Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's Sew Dolly Clackett!

As soon as I read about Sew Dolly Clackett, I knew I wanted in.  I've been reading Roisin's blog for quite a while and envying her dresses.  I even pinned a few as inspiration.  Since one of my goals for this year is to sew more for myself, this challenge presented the perfect opportunity to actually do that.

When I think about Roisin's style, I first think of fit and flare dresses in polka dots or novelty prints, all things I love -- but generally using wovens.  I haven't sewn clothing for myself out of a woven since the wrap skirt I made in sewing class my senior year of high school to wear to Homecoming.  Back then I'd never heard of a muslin or pattern adjustments and generally just picked a size and winged it.  That skirt ended up fitting pretty decently, but only after I managed to serge a hole through the front piece the day before the dance and had to talk my physics teacher into letting me leave class to go to the home ec. room to finish it up.  Somehow that worked.

That was a really long time ago, though, so it was time to tackle the wovens once again.  I actually bought fabric for three dresses, but not surprisingly only just finished the first one this afternoon.  Expect to see some more Dolly Clackett inspired dresses coming soon!  For this first one, I went with a fun polka dot bird print and the By Hand London Anna bodice (I picked up the pattern at Grey's Fabrics when I was in Boston) with the New Look 6824 skirt, a combo I blatantly copied from Roisin.  I'm calling it the Polka Dot Peeps dress.

Please ignore the state of my knees.  I tripped on a run a while ago, skinning one and bruising them both.  Classy.

I sewed up a muslin of the bodice and decided to lengthen it 1.25" and do a 1/2" swayback adjustment.  There was some diagonal wrinkling in the back that I thought meant it was too snug, so I also decided to use a 1/2" seam allowance just for the side seams for a bit more ease.  It's pretty much impossible to see your back, and the wrinkling there was my biggest concern, so I kept making Ray take pictures of it as I was tweaking things.  Heh.

Overall, I'm quite happy with the fit, although I think sticking to the 5/8" seam allowance throughout would have been better.  It's a smidge looser than I'd like.  Next time I will probably sew the bodice and skirt pieces together at the waist before sewing up the sides, so it will be easier to alter.

Another thing I would do differently is to stay-stitch the neckline.  I stretched it some when I was sewing the facing on and had to steam the crap out of it to get it more or less back to how it was supposed to be.  I had a minor panic attack about that one.  I believe I yelled, "THIS is why I stick to KNITS!"  Then I got over myself.

I wanted the skirt pleats to line up with the pleats on the front bodice, which took some putzing.  If anyone else should happen to want to do the same thing with US 6 Anna bodice (or really, for myself when I inevitably lose my notes), I cut a size 8 skirt, did the center pleat as marked, then for the next one folded the size 16 line to the 14 dashed line, and the third was the size 12 line to the 10 dashed line.  To make the back fit, I again did the center pleat as marked, but for the other two, I used the 8-10 line folded to the 16-18 dashed line. I didn't attempt to line these up with the back darts.

All lined up on the first try!
I had originally topstitched the neckline, but then couldn't envision how I could neatly insert the zipper, so I ripped it out.  It definitely would not have worked with the method I used, which was very similar to the Ottobre method I'd used on E's Rosy Posy dress.  Another note to myself for next time: hold off on the facing until zipper installation time.

I also forgot to iron the invisible zipper flat, so it's not quite as invisible as I'd have liked.  It's not terrible, though, and the wrinkles that were in my muslin don't seem to be a problem, so I'm psyched about that.  I do have a tiny bit of gaping of the back neckline and the shoulder seams sit a little further back than they should, so I will have to do a bit more adjusting for further Annas.

And since Roisin's known for her front door shots and her shoes, I'm ending with the obligatory pics of those!
It was way too sunny in the front yard, so this was a quick snap by the 8-year-old.

1 comment :

  1. I love it! The combo is really flattering and I had missed the original you'd "copied" so thanks for pointing me to that one too. Also I love your shoes :)



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