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When you can't say it with words, say it with polka dots!This project, while by no means particularly technical, has remained one of my personal favorites over the years. Inspired by the polo scene in the beloved 1990 romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts, this outfit was made as a present for a friend in need of a little cheering up.Although the dress was very simple in its construction, the project came with certain challenges. One of the greatest was how it would fit. 

 

As it was intended as a surprise gift, I was not able to take measurements or do a fitting. Using only a general idea of the lady's size, I drafted the pattern to be more or less "one size fits all" - The dress is essentially an unfitted smock, flaring out from beneath the armscyes and buttoning to a close at the nape of the neck. The waist was drawn in by a purchased leather belt, and added flair could be given with the addition of an optional petticoat; not a feature of the original brown polka-dot dress, but pretty nonetheless.The pattern, when modeled on another lady of similar proportions, proved surprisingly flattering. The whole piece was brought together by the accessories, of course; a pair of faux satin white gloves, and a jaunty straw boater.

 

This was yet another challenge of the piece: my very first proper attempt at millinery! The hat itself was originally a softer shape, the crown similar to a panama or a fedora, with a flat brim. It was brought into its new shape by nothing more than water, steam and hairspray, and being gently re-moulded over the base of a saucepan. Once reshaped, it was finished with a matching bow. Although, of course, the finished product is neither technical nor fine-tailored, it remains one of those pieces which I remember with a fond smile.

"Pretty Woman"
Polka-dot polo ensemble

 

Brown and tan polka-dot dress, rayon. Cinching belt, matching straw boater,
faux satin gloves - June 2016