There’s a Fine Line Between Being a Fangirl and a Stalker

I’m a little bit scared that Sew Dolly Clackett may have tipped me over that line.  The whole point of this little frock-fest organised by Sarah at Rhinestones and Telephones is to celebrate the marriage of Miss Muldoon to Dr Nic in May.  The sewing tribute was announced eons ago and entries could be made between the 23 February and tomorrow, the 23 April simply by posting your photos over on the Flickr page specially set up.  And whaddayaknow.  It’s the 22 April and I’m typing this post whilst still needing to finish the never ending hem on my Dolly Clackett Dress and take the photos despite having plotted this dress since the announcement.  Actually since before then because as I said, there’s a fine line between fangirl and stalker.  But, I’ve done it.  And there’s photographic evidence to prove it!

Georgalex 1

I’ve always loved Roisin’s style.  She makes lovely dresses in the best prints ever.  In all seriousness, without her inspiration I’d still be using sensible colours in everything I make.  Roisin’s given me the courage to wear something a little brighter and a lot more fun!  Whilst there is certainly a time and a place for a sensible wool dress, there’s also a lot of fun to be had in wearing something bright and colourful and a little irreverent too.  When I think of a Dolly Clackett Dress I think of Alexander Henry fabric, full (preferably a circle) skirt, a fitted bodice and amazing shoes.  When I think of Mr and Mrs soon-to-be Clackett I think of Paris, Gin, Kate Bush, Pizza and a blue front door.  Does a blue garage door count?

Georgalex 2

I knew exactly which fabric I wanted to use as it has been sitting in my collection for over a year now waiting for the perfect dress.  It’s preciousness brings out in me Gollum like tendencies.  This was no time for a ‘suck it and see’ dress if I was going to use my ‘Home Sewing is Easy’ fabric.  This had to be something I’d love.  And what better than to use a fabric I love in tribute to two people who I’ve had the pleasure to (briefly) meet, annoy online and who are so fabulous?

Georgalex 4

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for the Floralex.  Hey, if you’re making a dress inspired by Roisin, By Hand London has to feature as does a pattern mash up!  As I mentioned, I didn’t want the hassle of fitting and I like the way the Elisalex bodice fits me.  Splice on the dipped-hem-circle-skirt-with-pleats from the Flora pattern and you have a lot of fun out of 3m of fabric!

Georgalex 3

 

I may have committed a minor misdemeanour in that the front of the skirt has a seam running down its centre but that was the only way I was going to get the skirt out of 44″ fabric.  It’s not that obvious on first glance and damn it, I love this dress!

I cut everything out on a single layer to make sure I got the pattern placed where I wanted it and then lined the bodice using a plain white cotton and I underlined the skirt in the same.  I then did a kind of flat felled seam thing to make the side seams in the skirt disappear.  I was going to wrap the centre back seam in white bias tape to magic that away too but changed my mind.  It’s behind me so isn’t going to be that obvious (I hope).  And yes, I realise that the side seams are even less conspicuous…

Georgalex details

 

I know the preferred zip insertion at Clackett Towers is that of a hand picked lapped zipper and that is what I have done on this dress.  The canary yellow zip is carefully concealed by the lap and went in quite smoothly.  I did briefly consider an exposed zip but it just didn’t seem right with flirty skirt.  The hem is pressed up and then hand stitched to just the underlining layer so that it’s invisible from the outer edge.

Then, of course, you’ve got to accessorise.  Something Roisin is known for is her shoes and her Instagram outfit shots showing a slice of skirt and the shoes.  Did I mention the shoes?!  These Mel shoes are a direct and blatant copying of a pair modelled by the muse for this whole dress.  I had no idea that Mel shoes are so comfortable.  Seriously – you have no idea your in heels when wearing these things!  And I had to pay a little tribute to Paris and these earrings from Betsey Mae on Etsy are perfect.  I bought a necklace too but it got lost in the print – it’ll be worn though!!

Accessories

So, ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses to Miss Muldoon and Dr Nic.  I wish you both a lot of love, laughter and happiness in your future.  Love you guys x

Annalex

Sorry, more By Hand London dressing going on here…

Let me introduce to you Annalex; Elisalex’s bodice and Anna’s maxi skirt.  More Mrs Robinson on the leg front though than Angelina!  I made this a long long long time ago (August!) but By Hand have just released this ‘love child’ post so I thought I really ought to start attending to this here blog again now I’ve sat those exams!!

