Hello again! We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and that your new year is off to a fabulous start. This Christmas we managed to stay away from our sewing machines for three whole weeks. That is unprecedented, I assure you. Usually within a couple of days we both get a feeling we call 'itchy fingers' and we just have to make something. Otherwise we have time planned off and then don't commit to actually taking it. Most years we promise ourselves one break at the end of Summer and one over Christmas but most of the time they don't actually come to fruition and neither of us minds at all.
However, although we haven't been sewing, that doesn't mean that we haven't been working. Over the past two and a half weeks we have been redesigning & adding to the website. Those of you who come here often have probably noticed that the actual layout has changed but there are a few other things going on that I want to talk you through...
The Polka Dot Polly Package is this year's big reveal and we are very excited about it. We know custom made dresses are addictive and this service enables you to scratch the itch for up to 60% off.
Essentially it is like a subscription service (think beauty boxes like Birchbox and Glossybox, only for vintage style clothing) but without the recurring payments. You just pay for the year once and we'll send you goodies you'll love at regular intervals.
You first choose your subscription type based on the kind of fabrics you like, then you decide what type of item (be it dresses, skirts or blouses) you'd like to receive and finally you can select how often you want to receive your personalised garments.
We'll help you set up a profile page like my example here so you know that your garments will be ones that you will cherish.
Plus, there's free UK postage for the first month that The Polka Dot Polly Packages are available! That's a saving of up to £22 per package.
The next new thing that we've been working on is improving search functionality.
Now you can search fabrics by either type of fabric (cotton, lace, poly-viscose etc.), feature colours or print type (polka dots, animals, plain etc.).
I love to see grouped collections of similar things so this new way to search fabrics is one of my favourite updates we've ever made to the website. And it has been a long time coming.
We will be rolling the same feature out to replicas in the near future, when you will be able to search by not only item type but colour and fabric type.
Whilst we were updating the fabric listings we had a big clear out so you may find that some of the fabrics you loved are now not listed at all. If there is one (or some) in particular that you'd like to see readded just email email@example.com and we'll see what we can do. There are still more to be added and I will continue to work on that after we're finished in the workroom every evening.
Sadly, we have had to make the decision to retire the Loyalty Scheme this year.
However, we didn't want to leave you with nothing to look forward to so we've decided to set up an exclusive 'Pals of Polly' section of the website with special offers just for those customers who have ordered in the previous month. Those may include upgrades on offers that we're running for all customers (e.g. if we are offering goody boxes to all customers we might have a bigger goody box option - with more goodies inside - for Polly's Pals). It might be roll end offers where items in certain fabrics are much cheaper than standard so that we can clear some space. Or it could be exclusive codes or discounts. But whatever it is, it will certainly be an exciting email to receive.
Vouchers from the fourth quarter of last year will be sent out today.
A spectacular year-long competition for brides that is not to be missed. There will be a blog post with all the details very soon.
Colour-way picker for replicas. When we make an item in a fabric that's available in different colour schemes we will add a separate product with options to choose to have it made in any of those.
Improved replica search functions, just like the new fabric search options.
I hope you're as excited as we are for this new year! Until next time,
As many of you will know by now, we try to do a nice little offer around Christmas time - a yuletide treat for our lovely customers.
We usually join in on the January sale tradition but since we don't carry much seasonal stock and vintage style is not determined by current fashion trends there is no real reason for us not to extend those savings to you before Christmas is over and done with.
Sadly it is now too late to guarantee delivery before Christmas but that doesn't mean that it is too late to order Christmas presents for loved ones that are patient enough to wait for something splendid to arrive. Scroll down to our previous blog post to read about how we can help you show your recipient their gift before it's actually arrived, even if it's a garment you've designed especially for them.
So for the next month there is 25% off everything* on the website!
After the month is up (on 14th December) we will be shutting down the website so that we can take a break over Christmas and catch up on some admin and general organization. We will be back open for business on 4th January when we will be unveiling some fabulous surprises so be sure to pop back for those in the new year!
We will continue to try to reduce the standard processing time but since it is still at 10 weeks for now that puts current estimated dispatch dates in late January so it is a good idea to start thinking about any special dates early on in the year (Psst - Valentines Day!) that you hope to have a Polka Dot Polly outfit for :)
I know that's a scary thought. Every year at this time we both think it is way too early for all the shops to bring out their Christmas stock. If Christmas lasts 1/4 of a year, how can it still be special? Unfortunately though, when you're thinking custom made gifts you have to think lead time.
However, if you are reading this after our last Christmas order date of 9th October and thinking 'Oh no, I wish I had thought about this earlier' all is not lost. Whilst our lead time may currently be too long to enable you to actually gift a physical Polka Dot Polly item on Christmas Day, one thing you can do is request a computer generated image of what your lovingly designed gift will look like.
