Tag Archives: red

Sew Dolly Clackett No. 2 – Eiffel Tower Simplicity 1610

P1220540A very quick post because, well, I have sewing to do.  This is Sew Dolly Clackett dress number two, and I have at least two more lined up while I still officially have permission to rip off Roisin’s style.  I am totally turning into scarey stalker woman here.  I am also ignoring a large bag of work that I brought home to do over Easter, but it will have to be tackled eventually. After the sewing though.

This is Simplicity 1610, first attempted here, then here, and it is easily becoming one of my favourite patterns.  Check out the V back:

P1220544and pockets:

P1220534The pockets are really clever, you use a yoke piece that sews in then folds back on itself, if that makes sense. It is really easy and looks pretty professional. The sleeves are really cool too, with little pleats at the top.  I didn’t get any close up photos of them this time but there are some on the pictures of the last time I made it. P1220568I used the same measurements as last time but couldn’t be bothered to line it, instead I used bias binding tape folded under. That might be why the bodice came up a little bit bigger this time, but not so much that I won’t wear it.  I would rather this than too tight, as you know I need room to move:


P1220562I’m sure you recognise the fabric – Micheal Miller’s Eiffel tower print, much used by Dolly Clackett herself – for example here, here and here.  I got mine from Fabric Inspirations.  It was a bit more expensive than I am used to but it is really good quality.

So there you have it. Another Sew Dolly Clackett dress. The fit isn’t quite as good as my last one but I have already worn it loads and I absolutely love it.  Right, back to the sewing room….



Duck! My Hawthorn crop top refashion – perfect for relaxing on the M25.


You know you are obsessed when you start planning things to make for specific activities.
Look – ducks!   Perfect for the Taracat Family Annual Shooting Competition.  Not that we shoot ducks. Or anything feathered or furry,  just clays.  I have had mixed reactions when I tell people I like shooting.  People have strong feelings about guns, which they should, but clay pigeon shooting is a sport in the same way that archery or golf are sports. Actually I think golf can be way more dangerous. I have lost close family members to golf.  They used to enjoy coming round,  spending time,  were able to hold intelligent conversations.  Then they tried golf and all of a sudden they had no time for their old friends or family, it took up all their money,  they were constantly thinking about their next fix….
(And before you say it sewing is nothing like that. )

Anyway at the risk of sounding like a psycho I find shooting relaxing, and very rarely picture the faces of my enemies as I squeeze the trigger. And despite only getting to practice when I go home to my parent’s place I am also the unbeaten champion in my family.  So obviously I needed a new top in which to celebrate my certain victory.

Some of you may recognise this fabric. It is the same stuff I used for my Simplicity 2444 bodice and Peony skirt frankenpattern,  blogged about here.

P1200552 Now when I say I used the same fabric, I mean exactly the same fabric.  The Stashbusting UFO and Refashioning challenge that I mentioned in my last post has really made me think about what I wear and what just sits in the wardrobe neglected. This dress was definitely in the latter category.  I have worn it out once and even though I love the fabric the gaping neck and slightly uneven hem bugged me so much that I never wore it again.  I could have tried to fix it but that would mean raising the hem to a length I don’t wear.  With my fabric buying ban in place I need to get ruthless so I decided to resort to something a little more drastic.  Does it count as refashioning if you just totally ignore what it used to be and just chop it up to use the fabric for something completely different?

I didn’t have enough fabric for the peplum top but inspired by the crop top tutorial on the Colette blog I cut out the main Hawthorn bodice pieces from the skirt and the little bits from the dress bodice and some scraps that I’d had the forethought to save when I made the dress. I lengthened it by an inch or so. After two children my crop top wearing days are over. I also added a wide waistband and extended it to make two ties that are long enough to wrap around and tie at the back or the front. I figured this would also give me a little more coverage. I added buttons from a local charity shop, fifty pence for four. IMG_2535Unfortunately despite my best efforts this top still reveals a little more flesh than I wanted.  It looked fine on the dress form:


and it’s okay when I’m sitting down:

IMG_2499Standing up, however, and it does this at the back:


And this at the front:IMG_2506I can kind of hide my muffin tops by hoiking up my jeans and not breathing

IMG_2514Or strategically holding the bow in place

IMG_2523But any kind of movement and it climbs up to show off my stretch marks.  I know why. When I lengthened it I should have also made it gradually wider to accommodate my hips. As it is it is not wide enough so rolls or scrunches up and sits on top of them.  In addition I only had four buttons and was hoping that would do but I also need to add a popper/ press stud at the bottom.

Despite all this I will definitely wear this top. I love the style and the fabric and it looks pretty good over a longer vest top.  It is definitely as keeper, which is more than I could say for the dress.  And now I have figured out what I need to change I do plan on making another.  I guess that means it’s a success.

Anyway, enough about the top. How did I do with the shooting?  And where are all the action shots in the woods pretending to be Elmer Fudd?

