A blog about my stumbles through life

Sew Dolly Clackett

When I saw the tweet about #sewdollyclackett I knew I wanted to get involved, just didn’t think I’d leave it till the 11th hour (or as close as) to get involved.

I love Roisin blog, her hand made wardrobe and shoes are girl crush material. shamelessly I’ve bought the same fabric and made versions of her dresses more than once, but you know I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.

I made this dress in plenty of time and have even worn it few times since. The first time was to celebrate my nephews 18th birthday. My dad loved the fabric and convinced me to wear it to the races, so I did. Alex has already mentioned that she saw a few duplicate outfits at Aintree Races and her own dress was unique. I didn’t see another pin up girl and car patterned dress all day. Another bonus for sewing your own dresses right there.

I love the Alexandra Henry fabric, the dress pattern is Emery by Christine Haynes, this is my 3rd Emery and first ever full bust adjustment, there is a brilliant post explaining all in the Emery sewalong

20140423-195040.jpgAlexander Henry Aloha Girls Miss Hawaiian Tropic dress

I wore my favourite shoes and my bag has little matching cherries.


2 for 1 Doorway shot and derp face.

This won’t be my last Emery dress, I want to fix some neckline gaping and I have a few metres of more Alexandra Henry fabric washed and ready to sew in true Dolly Clackett style.

Wishing Roisin and Nic a very happy wedding day and years beyond, lets all raise a glass of prosecco to that.


gingham picnic

Last week in work was one of the most challenging and stressful I’ve had for a long time. I was a happy bunny when 4pm Friday rolled round and could leave the stresses of the week behind.

With plans for doing nothing much on Saturday and Sunday I made use of my time with my sewing machine and few meters of gingham fabric.

Imitation is the biggest form of flattery or something like that and having already made a knock off of Dolly Clacketts one good turn dress, knew what I was doing with the construction of the B5748 and an easy project was what my tired mind needed. I’d bought the gingham fabric to make an apron for a friends Mum and overestimated how much yardage an apron used, because I was left with over 3 metres when I’d finished it.


Gingham picnic dress butterick b5748

It took about 12 hours in total, I added pockets from the Sewaholic Cambie pattern to the side seams (I have a soft spot for dresses and skirts with pockets.) only the bodice is lined using cheap white heart printed cotton. The waistband is finished with polka dot bias binding and had only had to get the seam ripper out once! The skirt is machine hemmed using a 6mm rolled hem foot. I machine hemmed the Dolly dress too as I’m slow hand sewer and finishing a full circle skirt by hand would have taken days. I’m not ruling out hand-finishing in the future, I can imagine some bias tape at the hem would add a lovely finish and gives the skirt little more bulk to hold up against the yardage of the full circle, but right now I’m happy to cut a few corners and use the machine. I’m really pleased with the dress. I was going to retire the pattern for a while, but looking at these photos I really love the shape and I’d like to make versions with a floral print and large polka dots. I can improve the fit by pinching out an inch at the shoulders and from the lower part of the waist/bust darts and my pocket placement could do with moving a few inches up. – Oooooh, get me!

While I had the Cambie out I decided to give it a go and made a toile of the bodice out of some random sheeting material I had. There are some fitting issues at the bust (no surprise there) which will need a few tweaks or maybe a full bust adjustment. (I’ve so far put off doing this, sounds complicated.) hopefully I’ll have another butterick and something resembling the cambie finished soon.

There was also a bit of competitive connect 4 and chess playing with my Husband in Brasco Lounge near the pier head. Its a great bar which seems largely undiscovered by most.
saturday night we had one of my favourite teas, a selection of meats and cheese or picnic tea as we call it, on the front room floor (picnic style)


Ladies Day

Today is the start of the 3 day Grand National festival in Aintree and its a not all about the horse racing!

Thursday is the grand opening, I’ve never been, but it is growing in popularity. Saturday is the big race.  For some the main event is tomorrow, a day of high fashion, high shoes and high spirits. Ladies Day and I love it.

For me the preparation started months ago, looking at dresses online and in stores, hoping the weather would be dry / warm enough to forgo a brolly and a winter coat. Deciding where to eat afterwards, should we book a package with breakfast and travel included?   All the plans are in place, dress bought, hair appointment booked, eye brows tided up.  The excitement is building and I can’t wait for tomorrow. I really enjoy being all dressed up, glass of wine in hand, having a little flutter on the horses,  Everyone is in a great mood and if the sun shines, even better.

My only gripe about the whole day is the negative press it attracts, the nasty comments I’ve read on social media about the women who attend. Yes there are some sights, shoes too high, hemlines too short, but wouldn’t life would be boring if we were all the same and wore midi dresses and ballet flats?  I’m sure it’s not to everyone’s tastes, but come on let’s play nice now; lets not bitch about what some are wearing.  I just hope I don’t see a photograph of someone flashing their draws in the Liverpool Echo.

Might post a picture of me all dressed up tomorrow, I wont be flashing anything.

Train spotting

Not much to say, just a pic of me in a spotty jumper and train patterned skirt.

I’ve found recently that I just don’t wear trousers, apart from jeans. It’s all skirts and dresses, if those have pockets then all the better. (This skirt does have pockets)

20130324-102926 PM.jpg

Skirt and jumper from Cath Kidson, shoes asos.

Dreams of the 6000

I’m really keen to amp up the sewing and garment making.  The plan is to make one wearable item of clothing a month and to actually wear it!

