In November last year I made my first ‘Polly’ dress which is a play on the Penny dress by Sew Over It. I love the Penny dress and have made several versions including a hack of the pattern into a blouse. However, there were a couple of things that I wanted to change. I found that the extended yoke/bodice did not sit very well under cardigans and the narrow button band has never had working buttonholes!
Rather than ‘play around’ with the original Sew Over It pattern I decided to adapt my TNT Bodice block into something similar. I wanted to have a bodice that gathered into a yoke, sleeveless with bias bound armholes and a fully-functioning button band.
First I cut a yoke section from the front and back bodices. I overlapped at the shoulder seams to redraw a full yoke pattern. On the bodice front I removed the bust dart and transferred the fullness into gathers into the yoke. I did the same for the body darts on the back bodice before adding seam allowance to the shoulder where the bodice attaches to the new yoke. I checked the measurements of the bodice pieces at the waistline to ensure that the half-circle skirt of the Penny dress would fit.
You may have a sense of ‘deja vue’ of the print of this version as it is the same as Polly #1 but in a different colourway. This fabric came from New Threads Quilt Shop sale where I picked up 4 metres at just £4/metre – a bargain!! The fabric was duly laundered and has been sitting in my ’roundtuit’ pile for a while. As it was only 42 inches wide it meant that I had to cut the Sew Over It skirt pattern in half, add seam allowance and then cut 4 panels. I was fortunate that the pattern is non-directional. By having side seams this has enabled me to include some concealed side seam pockets using my TNT pattern where the top of the pocket is attached to the waist seam thus preventing it from flapping about..
Seams of the bodice are French seamed but the skirt panels are overlocked. The armholes are finished with self-bias binding (as per Sian of Kittenish Behaviour) and the skirt has a narrow double turned and machine stitched hem. There is a casing for narrow elastic at the waistline so that I can wear the dress with or without a belt.
This dress was long overdue in the making and half-way through I became disenchanted as I kept being interrupted (hence the change from French seams to overlocking!). However, after a concentrated session of a couple of hours it is all finished and goes so well with the Old Gold Jenna Cardigan and wide Navy belt that I can’t wait to wear the combination.
Completed 25th February 2020