Thursday, 17 April 2014


Clockwise from top left: Detail of lining showing polka dot facing at neck edge, pattern matching on bodice back, a hint of polka dot in the pockets, and a closer look at the darts on the bodice front.

This dress!!!  Excuse my poor manners for not beginning with a gentle good day...but this dress is demanding a Look At Me! intro.  Ahem, not just look at me, but wake up, look at me, skip the coffee, and go directly to paradise!  Yes, I do love me my new dress.  And I made it just for you little way of saying congratulations to you and Nic on your upcoming wedding!  Now, for those not in the know, please allow me to fill you in a wee bit.  You see, Roisin blogs at Dolly Clackett Blogspot; she's endlessly cheerful, always modelling her latest make, and forever fond of the fit and flare dress and a great pair of sassy heels. Her good news...she's engaged and on the verge of being married, and the bigger, if not better news is that her good friend Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones has masterminded the cat's meow of wedding gifts...a Sew Dolly Clackett Contest!  Yeppers!  Sew a dress that will have Roisin swooning, or at least making her a little giddy.  Roisin loves fun, flirty fabrics, and she doesn't shy away from colour. kinda gal!  How could I not join the party.

For my version of a Dolly Clackett Dress...I used one of her favourite patterns, Simplicity 2444 {Yes, the same one as my Betty Draper Roses Dress, seen here}.  This time round, I followed the pattern pretty closely; the bodice is a match, but I admit to swapping out the skirt's pleats for gathers.  Although it's nearly impossible to see, there are four nifty darts on the bodice front that give lovely shape to the fit bit of the fit and flare. The fabric...well the fabric had me at hello!  It's a big, beautiful mash-up of birds and flowers.  I bought a little extra to be sure to get that bee-yoo-tiful bird on just the right spot on the bodice, and I, rather cleverly if I may say so, matched up the pattern on the bodice back.  I also nested a bird on each sleeve. The zipper...gah, another story...let's just say I wasn't pleased with that chapter, but I'll share later. And! I mustn't forget the name...Roisin names her dresses...brilliant I say!  My dress? Please do say hello to the  I'm A Bird In Paradise Dress. 

Okay, a quick and flare dress, pretty heels, red polished toes, colour, whimsy, polka dots, and a name! Yep! We's good!

Ladies and gents!  I had a plan!  A plan that didn't pan!  Picture, my dress, a great yellow orb in a cloudless blue sky....but, sigh....the weather was having none of that.  I didn't get rained on {just lucky}, or blown away {just barely}, and in the end, it all feels just right! 

Dress:  Me-Made, Simplicity Pattern 2444
Red Shoes:  Fergalicious by Fergie
Bracelets: Me-Made

Sunday, 6 April 2014


All the lovely makes for the Mad Men III dress challenge are now on Julia's website. If you are a fan of Mad Men, or of sewing, or of late fifties/early sixties fashion, please do check them out!  

Last weekend, I was in a wee time crunch and didn't post any construction photos of my Betty dress.  For those that are interested, here they are, along with the usual bit of ramble.

I used a high quality 100% cotton fabric.  It's called Fairy Briar and made by Hoffman Fabrics, to state the obvious.  I purchased two meters and utilized the fabric to within an inch of it's life!  One of the interesting things I noticed, and appreciated, about this fabric, is that it does not fray!  It has a lovely high thread count, and a soft, silky feel.

Having said that, I lined the whole dang thing!  Why?  Well, I'm not overly fond of slips, so lining a skirt is almost always a given.  I used a cotton broadcloth for the skirt, and my custom A-Line Skirt Pattern serves as the pattern.  By using an a-line skirt for the lining, I'm eliminating gathers and pleats, effectively eliminating bulk.  'I need more bulk at my waist.' said no woman ever.  

The bodice and sleeves are lined with feather-light bemberg rayon lining.  Why?  Lining a bodice and sleeves means no facings.  Yes, but why?  I dunno!  I just do.  I like this style of construction and I use it a lot of the time.   I machine stitch the lined sleeves to the bodice, in essence treating them as one piece, and then my last construction step is to hand sew the bodice to the armhole.  Does anyone know of a different, um...yeah better...technique for this step?

