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

A Little Sewing Room Fun

Do you ever need a project that is quick, easy and extremely gratifying?  Yeah, me too.  Especially just after Christmas when the weather is bleak and everything is just a bit flat.

I’m in a massive declutter mode at the moment.  Stuff is being shed left, right and centre.  Even my sewing supplies are being culled and sold for cold hard cash.  One of the ‘casualties’ was the desk chair I used in my sewing space.  Man, that thing was big!  Every time I moved anywhere on it, I hit something.  My room is too small for such a big black monstrous piece of furniture so I flogged it.  Then promptly spent the money on a metre of fabric and some piping from Frumble.  But before you wonder how on earth decluttering, stash included, equates to stash acquisition – there was a plan!

We have a number of steel legged, round topped stools from back in the days when Husband and I owned and ran a hire boatyard on the Norfolk Broads.  When refurbishing one of the boats we had 6 of these stools left over and rather than bin them, they’ve followed us around ever since.  They make great occasional ‘need extra’ seats.  Since deciding to loose the monster chair I’d been using one of those stools to see how I’d get on with it in the sewing space.  Quite simply I loved it, it fit under my table so could get out of the way completely, was the right height and generally perfect.  Except for the ageing red velvet covering.

Sewing Stool

So, 1m of Alexander Henry’s ‘Home Sewing is Easy’ fabric and some kingfisher blue piping (£15 in total so I still had change from the sale of the chair!!) later and I had a new stool!  I completely winged the whole process!  I interfaced the fabric with some medium weight interfacing and about the only measuring I did was for the diameter of the top of the seat and the depth of it (which I then doubled and added a bit to make sure there would be enough to tuck underneath and staple down).

This used up less than 1/2m of the fabric, so what do I do with the rest?  Pinterest to the rescue!  My machine cover is a very robust solid cover.  Great if I ever want to move it anywhere, rubbish if I want to protect my machine whilst leaving the cables attached.  Sewing Machine cover it was.

Sewing Machine Cover

I used this tutorial from spoolsewing.com  I adjusted the measurements a little to make sure it would cover my machine.  This took no time to make though, even with the addition of the binding.  I followed the construction steps in the PDF but with the addition of the piping what I should have done was:  Attach piping to front & back panel.  Sew end panels to top panel.  Sew front panel to top/side piece.  Sew back panel to top/side piece.

The reason I say this is the method outlined by Spool works perfectly if you don’t have inflexible, lumpy piping to negotiate that makes getting into the top corners a complete PITA.  I ended up finishing that bit by hand.

I’m glad I added the piping though as it gives the cover a bit of structure that it wouldn’t otherwise have.  You could so easily go fancy pants on this and interface the fabric, line it, quilt it, add pockets…  I just wanted something fun and bright too keep the dust off!  I’ve used up that metre now so poor old overlocker is going to have to wait until I actually stop being so precious about my dress length of this fabric and make a dress out of it!  If she’s lucky there’ll be enough left over to make her a cover too…

Alexander Henry May Break Me

We’re nearly half way through the second month of 2013 and I am having to apply some extreme will power not to buy some new fabric.

Frumble have some Alexander Henry ‘Home Sewing is Easy’ fabric in stock. For a period of time this was quite hard to track down in the UK. I have always loved this print and ever since Sarah at Rhinestones and Telephones as well as the gorgeous Roisin at Dolly Clackett made dresses from this fabric I have wanted to follow in their footsteps.

Stunning Sarah
Gorgeous Roisin

Like Roisin, I am in love with this dress:

Limb Dress

The print is a departure from my normal aesthetic but it would be so much fun to wear at weekends and on days off! And I do want to make some loud print dresses…

The skirt is easy to approximate and I could ‘borrow’ the bodice from V8727 or maybe Colette’s Parfait or Chantilly. Or get brave and work out how to draft something similar – particularly as V8727 and Parfait would mean buying a new pattern as well as fabric (but then if I’m going to be the first to break the jar pledge, maybe I should do it in style?!).

This wouldn’t be an immediate project though; I have a veil to make, pattern testing to finish and a dress for a wedding to do too, as well as a massive ‘to sew’ list.

What do I do? Do I stand strong and resist the urge to splurge? Do I wait and see if there’s still the yardage I need when it comes to pay day and decide it’s fate or do I just go shopping?! I’m going to miss Lizzy at the London Meet Up in April too which was going to be a free pass on fabric shopping (included in my jar pledge) so maybe this one length could be a consolation prize? Or maybe I should take another leaf from Sarah’s book and have a penalty jar?!

Being more conservative, there is the B&W version here:

I still love the version with all the colours though, even if the B&W version would be more subtle…

What to do, what to do?!