Vintage Simplicity 8704: The Pollyanna Dress
I don’t usually look back with incredible fondness on 1980’s styles. This dress is an exception. The pattern is Simplicity 8704, from 1988. Just look at that side ponytail.
I had a dress from this pattern when it was first released, made by my mom, of course. It was pink and white with something of an abstract floral pattern to it. I called it my Pollyanna dress and I loved wearing it so much. I had three younger sisters who wore it after me and I think it finally disintegrated after the last one outgrew it. My mom let me borrow her copy of the pattern (which she still had sitting around in her pattern file) so I could make a new dress for Guinevere.
Guinevere’s dress is made from the scraps of the blue and white sateen I used for this dress. Because of the godets in my dress, I had some oddly-shaped scraps left over. There was just barely enough fabric left to cut out this dress and I managed to get all the stripes to go the directions I wanted them to. This was actually the perfect pattern to use up those scraps, since none of the individual pieces are particularly large.
I love the 1920’s vibe of this dress. The sleeves, of course, are all 80’s, but that’s not a bad thing on a young girl. I get a strong American Girl Doll vibe from this dress, but can’t figure out which doll it would have been. I don’t remember there ever being a 1920’s-era doll. Samantha was probably the closest one, but wasn’t she late-Victorian?
As with so many projects I make for Guinevere, this one took longer than I thought it would. What time I save in not having to make a ton of fitting adjustments for her is more than used up by sewing lace everywhere, it seems. It’s not necessarily difficult, just somewhat tedious, especially with the corners on the collar of this one.
The sleeve bands and waistband facing are hand-stitched in place on the inside also, and the bow had some hand-sewing involved to get the knot in place and to tack it to the dress. I didn’t find the construction order of this dress to be completely intuitive, but following the instructions it went together fairly easily.
She loves it. I was a little worried she’d find the drop-waist feels too weird compared to what she usually wears, or the sleeves to be too conspicuous compared to what her friends wear, but I’ve had no such complaints at all. I, of course, love it too. It reminds me of my original dress, but without being an exact copy.