Polka Dot Renaissance AKA I drafted a top in gifted fabric

I found myself drafting and sewing a polka dot blouse. I’m not sure how this happened.

I have a long-standing love affair with black and white with a red accent thrown in, it’s so sharp and clean. Even my cats are monochrome. You like that red accent? Happy accident. I started making the short version of Colette’s Hawthorn. It looked a bit too wacky in that print so I had to salvage what I could and ended up with a centre front join.

Self-drafted top

Unfortunately, the centre front didn’t match up (fabric salvage problems) so I hid it with the red binding. Worked out alright though!

Self-drafted top

I used the bloody brilliant Winifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear to draft this. This is the dropped-shoulder easy fit bodice with cap sleeves. Honestly, I wish I’d bought this years ago. You know that thing you get when you can sew and you find yourself looking at clothes in a shop saying “meh, I could MAKE that, and make it better”? This book has me thinking that when I look at patterns. Yeah, I know, get me and my Delusions of Grandeur. I still enjoy having patterns and download them and all but I like to think of them more as starting points now and use them as inspiration.

Self-drafted top

The back lines up better than the front. I’m all about the back these days, too much watching Project Runway I think. Everyone knows it’s the point when the “garment” turns round at the end of the catwalk that gets the applause. I won’t be getting any applause for these jeans. They bowed out with an undignified split in the arse a day after these pics. New jeans search? I’m gonna need a drink.

Self-drafted top


I’ve never thought of myself as a polka dot fan but the talented Rosie Martin (of DIY Couture) was having a fabric clearout and I came home with this lovely black and white cloth. Thank you Rosie : )




About Vanessa

Sewing and assorted nonsense. For reasons that escape me, I left the sunshine and beaches of Australia for the crisps and glitter of London in 2001. I now live in the middle of some kind of feline drop-in centre in East London battling for space to make costumes and clothes. Over on twitter and instagram as @smittenness Email over here ------> smittenness@gmail.com
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4 Responses to Polka Dot Renaissance AKA I drafted a top in gifted fabric

  1. ksgentry says:

    I love the black and white polka dot! It looks great on you and what a great idea to hide a seam with the red binding. Great job!

  2. Sasha says:

    Hi, it’s a very nice top … A well written drafting book can put you into a designer mindset … “delusions of grandeur” be welcomed!

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