Monday, 17 March 2014

Sew Dolly Clackett - The Dolly Mouse Dress

Happy St Patrick's Day everybody!  I hope you're enjoying your day.  I certainly am as I have the day off work.  It meant that I had time to monkey about with a new look to my blog last night.  Good old St P! 

 

I thought this would be a good day to show you my Sew Dolly Clackett dress. 


Actually, this dress has been in the planning for the best part of a year, Sew Dolly Clackett was the kick in the bum that I needed to make it!  The fabric is red polka dot cotton lawn that I bought last Spring.  It's the same fabric I used for my Colette Crepe dress, I got it on ebay, but can't find it now.


The pattern is a heavily modified version of View A of Butterick B5603I made this last year for my friend's wedding.  Ages ago I stumbled across the gorgeous dress below on the internet.  I pinned it to my Dresses Board on Pinterest,  but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available any more.  It's from a shop called Dig For Victory.  Their dresses look gorgeous!  The bodice reminded me of B5603, and I loved the pleated skirt, so I thought I'd have a crack at making something similar.
Source - Dig For Victory

Here's how I altered it:

Main bodice

B5603's original bodice has a separate neck band, but I extended the shoulders of the main bodice out to the width of the neck band, and shaped it down to the centre front of the main bodice, as I found the neckline to be a bit high on me on the original pattern.  I also did away with my original bust dart from my full bust adjustment using this tutorial from Lazy Stitching


I extended the main bodice out on the back to the same width as the back neck band so the back is all one piece.  I also changed it so the zip went in the centre back because me and V shaped facings don't get on very well.


Lower bodice

I'm really pleased with how this worked out!  There are four skirt pieces, and I merged them into two - one front, and one back.  The waist line is marked on some of the skirt pieces, and it's easy to see on the others as it's where the skirt flares out.  I drew in the seam allowances, and on the front pieces, I overlapped the seam allowances, drew along the waist line, and added a seam allowance at the bottom.  I did the same on the back, but also eliminated the back dart.  I made a toile of the bodice, and it fitted first time!


 

Skirt

Now, you'd think a pleated skirt would be an easy thing to make, especially after all the complicated alterations to the bodice.  You'd be wrong: this took me about four times longer, and it was all down to my appalling maths.  My fabric is 60 inches wide, and I wanted to use one width for the front, and two half widths for the back.  I calculated for about half an hour one lunchtime last week, then an hour and half that night.  It was all wrong because I had managed to multiply my half bodice pattern measurements by four instead of two.  I could have wept!  But it did explain why I couldn't get the big pleats I wanted.  Some more calculating the next day at lunchtime, and it eventually worked.  

 

Facing

I drafted these all-in-one facings, and I think they're pretty snazzy, even if I say so myself!  I'm also pleased with my interfacing.  I used this technique from Vicki Kate, (scroll about half way down)  it's genius!


So that's my Sew Dolly Clackett dress.  I'm calling it the Dolly Mouse dress because this bodice will now be the Dolly bodice (there will be more!), and the red polka dots are the same as Minnie Mouse's dress.

Don't let that sunshine fool you, it was freezing!
In true Roisin style I took my photos on my front door step, and you can see all the entries in the Flickr group here.  I'm looking forward to seeing what everybody makes.



Have a great week!

Lynne

30 comments:

  1. This is gorgeous! Well done! I can sympathise with your pleat-maths woes - just had a similar experience but got there in the end. That bodice deserves to get made MANY more times.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one that has trouble with maths. I was getting quite frustrated when it wouldn't work out!

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  2. Nice dress! Love the polka dots! Pleating a dress can be very difficult, but I think yours looks nice!

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    1. Thank you! I'm so glad you said that about the pleats, I thought they'd be easy!

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  3. I love this so much, Lynne. And I also love that you posed on your front step! That is so cute :) You did such a good job at replicating the style you like - I have this pattern in my stash and am very tempted to do the same thing :)

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    1. Thank you! Well, what's a Dolly Clackett dress without a front step!

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  4. Absolutely gorgeous! This is so, so cute!

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  5. How pretty! Are you wearing a crinoline? I love your mods. Excellent entry for the competition :-)

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I wearing the big crinoline I got to wear under my first verison of B5603. I forgot to mention that!

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  6. Lovely version! I'd wear it in a heartbeat. Gorgeous front door step as well :-)

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    1. Thank you! I always like to have some plants on the front step to brighten it up a bit.

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  7. Such a pretty dress! I love the pleats :)

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  8. This is a really pretty dress Lynne! I've just been through the same pleating pain - in the end I completely eye-balled it. Didn't turn out too bad, good for for sticking with the proper maths way of doing it! Well done for all the pattern modifications too, clever stuff.

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  9. Thank you! You know what, it didn't even enter my head to eyeball it! It probably would have quicker!

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  10. Gorgeous dress Lynne, you changes you made really worked, it's fab. Love the red polka dots too, it's a perfect homage to Dolly Clackett! x

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    1. Thank you! I thought the polka dots had a Dolly ring to them!

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  11. cute dress and cute shoes beautiful

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  12. It's so pretty! I love that 50's dress pattern, as well. And, it really does look a little like Dolly Clackett and a little like Minnie Mouse.

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    1. Thank you! I love this pattern too. One of these days I'm going to make the cross-over bodice in View C.

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  13. Lovely dress! Let's hope the weather warms up even more so you can enjoy wearing all your gorgeous summer dresses! Your pots of bulbs are very cheery!

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    1. Thank you! I hope the weather warms up too, but at the minute it's raining. At least I won't have to water the pots!

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  14. I love the shape of the bodice on this dress!
    The neckline is fabulous, the fabric is so great and those pleats!

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  15. Lynne, your dress is just beautiful.

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  16. This is my favourite of your Dolly Clackett Dresses :) It's beautiful! I'm in serious lust!

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  17. Thank you! I still can't get over the trouble I had with those bloomin pleats!!

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Thank you for reading my blog! I love reading your comments, so please feel free to leave a comment if you have the time :) Lynne.