Primary coloured polka dots – playschool or supercool?

I recently found this awesome spotty tablecloth in the charity store.  A rather cute circular number, 100% cotton with quite a loose weave.  It was in great condition and was just crying out for a refashion.


When mulling over my refashion it didn’t occur to me for one moment that it may be ‘too young’ for me.  Seriously, who wears primary coloured spots over the age of 40?  Well, ME!! There was no way I was giving this fabric over.  I was going to enjoy it, all for myself.

I consider a circle skirt, that would have worked a treat given the fact that it was already a perfectly good circle and would need little alteration but I just couldn’t do it.  I don’t really do circle skirts, I love them but they don’t love me.

It needed to be a more radical refashion and a simple bantam vest from Merchant & Mills felt like the right answer.  I do love the bantam, the shape is so cool and I really love the racerback. AND I was lucky enough to stumble upon the Merchant & Mills Workbook in the library recently and so I set about my make.


I decided to make a toile.  I am not a big ‘toile’ maker.  I usually don’t have the patience for it (I know, big mistake!) but with this pattern I thought I should.  I know it’s a simple pattern but I know my shape well. I knew it would be way too long in the body (it was) and have too much gape around the armholes (it did).  So I made some tweaks and the toile ended up fitting perfectly.



I made this toile out of another charity store find.  It was a couple of dollars, so cheaper than calico and with the possibility that it would get worn. You can see it is quite open around the armhole, but as there are no darts, this was how it worked.  I kinda like the style of it.

The toile isn’t a complete success though, you can see that the binding hasn’t worked very well and has puckered (mmm… my sewing I suspect!).  It’s also rather fat, especially around the shoulder straps which I am not keen on.  Better luck next time.

So, onto my playschool/supercool version.  The main challenge was finding the grain line, not as easy as I thought when you are playing with a circle.  Once I had cracked that, then it was plain sailing.  I decided to add the binding in a slightly different way so it’s a slimmer option and sits really smoothly. I am thrilled with the colour choice, I love emerald green.


Are those scones on your legs?  No, actually they are my knees.
Note to self: get a better racerback bra!


I don’t care what anyone says – it’s definitely supercool.  Not bad for a pre-loved tablecloth!




17 thoughts

  1. Super cute and very Gorman esque. The thing about spots I think is the size – mid sized and random is chic, tiny can be a bit twee so this is spot on (um totally didn’t mean that pun but absolutely NOT deleting it!). 🙂


  2. Look brilliant, never too old for colour and dots! Just wondering: did you hem the top first before you closed the side seams, or did you hem at the end? Since the bottom has a curved shaped, I’m guessing hemming might be a bit tricky on the sides if you do it last??


      1. Thanks! I was in the middle of making a jersey T-shirt for myself with the same type of curved hem hence the question came up. It’s finished now! 🙂


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