One of the things that helped me get back at the sewing machine was #SewDollyClackett organised by Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones; it is a sew-a-long competition inspired by Roisin of Dolly Clackett to celebrate her awesomeness and her upcoming wedding. I’ve got to know Roisin in real/twitter life and she is as lovely as everyone says 🙂 And her fiancé Nic is also good at fabric shopping with a good eye for a fun print.
I love Roisin’s style and for the past year I have been thinking “Would Roisin wear this?” when looking at fun fabrics and deciding if they are suitable for grown-up clothes. People who know me in real life will have heard me defend my outfits by saying “but my sewing friend Roisin would wear…!” There are loads of great dresses on her blog, but here are some of my favourites (all pics from Dolly Clackett)…Polka-dots, bright colours, gingham, animals (not animal print!), big flowers,… so much inspiration.
The first dress I made was fabric I already had; navy and white elephants. This print is fairly subtle for Roisin, but was a tester for a bodice mash-up combining the Sewaholic Cambie with the Simplicity 2444 bodices (details on how I did this to follow soon). Annoyingly the fabric was printed off grain so I had a tricky job making sure the elephants lined up all the way around, but it made hemming easier as I could take it up by 2 elephants. This dress is really comfy to throw on, it feels like a t-shirt but with the
Next was the dress I was most exited about because the fabric has baby ducks on it!!! I saw the fabric on The Village Haberdashery blog but thought it would be too OTT for a dress, then when I saw it in person Annie almost convinced me it would work (they also have pink Bambi and blue foxes!), but I couldn’t stop thinking about it all week so knew I had to have it. The pattern is By Hand London’s Anna with a full gathered skirt (a Dolly-Clackett mash-up) which I wasn’t overwhelmed by in the autumn but after wearing again recently I grew to like. I spent a long time matching up the ducks across the centre back and am really pleased with the result. I lowered the back neckline by a couple of inches as I wanted an invisible zipper to show off the pattern matching, and that was the length I had (too impatient to go into town to buy one!). The skirt has some subtle red rick-rack around the hem: a deliberate design choice and not at all because I forgot to add seam-allowances when measuring how much fabric I’d need to buy!
Finally I knew I needed some gingham or polka-dots to channel true Dolly Clackett style, and when I found this fabric I knew it was perfect for the challenge – tape measures that look like gingham! I made a classic Cambie dress and re-discovered how amazing the pattern is to sew, cleverly hiding away all the insides. I added a plain waist band as I had had enough check matching by this point (the tape measures are all slightly different widths, and a little flat piping/band around the neckline, but I’m not convinced how well it works from these pictures. I liked the dress when I was wearing it, but looking at the photos I’m not sure it is the most flattering…
An adjustment I made was to pleat the skirt instead of gathering it at the waist. I pretty much folded along the lines of the tape-measures (to quote Roisin “I’m smug because I’m calling a pleated rectangle a ‘self-drafted skirt’ “) so that the pattern is un-interrupted along the waist band. And I lined up the waist band with the tape-measures for a white border. Patrick and May would be impressed I think!
So there you go, three Dolly Clackett dresses in a week! Luckily I took a leaf out of Roisin’s book and sewed up some tried and tested patterns so there was no fitting, just quick sewing. There are so many amazing dresses in the flickr group it will be tough for Roisin to choose a winner tomorrow!
*The title of this post is in tribute to Roisin’s wacky post titles and one of our shared loves…
They all look great! I don’t know how she’s going to choose a favourite! You look lovely in these dresses, the fit and flare style really suits you. I can see why those little duckies haunted you, they’re just so sweet.
Wonderful makes Alison!
Thanks Nessa 🙂 duck dress will get worn lots over the next few weeks as we hatch baby chicks at school!
These are all amazing but I think the ducklings one is particularly fabulous. I love that you braved the rain and a broken camera to get out and take these at your front door! You’re such a trouper. I’m really proud to know you, and sharing Pacey with someone as awesome as you really isn’t difficult at all 😉
🙂 maybe I have to stockpile more baby ducks for a replacement dress when this one is worn to death!
This challenge really helped me get my sewing (and life) mojo back so thanks for inspiring it my lovely. Good luck with the judging *cough*pick me*cough*
3 fantastic dresses, my money is on the beautiful red duck one, the colour really looks fantastic on you.
Tape measures that look like gingham?! That’s insane amounts of happy in one fabric! and… Three dresses in a week?! You certainly have got your sewing mojo back! I love them all, especially the ducky dress, the red looks really great on you
A week of school holidays (elephants had been started week before)
I’ll try and get a close up of tape measure fabric- it is pretty cool!
Great title! And wonderful dresses. I love all three 😉
Thanks 🙂 but my three seem nothing compared with your TWELVE!
Wow three dresses – way to break a sewing slump! These all look so good, the Anna mash up dress is such a gorgeous shape. I like the black waistband on the gingham dress, it’s a nice break from the pattern.
Squueeee for the ducks and for the title!! I love all three dresses but the ducks win for me. The colour really suits you!
THREE Dolly Clackett dresses? You are working overtime, lady! The ducks are my favourite 🙂