the fabric shopping that entails!  To top that off, there was a virus going around here that was a dead ringer for pregnancy:  lethargy all day, sleeping 12+ hours a night, slight nausea all day, slightly increased temperature, delayed period.  There were a lot of frantic pregnancy tests being taken by mothers at my daycare this week, let me tell you!

But it’s all over now except for the funding announcement, and I can relax and get back to normal.  I will hopefully have a few evenings free this coming week to work on my next project, which I can promise to be a bit more involved than a pop-over dress.


Outtakes, just for the added cuteness.




Vicki used to sew when she was young and free, but then raising young'uns and bringing home (some of) the bacon took up all her time. Now her closet is full of skinny clothes, maternity clothes and post-partum clothes, none of which fit properly. Maybe that's why she started sewing again in 2010.


Comments are closed.

  1. It’s so cute! I love that she got so involved, and had such an opinion on her dress, and (best of all) that you supported her in that.

  2. Just as cute as can be! I like your thinking with the darts that you can let out next summer. Good luck with the research grant!

  3. Gorgeous! My daughter and I just bought that pattern for her to sew her first dress – she made the halter neck version with the frill (with a lot of help, but she is only seven).

  4. Very cute, both your little girl and the dress…My son, too, always places specific clothing orders ever since he’s figured out that I am able to make clothes. And he likes to go through my fabric stash and uses some fabric as play material (some of it is strictly taboo, of course). I actually HAD to make him a pink pillowcase dress so he can dress up as a princess when he builds a castle out of our dinner table by covering it in sari fabric with little golden sequins. He refuses to be a prince and he’s announced that he’ll marry Cinderella because she has such a pretty blue dress. ;) Kids are such fun.
    Good luck with the grant!

  5. Love the dress.. And your daughter is adorable.

  6. Aw, thanks everybody. I felt like I was kind of phoning it in by making this pop-over dress, but when kids demand sewing, it’s hard to say no! I know it will be loved and worn, so that’s more important than challenging myself in the limited time I had.

  7. The temporary pleat makes it even cuter! I like how it adds a bit of detail and shape to the bodice.