Elisalanna

You got a sneek peak of this dress in my post about my Victoria Blazer.  There’s not a lot really to say about this dress!  The bodice is lined and the skirt french seamed.  It did take a bit of adjustment to get the skirt panels to continue the lines from the bodice, but nothing overly complicated.  I just made some skirt panels wider and some narrower as necessary!

I originally had a completely different plan for this dress.  I wanted to use a tropical print for the centre panels of the skirt and bodice and then a plain black for the sides to give a really neat colour block effect but I couldn’t find the print I’d imagined in my head anywhere.  I’m still on the look out though as that dress has to be made!

So I used this cotton sateen that came from my Goldhawk Road jaunt.  I love polkadots but if they’re too regimented it annoys me for some reason!  I much prefer a more random dottiness (which describes me quite well…).  So when I saw this fabric in a window display I needed 3m of it!  Needed I tell you!  At £5 a meter and 60″ wide that was no hardship either.  As long as you don’t have a directional print it’s perfectly possible to get a maxi from a reasonable amount of fabric.

My only miff with the fabric was that when I got it home it had a grubby mark at intervals along the selvedge where the roll had been propped on the shop floor.  I could not get this out so had to work round it.  If I’d known it was there I would have negotiated a better price on the fabric.  Ah well, live and learn.

Elisalanna Detail

So the bodice is lined (using some nautical vintage cotton) as per the Elisalex instructions and the skirt is french seamed as per Anna’s.  I hemmed the slit by hand as well as the hem and used a hand picked regular zip rather than an invisible one.

There’s not a lot more to say really!  The mash-up of two gorgeous BHL dresses is a success in my eyes and those girls can do no wrong.  Georgia is in the que and Charlotte has also been added so I now have the full collection…  I really must photograph Anna; the post is written but, photographs…

By Hand London Collection

 

Oh, and it was my birthday over the weekend!  The Charlotte skirt was a gift from me to me (to be made up in a small hounds tooth), I also received a new food processor as I blew up the last one (it was 15 years old!!), the Batman Trilogy (Christian Bale versions),  a new cycle helmet, a Crud Catcher rear mudguard and a bike trailer for Boy as he’s not up to long distance rides yet.  Also the Rock of Ages sound track as well as Despicable Me 2 (if the postman ever brings it – it’s allegedly out for delivery as I type…)

I was also treated to a pedicure so I have pretty toes at the moment and as I’m rubbish at coming up with a gift list I now have money to spend on Amazon and some cash to spend on whatever I like!  Any suggestions?!

Elisa-ish Dress

I’m slowly catching up with all the things I’ve made over the summer!  This dress has earned the status of being ‘precious’ for a number of reasons.

First up, it’s responsible for starting my love affair with By Hand London patterns.  This was my first pattern from those incredibly talented girls and what can I say, that bodice is a dream, a dream I tell you!  I love the scooped neckline and the plunging back and the princess seams.

The second reason is that I wore this dress (having hemmed it the night before using a head torch in bed) to the Goldhawk Road meetup in August.  So this dress was made for a much anticipated event and has a lot of very happy memories attached to it.

Elisalish

The fabric is Michael Miller and is called Rigging from his Ahoy Matey collection.  It’s a gorgeous fabric that just behaves really well and presses beautifully.  Rosin who blogs at Dolly Clackett is also a fan of this range of fabrics and has used this print here and using Ship Shape in the orange colour way here as well Stay the Course here (which I also have in the stash and is destined to be a Belladone, probably next spring now.)

The dress is an Elisa-ish as I chickened out on the tulip skirt.  I’ve got curves as is and I didn’t know if that was a step too far so for this version I created a pleated skirt using the full width of the fabric.  Nice and simple and doesn’t add too much bulk at the waist.  I also used a ‘Tango’ orange invisible zip.  I have no idea how I cam to have such a blazing orange zip in my collection but it matches the orange accents beautifully.

Elisalish Detail

I’ve been wearing this dress a lot and will be wearing it with tights and a cardigan as the weather is now so autumnal (well it is at the moment as I’m catching up on blog posts and scheduling like mad!) although if we do have an Indian Summer and late September gives us one last burst of sunshine I wont complain!  In short, I wish I’d bought this pattern a year ago when it was released rather than waiting a good twelve months to get on the By Hand London band wagon!

Put it this way, I felt so good in this dress and received so many compliments on that sunny day in London I ordered the Victoria pattern on the train on my way home!

PS.  I haven’t forgotten about the Simplicity Pattern giveaway, I’ll be posting the winners soon!