Our previously generated images worked out pretty well, I think :)
A computerised mock up of our 'Sabrina' dress compared to the final product. A short while before it was launched we ran a competition to win the new 'Sabrina' style in this gorgeous red polka dot. No one else knew what the style would look like so I generated the image seen on the left here.
A computerised mock up of our 'Amelia' dress compared to the final product. One thoughtful gent bought this dress for his girlfriend last Christmas and wanted something to show her on the day so of course we were happy to help.
If you would like us to create an image for you just drop us a note in the 'special instructions' box at the checkout. Whether it's for you and you're just too excited to wait to see your dress or you want to be able to show your loved one a sneak peek of the fabulousness that awaits them we will do our best to get a rough image to you promptly.
We know it seems early to be thinking about Christmas but time does fly (where did August go?!) and our current 10 week processing time means that orders placed today are due to dispatch in the middle of November.
Whilst we may be able to get our processing time down between now and Christmas we can't guarantee it so please do make sure you get your order in in time for Christmas. It is also a possibility that it could increase (although we think that's probably not likely).
We are planning to take a break the week before Christmas (we don't start getting festive until we pack up shop so we need at least a week to prepare) so as it stands the last date for Christmas orders is 9th October.
Usually we get a huge influx of Christmas orders at the last minute and whist we are happy to have them it does make the last few days before Christmas deliveries a more stressful time for us.
That is why we are rewarding those of you who get your Christmas orders in a little early this year! Yay!
All orders totalling over £100 (before p&p) placed between now and 25th September quoting 'GOODYBOX' in the special instructions box (at checkout) will receive a free...you guessed it - goody box!
Goody boxes are our special Christmas gifts to you and will contain at least 5 surprise made to measure Polka Dot Polly items from the following:
You will receive at least one dress per box.
These are not only a lovely way to get some Christmas surprises for yourself, but also a fabulous idea for gifts.
You could design something that you or your loved one will adore and get some goodies made to measure for yourself, you could give it all to that one person or you could give us separate measurements for different loved ones so you have a chance of getting something special for each of the 50s lovers in your life*. It's all totally up to you - just make sure we have any measurements we might need!
Happy Christmas shopping,
*Goody boxes are full of surprises and as such we cannot guarantee any specific type of item will be included in any specific box. We also cannot take into account any kind of request pertaining to these surprises. You must quote 'GOODYBOX' when ordering. It cannot be applied retroactively. If your friends have ordered from us or supplied us with their measurements recently you can quote their full name in the 'special instructions' box at checkout to have items made to their measurements. Do not guess their measurements! It is far better to have to spoil the surprise by asking for their measurements than to order items that will not fit. The smallest inaccuracy can make a big difference in the fit of a made to measure item. As with all offers of this type, quoting the code on orders placed after the closing date (25th September) will not entitle you to a goody box. Limited to one goody box per order over £100. Multiple orders over £100 will earn you multiple goody boxes. Not valid on orders where any voucher code is used (excluding purchased gift vouchers).
It's been a good run but sadly we are retiring mystery, lucky dip and premium surprise items.
To send them out with a bang we are giving you up to a whopping 50% off these services!
Take 20% off with code RETIRE20
Spend over £60 to get 30% off with code RETIRE30
Spend over £100 to get 40% off with code RETIRE40
Spend over £200 to get 50% off with code RETIRE50
Savings only on mystery items, lucky dip items and premium surprise items. You won't, for example, get any discount on a 'design your own' item with these codes, although they do count towards your total spend.
There is a limited number of each item type available and once they are gone, they are gone for good!
Having said that, there are certainly enough to go around so do tell your friends. This might be the last chance they'll get to discover our mystery services.
Don't fret though mystery lovers - this post is not all bad news! You didn't think we would retire these popular services without good reason, did you?
We're not giving out any details just yet but there is something rather exciting to come in the new year. It will be worth the wait, we promise :)
Hover over each relevant statement to see which service(s) we suggest for you...
Ever since we launched this website we've been branching out and coming up with exciting new ways to order.
First, of course, there was the 'Design your Own' process - our signature and staple. We soon realised that having to recreate a dress (probably one you saw posted to our social sites) step by step was tedious and unnecessary so we added the 'Replicas' option.
At this point we were still offering ready made items but as ordering made to measure got easier, ready made grew less popular. When we stopped offering ready made items we lost the chance to design dresses, skirts, blouses and shirts unless they were for ourselves (although we still got to come up with new bodice and skirt styles, it wasn't quite the same). That is why we introduced the 'Mystery Items'. We could get to know our customers better and they could get surprise items in their style at a discount.
As if mystery items didn't give Polka Dot Polly fans a good enough discount, we then introduced 'Lucky Dip Items'. Like 'Mystery Items', but hardcore. These are for die hard PDPers - those who just want it all. When customers who would be happy with anything ordered mystery items it was like a breath of fresh air so we decided to reward those few with even bigger discounts.