It didn’t happen. You could say that pride comes before a fall. After all the effort making this top and talking about how I was going to whoop everyone’s arses we then got stuck on the M25 for three hours on the way there and totally missed the shooting. We did make it in time for a fabulous family dinner and then headed to the village pub for a couple of pints, so it could have been worse.  I was annoyed at first but there was nothing we could do about it so no point in getting stressed.  On the positive side it did motivate me to make something new out of something I had given up on. And I also get to hold on to my unbeaten status, in my own head at least.

Stash busting fish and beach huts – Laurels 1and 2


I am ashamed to say that after all my best stash busting intentions at the beginning of the year I now have much more fabric now than I did when I made those pledges.

So what went wrong?  Mostly the London Sewing Meet Up.  I took quite a bit of fabric to swap and got rid of all but one piece.  I also brought loads more back. From the swap, plus my freebie from Abakhan, plus the stuff I bought.  The look on Mr T’s face when I wheeled my over flowing shopping trolley through the door was enough to make me realise that I had some serious stash busting to do this week.

Of course I already had the perfect pattern. Colette’s Laurel, with the added incentive of a competition.  Having seen all the wonderful versions already out there I don’t for one second think I will win anything.  Check out the pictures on Flickr.  I love Rachel’s, and Scruffy Badger’s,  and Kim has made four!  It did however help me make the decision to use that pattern and make whatever fabric I had work, rather than dithering for ages about which pattern, which fabric, etc etc etc…

So first up- I pulled out a scrap left over from our hall curtains. Beach huts! I live by the sea, we have beach huts.  And yes, I am that cliche – a Londoner who moves to the coast and decorates their house with seaside stuff.  Remembering Marie’s gorgeous beach hut skirt, I decided that it was something I could use.  Probably less than a metre though, so I’d need something else to match it with.  My blue sparkly denim from the meet up caught my eye.  It’s a very subtle sparkle, not in your face glitzy. Sparkly like the sea (sort of?)  And the red twill from the same place. Yep, I had a plan.

It came together amazingly easily.  I cut a size 4 at the shoulders, 6 everywhere else, and ended taking a bit more off the shoulders to narrow them. I would like to say I was scientific about my customising  but actually I just printed out the pattern, stuck it together then chopped it up making sure I lined up the different sections on the front and back and remembered to add a seam allowance.  I made the sleeves shorter and wider and the skirt a little more A-line for no better reason than I wanted to. I found that I needed to take in a couple of inches all the way down the centre back seam and was still able to get away with no zip.  So here it is, Laurel no. 1:


Beach hut Laurel 3

Beach hut Laurel 2


For Laurel no.2 I used a metre long piece of Michael Miller Goldfish cotton I got ages ago from SewBox when inspired by this corset on Burdastyle. It has been sitting in my stash for over a year and needed to be used.  I decided to pair it with some black cotton left over from my Macaron dress.  Again I just printed the pattern then cut it up and added seam allowances. Then I sewed it all together.  Again no zip needed.  This time I decided to get a bit fancy. First I added the ric rac, again from the stash. Doesn’t it remind you a little bit of fish scales? (Get her,  trying to make like she thought it all through 🙂  )  It still needed a little something so I cut a couple of fish from the remaining scraps, interfaced the backs and stitched them on the back shoulder, just above the hem and then on the front.  A while back I found this amazing clear thread, I think it was in a box of stuff from my grandmother, an obsessive quilter.  It looks a bit like fishing line,( how appropriate!) and meant I could sew them on invisibly. I did the same thing to try and hide where I’d blatantly failed to pattern match on the back seam. Why didn’t I just cut it from one piece of fabric? Duh- I already knew I wouldn’t need a zip. Finally my daughter decided it needed sequins so we destroyed a belt of hers that no longer fitted and after sticking them on with wonder tape to get the right positions I stitched them on with the same invisible thread to look like bubbles.  This is what we ended up with:

photo (7)

photo (9)

photo (4)

photo (5)

photo (2)

A little OTT compared with my usual stuff but we had fun and I will definitely wear it. It was nice coming out of my comfort zone and trying techniques like applique and sequins and it has definitely encouraged me to make more effort with embellishments .

I love this pattern.  It’s so easy to chuck together and I have plans for more including at least two tops.  I may even get another dress finished before the competition deadline tonight.  The most difficult bit of these projects was getting photos. My camera is still out of action so apologies for the crappy iphone pics.  The pattern itself is a breeze, and now I’ve figured out the basic adjustments I needed to make it fit me the possibilities are infinite.

As I was sorting out my pictures for this post I remembered a really interesting post by Debi of My Happy Sewing Place on sewalongs and contests that made me think about my own motivation.  I don’t seriously expect to win, I have only been taking my sewing seriously for a short while and there are loads more deserving sewists out there who have made fabulous interpretations of this pattern. I’m still going to post my pics though, in the spirit of sharing ideas. (And you never know 🙂 ) However without the contest it would undoubtedly have taken me a lot longer to discover this fabulous pattern. Actually I don’t know if I would have bothered at all as it’s not a style I normally go for. Now though I can see myself making loads.  It has also motivated me to just get on with sewing instead of faffing about making endless plans, and encouraged me to start seriously attacking my ever growing stash. And best of all is seeing what everyone else comes up with and discovering fabulous new and inspiring  sewists.