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A Gift a Day 2016: Day 1: Polka Dot Dress

I decided to dive right in with a long project this year!

Last year I used this fun polka dot fabric to sew a doll dress, make a skirt, and line a pencil bag. This year I made a matching dress for one of my daughters.

Polka Dot Dress The Prudent Homemaker 


Fabric. I used a cotton print and used around 2 1/3 yards for a size 7.

Basic dress pattern. I used an out of print pattern very similar to this one, but mine called for buttons instead of a zipper. 

Matching thread


Muslin for collar

Interfacing for collar

Ribbon for waistband (I used 5/8" wide grosgrain ribbon)


Sewing Machine


Sewing pins


Polka Dot Dress Bow Detail The Prudent Homemaker


This was a difficult project to try to complete in a day (and it actually took me two days!). Though it is a simple dress without much embellishment (and I'm not counting the time it took to wash and dry the fabric) it still took me over 14 hours, including ironing the fabric and laying out the pattern. I had to work on this all afternoon and into the evening on Monday, and then work on it some more after the children were in bed, and again on Tuesday afternoon. This is one of the simplest dresses I have planned. The sleeves, front, and back bodice are all lined, and the entire dress is constructed with French seams.

Polka Dot Dress Button Detail The Prudent Homemaker



The polka dot fabric, thread, and ribbon were given to me. I've been given a lot of fabric over the years (from various sources, including my grandmother and mother-in-law, who both gave me much of their stash before they died) and am working to use it. I bought the muslin, interfacing, and buttons on sale.


Did you make any presents today? What did you make?

Last modified on
Tagged in: A Gift A Day Gifts


  • Margaret @approachingfood November 02, 2016

    Gorgeous dress, and I so love French seams! Wasn't able to made anything today, but unearthed some dress patterns for myself and reduced my cloth stash to a more workable level. I've pulled out all my Christmas fabrics and will be focusing on a tree skirt first, I think. Possibly followed by some matching sofa pillow covers and lap quilts. Big plans! :)

  • Mo November 02, 2016

    Yes! Although - not made like yours ;) I am in charge of goodie bags that will go home with kiddos on the last school day. I wrapped Smarties candies in leftover to be recycled parts of printer paper, added two mini hole punch black eyes, used the fingers from clean knit gloves that have lost their mates FOR SURE as hats for them, and strips of leftover flannel as scarves :)

  • Rhonda A. November 03, 2016

    Those sound really cute, Mo!

  • Mo November 03, 2016

    I cannot take credit Rhonda! I found the photo via Pinterest (thankful for Pinterest!). The original craftrr used much larger candy rolls like Mentos or Rolos I think, but hey - makin' it do!! If you Google Pretty Like a Petunia and Candy Roll I bet you'll be able to find it. I need to freehand some teardrop orange noses for these guys too!

  • kaye November 02, 2016

    frustrated granny of boys here , love this, and what did i see in the church shop today ? Yardage in a white and red polka dot for just a £1 a bundle of several yards . I was good and left it for someone else , not a girl to be had among family , friends or church

  • Jenny Henderson November 02, 2016

    Such a beautiful dress! Your daughter will adore it, I'm sure.

    I'm currently knitting a twin size blanket for my mother in law. It'll take me roughly 50 hours, start to finish. I'm 7 hours into it thus far. I hope to have it completed by Christmas.
    I ordered a Victorian nightgown pattern from Ebay. It came in the mail last week. I will sew the nightgown for my daughter. Our children get to open one present on Christmas Eve, I'll give her the nightgown to open then so she can wear it to bed that night. It's such a beautiful gown....I May make one for myself.
    The only other project I may take on this month will be a twin size quilt for my youngest son.

  • Roberta in So. Cal. November 03, 2016

    My mom used to make a new nightgown for me and my favorite doll each Christmas (to be first worn on Christmas Eve). Thanks for triggering such a warm memory!

  • Debby in KS November 03, 2016

    I broke into a smile the moment it popped up on the screen! It's just darling. The fabric is perfect for a pretty dress. I love it!

  • Gardenpat November 03, 2016

    I was invited to a triple baby shower next week (3 moms about to have babies)! Because there have been a lot of new babies arriving lately (including 2 new grandchildren for us in a 7 day period), my supply of baby quilts is down to just 1!!! And I am known for giving out a baby quilt to each and every new mom at church as well as friends and family!

  • Roxie November 03, 2016

    What a pretty dress. I really do like it very much. I am sure someone is going to be beautiful when she wears it. French seams. WOW. I know those take some time to do right. I sew a lot. I do not make French seams often. I serge the seams. My serge machine is old, but it works. I consider it a real time saver.
    I recently saw on Pentrist something I want to do. Turn a man's shirt into a woman's peasant shirt.

  • Mariana November 03, 2016

    Polka dot is one of my favorite patterns. :)
    This week I will be making fleece leggings / pants for all my nieces. Super simple pattern - I will just use another pair to trace it. I made a few pairs for them a couple of years ago and they were a hit!

  • Rhonda A. November 03, 2016

    Bravo, Brandy! What a stellar dress you made. I love the fabric. It give the dress a really cute 1920/30s kind of feel. So adorable!

  • Shara November 03, 2016

    This is adorable. I miss having a little girl to sew for.

  • Suzanne November 03, 2016

    It's lovely ! And I think French seams are always the way to go, such a finished and professional look. Well done! I didn't make a gift, but am working on knitting my older daughter a sweater-these things can't get done in a day, but stitch by stitch daily they get there in time:-)

  • kimi November 03, 2016

    What a beautiful dress. I love the color and pattern. I am looking forward to following your "gift a day" posts.

  • Sara November 03, 2016

    Beautiful dress!

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher November 03, 2016

    Oh my gosh, that dress is so cute! You're making me want to break out my sewing machine again--it's been a while since I've had time to sew anything.

    As a little girl I loooooved matching outfits with my dolls. They're pretty expensive at the store, so it's awesome that you can make these at home!

    I didn't really make any presents for anyone, but I did cook supper and clean for Mr. Picky Pincher, so that counts as something, I'm sure. :)

  • Laura November 03, 2016

    How wonderful! Thanks for sharing. I have three boys, so alas, no polka dot dresses in our house!

  • Kirsti November 03, 2016

    Beautiful dress! I love the buttons on the back. I am currently knitting a baby afghan. I would love to sew a dress for each of my granddaughters but I'm not sure I have the time. The afghan is easy to pick up and work on when I have a few minutes waiting for appointments, sewing needs a bit more concentrated time.

  • Amy November 03, 2016

    Brandy - I love that you're including gifts that take more than one day to make. I love seeing all your projects!

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