The one and only problem we ever encountered with 'Mystery Items' was that we couldn't possibly give everyone who were only interested in pop culture items our premium products for less than the cost of our most inexpensive products. We wouldn't be here to tell this tale if we had. Whilst we could (and believe me, we did) say that mystery items weren't suitable for customers with very specific tastes, we didn't yet provide a way for those who were only interested in pop culture but not terribly picky about the specifics of their item a discounted option. That, as you have probably guessed, is where 'Premium Surprise Items' come in.
Whatever you decide to go for you can get a free 50% off voucher* for your next order of the same product type for the next three days.
For example, if you were to order a mystery dress before midnight on Wednesday we would send you a voucher for 50% off another mystery dress to be used within 24 hours.
Make sure you quote 'BLOG READER' in the 'Special Instructions' box at checkout since this offer is only available to those of you who read our blog.
To our 50s friends who that have been there with us through all of these milestones, we are so grateful for your loyalty. And for those of you who have recently joined the PDP fold, we hope you will be very happy here for years to come :)
Until next time...
*Each voucher is only valid for one specific type of item. If your first order includes more than one item just let us know which you want the 50% off voucher for. Cannot be used retrospectively - you must quote 'BLOG READER' when you order.
These awesome Disney Vans were released just last week and they have me drooling. My go to shoe is more often than not a ballet flat. I tend to stick to dainty, girly footwear but I have always had a special place in my heart for Vans.
Needless to say there is also some such special place for all things Disney. Honestly, Disney films are the absolute best in my books.
Whilst I wouldn't necessarily pair a pair of Vans with a pretty floral dress I would absolutely team these beauties with a pair of capri pants (I'd say watch this space but I don't know how long you would be waiting because we've planned to do capris since forever) and a Polka Dot Polly blouse in an awesome print. So let's take it from the top...
How cute would these Minnie Vans look with a 'Heather' blouse in Uber Polka Dots Pink (the tone of this is perfect) complete with black bow waist belt?
This chubby little cubby is the cutest! For a Disney Bounding look I'd go with a plain red top and yellow belt but I also love these Pooh prints...
You could wear virtually anything with these all over princess shoes. These are my absolute favourites from the whole collection! Sadly, I can't find them in the UK but they are available from the USA here. Of course it would be the best ones that us Brits would have to have shipped in. It's the same story with most of our awesome prints, including almost all of our Disney collection.
These big retro Mickey and friends print Vans are fantastic. To keep your outfit simple I'd suggest a Sateen Stretch Cotton BlackPDP blouse, red belt and red capris. But if you wanted to balance your Disney soles with a little something up top I'd suggest a blouse in this Mickey and Minnie Retro Squares fabric. The very front of the shoe has Mickey's face on it in a similar simple black and white style so this print is pretty perfect.
Belle is my favourite classic Disney princess, she's so pretty (it's no wonder that her name means beauty)! Sadly these Vans are also not available in the UK. We can get them from the USA here though so all is not lost. I love the idea of these shoes paired with a blouse in Roses are Red on Ivory. It's the perfect match for the red roses on the shoes and the Belle print is pretty subtle so it's like she's peeking up at you. If you wanted to go Disney-fied I'd suggest Disney Princesses in Watercolour White.
We are seriously lacking in Aladdin themed prints (I'll keep a look out!) but I do think these Jasmine Vans would look fab with a Lilac Chiffon 'Heather' blouse. It's a little nod to Jasmine's own drapery and matches the pale purple floral in the print.
Take your pick from our Ariel cottons. Personally I'd go with 'Ariel and Friends'. The huge print is anything but subtle though, so not for the faint of heart. These are mum's favourites. I can see them being really easy to wear with anything pastel this summer.
There's a distinct lack of Snow White in this collection so just to satisfy your hunger for princess goodness here is our latest replica and the newest addition to my wardrobe!
It features a new skirt style - the gathered circle - and new little puff sleeves. Super cute, no?
This dress will certainly be filling my world with sunshine.
Which are your favourite pair of Vans from the new Disney collection and how would you style them?
How much do you love my new dress? Because there is literally no other option, you DO love it.
It'll soon be time for us to start sourcing some new fabrics for Autumn/Winter. These include warmer fabrics, Halloween fabrics and party fabrics. If there's anything you would like to see available let us know in the comments and we'll see what we can do.
We will have to make room in the storeroom for the new season's fabrics so we're giving blog readers the chance to get a fantastic BOGOF offer. Order a design your own or replica item up until this Sunday @11.59pm and we'll make the same item up in a surprise fabric absolutely FREE! Your free item will be sent with your ordered item. To take advantage of this offer quote 'FLORAL', 'FUN' or 'ELEGANT' in the special instructions field upon checkout and we'll select an appropriate fabric. You can of course quote more than one if you're not fussy or if you order several items. There is no limit to how many orders you place but the offer will finish on Sunday night.