Weddings and Goldhawk Road

Umm, Hello?  Is anyone still there?  Please accept my apologies for dropping off the face of the earth for six weeks.  Life kinda happens and it was case of sew or blog; I took the selfish option and spent time with my machines.  In another post I’ll have three new dresses to show you although you get a glimpse of one later on…  It’s nice to be sat here writing again as I’ve missed the interaction we have on this little web page.

Last time I was part of your feed content, I was in panic mode for my Babyiest sister’s wedding on the 19th June.  Well I’m pleased to report that it all went very well and she’s now a Mrs.  The veil was finished in time as was the hem on my Mother’s dress and I think everyone had a good day.  It was a very hot and humid day, the first indicator of the good weather that was headed our way.  It was an outside civil ceremony and quite short, but also lovely too.

Wedding 1

There you are; me, Mother, Babyiest sister and Middle sister.  None of us look very much alike!  Another bridesmaid and her daughter, plus Boy and Me began the procession down the aisle followed by Father and Babyiest sister.

Wedding 2

The new Mr & Mrs signing the register and then getting photographed by pretty much everyone.  Boy had completely lost interest at this point!

So in between then and now I’ve been working, studying for a course for work which has also involved nights away (traumatic for all of us as I’d never left Boy before, let alone 3 nights / 4 days for two weeks on the trot) and also been looking forward to  my first ever sewing meet-up!

Goldhawk 1

On Saturday 3rd August I joined 37(?!) other like minded souls in Goldhawk road to shop, swap and chat the day away.  I finally got to meet some ladies I’ve been ‘talking’ to for a very long time; Claire (our fearless organiser), Roisin, Rachel (who was here on holiday from Brisbane), Amy, Kat, Emmie and Dibs!  I also got to know some new faces – Hi Alison!  The group shot of Emmie, Alison, Roisin, Me (in one of my new dresses), Rachel and Amy is shamelessy ripped from Roisin’s blog which if you don’t read, you really should.  The photo was taken by a very dapper looking Nic or ‘Roisin’s Boyfriend’ as his name tag proclaimed!

We had an hour of shopping before meeting up for lunch.  Let me tell you as a girl from the country, Goldhawk road is overwhelming!  There is so much choice you almost can’t cope!  I say almost can’t cope but I did make a few purchases but I also came home with money in my purse…  The prices are jaw dropping too.  I’m used to paying £10/m or more.  Cotton shirting at £3.50/m?  Wow.

Goldhawk 3

So I bought four different shirtings for Boy.  His favourite is the pale blue check, followed by the navy plaid, then the stars and finally the waves.  He’s got quite conservative tastes that little man!  The navy blue irregular polkadots is a cotton sateen and is going to be a By Hand London mash-up-maxi.  The pink and blue/lilac is a cotton brocade and is destined to be the lining of another By Hand London pattern.  The purple is a gorgeous knit that I got for £4/m with a slight crosswise stretch but not stretch along its length – I guess it’s a stable knit?!  I have very little knowledge of knit fabrics but this is going to be a Tiramisu and as I bought 3m there may be a top as well…

These were bought both before and after our lunch at Liz’s Cafe.  The food was lovely and they coped with such an enormous group really well.  It was then time to experience my first swap!  I’d bought some yarn, a few patterns and a couple of lengths of fabric to go into the enormous pile!  I only came away with two pieces though; a navy cotton twill to be paired with the brocade above and a length of tiny houndstooth fabric which is very drapey.  I think it’ll probably become a skirt.  Also a bag of buttons; just plain mother of pearl effect ones that will be perfect for a certain Boy’s shirts!

Goldhawk 2

I sat with Rachel for lunch and had a lovely time chatting to her and the others around us (whose names I have forgotten – I am so sorry!).  There was much admiring of her Miette cardigan.  I just wish I had the patience and the time to knit, but I don’t.  Doesn’t stop me appreciating the skill in others though!  I also got the chance to finally say Hello to the wonder that is Dibs!  I have read her blog forever and she is just a gorgeous person.  We didn’t get to chat long, but hopefully we’ll cross paths again and get to chat properly.  Both of the above photos are from her camera!

Goldhawk 4

After lunch, there was time for more shopping and I bought my favourite piece.  This is a border print and I know exactly what I’m going to do with this piece of stretch cotton sateen.  But I’m not telling you yet!

So, two fabulous days but for different reasons.  No more weddings in the family for the foreseeable future but I’d love to do another blogger meet-up next year.