This week, I decided to transform a plain white cami dress into a spotty showpiece, following the recent polka dot craze. Part of this trend, or maybe even the cause, is ‘that Zara dress’. 

If you’ve managed to miss it, the dress is flowing, white and COVERED in dots! Radio 1 discussed it, thousands of people are following it’s Instagram account @hot4thespot (yes, really!), and all kinds of people have been photographed wearing it. Think Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants; this dress seems to suit everyone. So, inspired by this summer wardrobe must-have, I bring you my DIY dotty dress in just five steps with iron-on vinyl:

You will need the following: 

Step 1- Creating my dots! I began by hole punching tiny circles into black HappyFlex vinyl. After I’d made around 100, I decided to mix it up a little and hand cut some circles to make it slightly less uniform (closer to the pattern on the original Zara print). I also added a tiny black vinyl butterfly (also hole punched) to add a Where’s-Wally-esque touch to my design. 

Step 2- Pre-press the dress! I started by pre-pressing the dress to remove any moisture that might be hiding in the material. This was a really important step as I’d stored the dress upstairs for a long time, awaiting the next summer holiday (long overdue!). When pre-pressing (using either a heat press or iron) I used the heat press at 150 degrees for 10 seconds, which would be the two-dot setting on the iron for the same amount of time. 

Step 3- Adding the vinyl! When the dress was nicely pressed and crease-free, I started to place my dots where I wanted them and then placed grease-proof paper over the top. Tip: be extra patient and careful, as the dots are a little fiddly and may move as you add the paper!

Step 4- Press the dots! I then pressed for 10 seconds. When removing the greaseproof paper, I realised that some of the circles had been placed the wrong way up and so hadn’t stuck. This is easy to fix- simply peel them off of the paper and turn them the right way (carrier/ shiny side facing upwards), pop the grease-proof paper back on top and press again. 

Step 5- Peel and reveal! Lastly, I peeled all of the carriers off of the dots. This can be done with HappyFlex vinyl when it is warm, but I waited until I had pressed the whole dress to peel off so that I could sit down and do them all at once. Finally, my dress was ready to wear!

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