The last of the five dresses I entered into the Dolly Clackett sew along is this one - a Butterick reprint of one of their 1960 patterns. This is the second dress I've made from this pattern and this version has a gathered skirt because I only bought 2 metres of this fabric and to cut the circle skirt of the pattern would have needed more. Not sure what else I can say about it really - bought the fabric at Ally Pally last autumn, sewed up quickly, looks bigger on Myrtle than it is on me, although I think it could do with being a bit smaller in the bodice. Maybe I'll take the side seams in at some point, but at the moment I can live with it.
Pink polka dot dress
I'm really pleased to have made these five dresses this month - I've missed sewing while I've been knitting. Though now I'm missing knitting! I have a cardigan I really want to get finished before it gets too warm to wear it, (I live in hope) so I think maybe I should have that as a me-made-May pledge - I will finish knitting my pink cardigan. I also intend to wear a me-made dress to work every day during May - I might devote one week solely to bird print dresses. Someone at work actually asked me when I was going to wear my Flamingolex again, which made me feel all warm inside - a dress that I have made has made a positive impression on someone - so it will definitely feature in the bird-print-week. Now I must away and knit a few rows.
Two more Dolly Clackett inspired dresses in this post. The first one is a mash-up of a size 14 Elisalex bodice and the pleated skirt from New Look 6824 in a size 12. The front half of the dress lined up beautifully - the princess seams matched up exactly with two of the pleats, and the side seams matched too. I had to do a bit of fiddling about with the centre pleats on the back though to get them to line up. I had already bought an rtw version of this dress but, because I love the print, and inspired by Roisin's Madarch dress I bought a metre and a half of furnishing fabric to make myself another in a different colour.
I'm really pleased with how this has turned out, my only concern is whether the invisible zip will hold up to use because the fabric is quite thick. Time will tell I guess. And I like this bodice / skirt combination, I can see it happening again!
Garden Birds dress
The second dress is all New Look 6824 although I decided I wanted a v-neck. I first saw rtw dresses made from this fabric in Zegerman & Lusky in Greek St London and fell in love with the fabric but couldn't bring myself to spend over a £100 on a ready-made dress, so decided to try and find the fabric online. Get Cutie in Brighton have it as part of their range of fabrics, so I bit the bullet (I think this is the most expensive fabric I have bought so far) and bought two and half metres. So, another bird print dress to add to my collection. I think I may have a week of wearing just bird print dresses to work next month, can't wait to wear my Flamingolex again, I just love that dress. ;-)
So, here is my first Emery (there will be several more, I'm working on the second one this weekend) and the second dress for the Sew Dolly Clackett sewalong. I've seen several cropping up in blogland - check out Sarah's blog, she's made lots of lovely versions, I particularly like the one she's posted today, and her la de freaking da dress. All the reviews have been good so finally I caved and bought the pattern and I'm so pleased that I did.
I decided that I would do a sleeveless version first, for quickness, to see how it fits. I didn't self-line the bodice (I used white cotton lawn instead), and I didn't follow the bodice construction notes that came with the pattern either. I'm really pleased with the fit, I did a size 6 bodice and a size 10 skirt - to give it a bit more fullness - and I didn't have to shorten the skirt, which is a big plus :-). Like By Hand London's Elisalex and Anna dresses, this is going to be another go-to pattern for me.
I have no idea how Roisin is going to choose winners for this competition so many gorgeous dresses have been entered and I love lots of them. I also now have a whole lot more blogs to follow and a much longer fabric wishlist!
Well, that's it for now, I'm off to finish Emery number two.
Having sewn nothing at all during the first three months of this year (I was knitting though), April has seen me cut out and sew five dresses so far and I have another laid out on the floor waiting for me to finish typing and get the scissors out.
The first to make it to this blog is an Anna maxi made from floral fabric which I bought on Goldhawk Road last year (or maybe it was early this year?). As soon as I saw Roisin's Georgia dress I knew that I wanted an Anna maxi from that same fabric and spotted an end-of-a-roll of it in Toni's, so after a bit of friendly haggling over the price - there was more on the roll than I needed - it came home with me and I've finally got around to making it up. Having a week off work over the long Easter weekend has given me the time to get quite a bit of sewing done and I've realised that the dresses I've made have all had some Dolly Clackett influence. Dolly's was the first sewing blog I discovered last year, just by clicking a link in someone else's blog actually, and as a fellow dress lover I have been inspired by lots of her makes.
To celebrate Roisin's upcoming wedding, a competition has been launched, and there is now a fabulous selection of dresses appearing in the flickr group. I'm not really one for joining in sew-alongs or knit-alongs, mainly because I have enough deadlines to work to in the day job, knitting and sewing are for relaxation; but occasionally serendipity intervenes, as it has here, when I noticed that all this month's makes had a Dolly Clackett element to them. And since I've had so much inspiration from her sewing I've succumbed and entered. Also, I love seeing what other bloggers make and it's only fair to return the favour I think.
I realise that this blog needs some serious work on it, but that will have to wait until I replace my PC, which has decided it doesn't want to talk to blogger anymore, and typing posts on an old and very slow laptop is time-consuming, but at least it works! I'm digressing here aren't I?
Back to the dress. Here she is.
I love the Anna pattern - this is my fourth take on this dress - and I decided I wanted it to have a V-back which I think has worked out pretty well. I now feel the need to make more maxi dresses for the summer and fortunately already have some patterns which have maxi versions, so there will be more appearing here over the next few months. The fabric on my floor is calling me now, so I'm going to cut out my second Emery. The first one will be for my next blog post. :-)
Update May 2017
Much as I loved this with both a v-neck back and v-neck front, I found that it slipped off my shoulders rather too easily unless I was vertical (when gravity would keep it in place), so last year I unpicked the fron bodice and cut a replacement with the bateau neckline option and this has solved the falling-off-shoulders problem!