The hem!  I was swooning over Oonaballoona's Pink Project Runway love it too, don't ya?...and I had to try using bias cut horsehair trim just like Oona does.  Me likey, me likey very much, thank you Oona darling!  It gives a little oomph to the hemline, a little bigger whirl on my twirl!  All good, it is!  

And last, but not least, a boob shot.  Kidding! But how 'bout we chat about the pleating on the bodice.  Not sure if I did this the right way, but it worked out well for me, so here goes; I pleated a rectangle of fabric to a size that I was confident my pattern piece would fit on with room to spare.  Then I placed my pattern piece on it, pinned, and then cut it out.  

All righty peeps!  Thanks for reading!  Have an awesome day!

Sunday, 30 March 2014


Mad Men Challenge 3, Simplicity 2444, Betty Draper Roses Dress
                        source: AMC - Mad Men

Mad Men Challenge 3, Simplicity 2444, Betty Draper Roses Dress

Mad Men Challenge 3, Simplicity 2444, Betty Draper Roses Dress
Top Left Photo Source: AMC Mad Men

Mad Men Challenge 3, Simplicity 2444, Betty Draper Roses Dress

Whew!  I made it to the lovely Julia Bobbin's Mad Men III with mere moments to spare. Truthfully, the deadline is April 1, 2014, but with heading into a work week, my personal deadline had to be tonight.  And, to think that I didn't find this pretty fabric until 2:00pm on Friday afternoon!  GAAAAAK!!!! My weekend has been a blur of activity!  Who knew the Mad Men Dress Challenge would drive me crazy?!!! Not only was there a veritable sea of dresses to choice from, but there are episode synopsis's {eek, is that a word?} all over the Internet.  Not having watched the series, I have come to learn that Mad Men is a big deal, I do live under a rock, and the Internet has both saved and forever damaged me.  I could not stop reading about Don and his torrid affairs, about thin Betty, fat Betty, naive but oh so talented Peggy, the wheeling, the dealing, the babies, the business breakups, and the business makeups.  I foresee a NetFlix binge of Mad Men in my future!

Okay dokey, a quick word about the Mad Men Dress Challenge III.  It's easy, and it's fun!  You can either recreate a dress worn by a cast member, or sew an outfit inspired by the show!   We've had six weeks, and in my case, that means five and half weeks to think about it, and two days to sew.  Again, um, why must I leave things until the last minute?  Well, in my defense, this time I really did try to beat the last minute rush.  I mentioned in an earlier post that friends had me pegged for Peggy Olson!  And yup!  I can totally see where that's coming from.  Gingham, check! Polka dots, check!  But, none of her outfits made me swoon.  The truth is, Megan's gorgeous coral and white chevron striped coat had stolen my heart.  GAH!!!  I love that coat.  But, could I find the fabric?  Nuh uh!  Sheesh!  Let me tell ya, it took more than a little while to let go of that obsession.  So, here's the kicker...the turning point was when I admitted to myself that I wanted to be Betty Draper.  Betty is pretty!  Betty wears pretty! And Betty's roses dress is all kinds of pretty!

I admittedly searched endlessly for fabric that was a close match to her dress, but the reds were always either too maroon red, {so not my colour} or the patterns too Christmas-y or juvenile.  When I saw my fabric, I did a little happy dance all the way to the cutting table.  This fabric is a dash of Betty and whole lotta Sue. The skirt is a basic rectangle with pleats at the top.  The bodice, a major renovation on Simplicity pattern 2444.  My plan had been to debut Simplicity 2444 next month, as in April, which YIKES, begins two days from now, but it worked really well as a template for my Betty bodice.  Don't worry, you'll still be seeing another 2444! Betty's dress has a decorative bow on a narrow waistband.  Instead of the narrow waistband, I made a narrow belt; otherwise, I think my design is pretty spot on!  I think I may do another post to show a bit of the insides. Julia will be publishing everyone's photos and blog links on Sunday, April 6th.  It's going to be fun to see all the inspired versions!

Special thanks to Samson for being my Don Juan!

Dress:  Me-Made
Shoes:  Bandolino
Necklace & Earrings:  Me-Made

Linking Up With:

Julia of Julia Bobbin for Mad Men III: The Big Reveal
Patti of Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday
Rosy and Sacramento for Share In Style: Flowers