So far I’ve worn the Hollyburn skirt 2 twice and its has survived a wash without falling to shreds – result.  I’m working on another Hollyburn, which is 70% completed, zip and hem to go (I’m slow at hand sewing, the hemming will take a while).   Also, I’ve  added a lining to this one, so in my mind its akin to sewing 2 garments at once and twice the hem!  I’m hoping to have it finished by Friday so I can start the next project: New Look 6000 Swoon, what a beautiful dress.

New Look 6000

I’ve been drooling over pics  online, reading blogs of those who’ve already made it for months and dreamt about  this dress.  So much has my obsession grown I bought this from ASOS as its similar to view E.  What finally made me bump it up my make list is Scruffy badgers Polka Dot Frock Fest.  Polka Dot 6000, yes please!  I’ll need to make a toile first, which is crucial for me with dresses as my 2 previous attempts have been disastrous and 2 sizes too big! So before I cut into some gorgeous spotty fabric I’ll make a test run out of one of the bed sheets my Mum passed on to me for that very purpose.    Oh and  I need to go shopping for some gorgeous spotty fabric.

Cherry bomb

I’ve lusted after these shoes for years, I regretted not buying them when they were first released. I stalked the Internet for a pair in my size that wouldn’t break the bank. Finally, I have a pair.

As shallow as it may sound, these shoes make me happy.

Vivienne Westwood Cherry Shoes.

30 plus 65

Sometimes things come at once, you know nothing planned for ages and then all of a sudden you’re squeezing everything into one little weekend.

A friend turned 30th on Thursday and she’d planned a few days of celebrations.  Thursday we had a  quiet meal with her and her son.   On Friday we  picked up the celebrating pace and booked an over night stay in a hotel.  To make the evening extra special we arranged for a  make-up artists to call to the hotel to make us look extra lovely, there was also the usual trip to the hairdresser for a blow dry.  22 of us sat down for a meal  at Christakis, there was plenty of dancing and very late night reminiscing about boyfriends past and the PJ and Duncan fan club.  Randomly there was a lesson on   the dance routine to U Krazy Katz…..thanks Peg.  Happy Birthday Emma, yours was the best 30th I’ve celebrated.

(As much as I love make up and all things beauty it was the first time I’d had my make up done for a night out.  (Yes, I’ve been made over a load of times at beauty counters) I was really worried that I wouldn’t look like me and unlike beauty counters in dept stores she didn’t give me a mirror to look in after each step.  Anyway, I still looked like me and despite having to do a bit of eye shadow blending myself once she’d left and I was pleased with the results.  There is no photo evidence, so you’ll have to take my word for it.)

Saturday evening was another Birthday Celebration,  I had tickets to an Evening of the Music of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Liverpool Philharmonic, it was a one of show to celebrate his 65th Birthday.

We started the night in Host . As the title of this blog will attest, I’m partial to a gin, their G no T cocktail could have been made just for me. We’ve been to host a few times and they never disappoint. The Crispy squid is a must as are any of the deserts, but special mention to the Peanut Butter Brulee.

The show was amazing, the orchestra played the big numbers from a few of his most popular musicals. I’ve never fancied seeing Evita, but after hearing  ‘Buenos Aires’, ‘And the Money kept rolling in’ and of cause ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ I really want to now.  We finished the night with a few drinks in the Phil Rooms pub.

Yesterday was spent relaxing, after 3 late night I needed it.

What I wore on Friday evening for Emma’s 30th


Cocktails at Host

I know they’re only phone photos and lacking in any great detail, but both dresses are from ASOS.

I made it

On Friday I mentioned that there would be drinking of gin and sewing.  I did indeed sew a skirt. the skirt is the Sewaholic Hollyburn.

I cut the paper pattern out on Thursday evening and settled down to cutting out the fabric on Friday. I didn’t rush this stage, with the words of a dressmaking tutor in my head ‘spend longer on cutting than you would sewing’.  Now I must admit that I’m not fan of the cutting stages, it makes me nervous, its so final and it takes a long time.  I impatient and want to get on and sit at my machine and sew.   It was gone 11pm when I finished and there was no way I could sew successfully at that hour.  Reluctantly I left it and drank more gin.

I did the bulk of the sewing on Sunday evening listening to the Les Miserables film soundtrack. The instructions were easy to follow, the skirt construction had nothing I hadn’t already tackled in evening classes or weekend courses.  I’d also been following  mymessings sewalong so had a good idea what I was up to.  It came together easily.  I deviated from the pattern instructions and followed My Messings French seam tutorial.  This gave the inside of the skirt a lovely neat finish and one I’m very proud of. I decided to hand sew the hem and finished it last night so I could wear it today.

I will definitely make this skirt again, already I’m planning a solid colour version with a contrasting patterned pockets and maybe some piping on the waist band.

.  Image

Me, in the skirt. I’m wearing it with a navy cardigan and dark brown boots.

We gotta start somewhere

So I’m starting here, with my first blog post.

I read a load of blogs, fashion, beauty, crafting, rants and ramblings, lifestyle.   blogs have replaced my magazine buying habit.  They’re funny, relevant, inspiring and satisfy the nosy parker in me.  I’m not guaranteeing my blog will be any of that.

My plans tonight are to drink gin and sew a skirt. I’ll report back on both.  I’m confident the drinking of gin will go well, fingers crossed for the skirt.

Post Navigation