“I think I’m gonna go inside and sing myself some more karaoke. ‘Cause God knows that’s what I want to be doing, singing myself some more karaoke.” (aka Sew Dolly Clackett)

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 ūüôā And her fianc√© 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)…sew dollyPolka-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

elephants

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.¬†ducksI 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…

checksAn 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…

Me Made May 2013 – Week 5

Here is Me Made May Week 5…

Week 5

Day 27
Refashioned maxi-skirt (pre-blog)
Grey striped kimono tee (unblogged)
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan

Day 28
Black Jeanius Jeans (unblogged)
Floral jersey top
Minoru raincoat

Day 29
Blue Jeanius Jeans
1-hour striped t-shirt (unblogged)
Minoru raincoat

Day 30
Blue Jeanius Jeans
Stripy-yoke long-sleeved top (unblogged)
Minoru raincoat

Day 31
United Stashes of Awesome Skirt
Red Ruched Burda Top (unblogged)
NO JACKET! I left the house in just a top!

This week was even less inspiring than last week. It is half-term so spent most of the week lazing around at home working, sewing or just chilling, so not hugely exciting outfits for popping to the shops. Monday was glorious sunshine so I took my hand-sewing to the park to make the most of it, and it is a good job I did because the weather has been horrid since (hence all the pictures featuring my Minoru this week!). Tuesday was pouring with rain but I had to pop out to do errands, and made an exciting discovery on the way home which I will tell you all about in due course (I am waiting for some supplies to get delivered…)

I am analysing my month and will have my reflections on the challenge soon, maybe with some snazzy graphs and charts. Have any of my lovely readers been taking part in Me Made May this year? What are your thoughts now it is over?

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

Me Made May 2013 – Week 4

Here is Me Made May Week 4…

Week 4

Day 20
Basic Bella Cardigan
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)
Black-striped detail Burda Sadie top (unblogged)

Day 21
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan
Stripy Tiramisu Dress

Day 22
Black Corduroy Skirt
Refashioned Burda Blouse (same post as skirt)
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 23
Magpie Top (unblogged)
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)

Day 24
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)
Red Ruched Burda Top (unblogged)
Self-drafted Black Cardigan
M
inoru Jacket
Flickr Theme Friday was “Home town” so I lazily took a self-portrait on the tube home.

Day 25
1-hour striped t-shirt (unblogged)
Blue Jeanius Jeans
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 26
1-hour striped t-shirt (unblogged)
Summertime Maxi Skirt

Hmmm… not a very inspiring week this week. Work was crazy and the weather was very British (some freezing days where my heating came on, and a mini-heatwave today). There was a narrowly-averted MeMadeMay disaster when my washing didn’t dry and I almost ran out of Me Made underwear, but I found a test-pair that I could wear that day. Must remember 8 pairs of pants is not enough for someone lazy and doing washing.

I have made some progress on my couture jacket and the outer-part is almost done (just 17hours to set in the sleeves!) so I hoping there will be a sneak peak of the construction soon. It is half-term and I have thirty end-of-year reports, so I am pretty sure I’ll find plenty of crafty distractions!

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

Me Made May 2013 – Week 3

Here is Me Made May Week 3…

Week 3

Day 13
Basic Bella Cardigan
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)
Spotty Sorbetto Blouse (unblogged)

Day 14
Floral Sorbetto Blouse
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)

Day 15
IKEA Birdie Skirt (before blogging)
Another Sadie Long-sleeved Top (unblogged)
Self-drafted Black Cardigan

Day 16
Self-drafted Black Cardigan
Floral Long-sleeved Top
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)

Day 17
Refashioned Maxi Skirt (before blogging)
Grey Striped Sadie Cowl
Purple Shrug (unblogged)
The Flickr ThemeFriday was “hats” so I piled all the hats for Team 1’s assembly on to ¬†my head, in tribute to the Spectrum ZX “Mr Silly’s Hat Game” I played as a child.

Day 18
Magpie Top (unblogged)
Black Jeanius Jeans (never got around to blogging)
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 19
Black Jeanius Jeans (never got around to blogging)
Liberty Self-Portrait Blouse

This week the weather was gloomy and so was my mood (my knitting-injured wrist has got worse after I began using it again, despite not looking at yarn) and I think it shows in my outfits; No pretty summer dresses but a lot of black. My newly-made black trousers and cardigan got a lot of wear this week, highlighting the need for some sensible basics in my wardrobe among the crazy prints!

Still lots more unblogged garments. I had been hoping to show you my new trousers but have been side-tracked by catching a bad cold and having lots of work to do; Next week is going to be hectic, so you may have to wait until half-term for some new garment posts.

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

Me Made May 2013 – Week 2

Here is Me Made May Week 2…

week 2

Day 6 – Choir singing, hence all black
Black chiffon Sorbetto (unblogged)
Black corduroy “Ginger” skirt adaption

Day 7
Stripy Tiramisu Dress (unblogged)
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan
Sandals! Did NOT wear Minoru*!

Day 8
Basic Bella Cardigan
Piped Polka Dot Skirt
1 hour stripy t-shirt (unblogged)

Day 9 – School class picture day
Floral Cambie
Purple Shrug (unblogged)

Day 10
United Stashes of Awesomeness Skirt
Grey Striped Sadie Cowl (both blogged together)
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 11
Self-drafted jeans
Burda Ruched Raglan t-shirt (unblogged)
Self-drafted Black Cardigan (unblogged also)

Day 12
1 hour stripy t-shirt (unblogged)
Refashioned Splodgy Maxi Skirt (made before-blogging)
M&S pink cardigan

Night time
I have been wearing my polka dot pyjama party pjs this week

Eeeek, I’ve worn a lot unblogged garments this week. I will try to remedy this soon for the recent makes (including this weekend’s latest creation). The weather cooled down after the bank holiday “heatwave” which meant I could wear long-sleeves to give me more wardrobe options this week.

After a week of the challenge I realised I didn’t have many plain garments to match with my crazy patterns. There were three options; Wear crazy clashing prints, wear nothing but dresses for the month, or make something. I chose option three. The stripy t-shirt was whipped up in an hour using left-overs from my Tiramisu and making up the pattern from my jersey block to give it inbuilt cap-sleeves. You will probably see more of these before the month is finished!

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

Surprises in the post!

There is not much crafting to share this week, as I have been thrown back into work with a thud and have been busy all week. However my evening were brightened up by some envelopes in my post box.

On Wednesday I got some dinosaurs I had ordered for school.

On Thursday I got the latest issue of Threads magazine. Since it only comes every two months, I always forget when to expect it and it is always a surprise. Both Thursday and Friday night I fell asleep before I had even finished reading the letters page, but this morning I sat in bed and read the whole thing.

On Friday I got home to find a parcel all the way from Canada – my Sewaholic patterns bought in Tasia’s birthday free-postage sale! I got the Cambie dress for spring/summer, as I realised it has been a long time since I made a dress. Then, just so I could make the most of the postage of course, I got the¬†Thurlow trousers pattern since they are designed to fit and flatter pear-shaped bottoms.
special delivery

I need to decide which view of the Cambie dress to make first, and in which fabric, but when I am ready to sew I will be ready now that my bobbins are sorted and tidied with these amazing little pegs. I got these when I bought my quilt wadding (to make the most of the postage charges of course) and they are such a clever but simple way to keep bobbins with the matching thread. And at just over 10p a peg they are one of my cheapest impulse buys.bobbin