Vintage Simplicity 8719: DIY Polka Dot Ruffle Hem Peasant Sleeve Dress

Vintage Simplicity 8719 polka dot dress


Today I am sharing a dress I made using a vintage Simplicity pattern, Simplicity 8719. At the time of writing there does seem to be a few copies of this pattern available on various sites, for example, here. It’s amazing to me that this pattern was copyrighted 41 years ago but is still relevant today. It just shows how cyclical fashion is, and how some fashions never really go away.

Vintage Simplicity 8719 polka dot dress
Vintage Simplicity 8719 polka dot dress

Fabric wise, this is a polka dot printed viscose that I found on eBay. I love the swish factor with the ruffle at the bottom, and how light weight this dress is. I also love the peasant sleeves, with their narrow elasticated casing.

Vintage Simplicity 8719 polka dot dress

To make this dress work for me, and my proportions, I did make some alterations, which were as follows:

Pattern alterations

  • I cut a size 18 through the bust, shoulder and arms, and graded out at the waist.
  • I did a 5/8ths inch FBA. I think I also added some of that extra width into the front of the skirt?
  • I shortened the sleeve by 1.5 inches.
  • I did a 5/8ths inch full bum adjustment. Even on elasticated waist dresses like this one, there are some patterns which if I don’t do this alteration to give me extra length over the bum then the dress is shorter at the back.
  • The dress as drafted is long! I cut the skirt at the lengthen/ shorten line with an extra 1 inch of length added.
  • As drafted, this pattern is intended to have a zipper closure in the back. I eliminated the zipper and did a keyhole/ button fastening.
  • I eliminated the centre back seam on the skirt and cut that on the fold.
  • I cut the ruffle on the cross grain, and actually love the subtle change in polka dot spacing. I think it makes the dress more interesting and a little fresher.
  • I used 4 lengths of ruffle, not the 3 as recommended by the pattern.
  • I ended up lowering the front neckline by 1 inch. I also interfaced my facings, although the pattern doesn’t tell you to.
Vintage Simplicity 8719 polka dot dress

In conclusion, this is one of my favourite of-the-moment dresses. I would like to think I could also wear this in cooler weather with tights and boots. It certainly got a positive reaction from my work colleagues when I wore to work.

It’s a long weekend for us here in the UK (and also in the USA I believe)….hope you find some time to do some happy sewing!

Until soon.

Vintage Simplicity 8719 polka dot dress

Posted by

By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at

21 thoughts on “Vintage Simplicity 8719: DIY Polka Dot Ruffle Hem Peasant Sleeve Dress

    1. Thanks Nita. If you can’t make it find a local seamstress and ask them to do it. But it might be the perfect excuse to learn to sew yourself!

  1. Fabulous dress! My cousin had a dress like this, maybe same pattern since my aunt sewed. I always wanted the dress as a hand-me-down, since I usually got her clothes that way. Unfortunately, I think she must have worn it out, because I never got it. Hers was dark green with burgundy design, sounds ugly when I write it, but I loved that dress. Thanks for bringing back some memories, and congratulations on you creation. I’m jealous! :>)

  2. It’s just perfect. I am impressed with the perfect fit, and thanks for sharing your notes. I want to sew for a great-niece who has your build..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s