I love polkadots but realised recently I have hardly any polkadot items that are in regular rotation! When I saw this lovely navy polkadot stretch cotton on the Minerva site, I decided to rectify the situation. This fabric comes in other colours too.

The fabric is a really lovely weight – not too stiff but not especially drapey. It's not as smooth as sateen but has a lovely feel to it. Of course, the stretch makes it really easy to get a good fit and it's lovely to sew with.

I've been meaning to make another By Hand London anna dress for ages – no idea why I haven't got around to it before now! Probably just distracted by newer, shinier patterns! The boat neck is my favourite neckline and I love the fit of the bodice and the kimono sleeves. It's also super quick to sew with no sleeves to set in. I wanted to change up the skirt, and while on holiday, I realised that the full skirt from my Mad Men vintage dress pattern is pretty much my perfect skirt style so I used that.

I had already fitted the Anna bodice, lengthening by 2", doing a ½" FBA and adding a couple of inches to the waist. I measured the waist, subtracted the seam allowances and adjusted the skirt pattern to ensure that it was the same size so that the side seams would match up. In a fit of paranoia, I added an extra 2" at the waist which I later ended up removing.

I had added the pockets from the Emery pattern as I really like the way they are joined into the waist seam and so don't flap around like some side seam pockets can do. Unfortunately when I had to take out the extra at the waist, I had to remove the pockets to make the skirt sit correctly over the hips. But I'll definitely use them against next time.

I must remember next time that the skirt on this pattern Is really long – I took 5" in length off, leaving 2.5" hem and I'm 5'9".

All the seams are finished with overlocking.

I had planned to do a blind hem by machine. I spent some time working out how to do it and then decided to sew in by hand using a catch stitch. The end result is lovely but this is a seriously long hem to sew by hand!

I'm really happy with this dress – I can wear it now with bare legs and later in the year with tights and boots so it's going to be really useful.

If you want to make a dress like this, all the items you need are available in my materials list separately, or as a kit.